Archive for the ‘England’

Easter 2002 in Cornwall, England

March 30, 2012 By: erik Category: England, Photos, Retro, Travel

Lands End CliffsIt’s not often that I think to myself, “I wonder what I was doing ten years ago?”, but when I saw on the news that the Queen Elizabeth II was celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, commemorating being the queen for 60 years, my mind immediately flashed to where I was during her Golden Jubilee ten years earlier. I very vividly remember watching the Party at the Palace on a small television in a little cottage we were renting for a week in the Scottish Highlands. That was my first year living abroad indefinitely, and I did quite a bit of traveling around the UK with my Spanish señorita who I’d just moved in with having only spent a few months together with her. For Easter that year, exactly ten years ago today, we decided to take her company car and head down to the southwestern coast of England, to a region known as Cornwall.

Royal Names in Spanish

April 30, 2011 By: erik Category: England, Musings, Spanish, Weird

Royal Seal of Reina IsabelThe Spanish news and gossip media has been aflutter lately with stories about the British royal family. It’s reminded me about a really bizarre phenomenon when it comes to names of members of the royal family. For some reason they are translated into their Spanish equivalent. For instance, the current monarch of England is called Reina Isabel. She and her husband, Principe Felipe have a son, Principe Carlos, who is next in line to the throne. Carlos has two sons, Principe Guillermo and Principe Enrique. That sounds so weird. In no other circumstance are names translated like this.

Princess William and Prince Kate

April 26, 2011 By: erik Category: England, Experiments, Funny, Photoshop

Princess WilliamAs much as I’ve been trying to avoid it, I’ve been unable to avoid seeing pictures of these two British faces around the news. There was something about this one photograph that struck me as being perfect for a Photoshop trick I’ve been wanting to try, called face switching. Sure, enough, their faces were angled just right such that it was really quite a trivial operation for someone with a rudimentary understanding of layer masks. If the royal wedding coverage gets too annoying, just imagine it’s this lovely couple instead.

Oxford and Walsall, August 2001

April 09, 2011 By: erik Category: England, Photos, Retro, Travel, Videos

Green DressBefore my current blog, I hosted static web pages with photos and comments to share my travels with my family and friends. What follows are adventures I had, photos I took, and comments I wrote in August 2001, when I went to visit my girlfriend, Marga, in her new apartment in Walsall, England. Four months later, I would end up moving there and living there for almost four years.

A few thoughts about what you’re about to see… Wow, we look young! I still retain a little of this photo-caption-photo-caption style in my present day blogging. At the time, I was really preoccupied with the whole “driving on the left” novelty; the original post had another video that was just us speeding down the motorway with the cars going the other direction on our right. Ten years later, we still have some of these clothes…how embarrassing. And finally, this is why I blog: so I can look back at photos and thoughts like these. Okay, without further ado…

This past week I went to visit Marga in England. When I arrived, I was given an hour or two to sleep and then Marga and I went down to Oxford to meet up with some of her friends that had driven there earlier. We got there in time to search for the Bed & Breakfast and then go out dancing.

English Accents – Patética Fonética

February 24, 2011 By: erik Category: England, Stuff I Found, Videos

Patética Fonética IntervieweeLast year I was interviewed by a local language teacher, Rodolfo, who is making a lovely series of videos for his English (as a second language, of course) students. My interview was not used in several interim videos, but I do appear in the one published yesterday discussing how we Americans view those bloody blokes with British accents. As usual, the entire video is quite interesting and very well edited. I continue to applaud Rodolfo and his projects at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Laredo. I’d be happy to do another interview with him…but maybe with less sun in my eyes next time.

German Cars Make People Speed

January 11, 2011 By: erik Category: England, Musings, Spain, USA

Autumn BenzIn the countries I’ve lived and driven in, I’ve noticed some differences between how people drive on the motorway (that’s like the “interstate” for you yanks). In England, people tend to drive with an unparalleled politeness. They will happily move over to let you pass, make room for you to merge in, or brake so you can change lanes ahead of them. Spaniards, on the other hand, are just as selfish as the Brits are selfless. In Spain, everyone assumes that you will also behave selfishly, so when you try to be polite to other drivers, they get confused or don’t trust that you’re really letting them merge. The Americans are somewhere in between.

The only thing about me is the way that I walk

June 05, 2009 By: erik Category: England, Musings, Photos

Worn SolesFavorite shoes are a funny thing. I remember vivid details of the stores where I buy my favorite shoes. I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps because, once I realize how great the shoes are, I imagine myself going back to buy more, because good comfortable shoes are hard to find and worth stocking up on if you find a brand and model that agrees with you. Of course I have yet to actually follow the whole process of 1) discover after a week or two that these are really great shoes, 2) make it back to the store, and 3) find and buy more pairs for when current pairs wear out.


March 03, 2009 By: erik Category: England, Photos, Stuff I Found, Weird

EurocoinIn our preparenthood nesting activities lately, we found ourselves rummaging through a bag that hasn’t been opened in several years. Among the odds and ends was a strange coin. It’s exactly the same size and shape as a 1€ coin. It must be some kind of token for a specific use inside an establishment. I never went to a casino in England, and I don’t even recall going to a video arcade, but it must be from a video arcade or some place with lots of coin-operated machines. Marga suggested that we could use it for shopping carts. For those of you who have never been to the supermarket in Europe, typically to get a shopping cart, you have to insert a coin into the cart you want to take. The coin insertion releases a chain that was preventing you from taking the cart. To get your coin back, you have to chain it back up. It’s a pretty good system, and not losing a euro is just the right amount of motivation to make someone who would abandon their cart be a good citizen and return their cart to the proper location.

Norwegian Shifting

June 06, 2008 By: erik Category: England, Geeky, Photoshop, Travel

Miniature Ferry in Norwegian FjordAnother round of tilt-shifting has occurred. This time the photos come from my recent TUI Coventry post and some selections from an absolutely gorgeous set of photos that Hubbers took in Norway a couple weeks ago. You really should check out the entire set.

TUI Coventry

June 03, 2008 By: erik Category: England, Photos

TUI Pond from aboveIt’s strange how memory works. This photo, by Hubbers, reminded me of the place where he and I used to work in Coventry, England. Rather unbelievably, it’s been four whole years since I worked there, so I suppose it’s okay to share these photos.

As far as offices go, TUI was pretty nice. A huge open atrium housed a canteen that quickly taught us to bring our own lunches from home, as well as a Starbucks-certified machine and barista. As I recall, towards the end of my contract, we had worked out a system where Hubbers would just jingle some change together, causing me to Pavlovianly stand up and head towards the atrium. He followed shortly after. The coffee was overpriced, but the break from the monotonous work was priceless.