American Government (8th edition) by Gitelson, Dudley and Dubnick
    Purchase at: Amazon;

  • Randi Art
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from randubnick. Make your own badge here.
  • Draw Breath (Friends Ciarán and Isabel)
  • Sociable Geek (Friend Stephen)
  • Meditations71 (Friend Stefan)
  • Slugger O'Toole
  • Ideal Government Project
  • Thur's Templates

Monday, December 20, 2004

To the other side of the pond....

Catching up on Boston area news and weather as I prepare for a three week visit home for the winter break. It looks like a small snow storm (2-4 inches they say) for today, but nicer when I arrive tomorrow, and if the extended forecast is correct, I should be returning to a fairly normal Boston winter with all its variations.

Here in Belfast the weather is varied within a very narrow range of dull and dismal. The daylight hours are down to their minimum for the year (sunrise at 0845, sunset at 1600 hrs). When the sun came out for an extended period yesterday (at least two hours, actually) I got a call from a colleague who wanted me to join him for a coffee while sitting outside Roast, the local coffee shop on Lisburn Road. And although the temperature was 6 Celsius, the chilling wind made it feel much colder despite the sunshine in our faces. But we get to see the sun so little that we are willing to risk pneumonia for a short 'fix' of the bright stuff....

The news in the Boston media seemed to be the usual end-of-the-year stuff, but with the obvious twist that there was complete consensus on the 'story of the year': the Red Sox World Series victory. I suspect I am returning to a region that is still not quite 'over it', although it seems that the New England Patriots are doing well enough to draw some attention to other 'accomplishments'.

What I am looking forward to is the shopping. Even when I first came here in September 2003, the place seemed very expensive -- and that was when the exchange rate was still in the 1£=$US1.57 range. Even when I factored in the VAT, it was still pretty tough going when you came here paid in US dollars (I received my Fulbright funding in US currency). With the exchange rate up to $1.94 per £ this morning, it is even tougher to consider buying things here knowing that a trip to the US is in the offing. On the positive side, this has certainly led to a reduction in the number of books and software I buy throughout the year, and for that my family will be appreciative (all those books does make for a crowded home). That said, I suspect I will be spending a good many of my first days home making visits to the bookstores in Cambridge....

So unless something else comes along to compel me to write another blog entry before departing for the other side of the pond, the next entry is likely to be some reaction to the home side.... More later.

links to this post

Comments on "To the other side of the pond...."


post a comment

Links to this post: