GearUp4CF Day 2: Chilliwack to Manning Park

Day 2 is done and dusted. Not particularly long (125km), not particularly hilly (just shy of 2,000m of climbing) but really rather hot. There are some good quality bike tan lines already on show.

The first half of the day was chaos as the remaining weekend riders all tried to ride out together for the first 30km. There must have been 50 riders, many who aren’t used to cycling in groups. There was a minor tumble at one point and a few people ended up a bit scratched.

Shortly after it thinned out there was chaos again. One group of cyclists was overtaking another, a truck was overtaking them, and then a dear leapt across the road. It was bad news for the deer and frankly very fortunate that no one else had a scratch on them – particularly considering that the truck ended up skidding all the way over onto the wrong side of the highway when it hit the deer.

The rest of the day was calmer, if a little slower paced, as we tackled first a 15km climb in the heat. It wasn’t too steep (varying between 5% – 9%) but there wasn’t a lot of variety to the scenery and plenty of big trucks thundering past.

An aside: I think I’ve become spoilt cycling in England and the rest of Europe. B.C. has some spectacular scenery to admire, but the roads leave plenty to be desired. The only way to get from town to town seems to be the main highway and the space for cyclists is on the hard shoulder. Often the hard shoulder is separated from the main lanes by a rumble strip (which can be bad news if you ride over it at the wrong angle), sometimes the shoulder is narrower than a bike lane, and there’s almost always gravel and bits of glass spattered throughout. You need to make your choice between trying to stick to the thin strip between the gravel and the rumble strip, or riding on the ‘wrong’ side of the shoulder line and ending up frightfully close to some big trucks at speed.

After a short downhill it was back up again, this time for a 25km climb. It was generally a gentler climb, sitting at around 5% and only occasionally kicking up. I tried my hand at a climbing selfie. Not my best pic.

I thought I was smiling here but I'm pretty sure it's a grimace. Almost at Allison Pass Summit

I thought I was smiling here but I’m pretty sure it’s a grimace. Almost at Allison Pass Summit

Tomorrow is one of our longer days at 185km – we’re heading from the forests of Manning Park to the desert-like Osoyoos. It’s going to be a mix of some small climbs and long flattish sections. Apparently it’s always windy, it’s just a question of which way it’ll be blowing.

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GearUp4CF Day 1: Crescent Beach to Chilliwack

I rolled out this morning from Crescent beach to start my 9 day cycle challenge. It was a flat and sunny 100km – glorious stuff and a magnificent way to start the trip.

Photo op with Andrea before the start

Photo op with Andrea before the start

I think they’re trying to lull us into a false sense of security. The hills are coming soon. I’ve checked the route map for tomorrow and there’s a 15km climb thrown in there, followed shortly by another 25km.

The purpose of this bike trip isn’t really about cycling. It’s to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research. I’ve already met several of my fellow riders and most of them have a story to tell. There’s Walter, riding for one daughter who recently had a double lung transport and now has more time, and another daughter who already ran out of time. Mike has Cystic Fibrosis himself and still boasts his original lungs. And Paul and George, who also have CF and are both rocking new sets of lungs. Bill’s riding in memory of his daughter Eva who died in 2010 after a double lung transplant in 2008. Paula has two children with Cystic Fibrosis. And so on.

They’re an impressive group who are overwhelmingly positive. Bring on day 2!

 

 

 

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10 years later

Today is the 17th of September. Ten years ago today I was saying good-bye to my Mom and Dad at the airport and getting ready to fly to London. I didn’t have a plan. I wasn’t going for 2 years or 6 months or a year of European travel. I was going to see how things panned out for me. If I liked it I would stay. If I didn’t, I would leave.

It seems I’ve stayed.

Due to the joys of the red-eye route from YVR to LHR it is actually tomorrow, the 18th of September, that marks the anniversary of my arrival in the UK. And so on the 18th I’m throwing myself a little party.

I sent out a ‘save the date’ note last week. Here’s what it said:

Folks,

The 18th of September marks a full decade since I stepped off a plane at London Heathrow with only a suitcase, a backpack and commuter bike to my name. I had no job and nowhere to live; only a vague aspiration to work in financial services. I only knew one person in all of the UK, my friend Jill who was coming over to do a 1 year masters and persuaded me that it would be fun to move to London and be flatmates.

