Monday, November 20, 2006

New job

I just started a new job, so updates here may be even more sporadic than usual while I adapt.

Sorry about that, folks.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Icons of England

ICONS Online is a not-for-profit group that has started a project to list icons of England, known simply as ICONS. Who knows why on Earth they're doing it, but it's fun.

Things like Winnie the Pooh, the Oxford English Dictionary, a cup of tea, The Archers, Monty Python, morris dancing and the Domesday Book are there along with hundreds of other nominations, all of which can be voted for or against by the public.

In unrelated news, I start a new job tomorrow, my first work since I arrived here in the US, thanks to an abnormally long wait for my green card. It's situated in a small Japanese district of West LA, so it'll be Brit in Little Japan in the USA. I hear working in the US is very different to working in the UK, but it'll be a relief to finally have medical insurance. Here's to hoping it all goes well!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Penny for the guy?

Today is (was?) Fireworks Night or Bonfire Night in England.

Otherwise known as Guy Fawkes Night, it commemorates Guy Fawkes, an English soldier, and his attempts to detonate barrels of gunpowder in order to assassinate King James I and the members of both houses of Parliament. Why we celebrate this attempted murder is beyond me, but we do it all over the country, and with gusto. There's usually a bonfire -- carefully poked to ensure there are no sleepy hedgehogs taking a nap inside -- and fireworks, cocoa and hot soup, hotdogs and burgers and of course, sparklers. There are also children who make a "Guy", a scarecrow like figure from old clothes, then toss him on top of the bonfire. Lovely.

Sadly, fireworks are illegal in the state of California, as I discovered to my dismay on July 4th this year, so there will be no impromptu celebrations here. It makes me nostalgic for my cold, wet November fireworks displays that we attended every year at my old primary school.