Monday, November 09, 2009

Nieces

The Thompsons were back in England recently, so the girls all got to hang out. Looking at all the pics, everyone seemed to have a lot of fun, and Abby survived her first visit from the US. We just need to persuade her Mammy and Daddy to bring her on a plane over here for a little holiday ;-)

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Welcome to the world Abby Patterson


So for the second Thursday in a row, Heidi and I became an Aunt and Uncle again! Of course, it was a girl (taking our niece total into double figures now), as Claire had Abby Patterson, weighing in at 9lb 3oz with both mother and daughter doing so well that they're already home!! (guess the NHS isn't messing around these days).

So, congratulations across the water, and we expect you to jump on a plane sometime pretty soon so we can have a hold! As you can see below, Ella is getting into her older sister duties straight away.

Now we just have to sit back and see what happens next Thursday......

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Things I Learned In England

The last couple of weeks are a bit of a blur, with lots of fun stuff fitted in, and I definitely learned a lot. Here's some of the things from the past 2 weeks
  • Nothing can beat fish and chips. And buying them from a chippie next to the sea is something I took for granted for 25+ years.
  • Parking spots in England are too small (or my parking skills are crap after 11 years of parking in US car parks). Of course, this provides untold entertainment for my brothers.
  • The UK seems a lot smaller after living over here for so long. A trip down to Birmingham for the day never really seemed like a long way (and it was well worth it to see Jeremy and the boys)
  • Going out with your lifelong friends always feels like you only saw them last week after about 2 minutes. It's a great feeling that you appreciate even more when you didn't see them last week (or last year for some of them).
  • Karting is fun on both sides of the Atlantic (and I'm going to try and lose a few pounds by my next trip over so I at least have a shot at beating my kid brother)
  • House prices are way out of control over there, especially in London (even though they're down from their highs). Not sure how anyone actually affords to live to be honest.
  • Ella's too cute for words, and she gives the best hugs.
  • Working remote for a week = massive improvements in productivity. But more than a week, and I think I'd go stir crazy
  • iPhone without data = realization that the iPhone is really a little computer, rather than just a phone (and technically I could have turned on the data roaming, but I was a little scared I'd have a bill for a couple of grand when I got back, so was pretty good about using wifi only, apart from the times I got lost)
  • I laugh a lot more in England. Not sure if it's coz I'm on holiday, coz my brothers are too funny not too, or if I'm just more relaxed generally over there, but I notice I end up with tears streaming down my face at least 3 times a trip.
  • The Trafalgar Hilton is our new favourite London hotel - friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, great bar, and decent rooms. We'll definitely be back here.
  • Center Parcs is a great place to go for a break in the UK, especially with kids (and kids at heart). And I forgot how much fun slides in swimming pools where (and how disappointing wave machines are)
  • Tynemouth still gets great surf (I even considered renting a board and wetsuit to get in one day, but then remembered how cold the water would be, how out of shape I actually am and that I haven't actually surfed in way too long).
  • Exchange rates are better now than they have been in a good few years.
All told, it was a great couple of weeks. Thanks to everyone who made it a blast, and for coming out to various bars and restaurants to meet up for a couple of hours here and there.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vacation (holiday) update

Having far too much fun to be writing blog posts, so here's a quick one just so I don't feel too guilty. We're currently in Center Parc near Penrith, where remarkably the rain has held off since yesterday, and we've been aimlessly wandering around all the things you could do if you were the type to enjoy a bit of exercise on holiday. Of course, we ended up in the pub at 2 o'clock....

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Had a hectic weekend, with Daniels Birthday meaning karting and a trip to the Metro Center on Friday, followed by curry and beers in the night. Saturday was lunch with friends and kids at Shire House Farm, and then a night out on the Quayside, hitting Pitcher and Piano for the first time in a while, and then making the usual culinary mistake of a kebab fully loaded with chilli sauce (it always tastes great at the time, and you realize your mistake the next day).

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Sunday was Matthew's Birthday, and we all headed to St James Park for a great Sunday lunch, and then a tour of the ground.

Pretending to be management

Got a couple of more days hanging out here (we might even make it to the swimming pool tomorrow, you never know), and then off down to London for a Thanksgiving Dinner with friends, and then hopefully meeting up with lots of other friends as well. We'll see how that goes. And obviously, going to be in desperate need of some sleep by the time we get back to Denver....

Plenty of photos are up on Flickr here if you really must.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Pretty Buildings are all the rage

When I was a kid, Southbank was a bit of a mecca for skateboarders. There were lots of cool places to hang out down there, and although I never got to go, it would be featured in the skate and bmx mags on a pretty much monthly basis.

I'm sure it's all changed now, and with it comes lots of new buildings. One that's still not built yet is this one - apparently project planning took so long (4 years) that the original design was obsolete, so they came up with this new one. I think I want to just hang out on the 10.000 sq ft terrace on the roof.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Trash Compactor

One house we rented in Breck when my (youngest) brother was across here had what is apparently known as a trash compactor. A machine mystical in its operation, that means you can keep stuffing the big bags full of rubbish long after it should be full.

We needed one over Christmas when we were back in England - lots of takeaways, gift wrapping and random boxes, combined with the bin men enforcing the one bin only rule per house meant we were struggling for space long before it was time for the wagon to come around. Enter the Newcastle version of the trash compactor - much more manual in its approach to solution, but a lot more fun.....

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