i used to hate it when people would talk about the weather...

Londoners are agog at how nice the weather has been lately. Everybody is smiling and pretending they are on holiday in Spain. Since the fog has vanished to the ether and I don't feel ever-threatened by imminent rain, I've tried to take full advantage of this rare blue sky charade by walking to and from everywhere!

This street, with its plethora of magically ornate accents is just one of my recent London discoveries.

Oh London... I love you... but weather-wise, why can't it more frequently be thus?

a girl like you...

"Whistle for the Choir" is a song I'd like to think the Fratelli's wrote just for me... I smile every time I hear it.

Below is a ridiculous youtube video version (argh! sometimes the issue of living in the UK) - it's got a nice, happy, melancholic sound... Enjoy!

You're Welcome...

"We may owe the continued existence of the human species to those crazy adventurers who weren't content to squat around and eat bugs with a long stick — the ones genetically inclined to seek out the better-tasting protein, the greener pastures, the prettier mates from unfamiliar territory."

- Florence Williams
(from her article on adventurers in Outside, April 2009.)

Photo is by the ever-intriguing Teun Hocks.

caffeinated kindness

My debit and Oyster card were stolen last night (who steals an Oyster card?). I was at a club where an extremely sneaky individual watched me plug in my pin and then, sometime thereafter, managed to fish the card from my purse and head to the nearest ATM where they proceeded to clear out my account. Clearly, this was a calculating person with remarkably deft fingers - not only do I struggle to open that tiny bag, it's usually a mission for me to find anything inside of it!

Anyway, I was at Starbucks this afternoon and tried to pay for my order with my American AmEx - the only form of legal tender I have right now - but it wouldn't work (I haven't tried elsewhere, but gracious, cross your fingers that it was just that machine).

The barrista swiped the card three times unsuccessfully, then asked, "Do you have anything else?"

I shook my head helplessly, "my cards were stolen last night, this is all I have."

We stood there for a moment, looking at each other, unsure of how to proceed (I was about to start begging her to just give me the coffee at the very least - since they'd already made it...) when the young girl, who had started out in line behind me, and had been forced to wait due to my predicament, but was now awaiting her order, approached me and held out four pounds "if you're having some trouble," she said, "here."

Now, mind you, this did not look like the sort of person who could just go around handing out pounds without blinking... I was shocked. "Are you sure?"

She nodded, then handed me the coins.

"Thank you, that's so very kind of you. Truly, so sweet." I didn't know what else to say.

I paid for my coffee and biscotti, and as the girl headed out the door, I thanked her again.

But that hardly seemed enough - I think I must find someone to pay it back to very soon...

Happy Easter!

Though the day has probably left you over-satiated on chocolate - I had to share... I want to eat/make this right NOW!

Oy... I fear my baking sabbatical has lasted too long!

why should i read to an elephant?

"The world is so small, it is really just one community, and I realized that taking care of oneself means heeding one's calling - without hesitation or deliberation."

-Vivian Glyck

Doing what we think we ought, without asking too many questions, is what really struck me about this quote.

Photography is the lovely Gregory Colbert, from his miraculous Ashes & Snow.

little people in london

Immobile metal tourists...

They're still there... stuck on the railing... in the bottom right-hand of the picture...

"Okay? What am I looking at and why?" - you ask?

Well, by now, you've all heard of Banksy (click on that link if you haven't...), but I recently became aware of another "street artist" called Slinkachu (gracious... what a name), who I think is also quite brilliant in a ugh-now-why-didn't-*I*-think-of-that? kind-of-way. He sets up miniature figure installations all over London, photographs them, and then lets them be... often to never be seen again.

Can you imagine coming across one of these planted figures?

I'd be certain (or maybe just wishful) that some mischievous elves had been at work... and too-delighted.

Although some of them are rather poignant and say quite a bit about our rush-around narcissistic society:

Here's just another street musician in Covent Garden...

...going unnoticed.

And the worst...

Go look at out Slinkachu's Little People blog for more - each one strikes a slightly different chord... and there really were far too many to choose from.