On a whistle stop tour of the UK and then on to the US. Flew in Wednesday night and stayed out in Horsham in Sussex. It was unexpectedly nice! Got in late in the evening, just enough time to grab a couple of pints of proper beer in a pleasant little pub. Dataroom on thursday, then up to London. Spent Thursday evening writing the final report on a Phd which was then examined at Imperial on Friday. The exam went fine and she passed. We started drinking champagne which went on until we started drinking beer which went on until midnight when Gary and I went for a curry in South Ken.
A few things really struck me about being back in the UK after so long...
1. Nice beer - great to have a pint of IPA, Pedigree etc
2. Cars on the "other side" of the road, Lars Kristian almost got run over several time, I am just confused
3. Plugs that you need to turn on - phone won't charge if you don't flick that switch. How come the rest of the World manages without a switch?
4. Strangers acknowledge that you exist. All sorts of little incidents
5. Things are cheap. Two curries, a starter, nice, nam bread , beers, 40 quid. Bargain!
6. The countryside seems incredibly green and luxuriant, not sure why this is, maybe because of the broad leaved trees.
7. The traffic moves fast, just watching the cyclists weaving through it makes me feel nervous
8. The language thing... after 7 years of just switching off and filtering out the sing-song noise it's really strange to keep catching snippets of peoples conversation
9. Veggie food - lots of it. Too much choice!
I can't believe that I just wrote 1, 4 and 5 about the SE of England and London in particular.