19 June 2008

crazy shoes!

so these are not shoes I would normally buy. Yet I LOVE them. They make me tower over most people in the UK, I cant walk every fast in them because they are so big and aside from work, I have few occassions I can actually wear these shoes. But I Love them nonetheless. They are beautiful. So beautiful that I had to show them to the world!

Look how pretty they are! :)

18 June 2008

around my flat

Even though the weather over here is poor, I have been noticing the beautiful flowers that all the rain produces. There are som amazing flowers growing right outside my front door. I have decided that I will share them with you all. Granted, not the best pictures. but you get the idea.

17 June 2008

Mirror, Mirror on every wall

I didn’t realise just how bad the situation was until yesterday. But it really hit home, literally. Since I have begun working in the city, the need to wear fancy office clothes is not a question, it’s a must. I have to dress up everyday. I mean come on, I campaigned at Bank of America that we should be allowed to wear sandals so clearly I am not fancy. But still, it’s now a necessity and I am not used to it; so much so that it makes me slightly uncomfortable and I fidget a lot. And as a result I have picked up a nasty habit. I have started looking in everything at my reflection. Not in a 'boy I look good, check me out' kind of way, but more a 'do I match?' kind of way.

Tube windows, train doors, office building with reflective windows, and of course mirrors. Just a quick peak to make sure I still look 'London-y' But lately it has been becoming annoying. I don’t remember when I was so concerned with appearances. Well aside from High School, and lets face it, its high school people....everyone is obsessed with appearances! Even those who say they don’t care, really do....but I digress. The point is, somewhere along the line I became really concerned with how I looked and took nearly every chance I had to check myself out, making sure I was still presentable and girly. (sigh, yes girly...I have to be girly all the time)

But, I didn’t realise just how bad it had become. Yesterday, as I got off the train, I turned to look in the window of the platform station. I am coming home from work, just to change into comfortable clothes, so it shouldn’t even matter! But I still looked, only for about 10 seconds, but that was 10 seconds too long. I walked straight into a pole! Yup, right smack into it! Nothing smooth or 'London-y' about that!! I got a few snickers, some outright laughs and a few offers of help. But let’s face it, I was looking at my reflection and ran into a pole! How sad is that.

Pardon the pun, but it really 'hit' home. There is a reason that the Bible says God looks at what is inside. If I would focus my energy not on my skirt and hair, but instead the word of God, think of the shine my insides would have! There is a show on TV here called How to Look Good Naked. Gok, the presenter, always focuses on famous women who have confidence. He always says that walking into a room, regardless or height, weight or outfit, if you walk with confidence and a strong inner spirit that makes all the difference. And it does.

"Shine like stars in the universe" and "a light on a hill cannot be hidden" It shouldn't be about the outward, but the inward appearance. It took smashing my face into pole at a crowded train station to remind me that Jesus looks at my heart. He cares not what I look like, but that my mind and spirit are focused on shining HIS light brightly for the world to see. With that inward light shinning so brightly, then the outward appearance will follow and I will look like a star without even trying! (and without looking at my reflection all the time!)

Defence of the Commuter

I always hear people complaining about the rushed, no nonsense, and often unfriendly attitude of those that live and work in a big city. The 'no smile, in a rush, shove you out of the way so I can make the train' way of life that is normal to so many. Yet it is the people who are unfamiliar with the daily commute who comment. I was used to be one of those. When I travelled or visited people in cities that required me to use public transportation I would laugh at those who ran to catch a train, or get really annoyed when it came to shove onto a train. One time I even slowed down intentionally to block the suit behind me who was walking so fast, weaving in and out. I have heard 'what difference does a few minutes make?' 'there is another tube, why the rush' 'people never smile on the train, what is wrong with city people' and on and on. A few recent comments from my fellow Americans have compelled me write this ode' to the commuter, for it’s harder than people think.

I am a commuter. I ride a combo of the train and tube to work and back every day. I am not an 'oh, I like London and want to go visit' train rider...no, I am a true commuter. I have my picture travel card and my oyster topped up, I know the train times by heart and the tube lines like the back of my hand. I don’t have to stop to look at the map or wonder which I direction I need to head. I know. I know because I do it every day. It doesn’t matter if there are signal failures and I am delayed by 2 hours, or air con in the winter and heat in the summer. It doesn’t matter. I commute. Doesn’t mean I like it, but I do it. I am now a part of the elite group that are privileged enough to call themselves commuters. And I think its time we stood up and defended our way of life!

It’s hard getting up so early in the morning to stand shoulder to shoulder on a train, never quite knowing what time you will actually make it because of delays. And those few minutes do matter! Train doors shut up to 45 seconds before they leave. I can’t even count the number of times I have come to a platform only to realise I am 10 seconds too late! If only I had run faster! For those like me who have to go from one train to a tube to a train and so forth, being on time means making the connection. If I have to run like hell to make, so be it. So what you say? Catch the next train? well.... Take, for example, my commute home. After a long day in the office, I just want to go home, see Rhys, run, eat some food, relax...the normal things people want to do. So if my train isn’t exactly on time, and I don’t run, then I miss my connection and have to wait an HOUR! Yes, an hour for the next one. Sometimes it’s not that bad. I can go another way that is more regular. Then it’s only about 25 minutes between trains. But those trains are older, no ventilation and standing room only. So yes, those minutes (and running) make a difference.

