We had a great Halloween here in old London town. We must have had 10-15 sets of kids – probably 40-50 kids in all – drop by for some trick or treating.
That’s way more than we ever got in new York, although living in a Manhattan apartment building obviously makes the whole experience somewhat different than we would have had had we been in the ‘burbs.
And they were all so polite, even the teenagers, only taking one thing, despite Sally urging them to grab a handful! – and saying ‘thank you’ each time. One group that dropped by, addressed me as Mr Man: “thank you, Mr Man,” they chimed.
We met more of our neighbors, including another American woman married to an English bloke.
Next year we’ll have a proper party of our own.
Next up: Guy Fawkes night……
What a great weekend we had. Much of it was spent outdoors, appropriately enough given the weather we had – 70 degree in mid-October in London! Football Saturday morning,rugby Sunday morning, two visits to Palewell Common for yet more sports.
And then I had last night’s surprise. A big thank you to everyone who came last night – it was a total surprise for me and I had a great time.
I am determined to do whatever we can to make baseball more popular in the UK than it is currently. The MLB has a presence here and is doing its bit, it’s taught in some schools, I was surprised to learn and it’s sort of on TV here, but only twice a week in the middle of the night. Still that’s what digital video recorders are for and more to the point, that’s what MLB’s At-Bat application on the iPhone is for (£2.99 very well spent).
Anyway on Saturday me & the kids sought out one of the last remaining weekends of games in British baseball with the kids. Bar the first week we were here, which was very hot, it has been steadily downhill since then, weather-wise and this weekend was weather only the ducks could love. That said some very hardy souls braved the driving rain in lovely Croydon for the final four of the UK national championships.
As you can see on this pitch in a game that I think was between the London Mets & Menwith Hill Patriots, it was players, family & friends only.
The Mets must’ve won as they went on the following day to win the whole shooting match, beating our local team, the Richmond Flames 11-4 in a one-game 9-inning final; it was too wet to play the best-of-three final they had hoped for.
Oh well it was an interesting, if underwhelming introduction to the game here for our family’s slugger, but I’m sure he can make an impact next season.
And of course let’s hope the real Mets do the business back in the truly big leagues – right now it’s looking good, but after last season’s astonhshing collapse, nothing will be taken from granted until game 162 is completed.
We’re getting very close to the big move. But let’s see what one or both of us have done since the start of the year:
- Bought an apartment
- Renovated the apartment by combining it with what we already had – including the accompanying byzantine NYC bureaucracy
- Accepted a new job and with it, made the decision to move country.
- Found a house in the UK
- Got both kids into a good school in London – just as competitive as NYC
- Become a citizen of the US
- Put the apartment on the market (holding open houses is such fun).
- Started to move stuff overseas (or give it away or sell it on eBay)
- Travel to the UK, Switzerland & various places in the US.
- Gradually disconnect from our life in NYC (banks, credit cards, utilities, schools etc)
All the time holding down our jobs, keeping the kids on the straight & narrow (only two ER visits during this time!) and generally trying to maintain some sangfroid about the whole thing. So if we haven’t been as communicative as usual, that’ll be why ;).
By the new edition of the Rough Guide to Britain.
Don’t worry, we won’t be living in Plymouth or Derby, that’s for certain.
So it was quite a long time spent in the UK and quite packed. Among the highlights:
The kids went to their first panto – Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs at Wimbledon Theatre with their cousin Charlie, and all loved it…. Alvin & the Chipmunks was checked off the list (thanks to Uncle Rob!), while Mom & Dad went to see Fulham lose to Chelsea (maybe Alvin was a better option)… the week before all four of us sat through (perhaps the best description) Fulham’s draw with Wigan…two days before that the kids had met some of the players, last in the line was the American international Clint Dempsey, I urged the kids to tell him where they had just arrived from the day before, the lad went a tad mute at this point, but she edged close to the table and said quietly, in her cutsey voice “New York City,” which he liked. They’d had a bad day as the manager had been fired only hours before, we subsequently learned. Here he is talking to her, unfortunately out of shot:
The kids and Sally went to Paris for a couple of days to visit Uncle John and Thierry; it was supposed to be three days but was shortened by Dad’s inability to move due to a dodgy back.
And the highlight for me, at least through family connections (Uncle Brian is a retired forest ranger), Charlie & his mum and Miles and me ventured out in an old Land Rover on New Year’s Day evening after dark to feed the deer in Richmond Park. It’s not something the public gets to see, and was something I’ll never forget, driving the park in the pitch dark while Brian threw feed out to the deer as the clustered round us, waiting for their winter supplement.
Here’s a screenshot from the video that night:
Overall, Miles especially enjoyed being with his cousin Charlie, here they are in Hyde Park: