Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K

I finished in a time of 48:45. It really was a lot of fun. One thing you can say about the Americans is they know how to be a good crowd, and there was great support all the way along the course, and some good bands playing too. I was treated to a rendition of 'Hard Day's Night' as I reached the halfway point, and sprinted home to Outkast's 'Hey-ya'! Tonight the housemates of 2236 are going out to party together for the first time, but since we all ran this morning our endurance may be, uh, pathetic, frankly.


KRIS and I spent a relaxing weekend visiting the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

WE stayed for one night at Miss Molly's Inn, a cute B&B run by an English lady and her American husband. At breakfast we were the youngest guests by a factor of about 2.5.

MY WalMart bike rack performed admirably after a few minor alterations, allowing us to cycle around the wildlife refuge on Assateague Island, catching a glimpse of the wild ponies, taking in view from the lighthouse and gazing across the Atlantic on a windy beach.

Virginia's Eastern Shore is the only remaining undeveloped barrier island system ( I learned from a book on the B&B coffee table). It's abundant supply of fish and game birds has attracted hunters for centuries. The local huntsmen used wooden decoys which have developed into an art form. There is a decoy shop on the island selling items by distinguished artists, which are exquisite examples of brushmanship. I must have looked like a man of good taste and a large wallet, as the sales-woman instructed mt to snap up a beautiful $3000 duck before the artist went commission only and prices soared to prohibitive heights. I chose to ignore her advice.

We dined handsomely in several local seafood establishments, and were lucky enough to catch Snackbar Jones performing at the Chincoteague Inn. On our trip back we hit the jackpot, stopping for lunch at a Wachapregue restaurant with an awesome view.

Throughout our trip, and all my travels so far in the Eastern United State, I have been impressed by the quality of the visitor centers at Historic and Natural sites of interest. Somehow they manage to commission some really original artwork, as seen in the example above from Kiptopeke.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New House

I have recently moved house, since my previous house mate decided to move back home to NC. My new pad is on Monument Avenue close to the 'fan' district of Richmond. The Fan is know for its small bars and cafes and is inhabited mostly by students of VCU. I'm living with three young professionals who were looking for a similar person to move in a short notice. They seem like a lot of fun, and it's nice to meet some new friends outside of work!

Sadly my days of completely freeloading are over, but I think I did well to live in the USA for over 9 months without really owning anything. To make up for it, I bought a gigantic bed.

I have the uncomfortable feeling that I beginning to put down roots in this country. But to quote Martin Blank, "I've always been a very temporary person" - I doubt that signing a 12 month lease and buying a bed will do much to change the certain aspect of my personality colloquially termed "commitment-o-phobia".

After initial wireless network troubles, I am now 100Mbps Hardwired to a cable modem, which leaves me no excuses for not posting more often....

Hope to see you here again soon