Menu Close
Venice
Venice
Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre
Giverny
Giverny
Cadaques
Cadaques
Chicago
Chicago
Vienna
Vienna
Stonehenge
Stonehenge
Bergen
Bergen
Verona
Verona
Norway
Norway

Smoking ban, rain, sun and travel planning

England went smoke-free on July 1st. Smoking in all public establishments is now expressly prohibited. The word pub is actually a contraction of public house, so these quintessential Anglo-Saxon establishments are certainly included in the ban. The rooms previously perpetually filled with thick smoke are suddenly clear and breathable. In…

Of sleep and airports

Getting up in the morning full 40 minutes later that normal for an otherwise regular arrival at the office did nothing for my customary beginning-of-the-day discontent – I still felt denied the pleasure of staying in bed a bit longer… I also ended up staying late at work. Hope there…

Golf and other social events

Becky’s school year is over. A bit more sleep in the morning for me until September (although I was foolish – that’s another word for professional – enough to agree to an 8:30am meeting on Monday, signaling to all those willing to notice that I no longer have the drive-daughter-to-school…

Introduction to Meme

Unlike my friend Brian, who writes his blog when he really should be sleeping, I tend to value a good night’s sleep well above many other seemingly worthwhile endeavors. Which is why I often find myself unfamiliar with concepts that other bloggers have long mastered. One of those concepts is…

A summer weekend

Of the newly selected Seven Modern Wonders of the World, I’ve only been to one, the Colosseum – and actually was left underwhelmed by it. I have been to a few places that did not make the final cut – Alhambra, Neuschwanstein, Eiffel Tower, Red Square, plus a tour boat…

Theory test for UK driving license

NEWSFLASH: Natasha has passed the theory test for UK driving license with flying colors. I guess I might as well take an opportunity and describe what the test entails. It consists of two parts. The first is your basic multiple-choice how-well-you-know-the-rules-of-the-road affair. The questions range from very specific “What does…

Movies on a rainy day

A colleague of mine noted the other day that Brits are famous for talking about the weather a lot, because, well, “all we have is bad weather”. I am clearly assimilating, then, since I feel compelled to start this entry with an observation that it seemed as if the entire…

Taste of London

Resuming our London-based activities, we went to the Taste of London festival on Saturday. Several dozen tents have been erected on a large cordoned-off lawn in Regent’s Park. About 40 restaurants, over a hundred food, drink and appliance vendors, and 20 sponsors have set up exhibition booths under the tents.…

Short notes after a brief US trip

My short business trip to Chicago is coming to an end. Seeing my parents and my brother’s family was a bonus; going to a baseball game with co-workers gave me a necessary jolt of American culture; further socializing with said co-workers was mostly fun; otherwise, I could have probably stayed…

English driver license

After promising it on several occasions, I am carrying on with my expatriate experience series of articles. The first entry dealt with relocation package specifics. This post is about UK driver licensing. A foreign resident in England who holds a valid driver license from abroad can use it without getting…

Back from Brugge

Our official travel program for the foreseeable future is completed with our return from a weekend trip to Brugge. Yes, surprising as it may seem, we do not have any specific travel plans for a couple of months. Partially, it is due to a certain level of fatigue and over-saturation…

Feeling awfully secure…

I have ranted on several occasions in the past about British approach to customer service. While the problems that I described before – particularly, incessant handovers from one department to another, with attendant need to go through “security questions” and the description of the issue at hand again and again,…

Rethinking top cities

We perused our Amsterdam pictures and practically threw our camera away in disgust. The pictures come out unfathomably noisy. Even – or, rather, especially – the ones taken under more or less perfect lighting conditions. Natasha will work her magic and probably rescue enough to put together an album (in…