Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Divine Secrets of Suffolk Music

Finished Ya-Yas...it was REALLY good. Liz, you're right...it would have made a great book club read. I'm on to the sequels now.

Went in to London today to pick the brains of a few Chester/Novello peeps...they've given me some good leads for suffolk/norfolk/cambridgeshire music orgs. There are going to be a lot of emails going out in the next few days.

Dad, I definitely remember the steam shows at Thorpe Hall...we're going to take James up to run on the ride-behind steam trains on that little track. I'd found a link to it last fall but it's gone again.

John and I went to the Stowmarket Model Railway Club tonight...he'll probably be going back. They were a nice group of guys. I see more trains in our future...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Back in the Land of the Living


John and I are officially better, as of Saturday morning. We both woke up, full, as John says, of the joys of Spring. We did a few errands, then trundled off to the Wings, Wheels and Steam festival, about 15 minutes down the road. We saw lots of steam tractors, some really cool flyovers, and wandered through one of the strangest exhibits we've ever seen.

It was a "stationary engine" display, which consisted of a grassy avenue, fenced off on both sides. On each sides of the fences were caravans, with their occupants (mostly wearing wife-beaters and such) sprawled out in front on lawn chairs. Strange enough, say you? Hah! In front of these vignettes were small-ish engines, stationary, spluttering away and pumping food coloringed water out of a bucket and back in again. The racket was tremendous, yet the owners of the spluttery machines seemed perfectly happy to sit outside and stare at each other. Some of the more intrepid owners had even brought out couch cushions for their lawn chairs, adding a particularly charming touch. John and I beat a hasty retreat.

On our way out, we started watching some kids launching homemade rockets from a compressed air tank. It turned out that it was £2 to make a rocket and fire it off five times. We had such a good time with our first rocket that 10 minutes later we were back to build a second one. And, since neither of us is in elementary school, the guys in charge of the rocket school decided they wanted to go head-to-head with our rockets. It was awesome. John captured a pic of the rocket going off with the continuous shutter setting on the camera...sweet!

We had Ian and Caroline over for a curry on Saturday night- the Stowmarket curry house has been pronounced as good as the one in Bury. Success!!

This evening, we trundled off to The Stag (the least sketchy pub in Stowmarket, by our estimation), where we watched Beckham and his textbook free kick send the Ecuadorians home. We then went to Chinese Checkers, a chinese place that Lynn, my Stowmarket mom, has been recommending. It was AWESOME and we will definitely be going back.

Currently reading The Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which is a really fun chick-lit book. More updates when I've finished it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Getting the "In Sickness" part out of the way

John and I are finally starting to see the end of the tunnel, flu-wise. I'm feeling much better and will be going to work tomorrow (having been sick since last Friday). John's come down with a sinus infection, but he headed to our friendly neighborhood NHS branch this morning and they hooked him up with some antibiotics, so he'll be fine in a few days. We're getting a little sick of the inside of our flat, and are rapidly running out of reading material.

It looks like David Pogue has found a way for me to watch Good Eats from the UK...I just have to hook up some $300 kit to mom and dad's tv when I'm home next. Well, maybe I won't, but it's nice to know I can. I imagine that within 5 years it'll all be available over web streaming anyway...not necessarily live, but I'm not going to to stay up until 3am to watch AB anyway. Speaking of whom, I was on his website yesterday and he's broken his clavicle in a motorbike accident. Poor AB...feel better!

We were supposed to go to the annual Ickworth staff picnic last night, but my trip into town for more asprin necessitated a 2-hour nap, we didn't go. I'd gotten all sorts of food in for the picnic, though, so I made "Coronation Chicken," a v. British dish that's basically curried chicken salad. Chicken, mayo, curry powder, celery, and melon. It was pronounced yummy by John...I'll be making it again soon. On Tuesday night I had a spurt of energy and made salmon with tomato salsa...it was really summery and tasty...you'll be seeing it if you come over for dinner.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Chicken Soup and Rrufus

I'm feeling a little better (my sore throat is down to a dull roar and the headache is gone), but John is feeling worse. Yuck. We're both home today, taking turns warming up chicken soup on the stove. If anyone knows where we can get good matzo ball soup in Suffolk, call me.

In other news, having my mac back means that I have a chance to catch up on my Redeemer sermons. Hooray for 15 hours of Tim Keller ahead of me! :)

I've posted a picture of Rrufus that John took...awww.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Terribly British Day Out

I'm working on fighting off a flu-y thing- I've been feeling crappy since Friday afternoon. I've slept most of the day today, so I'm feeling a little better.

