Category Archives: In England

The School Year Has Ended. . .

…and it has been truly beautiful outside. Sorry for not updating in a while FOREVER; initially, Eli’s class wanted to check out the Blog (per request of one of his teachers), and so we had him record an intro video and left that post as the top post for a while. The school term ended on the 8th of April… I became a little lazy… and then, suddenly, our trip to Wales interfered. Now, somehow, nine days have passed (almost a month if you discount the “Sawyer Has A Lot To Say” post), and we need pass on some of the huge backlog of post-able times.

I am starting a new category for this post; “Leaving for America.” This, sadly, marks something out (a line in the English clay, as it were) & has been filling me with pre-emptive nostalgia. Perhaps that is why I have found it so easy to put off the writing of this post. I began telling friends several weeks ago that there is something fundamentally messed up about going on a four month trip, and spending the last month– ONE FOURTH OF THE TRIP– anticipating the end with a false sensation of immediacy. Stupid it may be, but I definitely did it. You don’t have to be a bearded, crunchy hippie, sitting on the roof of the world in Nepal, to believe that we would be better suited to “live in the now,” and not choose to experience the pain of tomorrow before it gets here. (I DO have the beard, if not the “crunchy-ness,” however.) The kids felt it, off and on, which sucks, as undoubtedly the better part of what they felt were echoes of OUR anticipatory anxious-nesses… If left without our influence, I think they would probably have puttered along right to the end, and THEN had a short and profound bout of “feeling sad,” were we not starting to get a little mopey and wistful.

However, in an attempt to adopt a more positive attitude… It has been gorgeous outside. Highbury Fields has taken on the aspect of a upstate New York farm field during the Summer Of Love on several occasions. Allow me to show you a recent image:

Lower Highbury Fields in Spring

"Hey, if you think really hard, maybe we can stop this rain..."

That shot shows the park somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00 am! Mid-afternoon, the Fields put some of the beaches in SoCal to shame.

In order to make good use of this beautiful weather (and because we thought the niceness would be shorter lived than it has been), we had a very early going away party two weekends ago. To use an Eli-ism, “It was SUPER good! I really liked it!” Among the pleasant aspects– our friends Amol and Charlie brought Pimm’s to share. For our American readers, Pimm’s is the very buisness. The description may throw you off, but it is wonderful stuff: most people make it in a jug, mixing one part Pimm’s mix, and three parts lemonade (by which the British mean 7-Up or Sprite), in which you float ice, slices of citrus,¬†strawberries… and SLICES OF CUCUMBER AND MINT. That’s right, I said cucumber and mint. It is a fantastic summer drink– you can see the similarities in construction to Sangria— don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Lana made some incredible food, and we had a great time in the “back garden.”

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Somehow, it has grown late– I am going to go ahead and post this, rather than write it to a more typical length. (Are those muffled sighs of relief?) I figure that may help to motivate me to write several nights in a row, while providing the world with at LEAST a little snippet of information. I hope you all enjoy your Easter holiday tomorrow.

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Filed under In England, Leaving For America

Sawyer Has Many Things To Say. . . And They Are All “Uh Oh.”

Sawyer has been slowly adding to her vocabulary:

Mama– meaning the obvious

Dada– again, fairly straight forward

Nigh-nigh– we initially thought this meant she wanted to go to bed, but now believe it to mean “I want to EAT,” an activity that always goes on at bedtime

Nah-nah– a request for the ever popular banana chunks


Uh Oh– meaning “I just dropped something (again) and I want you fools to pick it up (again) so I can play with your emotions while making a HUGE MESS.

Please allow me to elucidate:


Filed under In England

Eli Introduces His Class To The Blog…

Eli has been attending Ms. Mendoza & Ms. Geddes’s Year 3 class at Laycock Primary School in Islington since we arrived January 1st. Ms. Mendoza told me today that the kids in his class would like to check out our family’s blog. To celebrate their viewing, Eli has recorded a brief introductory video:

Casting directors of the world, take note.

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In associated news, Eli’s blog entries concerning his trip to Dickens World and the Olympic Site should be posted later this week / the beginning of next (i.e. when next I have time). I hope to find a clever way to post his new 12 page epic–¬† “Transportation: On Ground And Air”– but for today, I will post his transport-concerned ‘research paper.’ (This entire semester has been themed with transportation, BTW; Eli couldn’t have asked for better!) As with his themes summarizing the educational daytrips we’ve been going on, I will post an image of his original work, followed by a transcription. To that end, allow me to present Eli’s first ‘research paper,’ entitled “Hovercrafts / Trawlers.” Before you read, all academics who peruse will please take note that, yes, a) this is quoted directly from the source without citation and b) his primary source is Wikipedia. This was per teachers’ instruction, and seems perfectly reasonable for Year 3 (2nd Grade). When he continues to do this in High School, and bases all of his critical response papers on not-so-clever re-wordings of CliffsNotes, please feel free to heap on the derision. This qualifies as Eli’s seventh post in the series.

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A page of Eli's homework

Eli's Seventh Self-Directed Theme

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Some hovercrafts are big enough
to hold a semi/firetruck.
A hovercraft (air-cushion vehicle, ACV)
is a craft capable of traveling over
surfaces while supported by a cush-
ion of slow moving, high-pressure
air which is ejected against the
surface below and cointaind within
a “skirt.” Although supported by
air, a hovercraft is not considered
an aircraft. BHC SR.N4, the
world’s largest civilian hovercraft,
can carry 254 passengers and 30

A fishing trawler is a comm
-ercial fishing vessel designed
to operate fishing trawls.
Trawling is a method of fishing
that involves actively pulling
a trawl through the water
behind one or more trawlers.
Trawlers are fishing nets that
are dragged along of the
sea or in midwater at a spec
-ified depth. A trawler may
also operate two or more
trawl nets simultaneo-
usly (doble-rig and multi-


Filed under Going To English School, In England