Acclimatization

Today’s BritWord is: conker. As in, “The squirrels conquered with conkers.” Read to end for more context.

After a muggy, summery Labor Day weekend, yesterday and today are dark, gloomy, very rainy, and in the mid-60s (F) here outside Philadelphia. It’s almost like…an English weather simulation to prepare us! For between 50 and 65 with occasional rain is the weather prediction for Oxford for the next ten days! I have already swapped out some lighter summer clothes in my suitcase for sweaters I’d intended to leave behind.

I took the opportunity of the confining weather yesterday to focus on reading a heavy and ponderous book about English visual culture in the 1700s, which I purchased from Daedalus several months ago in the optimistic attempt to pretend I am continuing my education as well. By Sunday night when I’d only gotten through 120 of its 580 pages it seemed unlikely I’d be able to finish it–and it is too heavy to take on the plane! But this morning I only have 80 pages to go and it is still raining, so when I finish you can read my summary on the Reading List page.

Two last items from today’s Guardian, one shocking/bizarre, the other more quotidian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/sep/07/student-killed-after-conker-row

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2011/sep/07/tesco-harrogate-tescopoly-postcode-new-park-health-and-safety-executive-eric-pickles

Tesco is a ubiquitous grocery store in the UK (obviously, from the article) and a Tesco Express will be our closest grocery, according to Google Maps. However, it has an icky, Walmart-like reputation for killing local businesses and homogenizing the commercial landscape, so we’ll see what our other options are.

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3 comments on “Acclimatization

  1. Paula Van Houten says:

    The first article is horrifying! I never thought of conkers that way. Be careful!

  2. Mary Van Houten says:

    SCARVES. Lots and lots of scarves! The “summer” I was in Scotland for 4 months, I developed the practice of never leaving home without one!!
    xxx

  3. Chris says:

    I have had to bring out my “oxford” dictionary to keep up with things. Your adventure will be a learning one for me too! Mary is correct!! AND, scarves are in!

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