Saturday, January 28, 2012


Dear Cricklewood,

Today I am parting your company to seek new adventures.  Thanks for being my home in London for a year and a half.  Since I have known you, you have grown up a lot.  Look at you with your own Costa and everything!  Now that you have a Tesco though, don't let the taste of city life go to your head.  Stay true to the hood! Also, thank you for bringing the following into my life:

Banana Stand - You are a bit of a creeper but I am sure that you meant well (and you always gave me good stories for Lindsey).

Fruit Stand Guy - It's too bad you don't speak English.  You were always really kind to me and I hope that the people you work with aren't being horrible to you.  It really does worry me.

Old Irish guy from down the street - I don't know how our paths crossed several times a week but it was always nice to have someone who asked how I was doing.  Cheers!

Gladstone Park - We shared many picnics and workout sessions.  Thank you for giving Erin and me a welcoming hillside for our much needed chats.  I sincerely apologize about the publicly unmentionable moments but let me assure you, it was a necessity.

Cricklewood Library - You are tiny but it always made me smile to visit you.  I am sad that you left the neighborhood before I did, but I think you will find a happy home in the Willesden Library.  They are pretty friendly there.

Waitress at Pedro's who sees me far too often - I always wanted to have a local diner where the server knows my "usual" order.  Thanks for making that happen for me :)

Costa Girls - Thanks for not judging me when I took over the big, comfy chair for the entire day justified solely by the purchase of a small tea and the pressure of a big thesis.  You saved me many hours on the train.  I promise one day I will remember to bring my Costa card and I will do my best to keep my feet off the chairs.

Kamma - Flattered and all, but it's gonna have to be a no.

Kitty -  Thanks for always playing along when I chatted with you.  You are a gorgeous kitty and I can see why you are always getting lots of (disturbingly loud) cat sex.  Maybe you don't have to be quite so vocal every time though?  Oh, and that neighbor cat totally figured out how to get on the ledge that you were stumped by.  It's doable, dude!  

Anya - Thanks for being my backyard neighbor and movie night regular.  I enjoyed our Pedro's mornings and Windmill evenings.  Perhaps we can fit a couple more in before I go :)

International Market (aka Save 2 Save) - Thank you for being open 24 hours.  One suggestion, though.  Fix your freakin' lights, man!!!  For a drunkity person at 3 am, walking into your store is pure hell.  The only things that gets us through is knowing a) we will leave soon and b) when we do it will be with more drinks and possibly some type of chocolate covered thing (or mozzarella balls, or hagen daas, or ramen, or whatever else sounds unmissable at the time).

Bingo Hall - Thank you for being a "beacon" guiding my friends to my flat.  Without you, Robyn would still be helplessly wandering around the neighborhood.

Hassop Road - I never introduced myself to you and I hope I never get the chance to.  I don't know what it is you get up to but there is no way it can be good.

Staff at the eye clinic - Thanks for being my most regular social engagement outside of work for the last four weekends.  You are some of the sweetest people I met in the neighborhood.  Thanks for your encouragement about the trip and for sharing such wonderful stories from your lives.

My room - Everyone judged you for being too difficult to get to but I think they just didn't understand you as well as I did.  I loved the way you flooded with light every morning.  I loved the views you gave of the rooftops at sunrise.  And I loved the quiet evening moments, reading under the cool breeze of the open window.  I will miss you most of all!!!

So thank you Cricklewood for not only being my home for time in London thus far but for giving me so many good memories!!!

~ N

Friday, January 27, 2012

So It Begins

I've probably used this title before (though I'm too lazy right now to check).  What other movie line so succinctly describes the last moment you experience when you see something huge looming on the horizon and know that soon, you won't be looking at it, but will be in the middle of it, figuring it out while you go?  Luckily for me, the rapidly approaching future does not contain an army of genetically altered orcs, seeking to destroy all that is good in the world.  That would suck.  My imminent future holds a new type of adventure for me that is exciting, exhilarating, liberating, and also slightly scary.  Three weeks from today I board a plane to Thailand where I will meet two of my lovely London friends to spend a month lazing on beaches, shopping at markets, and hiking through some of the most lush and beautiful mountains I have ever seen (pictures of, at least).  They will depart for home and I will continue on to wander around Asia.  As of now, the plan is possibly to stop in Burma before heading to Nepal to hike around in some stunning landscapes.  From there I may go to India, or back into Southeast Asia to finish off the last of my three month travel stint.  I am really really really excited to get on the plane and go somewhere completely new and different.  I can't wait to see the countryside, meet the people, and try the food and share with you all the stories from the road!!!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quote exchange of the weekend

"Why is there air in this?" "In what?"  "In this mattress?"  "Because its an air mattress....any other way it would be the floor....?"