My commute aside, the point is that people who rely on public transportation know the times, the routes and the wait times if they miss a train or a tube connection. Those who only take the transport occasionally and then comment on the unfriendly or hurried attitude…well try doing it everyday! It’s not that easy! Recently I had a friend who was over for a visit comment that people were so unfriendly she just couldn’t believe it. Well, I disagree. Its not that we are unfriendly, we are just tired, ready to get home, and get off the train. We don’t always want to smile. I don’t condone rudeness. You should always try and be polite. But on the other hand, I think its time people stopped giving commuters such a rough time! So I say run in those heals, carrying those briefcases, shove to get a seat, walk quickly down the tube escalator and take no regard to those who choose to criticize….be proud. It takes a special person to commute!

6 June 2008

Ode to the young Farabough's

Today is my brothers 10 year anniversary! 10 years!! I am so pleased for the two of them. Since getting married at 19, they have finished school, both graduating with honours. My brother completing a masters in Accounting in only 1 year and then finishing his CPA exam in the top 1% of the entire country. And if that wasn’t enough, they move to New York so my brother could go to law school at Cornell while Christy worked as the executive assistant to the Vice President of Cornell University. Then, in my brothers last year of law school, they had their first child. A lovely, perfect little boy named Michael Ryan. So my brother finished law school, got loads of amazing job offers and decided to settle for a HUGE salary at a big firm in Dallas. Then my dad got sick and to make a long story short, my brother decided that family was more important and the younger Farabough's moved to Tulsa to help out the older Farabough's. While there, they had their second child, a beautiful amazing girl named Natalie Nicole. Several years later Christy is teaching at the school and being a great mom to her two little kids and Ryan is working with our dad at his building company.

So, to sum up, even though getting married at 19, the young Farabough's have shown amazing resolve, determination and have been highly successful. Well done Ryan and Christy. Well done.

4 June 2008

a few thoughts...

1. Since I first began my historical studies, I have wanted to work at the Imperial War Museum. This desire was further cemented the first time I visited. Words are not enough to describe the immense joy I felt. It was amazing and I was instantly captivated. I regularly check their recruitment site, looking for job openings. Rarely do they have any. Since I moved to the UK in August and have actually become eligible to work there, they have had 2 openings. The first was Senior Conservation Manager. The job was managing not only the entire archivist staff, but overseeing all of the museums documents and exhibits; their preservation, research use etc... Clearly a bit out of my depth of experience, but I applied anyway. As could be expected, I did not get the job. boo. But their second job post is PERFECT for me. The title is Education Officer and the role is teaching the students that come through the museum. But wait, its gets better. It is teaching Military History, specifically on the First and Second World Wars with a bit of attention on post 1945 conflicts! How perfect is that?! Oh, I want this job so badly. If any of you reading this know the hiring manager at the Imperial War Museum, give them a call and get me an interview!!

2. Rhys and I are going to Malta! I have never been, nor has he, but we have heard it is fantastic! At the end of the day its a tropical island with lots of beaches and history to it, so it cant be that bad! We are going the third week in July! I am so excited to go on vacation I can hardly stand it! If anyone has good suggestions about what to do in Malta, I would love to hear them!

3. We are getting a new car. Well, it won’t be new, but new to us! we need an automatic. I can’t seem to master the opposite side of the rode while shifting with my left hand. I didn’t like manual cars in the US, let alone driving one over here! The best part is that there is potential we are going to get the kind of car I want...an Astra! I have attached a picture below for those of you not familiar with Vauxhalls. Let’s hope the deal works out and this will be my new car! mind you, ours will be 4 door and not black...but you get the idea.

rugby....er, wait..flag football....

So last Wednesday was my first attempt ever at any kind of Rugby. In the summer months there is a league that plays co-ed touch rugby. Rhys' regular season team got together and formed a touch team. After some cajoling, I went along last week and had my first run of rugby. Interesting to say the least.

Having watched rugby, mostly rugby in America, does not really properly prepare one to go on the pitch and play. Even though it is only 14 minute halves, and there are no scrums, rucks, mauls or tackles, ....well it is still challenging. About half way through I reverted to American flag-football. The team mate to my left got the ball and instead of running with him, or rather slightly behind him, I shot right past, setting him up perfectly for a long pass. If only it wasn’t against the rules to pass forward. Try as I might, I couldn’t get it right. I made some good 'touches' and I made a good effort running around trying to keep the other team from scoring. But anytime my side had the ball, I struggled to stay behind. Crazy rugby rules! Well, tonight is another game. We shall see if my second attempt at rugby is any more successful than the first!