I’d never rowed, never had a ‘proper’ job and had no real clue how hard and lonely it could be to move to a new city, country and continent all at once.

Ten years on and now I call this city home. It feels like home. I think this calls for a celebration.

More details to follow but for now mark it in your calendars and drop me a line if you’ll be around on the 18th and could see your way to SW London.

Cheers,

Emily

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First world problems

One of my friends is getting married soon. This weekend is her hen do. All fine so far.

She’ll be expecting us to embarrass her with a stripper this weekend. We won’t. We’ll be embarrassing her tonight with a biiiig surprise. It’s been left to me to sort out the, ahem, entertainment. Fine.

So today at work before anyone arrived I tried calling an agency I’ve used for other hen parties, but didn’t get an answer. Then, as the team trickled in I fessed up and tried again. No joy. By lunchtime I got through but their ‘stripper system’ was down so they were having to phone around to find someone.

By 3pm I hadn’t heard back, so called again. No strippers today, sorry.

Okay onto random internet research (still at work) googling for things like ‘london male stripper’. The only websites I could find looked seriously unprofessional with hotmail email addresses, typos and mobile phone numbers but I finally gave in and called one. Stripper booked. Phew.

At 5:30pm my phone rings and it’s my stripper. Yay! As we went through the plan for the evening – what to wear, how to get there, how to surprise the bride – he mentioned that it wasn’t a full strip, just to g-string. Wait. What? (Come on – all guys like to get it out.)

Cue a seriously awkward conversation.

Me: Oh, I thought we’d booked a full strip. In fact the guy at the booking agency specifically confirmed that.

Stripper: I don’t do that, I only go down to the G-string. I’m on TV sometimes and need to protect my reputation. My act is really classy. I’m not sleazy at all.

Me: (Thinking about how to explain that we want a sleazy act.) Huh, well I’m going to need to talk to the other girls who asked me to organise this. I’ll call you back, or I might speak to the agency.

Next, I phone back the agency and in full hearing of the entire office have to explain that I’d booked a full strip but that my stripper was refusing to do it. The shame.

Don’t worry, they say, there’s been a mix-up. We’ll get you a replacement stripper.

Phew.

Still waiting for the new stripper to be confirmed. . .

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Good for May

From where I’m sitting May is shaping up to be a much better month than April. Probably has the edge on February too. (March is excused due to a lovely little week away in Florida.)

Last month was hard. It wasn’t supposed to be but it was. The very best thing about last month – and make no mistake, this is a very good thing – was that my sister finally caught a break and landed a sweet new job. And I mean FINALLY.

But enough about her. These pages are all about me.

Half way through April it dawned on me that many, many months ago I’d signed up to do a 130km bike race in May. Back when I entered I was much fitter and the thought of bashing out a few hours on the bike was no biggie. Fast forward to mid-April and I found myself recovering from a long winter of fatigue and illness followed by an early spring that featured a few hospital visits and even an ambulance ride. No fun.

The long and short of it is that I’d made it out on my bike for one measly ride since the end of 2012.

What to do, what to do.

I’d already booked and paid for the whole trip away so it made sense to have a crack at getting back into shape and then turn up at the start line and hope for the best. (The ‘hope for the best’ technique is a solid part of my arsenal and was used to great effect for the London Marathon a couple of years ago, Ironman South Africa and the Etape du Tour last year, and Tour de Lac attempts one, two and three over the past 3 years.)

With 3 weekends remaining before race day I sketched out a 3-part training plan and set about rediscovering my bicycle.

Part 1, weekend 1 – ride around Richmond park repeatedly until I’d clocked around 60k. Check.

Part 2, weekend 2 – ride out to Runnymede to meet Fran for a coffee, then ride home. Add extra mileage by navigating incompetently. Clock 90k. Check.

Part 3, weekend 3 – ride out to Dorney Lake to meet Andrew. Then explore some of the countryside together, aiming for a total distance of 110k. OhcrapItotallymismanagedmytimeandnowImsuperlateforsomethingelse * deep breath* ridecutshortat95kmmustrushhomeandpowershowerandgo. Half a check. It’ll have to do.

Thoroughly under-prepared I headed off to Scotland at the crack of dawn on Friday. It was a weekend full of magical good luck. I smiled and charmed an extra guest into the first class lounge at Gatwick. Then I smiled and charmed an upgrade to a mega 7-seater and a free extra driver at the Avis counter. We bagged one of the holiday cottages with a view (rather than the cottages with the view of the back of our cottage). I drove on the left hand side of the road, with a left-handed gear stick for the first time ever and didn’t crash or scratch or maim anything. I remembered to wish my mother a Happy Mother’s Day.

