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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week commencing 10th May 2009

Sunday is another glorious sunny day, although there is a breeze which is keeping the temperature cool (by cool I mean low 70 degrees!). Went out a walk along the canal for a couple of miles to get some fresh air and light exercise. I was invited over to the house of one of the girls that Jar works with along with a couple of her friends. I was a bit shy but thought what the hell it will get me to meet some new people. Ailsa lives half an hour away near a place called Damascus in Maryland. Damascus is actually a dry town – I think that just means they don’t have any bars or beer and wine stores but people still drink in their own houses – don’t see the point of this myself. Anyway, I turned up first as usual and had a nice ten minutes on my own chatting to Ailsa the hostess – she is Scottish but moved over here years and years ago. Then Nicole turned up, she works in HR and is probably about early thirties and is absolutely hilarious with all her stories. She went to college in New Orleans and speaks with a right Southern accent. Her funniest quotes were “ you couldn’t handle all this brown sugar” and “we are only one pay check away from the pole” ! Then Andrew and Linn appeared, a couple also from Scotland who moved out years ago. Linn is due to give birth in a week and was involved in a car accident a couple of weeks ago, so lots to talk about. This is a regular group that go out a lot so glad I was invited and hopefully will be a good source of some social fun for me.

Monday came after an awful night of waking up with a migraine at 3.30a.m. but managed to take some tablets and sleep it off. I was going to get up early and take the bus to the metro to go down town but needed to sleep it off. Eventually got up to find the oven elements had blown a fuse so no toast for breakfast but already arranged an electrician to come out tomorrow so no big hassle. I then drove to Bethesda to get the metro downtown to The Mall where all the Smithsonian museums are. Took a bit faint on the metro but managed to get off and decided to go to The Museum of American History. It was all very well organized and professionally presented with a lot of interaction for adults and children alike and a couple of live shows to see. I wouldn’t say it was the most interesting museum I have visited but still a pleasant little day out. Spent the rest of the day there and then got the metro back home at 4.00p.m. to avoid the rush hour. Quite proud of myself for navigating two metro lines on my own and not getting lost. Keep forgetting to take my camera with me so apologies for no photos yet, but plenty of time for that. Just a quiet evening doing some paperwork, packaging up my first bookmooch agreed since I moved and then chill tonight with a movie.

Tuesday and I had a rude awakening at 7.45a.m. with a live bird flying into my bedroom closely pursued by Bobby. No idea if it got in on its own or if Bobster brought it in. I had to jump out of bed and chase the bird and Bobby around the bedroom, bathroom and dressing room until I trapped myself and the bird inside the dressing room and Bobby outside. I then had to work out how to remove the wire screen from the window to let the bird out. Success, I got the screen out and the bird just flew straight out. Had to wait in for the Oven repair man to come so just decided to clean the house as I was up anyway. Got the cleaning done but he didn’t manage to repair the oven so he needs to re-schedule and come back, which is a pain as I need the oven and grill for most recipes and toast for breakfast until my toaster arrives.
Decided to blow some steam off and do some exploring by going out on my road bike. So cycled down towards Glen Echo park and had a good look round. The Glen Echo park is run by a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging public participation in all that the Park has to offer, as well as preserving the Park’s historic resources for generations to come. Glen Echo park is a former amusement park that encompasses a variety of art-deco and historic buildings in a nine-acre National Park setting. I picked up a brochure of summer events to take home and make some plans. I then cycled on towards DC and got as far as Palisades, a suburb of DC, but then got tired. I did get the details of a second hand book sale the Palisades Library is having this weekend, so will pop down there on Saturday after I pick Jar up from the airport.
Got back home and started planning some summer activities at Glen Echo. There is the Washington Folk Festival on 30th May in the afternoon and evening which is free. So going to pack a picnic and a rug and go there with Jar to enjoy some music and crafts – just waiting to see if Jar wants me to invite some friends along as well. I also booked us into a 4 session Ballroom Dance Sampler classes. They start on Monday 8th June and run for the next four Mondays. They are based in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo which is a beautifully restored 1933 Mediterranean style Art Deco building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So these will be fun as well as located in a nice building – watch this space to see if we become the next Fred and Ginger!!!!

