Mar/09
31

Look, let me start out by saying that I love the UK.

I love it here. I love the people, I love the cities, I love the countryside. I love bangers and mash, and pubs, I love, love, love the term wanker. It’s a great place.

However….

You know that we’ve been having kind of a hard time sleeping, right?

I’m not a huge TV person but when you have been up WIDE AWAKE until 4 or 5 AM every night, the thought of a hot shower, clean pajamas, and curling up next to your favorite person to watch some mindless boob tube seems kind of fun. I mean, that’s pretty much what TV was invented for, right? Being sick in bed or being sleepless.

Anyway, the reason I mention this is because I was stunned to be reminded of the luxury of the 90 channels we enjoy with a regular, run-of-the-mill cable package in most parts of the world. Even in CAMBODIA, where our top-of-the-line hotels had a World Health Organization water quality warning sticker above the taps (DO NOT DRINK–YOU WILL DIE), even there we had a decent satellite selection of 24 hour programming like CNN and SKY News, plus American movies…admittedly dubbed into Cambodian, but still. In Phenom Phen, we even had the Cartoon Network.

Here at all three of our…well, luxury…. okay, yes luxury hotels, we’ve been astonished at the television line-up.

To illustrate, I took pictures of each channel to show you last night’s choices.

Channel One: A documentary about Charles Darwin, complete with a sign language interpreter.

Channel Two: A repeat loop of A BBC news show, looped every 30 minutes with no changes or updates.

Channel Three: A female talk show discussing if reality shows should allow people to be shown drunk.

Channel Four: The movie I Heart Huckabees. I saw it in the theatre and have put it on my list of top 5 worst movies of all time.

Channel Five: Motorcross racing.

Channel Six: Probably something interesting but we couldn’t get the signal.

Channel Seven: No, not a porn channel. It’s paid advertising available on regular broadcasting. As someone who’s been married for fifteen years, I am all for spicing things up a bit but c’mon. Let’s have a little mystery to it, shall we? A little class? Can she at least wash her hair?

That was it. Those were my entertainment choices from 1 AM until 5 or so when we finally felt tired enough to drift off to sleep.

Next time, I’ll be prepared and download some really quality programming from the good old USA on my notebook.

Gossip Girls and Real Housewives of New Jersey, anyone?

Annie

Mar/09
30

We have quite a groovy little hotel, nestled along this street close to the water. jeff was still finishing up his meetings so I went out for a long walk….so long, in fact, that I got SUNBURNED.

Only a Seattle resident could come to England in March and go home with a sunburn.

These dudes were trying to skateboard. I was embarrassed for them. I could skateboard better. Seriously.

Because I had no small children and no schedule for the first time in about a decade, I sat on the boardwalk in a cafe and sipped a beer. It was as good as it looks here.

In my house, mushy peas are a bad thing. Here, there are a selling point:

Soon after this picture, my phone rang & it was, naturally, my dentist. I had to explain that I couldn’t schedule my cleaning because I was kind of far away from my calendar.

Then my phone rang again and it was Jeff. He walked down and met me on the beach, we found a fabulous restaurant, had a great dinner, and then retired to the room for another night of being awake.

In the morning, we are waking up early and I am catching the first train back to London. Jeff will wrap up his meetings and follow in early afternoon. Brighton is lovely but it’s quiet and sleepy and I miss the sizzle and energy of London.

It’s 12:40 AM and I’ll see you back in the big city,

Annie

Mar/09
30

We tried. Oh, we tried. We took Benadryl and long hot showers and wore sleep masks and did everything and we were STILL wide awake at 3 AM.

We finally gave up and just ordered room service, which was delicious.

After this, we watched a little BBC, which would put anyone to sleep, and finally got drowsy about 5 AM. My poor husband had meetings so he was up at 7:30, showered, working the phones, drinking coffee, packing, and off to catch the train to Brighton.

He left me 40 pounds and told me to call him when my train made it to Brighton. I rolled over and slept another 6 hours and woke up feeling fresh as a daisy.

Waiting for a car to Victoria Station, below. The ceiling of the hotel’s carport is sprinkled with thousands of tiny LED lights. The pictures don’t do it justice.

As there is no language barrier, I easily bought the correct ticket, I knew the departure time, I had the correct change for a small baguette and a junky London tabloid, and I made it to the platform with time to spare.

It was a most pleasant train trip, although I struggled to stay awake. I find trains very relaxing.

In about an hour, I found myself in Brighton.

Reunited and it feels so good,

Annie