And I turned up at the start line, hoped for the best, and bashed out 130km on my bicycle in 5 hours, 47 minutes and 19 seconds. To put my time into context, Shona was about 40 minutes faster than me, and Charlie was about 40 minutes faster than her. It wasn’t fast. In places it wasn’t very dignified. But I did it.

I’d sort of forgotten how to do a long ride and I failed to eat anything more than a single gel and a few sips of water for the first 65km. I also skipped the first feed station so by the time I rolled around to the second one I was exhausted, hungry, miserable and being constantly overtaken. Fifteen minutes of scarfing down anything I could get my hands on put that all to right and I enjoyed the second half so much more. A nice climb up the big hill of the race, a lovely descent, some beautiful vistas, and at about the 85km mark at last a tail wind!

An atmospheric day in the Highlands

An atmospheric day in the Highlands

With about 30km to go I finally found my race legs. The people around me were tired and hurting. I was tired and hurting. It was time to make it count. I hammered it for that last hour, steadily pushing past people. I even picked up a few passengers on my wheel. Truly I was flattered. Then I turned the corner for the final stretch to the finish and heard someone shout out that it was just 700 metres and to go for it. I sprinted that last 700 metres as fast as I could, even overtaking someone right before the line.

Then I stopped and felt like I was going to pass out. A guy came up and tapped me on the shoulder. “Thanks,” he said, “you brought me home.”

Good for me. Good for May.

Crossing the finish line

This is my sprinting face. Looking goooooood.

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This story does not have a happy ending

This story does not have a happy ending.

It has a happy beginning. In February I discovered I was 5 weeks pregnant. Relief mixed with excitement mixed with terror. We’d been beginning to wonder if it would ever happen for us and now it had.

I’d always thought that if I ever got pregnant I wouldn’t worry about the 12 weeks rule and I’d just tell everyone. But now being in the situation it just felt so precarious. I felt vulnerable. So I kept quiet, except for a select few people on a need to know basis, plus family.

Oh it was such fun to tell my parents. A skype call home and a casual, ‘hey dad, what are you doing on such and such a date?’

‘I don’t know’, he replied, ‘Having dinner with you?’ was his guess.

‘No’, I said, ‘you’re becoming a grandpa’.

Cue shouts of joy, tears and a moment where my mother thought she might have terribly misinterpreted the situation and was the excitement because I was getting a dog? (She was shaking as she asked this, having got so worked up about a baby and then worrying she’d got it wrong)

I grew up around medicine so I knew all the risks and the rules. I knew there was a high chance of miscarriage, so we were cautiously optimistic. But, I kept telling myself, there’s a higher chance of everything working out just fine.

On the weeks marched and how excited we were. The fatigue hit me from out of nowhere and I was unbelievably exhausted. I could barely make it through a working day. I stopped my evening runs and my weekend cycles. Evenings were for sleep. Weekends were for sleep.

I didn’t suffer any terrible nausea, just a persistent feeling of being a little bit ‘off’ and some funny food preferences. I treated myself to lots of chocolate.

And so the weeks ticked by. 6, 7, 8, 9. I had scan appointments coming up, we started lining up nights out with friends looking forwards to sharing the good news. I had my pregnancy app that told me each day how the baby was developing. Heart, fingers, brain, lungs.

Easter weekend we spent out of town with Andrew’s family. As Easter Sunday rolled around (10 weeks! Congratulations, my app told me, your little embryo has just become a foetus) and the family got ready to sit down for lunch I ran to the loo again (typical) and noticed just a little bit of spotting. Don’t panic. It might be fine.

I sat through lunch a little bit subdued, listening to innuendos about eating for two and starting to panic. Afterwards I told my husband, had a little cry and lay down for a nap. Something was wrong. I just knew.

The next day nothing had changed, except the spotting was looking fresher in colour. This was not good. We had a relaxed morning and ate a late breakfast. After breakfast I went to the loo again and the spotting was gone, replaced by bright red fresh blood.

I started to cry again. My sister-in-law gave me a hug and told us both firmly to just go to the hospital and get checked out. It might be fine. You don’t know.

