« June 2005 | Main | October 2005 »

September 09, 2005


And so do you think a week could go by without Jeremy and I changing our plans again?  Of course not!

Last weekend we had a nice time catching up with Jeremy's friend from high school, Neil, involving the obligatory visit to Sully's - a bar of fine distinction.  Nothing like seeing local white guys sing reggae in a perfect Jamaican accent.  On Saturday we took advantage of the pool at Neil's apartment building in early celebration of his birthday the next day before a relaxing barbeque and an early night (one visit to Sully's is enough for one weekend - and no matter where you intend to go for the evening, all roads lead to Sully's). 

Sunday was a day for inspiration - and we went to the black church in Hartford which Jeremy is so fond of.  It was an AMAZING experience, and something that I recommend to everybody.  We got there in time for the end of the singing, which actually took a long time to end, and it was like walking into a disco, except that the people who were grooving the hardest were all over 50.  There were women in their Sunday best running up and down the aisles, one woman who was easily 70 was jumping up and down in her row, the deacons rushing around to make sure no-one tripped over and did their hip in, and women ushers rushing around holding sheets up in front of those getting extra excited to make sure they didn't expose too much of their flesh while they boogied like it's 1969.  It truly was amazing, and their was such a feeling of love and family that I have never felt before in a large gathering of people.  The preacher got up in jeans and a black t-shirt and really looked like he was about to give everyone a schooling, and he certainly did.  The lesson was about weathering storms, and he shied away from neither politics nor race issues.  This was a preacher who calls it how it is, and he certainly was an inspiring speaker.  Jeremy was visited by some people who recognised him, I was surprised that they recognised him but then he did point out that he kind of stands out there (the only other white person in the building was the sound engineer, who might have been paid to be there).  A couple of people came up to us at the end of the service and thanked us for coming, and I really felt like they weren't just being nice to the poor white visitors.  I very much recommend finding yourself occasionally in a situation where you are the odd one out in terms of colour/culture.  It is a healthy experience.

September 01, 2005

Back to West Hartford

There is something comforting in coming back to a New England town after being away for a year, to find that the dog bakery is still there (smelling as delicious as ever), main street is still populated by expensively-dressed women accessorized with tiny dogs drinking coffee in the afternoon, and the zinias are again blooming in the front garden bed.  West Hartford is the same as ever - oh, except that the small coffee shop has changed hands and now sells coffee as well as locally made ice-cream, so I guess improvements have been made.

Jeremy and I have spent the last week sorting a year's worth of mail, doing really boring grown-up stuff at the bank, unpacking and washing all of our stuff which we've hauled back with us from the other side of the world and generally getting ourselves back into the groove here.  Oh, and counting cars.  We have both signed up at a local temp agency to make some pocket money, and were lucky enough to get the "counting cars at the mall entrance" gig.  I don't know that I've ever been more bored.  Maybe when I had to read Jane Eyre in high school.

I seem to feel that I am often arriving in America just in time for a disaster to take place.  Last time it was the DC sniper - boy was that fun.  Now it's Hurricane Katrina.  It's very, very hard to realise that someplace else in this country a city is now a lake, with survivors looting, dying, starving and shooting at helicopters.  Especially as I'm looking out the window at a sunny West Hartford afternoon.  But it is.  And it just reminds me that even when you think you know what's going to happen, you really don't know what's going to happen.  You wouldn't think that something like this could happen in America.  But it did.  And now the news story that you watch and thank god that you don't live there is actually about where you live.  Impermanence takes on a whole new meaning.

And so I have settled into a nice pattern of reading (a lot!), exercising, studying Spanish (I have a long way to go), doodling on my guitar and slowly working my way through that list of stuff to do while we're back in the States.  Like learning how to make bread - still perfecting the second rise stage but not too bad on the taste side of things.  It sure is nice to be able to have daily patterns, something hard to keep while you're travelling.  Right now I'm reading  In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, which is particularly funny to read as an Australian, and The History of Argentina, an account of Argentinian history from colonization through to the present which is about as engaging as watching tortoises mate.  This guy has managed to take the "story" out of history and turn it into something resembling a McDonalds menu.  Ok, maybe I'm being harsh but that's because I'm only a quarter of the way through, and I know how much more of his sterile writing I need to persevere.  Give me strength.

As at this moment, J and I are planning to head to Buenos Aires sometime mid-October to explore the "Paris of South America", eat mounds of delicious steak, learn to tango and flirt in Spanish, oh and teach a little English on the side.  It looks like J might be teaching a computer class in early October in LA, and that's an earning opportunity we can't afford to turn down.  I'm so glad one of us has some earning potential.  Right now he's on a filing assignment at an office nearby, poor thing.  I know, I should have offered to do it, but...  Ok, I have no excuse.  But I am about to do my Spanish lesson, and I do have a lot more Spanish to learn than he does.

Oh, and I finally got my own computer!  She is a lovely iBook and she is my new best friend.  I never was much good at sharing anyway. 

Recent Posts

Recent Comments


  • The Biggest Snowman Ever
    From foliage to snow in West Hartford, CT.


  • Man On The Mountain
    Life in the land of Crodcodile Dundee, Yahoo Serious, and a disgusting excuse for food called "Vegemite".

Koh Lanta vs. The Tsunami

  • Tsunami Water Level
    In April 2005, Fiona and I went to Koh Lanta, an island off the Andaman coast of Thailand. We were shocked to see the damage done by the tsunami, and we decided to see what we could do to help our new friends. We sent out an email, and within four days we had raised a total of $2,905.00 USD from almost 50 friends and family members. Our most profound thanks to everyone who donated. You cannot possibly underestimate how much you have helped.

March For Women's Lives

  • Us
    From across the nation and from nearly 60 countries, women marched in Washington DC on Sunday with their daughters, mothers, husbands and others in support of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion legal. The rally stretched from the base of the U.S. Capitol about a mile back to the Washington Monument. While authorities no longer give formal crowd estimates, various police sources informally gauged the throng at between 500,000 and 800,000 people. I've been to a fair number of rallies in Washington DC, and I've never seen anything like this one. It's difficult to tell from photos, but the number of people was absolutely staggering. The sheer size of the crowd coupled with the raw enthusiasm and the sense of power was overwhelming. I am proud to have been a part of it.


  • And Finally...
    Wayaleilei Resort, Wayasewa Island, Fiji December 2004


  • 20menacing_sky
    From June 11 through June 13 we went to a festival in Manchester Tennessee called Bonnaroo. Over 80 bands played to 150,000 people on six separate stages. Sun, rain, music, mud... what more could you want?

Angkor Wat

  • Khmer Kiss
    The largest and most impressive religious monument ever constructed in the history of the known galaxy. June 6 - June 8, 2005