31 August 2007


MacMorris and I have landed safely and more or less soundly in the UK, and are now beginning the adjustment of living in another country not-just-for-fun. The best part of the transport was waking up on the descent into the Shannon, Ireland airport, and having a fisheye-lens type view of amazingly green earth, and sky reflecting navy water seeming to say “good morning, and welcome to the rest of your life”. It was nice.

Yesterday was the first time in four years I have been on a double-decker bus. The bus drivers here should be on the same pay scale as doctors and lawyers, because they do an amazing service by navigating the smallest streets at speeds one would inherently think not possible for a very tall, slender bus not to topple over at, but you would be wrong. On the way to Coventry Rail Station we were zipping down a very slender 2 lane street which was plagued with construction and cars parked on both sides of the street, making the available road more or less a tiny bit in the middle. Another bus turns into the street coming from the opposite direction, and for a moment we both just paused and stared at each other. Then both buses proceeded simultaneously and sort of did a side-stepping dance move—and that was that. No problem-o, the driver says. A feat of spatial wonder, I say. We made it to Birmingham without incident and did some shopping at our old haunt, the Bull Ring. It was refreshing to see our familiar city, just as it was since we were last there. CafĂ© Rouge and The Malt House, The Pitcher and Piano, The Floozy in the Jacuzzi, and Nando’s, to name a few. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, also present were copious amounts of little shit kids that ride the bus and heckle everyone— our bus driver kicked them off- and last but not least (unless were talking in health terms) the smell of curry and car exhaust- take a big whiff- cough- ahhh, home sweet Brum.

08 August 2007

The first step

This is the first post of many intended. The impetus for this blog is to record my thoughts and observations as I live, study and work in England, along with my husband, starting at the end of August 2007. I entitled the blog "A Manor of Speaking" for several reasons. One: In the academic year 2003-2004 I studied abroad at the University of Birmingham, and had the pleasure of living in a Manor House with its very own "Farm Park". Sadly, the dormitories of the Manor House are being destroyed, and I felt the Manor House could live on in memory here. Two: A Manor House is quintessentially British. Three: The second part of the title concerns mine and my husband's love of language and communication.
One of the first things travellers unaviodably interact with in a foreign country is the language and the ability to communicate with local people. How we communicate and what we are communicating is an important part of social life, and one that is infinately facinating to me. I intend to record my experiences in the UK and all the other places I intend to go while on the other side of the Earth. Additionally, I love to take pictures, and hope to regularly include them in postings.
Finaly, I hope this blog can be help maintain a connection with friends and family in the US and otherwise while we are away, and I encourage anyone reading this blog to write me questions and comments you have on things I say, or things I don't say.