We had a fun weekend: we went to Newmarket for a train show on Saturday morning, then to Bury for some groceries and a quick walk around Ickworth, and then to Freda and Travis' for a barbecue. They'd had such a good time cooking outside with my parents in New Ro that they decided to buy themselves a barbecue for the patio. It was a gloriously summer evening, and we all had a lot of fun. At the train show in the morning, the biggest hit with James was a guy who'd taken some Fisher Price Geotrax and built trams to sit on top of the trains, along with a fairly complicated layout. He had 4 kids driving the trams (the controllers are really simple) and trying not to hit each other. James would have stayed there all day, but we figured half an hour was plenty of time. :)

Yesterday, we went to Dedham (in Constable country) with Ian and Caroline, where we had a picnic in a field by the river, went for a hike, and then hired a boat and rowed down the river for a while. We watched a pair of girls accidentally flip their rowboat, which was pretty funny. One was tall and lanky and the other was...er...of more traditional build. They wanted to switch places, so they both stood up. The boat tipped, and rather than sit down again, the bigger girl grabbed the gunwale and freaked out. ::Splash:: It was like the whole thing happened in slow motion. We retrieved the oar that they had lost in the excitement, and Ian held the boat while they climbed back in. They were v. wet and extremely surprised, but otherwise fine. James was VERY careful about not standing up in the boat after that.

C and Liz (my college roomies) gave us a bunch of board games for the wedding, including Risk, which James immediately decided he HAD to learn how to play. So he and I played the two-player version (you get to have neutral territories- it was really cool) yesterday. I was helping him with strategy and stuff, and he was doing really well (read: winning, and getting very cocky). I told him Risk isn't over until it's over (I had Australia and was busy with Asia), and John came over and told me to stop letting him win and start fending for myself. Which I was planning to do on my next turn anyway- I had a huge card bonus plus all my continents. His eyes got all wide like dinner plates. Then he had a temper tantrum and declared it a tie. I felt TERRIBLE kicking an 8-year-old's ass at Risk, but it was bedtime anyway. I'm an evil stepmother. :(

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Football. England football, to be exact. I was in Stowmarket this afternoon at about 4:15 and all of a sudden the town completely emptied out. And then I remembered, at 5pm, the England vs. Trinidad & Tobago match started. The whole country completely stopped. And we don't have a tv. I would have felt really strange going to a pub to watch the match without John (he's working in London today), so I listened to the webcast on BBC Radio. I think we might need to get a small tv. Or schedule watching times at other peoples' houses. Since EVERYONE watches football. Listening to it on the radio isn't bad, though. Even when the halftime newscast includes a traffic report that consisted of: "There's really no traffic out there, Bob. Everyone's at home watching the match! Which is where I'm headed. Bye!"

By the way, England won the match, 2-0. GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL!!!! Second round ass-whupping, here we come.

BTW, America sucks at soccer.

Lets Go Mets!

A Mets Fan in Central Park

Watching the Game

My New Friend Colin

I was at Ickworth on Tuesday, doing my usual stuff (press releases, a little ad design, etc), when the phone rang. I picked it up...here's what followed.

"Good afternoon, Ickworth House, Park and Gardens, this is Kate."

[a old-ish man with a terribly posh British acent)
"Hellooooo Kate!! This is Colin."

"Hi Colin, what can I help you with?"

"OOOhhh...I'm just ringing about those lovely Pudding Lunches you have in November. I'm TERRIBLY excited."

"Well, I'm glad to hear it!"

"My dear, you're not from around here."


"Where are you from, then?"

"New York."

"OOOOHHHHH! I LOVE New York. It's so charming! And what brings you to Ickworth."

"I married an Englishman."

"Oh DEAR. Well, will you be at the Pudding Lunches, then? I'd LOVE to meet you!"

"I'm not sure I'll make it, but if I do, I'll be sure to say hi."

"Ohh, that's just LOVELY. I'm RATHER excited about it all."

"So, is there anything specific that I can help you with?"

"Oh!! Yes, that WAS why I was calling, wasn't it!? We're a party of 15 and we'd like to all sit near each other. If it's at ALL possible, my dear girl."

"Well, Colin, I'll see what I can do."

I love Ickworth.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The honeymoon, in a snapshot

My darling husband John, behind the camera.

I went back to Ickworth today- in case you haven't heard, I didn't get the Aldeburgh job. Apparently someone was more qualified than I was. Which freaks me out, since I was about as qualified for the job as I could imagine anyone being. Apparently in the UK (according to my Ickworth peeps) it's perfectly acceptable to email/call and find out why you didn't get the job. I'm on it, tomorrow. But it's kind of disheartening, since there are basically 2 big music employers in Suffolk (and for the UK, for that matter): Aldeburgh and Music Sales. Hmmm...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Mr & Mrs Herd

We're back in the UK, after a fantastic wedding and a fun (if somewhat rainy) honeymoon in Mystic, CT.

Lots more pics to follow, I promise. Ed took this one when it stopped raining after the whole thing was over.