Thursday, May 26, 2005


Tomorrow is my citizenship interview in Charlotte. I need to show an awareness of American history and civics, things like knowing about the Louisiana Purchase, the Monroe Doctrine, the American belief in Manifest Destiny (folks, we're done with that now, OK ?) and the correct way to say "y'all". It's involved. Tons of other stuff stuff too - I mean, c'mon guys, really, calling the intro to the consitiution the "preamble". Are you serious about this ? How do you have such faith in a document that sounds like somebody just made it all up after lunch with someone else scribbling furiously next to him ? The preamble ?! Why not just call it the "mutterings" or the "chuntering". Whatever works for you I guess, but still ...

Don't worry mum, I'm still British too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

When it rains

Yesterday morning was glorious. The weather promised to be one of those Carolina days that are almost but not quite summer. I got the bike out and rode in, excited all day long about the ride back.

That was a mistake.

It was raining a little when I left work yesterday. Somehow it managed to get heavier before the end of the car park. I was completely soaked by the time I arrived at the main road, at which point the thunder and lightning started. My sneakers filled with water. My helmet visor acted to keep the rain from driving into my arms but I could barely see through the torrents pouring down. This has happened before, but the way the weather works here it's usually in a cell which blows over after a couple of miles. Not yesterday, this was all the way home. It rained so hard it stung my bare arms,. The road was slippery under the tires and I was sliding when turning. And it was cold too. Longest 13 miles yet on my bike.

I didn't have to break out my sunglasses.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Summer's here

What's black and white and eats like a horse ?
A zebra.

So the summer is starting here. My grass looks great at the front, we choose not to talk about the back. Plants are growing, mozzies are biting and kids are covered in dirt. I love this time of year, grilling out all the time, lots of time in the evenings, nice morning weather ... man, NC is great in May and June. Fingers crossed for a cooler summer than usual, and that mozzies turn vegetarian.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Who knew ?

This evening was one of those perfect weather moments you get in NC. The humidity is up slightly, but only enough to be pleasant. The bugs don't bite when you wear repellant with DEET in it. So armed, my youngest and I took our dog to the Eno River State Park, a short drive from our house. It's very pleasant place, easy parking, great hikes and a wonderful place to throw stones (even better if you're four).

We saw a snake, two lizards and another dog with a human attached. The new dog, having walked all the way down the path to where we were chose that moment to shake itself dry, right next to me. Yeah, thanks dog. Bad karma for you !

My youngest climbed on rocks, chased the lizards and then we headed back. Our dog was really excited to be in the woods and was chasing every little rustle she heard too. And then it happened, the one rustle too far. A forest toad moved at the side of the path and she leapt at it. One bite. And discovered just how bad a forest toad can taste. She leapt backwards, shaking her mouth, spitting as best as a dog can before resorting to foaming. If it hadn't been for the fact she had yet to travel back in my car it would have been amusing. Since she did I made sure the tarpauling was stretched completely out.

She's better now.