Category Archives: Contingency

cockney rhyming slang

dustbin lids- kids

trouble and strife- wife

apples and pears- stairs

china plate- mate

rosey lee- tea

lady godiva- fiver (five pound note)

barney rubble -trouble


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sorry boys

I have bumped up against an unpleasant reality. I don’t know how to cook.

I can read. I can follow a recipe, and I can usually succeed at the above. But I can’t really cook. I don’t have scores of recipes or dishes wrought of my own experimentation. I get by.

Especially over here in Europe. There is some sort of subtle differences between even the basics, dairy, flour, and probably the baking powder. My pancakes have been less than impressive over here, at the least.

Part of me would really like to conquer this realm, despite it being so stereotypically girly. This year is a good place to begin. But where to start? And it seems a hard thing to seem justifiable to spend time and effort on. But I tend to devalue the merit of pretty much anything, so I shouldn’t trust myself.

I have also discovered I am the biggest recipe hater. No legitmate reason, expect when I’m restrained by what ingredients are on hand and forced to improvise. I have a lot of misplaced confidence in myself. Thus, I frequently deviate outside of my gastronomic knowledge, often to my detriment.

I can cook to please myself, but it’s time to move on and put a little dedication into it.

“‘ I couldn’t care less what she’ll wear or what she looks like. It all depends on what she cooks like.'” Mulan


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if george orwell had a blog, i’d read it.

Turns out he does.

Someone has taken his old journals and is publishing them on a blog posthumously 70 years to the day. How great is that?

It’s called The Orwell Prize.

One of my favorite Orwell quotes:

“I am not suggesting that one can discharge all one’s obligations towards society by means of a private re-afforestation scheme. Still, it might not be a bad idea, every time you commit an anti-social act, to make a note of it in your diary, and then, at the appropriate season, push an acorn into the ground.”

Shooting an Elephant


Filed under Contingency, Lit

british christmas

Last Saturday night, we went to Trafalgar Square in Covent Garden and sang Christmas carols to passerbys and bystanders (words chosen because they both have “by” in them). A few hundred stopped and joined in. It was a really cold night but a really neat experience.

I have now also partaken in the British Christmas traditions of mince pies and mulled wine. I can see the merit in both.

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Filed under Contingency, holidays, Uncategorized

serious business.

I went to Belfast yesterday. Flew out  in the morning and returned at same night- first time I’ve done a roundtrip all in one day. I was there on business with my co-worker for the organization I am here in London with (sorry that I’m ending this sentence with a preposition).

The trip was great, long day, etc. We got up at 4 am to get  to the airport and fly out and were going all day. I didn’t get back until eleven. The airports and exhibiting made it hard to eat well, but especially to get enough to drink. Everyone around me is catching sickness; it’s not time to mess around. Airports prevented me from bringing water in my bag. I really to get over myself and just buy bottled water when I need it.

Anyway, per UKish tradition, we were offered a lot of tea, coffee, and “Squash” a drink kind of like Hawaiian punch. I managed a cup or two of coffee. When I was really desperate, I partially filled one of the mugs with the milk meant for slashing in tea or coffee. Finally at lunch, I scored a teeny glass of water, slammed that down, and ran and refilled it. Guys, don’t laugh at me, they don’t have water fountains over here. I haven’t seen one yet. Our flights were short to, so they charged you for anything to drink.

So this morning it’s time to get down to business. I am hoping my poor body will forgive me. In the hour since I got up, I’ve consumed:

– A small tumbler of apple juice
– One cup of instant coffee
– A bit of soy milk in half a bowl of cereal
– A second tumbler of apple juice
– One large glass of water
– Almost done with another mug of coffee and another glass of water.

Hoorah for water!

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Filed under 'bout me, Contingency

My dear friend and former roomie (roommate for three full years! top that.) is celebrating her birthday today all the way across the ocean from me. I really miss you, Brenna Joy.

In other news, I’m not generally an observer of Halloween, but exactly one year ago today, I was navigating four little Saudi kids through a neighborhood to ring doorbells and earn candy for their costumes. Half of the time, we were trying to curtail the youngest’s attempts to run out into the street, and it was a really hot evening to chase kids. But it was such a good time.

And still yet, I have had a really good week here. It’s probably the best week I’ve had in London thus far. Several days, I’ve just found myself musing about how this is so unreal and how grateful I am that I am here. Oh, and I ran five miles today. First time ever.

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Filed under 'bout me, Contingency, Everyday, life in london

epping forest.

On Saturday, my flatmate and I went to Epping Forest. The map says that it’s still in London, but it was definitely out of the city. I forget all the stats we read about it, but it may be the largest forest in England, and it is something like 6,000 acres.

We saw Queen Elizabeth’s hunting lodge -which was sweet. We took our time and Stephanie showed me all the cool thing I’ve never known about my camera. We only got turned around once. We walked for hours.

For while it was kind of rainy, and dude it’s muddy. I see the wisdom of those rubber boots I see people running around in now.


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