Wednesday woke up and decided to “Do a Treez” as we at RISI must now call it. I went along to the local gym for a look. They offered me a weeks free trial and one free class so I went into the class that was just about to start. It was called Sweat and Abs and was basically Aerobics with some Ab work at the end. Not particularly great but I really felt how unfit I am. In the afternoon I up to Rockville to have a look at some shops that had been recommended to me by a girl at Jars work. I went into the Filenes basement – a discount designer store like an upmarket TK Maxx. Pottered about some other shops before taking the car into the Audi garage to see why my spare keys were not working. After an hour I was told that they have given the spare keys to the wrong car when we bought the car a couple of months ago. This doesn’t surprise me as this garage has no organisational skills or customer service since we bought the car. Spoke to the service manager while I was there and gave them some polite advoice bout customer service. I then went up to the Washingtonian Centre a bit retail, eating and drinking centred around a lovely man made lake. Went into Target for some curtains and then to Red rock Canyon Grill where I was meeting a girl called Kim Yang. Kim works in Marketing at Jarlaths work and is America/Vietnamese. She is early thirties and is lovely and really easy to chat to. I was half an hour early so sat outside in the sunshine reading my book and enjoying a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (it was 73 degrees today). We had a couple of drinks and some food and before I knew it was 8.00p.m so we headed home. Then watched the movie version of Mitch Alboms the five people you meet in Heaven. I didn’t really like the book but the movie was slightly better.

Thursday and Friday just passed with chores, gym and walks in the sunshine. Spent most of Friday afternoon with the Oven engineer but it still didn’t get fixed – needs to order a new circuit board. A bit annoyed as lots of cooking and baking planned which I can’t do. Drove down to Fairfax, Virginia to the supermarket. The local supermarkets are quite smallish and their fresh fruit and vegs not that great. There is a Wegmans in Fairfax which was a family supermarket that started in Rochester, NY and is renowned for its fresh produce so that Is where I will be doing my may shopping. Well worth the twenty minute drive and you can’t even begin to imagine the choices that you have in this big market.

Two highlights from Saturday were Jar getting home from India, a little later than expected due to a delay at Newark airport. He was tired after travelling for about 36 hours but after a shower and a walk and chilling around the house he seemed to be ok. He never seems to suffer from Jetlag but I guess that is because he does so much travelling and just never lets his mind and body suffer – he is very good and mind over matter. The second highlight was the second hand book sale at the Palisades Library. It was like RISI heaven! One whole floor of all sorts of books in al different genres from 10 cents to a dollar each. I only had an hour to browse but could have spent so much longer. There were a lot of excited people and it was like a little community with everyone chatting to each other and discussin the books they had found. I came away with 6 for 4 dollars and 20 cents – although I nearly made 5 dollars as the lady gave me the wrong change but of course I pointed her mistake out to her right away.
I got:
Never Let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro – I have read and liked it so much I thought Jar would enjoy it and I will put it back on my tbr as a re-read.
The Remains of the day by Kazuo Ishiguro – as I enjoyed the two other books of his that I have already read
Middlemarch by George Elliot – not sure why I picked this up (it was only 10 cents) but I remember seeing it recommended somewhere.
The iliad by Homer – always wanted to read this and again it was only 10 cents
The Falling boy by David Long – never heard of this book or author but thought it looked good
The Road by Cormac McCarthy – again think I have seen this mentioned on RISI and fancied trying this author

Sunday brought cool weather in the low 60s, so had a lie in then I made some pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast (very American). Went to gym with Jar for a short workout and it really woke us up. Then just shopping in mall for some summer work clothers for Jar. So weekend just very chilled and relaxing. Was going to go to Zoo today but the weather said it was going to rain so left it for another day.
Another good week for me. H Xx


  1. hi hazel. you re certainly keeping yourself busy! sounds as if you re having a great time exploring. glad you have met some nice folk already. knew it wouldn t take you long! love catherine x

  2. Hazel, your blog is fab! I love hearing about your new life - it's so exciting x