So we went and spent April Fools Day in the waiting room of A&E.

A urine test revealed that yes, I was still pregnant. But a scan told a different story.

‘There’s nothing here that looks like a 10-week pregnancy’. It was a missed miscarriage. Yes, I’d become pregnant and the embryo had implanted. But shortly after it had died. I’d probably never made it past 6 weeks. My body, my foolish body, had continued to believe it was pregnant. It had dosed me full of hormones. It had grown a placenta in preparation for the imaginary baby. But it wasn’t real. There was no heartbeat, or fingers, or brain, or lungs. There was just a dead embryo in an empty pregnancy sac.

April Fools.

I’d been expecting bad news, but I hadn’t been expecting this. (We’d walked over to the scan unit with another couple in a similar situation. ‘Are you feeling positive?’ she’d asked me. ‘No’, I said.)

They made me an appointment to come back in a week and have a follow up scan, and then a minor procedure to clear out the pregnancy.

We went home exhausted and numb. I couldn’t eat. I managed to choke down an apple for dinner but that was it. I decided I wasn’t going into work the next day, I needed some time to come to terms with it all. I started the process of telling people that I wasn’t pregnant any more.

My phone buzzed constantly with messages of condolence and offers to chat. But I didn’t feel like chatting. I didn’t want to be bothered. I could barely summon the energy to reply to texts. I just wanted to lie in bed and cry.

And so, lying in bed and crying the next day my boss phoned for a catch up.

Boss: Hi, how are you?
Me: Fine, how are you?
Boss: Are you in the office?
Me: No.
Boss: Oh, aren’t you working today?
Me: I was supposed to, but I was in the hospital yesterday so I’m not going in today.
Boss: Oh no, are you okay? What’s wrong?!
Me: I was pregnant but I’ve miscarried (starts to cry)
Boss: I’m so sorry. Please don’t worry about work. Take more than just one day off. Don’t come in the rest of the week. The office will survive. There’s nothing you need to worry about. Okay?
Me: Okay.

My boss is a very, very nice man with a good set of priorities.

And so I lie there weeping a bit more. The theme of my thoughts – It wasn’t real. There was never a real baby. Somehow my husband finds this comforting, that it’s just a collection of cells that never got anywhere. I find this worse. I feel like a fraud. Like I wasn’t really pregnant. Was all that tiredness real? Was I really that irritable? Did I actually HAVE to have that cheese & onion sandwich? Or did I imagine it all? And now I’m riding that hormone train in reverse as they slowly subside.

So here I am with a fat ass and nothing to show for it.

Anyway, life goes on and we had theatre tickets for tonight. In an effort to cheer ourselves up we decide to press on. At 3pm I drag myself out of bed and have a sit down shower. I still can’t eat anything much but I manage a pear. And shortly after 5pm I meet my husband around Waterloo. We slowly cross the bridge and try to choose somewhere for dinner. I honestly don’t care. I don’t feel like eating anything so I tell him to pick anywhere he likes.

The bleeding has picked up and it now feels like a proper period. I take some ibuprofen.

We go into pizza express and I manage to choose something to eat. Some olives arrive and I manage one. Then a tomato and mozzarella salad. I’m so tired I can’t even cope with cutting it into pieces. I ask my husband for help, who patiently indulges me and cuts a piece of cheese and a slice of tomato into finger sized pieces, which I slowly get down.

I don’t feel well so I go to the bathroom. I’m alarmed to see that I’m bleeding quite heavily – a steady stream like when someone has left the tap on just a little. The cramps are getting steadily stronger too.

I go back to the table, sit there for 2 minutes and feel worse. Back to the bathroom. I tell my husband I’m taking my phone because I might be a while. It’s all worse. A big gush of blood comes out and the cramps are becoming nearly unbearable. I feel a pain episode coming on.

I text my husband that I think we might not make the theatre.

I try to work through it, calming my breathing and telling myself not to panic. It’s no good. I start to hyperventilate and the pins and needles take over my arms and face. It occurs to me that this is not a good situation. This is not regular period pain. I am bleeding too much too quickly. I am in too much pain. So I text again: Too much blood and pain. Ambulance please.

Reply from my husband: Oh shit.

And then I’m on the floor, panting and groaning. Trying to find a comfortable position. Not particularly caring that it’s filthy, that I’m filthy. My body is turning numb. My husband comes crashing through calling out my name. I manage to unlock the door and he jams his foot in to keep it open. He tries to roll me on my side; I refuse. He tries to rub my back; I shout NO. He tries to give me water; I tell him to fuck off.

