We spent last week back in the English-speaking world wandering around London. I had a conference/birthday celebration in London, so it was the perfect excuse to take a little holiday. We'd previously toured London was in 2002 with Chris's brother Aaron, so we could be selective about the tourist sites to cross off our list. That trip ended in Chris getting sick (what the American doctors wanted to diagnose as the newly spreading SARS) so the cold Chris got the week before we left was not exactly appreciated, but thankfully was never debilitating. We arrived early Monday morning, and the next two and a half days (my "days off") were filled with sun. Monday we hit up the Tate Britain and then took a beautiful boat ride down the Thames to the Tate Modern.
Tuesday we wandered around Portobello Market - stopping at a few record stores (something that was more thoroughly investigated after I was working, as I really think I had my fill of British record stores in 2002).
We enjoyed the parks - picnicing in Hyde Park and laying out in the sun later in the afternoon. We also enjoyed the coffee (no offense, Tea), especially since the milk in Great Britain comes refrigerated and in plastic jugs - it almost tasted "normal." And the food throughout our stay was absolutely delicious, perhaps because it was all so expensive or because it was unusual. We dined on Indian (the new British cuisine) and Ethiopian, ate delicious vegetarian gourmet meals, filled with vegetables we hadn't seen in over a year. We even joked about transporting leafy greens back to Köln. And then there were the English bitters, that sadly only one of us could appreciate.
The conference I was attending was to celebrate Miles Reid's 60th Birthday. The two and a half days were filled with interesting talks, and I got to see quite a few Seattle folks. While I was immersed in minimal models, canonical singularities and cone theorems, Chris was knee deep in movies at the British Film Institute, where he could sit at a private console and watch classic British films and documentaries on post-punk record labels for hours on end.