If you plan on sharing a conversation with anyone in England, you better be prepared to discuss the weather. Without fail, it will be the second thing talked about regardless of the encounter you find yourself in. For example:
“You alright?” (Equivalent to ‘how are you doing’ often said without the ‘You’.)
“Ya, excellent|lovely|not bad.” (excellent is heavily used here and on par with ‘like’)
“So how ’bout that weather?|What crap weather.|Beautiful day we are having.|Absolutely pissing down.|…” (many more but all roughly the same)
The other person will usually take a long hard look into the sky, and then agree with the given conclusion.
Last night, apparently there was one of the most visible meteor showers of the year in the northern hemisphere. I was meandering down a very dark lane blasting my iPod to “The great gig in the sky” and gazing upwards into the lightly misting rain wishing the cloud cover would move. It got me thinking…
Out of the 26 years I’ve spent on this earth, year 15 was the worst. You’re old enough to drive, but not without an adult in the car. You can’t do anything fun because you don’t have any money. You can’t get any money because you can’t get a job. You’re too old to build little ramps for your bike and skateboard. You’re too old to have sleepovers and make little forts where no parents are allowed. Thus, you’re left with very few things to do.
One summer, between 9th and 10th grade, I found something particularly unusual to occupy my time. For two weeks, I volunteered at a wheelchair sports camp. It was run by my church and my parents strongly encouraged me to do it. “It will help you get work next year when you’re looking for a job, and it will look great on your college application” they explained. Which as it turns out couldn’t have been more right, McDonalds and Moorpark Community College were very impressed with my resume.
Moving to University and staying in the dorms will be a requirement for my child(ren). Take a developing teenager and remove their parents and support lines and stick them in an over crowded arena full of other people in the same situation. At eighteen, the dorms had a strong influence on the development of my character that you may know today! I thought I would go through some of the memories that I remember from the dorms so you can have a little insight as to how I became who I am.
Unlike the vast majority of my friends, I’ve never gotten a DUI. This is not to say I’m not a heavy drinker. I contribute this anomaly to my willingness to pass out anywhere and everywhere. A couch, a love seat, recliner, hardwood floor, truck bed. These are not only satisfactory places to lay my head when I’m drunk, but lofty promises that will surely close a deal if I’m on the fence about attending a local house party. In very rare occasions I have slept in such situations as: a neighbors front lawn, a rooftop, a stairway, and a restaurant booth.
My usual method of planning a trip is to make absolutely no reservations and simply pick a few things that I must do while I am in the area that I am going to. For my European two month train journey with a rag tag bunch of friends, this list included; visit Rikard in Sweden, start in England, run with the bulls, try and goto the olympics in Greece, stay with friends in X, Y, and Z. This is always a loose list and liable to change. A last minute addition to this list came from a long lost friend from high school who randomly got a hold of me and suggested I visit her in Siena Italy and if possible, arrive on these specific dates to watch the Palio. I had no idea what the Palio was, but it was a welcome respite to stay with someone after being in hostels for ages so in a very warm August, we arrived in Siena.