Borough Market, Time with Friends (Old and New), Amsterdam

It’s been an interesting week or so since my last post. I have a lot of travel coming up in the next little while (Alex can attest to that – talk about incompatible schedules!) so last weekend was spent in the city. My place is coming together nicely, with the exception of my communications infrastructure. I’m giving Virgin Media fits trying to get me installed – they’re back again in a couple of weeks to try again. All my stuff has arrived from Canada, and it’s clear that I brought too much with me. It mostly fits, but the place it way more full than it should be. Who knew I had so much clothing?

Friday night I met up with a friend-of-a-friend. Claire is friends with Tracy Ruddell, from my PG days, and works at the National Gallery (how cool is that?!?). I met up with her and some of her friends/co-workers for drinks after work. She was kind enough to extend the invitation, after Tracy e-introduced us. It was a lot of fun, and drinks turned into a pretty late night.

Saturday, I went to Borough Market for the first time. Let me tell you, what a great place! Borough Market runs Fridays and Saturdays (I think), and is London’s biggest/best food market. Puts Granville Island to shame, I must admit (although, not surprisingly I think GI has better fish vendors…). The selection of fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, breads and such is spectacular. Given that I will only be home for 2 full days during the next couple of weeks, I was more browsing than buying, but it was still great. I can see making that a part of my regular shopping excursions, when I’m home a little more. I did buy some olives, cheeses, beer and bread, and picked up a bottle of wine from the Cartwright Brothers Wine Merchants. How can I not support them? All in all, a good morning.

Saturday evening I found a group playing volleyball in the western part of the city, and joined them for the evening. It was great fun, but it had been a while. I was pretty tired and more than a little sore by the time we wrapped it up at 10:00. I think I will make that a regular event, if I’m home on weekends. They were a good group, and fun.

Sunday, I started my day with a run. I have been pretty good about getting out three days a week, but they have generally been short runs. Sunday I decided to push it a bit (in hindsight, not so good considering the volleyball…) and went fro a longer run. I ended up doing a route from home that covered the three Royal Parks – St. James Park, Green Park and Hyde Park. It was a clear, beautiful morning, with great temperatures. It was a longish run – I was out for almost 75 minutes, but I felt great. Paid for it over the next couple of days. I ran with a local for a while in Hyde Park, and it was good to have someone to chat with while I ran. The parks were beautiful, with all the spring flowers out, and the cherry trees blooming.

Sunday afternoon, I took the train to Greenwich, and spent the afternoon with Mark, his wife, his sister-in-law and her husband. We had a great evening, and I was treated to a fabulous meal. With all the exercise over the previous couple of days, it was good to just hang out and relax.

Monday, I flew to Amsterdam. Or rather, I sat in the airport for hours prior to getting on a cancelled-then-delayed flight, thanks to a wicked storm that blew in early Monday morning. I was in Amsterdam for four days, to attend a small trade show and give a presentation on “Smart Grids”. It was all terribly exciting stuff. For whatever reason, I didn’t end up taking any pictures in Amsterdam. Frankly, after being on my feet all day, everyday, I wasn’t all that interested in walking around all that much. It was a very work-oriented trip, and there wasn’t a lot really to say about it.

I’m off to Dallas on Saturday – wouldn’t expect much out of that one…