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Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

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Notes from a Small Island

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Yes, we’re back from our week in the old country, had a pretty good time though mostly family matters rather than sight-seeing etc. Finally got to see the nephew, quite a cute young lad (as babies go), I think he’s going to be a real handful when he gets older though! Other than hanging out with my sister and family, we also spent time in Exeter with some of my mum’s family, drinking way too much wine and eating some fine BBQ.

There is no doubt that England does pig way better than the US. England has good bacon (as opposed to the crap over here), gammon steaks, and pork rashers. All are delicious and sadly unavailable here.

With the dollar being largely worthless, things were real expensive. I couldn’t stop doubling every price and then recoiling in shock at what I was getting. Food especially got me going every time, we’d be getting double the portion at half the price in the US.

The number of speed cameras seems to have dramatically increased and they are very effective at slowing people down – virtually everyone does the speed limit when warned there might be a camera near by. And a new thing – ‘average speed zones’ where, allegedly, they have two cameras spread over a few miles which will measure your average speed through the zone and send you a ticket if that measurement is too high. I almost don’t believe it, though.

Saw a lot of MINIs but no MINI Clubmans. I saw quite a few in Champagne which I quite liked.

Political correctness is running amok in the UK, it almost seems like it has gone beyond what it is here. I had a couple of examples in mind as I started typing this but now they’ve gone. Grrr… well, take my word for it.

Saw some live football on the TV which was good. Not so good was watching my arch-rivals Portsmouth win the FA Cup. My brother-in-law was at the game and very pleased for the result but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

Weather was really warm and sunny for the first few days, sat out in the garden and got burnt at the sea front for one day down in Dawlish. Even though it was probably only around 75/78 it somehow felt worse than the 90+ that I am used to home here. Maybe some comment about “dry heat” is appropriate?

Going to upload some pictures to my Flickr page this weekend so watch for those if you are interested.

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May 23rd, 2008 at 6:30 am

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There Must Be Some Toros in the Atmosphere

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Mother Nature was having some fun with us yesterday. In the afternoon we had a series of a 10 or so little tremors, nothing really worth talking about, biggest was a 2.7. Then overnight the temperature got down to at least 25F – isn’t this supposed to be the desert?! Back up to 60F right now, though. Looks like we are going to have sub-zero temps overnight for much of this week.

[25F is -4C for those lucky readers using a metric system]

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January 14th, 2007 at 11:34 am

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Phew, What a Scorcher

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Oh no, the east coast is suffering a heat index of 115F – call out the national guard, the world is ending. Out in Brawley, its been an actual 115F for a lot of the time, and will be again and stay that way before the summer is out. So do what we do, turn up the a/c, strip down to your undies, and lay in front of a fan.

P.S. Don’t tell me that its ok because it’s a “dry heat” 🙂

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August 2nd, 2006 at 8:08 am