Eventually the paramedics arrive, and right on cue I start to throw up. Funny because I’ve barely eaten anything since breakfast 36 hours ago. But there it is – that April Fools breakfast, barely digested.

They manage to get me up the stairs and wheel me across a busy street into the waiting ambulance. They are calm and nice but I don’t particularly care. I feel slightly better, perhaps as a result of the ibuprofen kicking in. They offer me nitrous oxide. I say no. Then they offer again and I say yes.

It’s actually quite nice. It calms me down and makes me focus on my breathing. And then, we arrive at the hospital. I’m wheeled in and quickly transferred to an A&E bed, in a little curtained off room.

They set me up on a drip and give me some painkillers and some fluids. I almost instantly start to feel better and I calm down a lot.

Andrew updates my parents. (I had told him not to, earlier in the ambulance, not wanting to worry anyone). I think he calls my mom at one point and she cries.

Everybody is very attentive, but nobody seems particularly concerned about my bleeding. They haven’t asked me about it and I haven’t said anything. Maybe I should have? I get these strange gushing sensations and I start to wonder if I’m wetting myself, or if it’s related to the drip somehow. I lift up the blanket and see that blood has soaked through my jeans and I’m lying on a bloody patch of bed. At one point I’m asked to give a urine sample so I get up to do so. When I sit on the toilet a huge burst of blood gushes out. It’s such a strange sensation.

Eventually the doc comes around and asks me how many pads I’ve soaked through. I don’t know. I haven’t been given any pads. I’m just lying here bleeding on myself. I’ve bled through my jeans, I’m bleeding on the bed. He sends a nurse in to give me pads and to change the bedding. Another nurse comes by a bit later to ask if I’m still bleeding. Yes, I tell him, great big gushes of it.

They are waiting for someone from gynae to come see me before they decide if I need to be admitted. The doc comes by again. Gynae are in surgery, so he’ll have to look at me himself.

He is surprised to see how much I’m still bleeding. He can’t get a clear look at my cervix since so much blood and enormous blood clots are coming out.

Something about this physical exam triggers a lot more pain. Suddenly I’m back to ground zero, in huge amounts of distress. Groaning and shaking and hyperventilating. I keep hitting myself on my head. My husband tries to stop me but I need something to focus on other than pain and it’s the only thing in my armoury.

No more messing around. They are getting me morphine and I’m being admitted.

My husband is told I’ll be spending the night. He calls my mother to tell her, who starts to cry again.

The morphine is instantaneous. It goes straight to the brain and I calm down immediately. But it doesn’t last long enough and by the time they’re wheeling me to the ward I’m in pain again.

I hit my lowest point in the ward. It’s dark, there’s nobody around and we’re waiting for a doctor. I don’t think I’m hyperventilating any more but my entire body has pins and needles. My face, my legs, my arms, my chest. My stomach starts cramping as well and the pain is intense. I can’t lift my arms.

My husband is begging for more pain meds for me but they don’t yet have the full A&E records so they can’t administer anything until they know exactly what and when I’ve been given stuff.

The doc arrives. She tells me she needs to do another exam, and that it won’t hurt me any more than I’m already hurting. This isn’t true. She uses a speculum to crank open my cervix, which is a whole new type of pain, and a pair of tongs to fish around inside my womb. I don’t last very long before I tell her to stop, to take it out. She does, and then very calmly explains to me that something is stuck in my cervix. It’s dilating it, and my body is trying to ‘birth’ it out but it can’t. This is why I’m bleeding so much and why I’m in pain. She wants to try to pull it out, but I need to let her have another try. If she leaves it there I’ll be in pain all night.

Okay, try again. This time I’m ready for the pain and I manage to stay relaxed. After a minute or two I hear a quiet ‘got it’ and she pulls out an enormous lump of mangled tissue.

The pain relief is as instantaneous as the morphine hit.

My bleeding also slows down immediately.

This mangled thing that she pulls out is sent off for testing. It’s not recognizable as anything but it’s all been squished together. It’s large – about an inch and a half in diameter and 3 inches long. I’m guessing it’s the entire pregnancy sac.

By this time it’s nearly 1:30am. My husband finally, exhausted, goes home to grab a few hours sleep.

I’m kept in the ward and fed another drip. I’m told ‘nil by mouth’ in case I need an operation in the morning. Every hour or so I’m woken to have my blood pressure taken. At one point I’m swabbed for MRSA – nostrils, throat and genitals.

In the morning I’m taken in for another scan. It seems I’m through the worst of it. There’s still some tissue and blood to pass, but nothing more major. I can be discharged.

Eventually, a few hours later I go home. I shower, I sleep. When I wake up later that day I feel a bit better. I tell my husband that it’s like the sad has been knocked out of me. Having something to focus on, this big, bloody, painful episode, has helped with the grieving. I’m still sad but I’m not quite as heartbroken anymore.

It was something real. It was a real pregnancy and it ended in real style.

We re-book tickets for the show we missed, paying a stupid amount to get the last few seats left in April. We want to get back to normal and this is part of it.

I’m tired, and I’m subdued. I’m re-setting my expectations for the next few months. The pressure’s off our home renovation plans. The pressure’s back on an 80 mile cycle race I was expecting to gracefully bow out from. I cancel all my pregnancy appointments. No, I don’t need to reschedule thanks.

And life goes on.

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Where are you from?

I’ve been going to a lot of business meetings lately. In fact, I’ve been working hard. The good people who I work alongside for my agreed three and a half days per week seem to regularly forget the fact that I’m not in every day. So when I disappear somewhere like Hawaii for a week they happily fill up my diary with meeting after meeting, every day of the week.

Last week I worked my first ever five day week since January 2011. I know. It’s tough. You all feel sorry for me. This week the MD of the business was away in Japan. And once again he happily filled my diary while I was sleeping in a different timezone. It’s okay, eventually it’ll even out. I’ll bring my average back down to 3.5 days per week by going on more holidays.

But, like I said, I’ve been going to a lot of meetings. And invariably the people I’m meeting notice that I don’t sound British. So they ask. Or they guess. Where am I from?

Sometimes they guess right. Sometimes they guess American. You know what? It doesn’t matter. If they get it wrong they are usually very apologetic. I’m always quick to reassure them that as a mild-mannered Canadian I don’t get offended easily. Or I agree and tell them that I’m from the 51st state.

Who are these mythical Canadians that go around getting cross when people can’t quite place their accent? I’ve never met one. With a population that’s about 10 times larger than it’s northern neighbour, guessing ‘American’ is a good guess. If you’re Canadian,  you come from a small country. Get over yourself.

(Future post: Things that annoy me about Canadians. Example: thinking that a stupidly firm handshake is impressive. “Oh look how hard you can squeeze my hand, let’s do business and I’ll give you some money.” Next future post: Things that annoy me about Brits. Example: their insistence on allowing parking and two way traffic on roads that are only wide enough for a single car. Implement a fricken one way system, people.)

I’ve always identified myself as a Canadian, a Vancouverite, a West Coast girl. But there was a moment, several years ago in fact, when I realised I was also a Londoner. My parents were visiting and we were meeting at Covent Garden after work one evening. The tube was delayed and I was late.

When I finally arrived I was in a foul mood, fuming about the delay to my plans. “How late was the tube?” my mother wondered.

“SIX MINUTES” I snarled.

Then I paused.

And I thought about how ridiculous it was to be cross about a six minute delay.

Except it’s not. Because that particular line runs every one to two minutes during rush hour. So if it’s six minutes late, then you have three to six times as many people trying to get on at every stop along the way. You can’t squeeze in. So you wait for the next one. And the next. And so on.

This morning I had a moment of pure rage when the man in front of me was too slow about taking his seat on the tube. He walked slowly. He fidgeted with his briefcase while settling in. He was blocking the way to other seats. Short of shoving him aside (which I actively considered) I was stuck behind him, waiting for him to sit down. And while I waited, dozens of people streamed in through the other set of carriage doors and raced to grab a seat as quick as they could. Fast and aggressive, like proper Londoners. Stupid, stupid man getting in my way and preventing me from getting a seat. I hated him for that six minute ride.

I’ve lived here for over 9 years now. I have a British passport. I have a British husband. I like marmite.  In the winter I find that a room temperature beer goes down rather nicely.

I’m also still a West Coast girl. I love hockey, and the smell of the ice. I recycle. I’m nice to waitresses and I tip taxi drivers. I say tomayto.

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