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I am intensely excited about going to London this time around. Even more excited than the last few times, for some strange reason. The newness and intrigue isn't as present anymore, but now I know where all the good places are to visit. I'm looking forward to going to all our favorite pubs, restaurants, clubs, and parks again.

Also to see everyone. I will visit my old boss, Vincenzo (Vince) at the deli, see the woman at the cheap Thai restaurant (she always remembers me, even when I've been gone for over 6 months!), the Asian (Indian or Pakistani) man at the corner store who is always in a good mood (he's constantly laughing, singing, smiling), and the staff at the Footman and Firkin pub at the top of the road.

I miss the people closest to me the most, of course. I will be a brides maid for our friends, Paul and Rachel's wedding. There is the hen night with Rachel and her friends in Bournemouth (the men are going to some little town up North, I believe.) I want to see my friends Jason (I've known him from Victoria and Vancouver for years, but he moved to London over a year ago), Kate, Jocke, Paul (pRy), and of course, Max's parents, Philip and Jackie. I miss sitting around the table with them, a few (or more) good bottles of wine, cheese and bread and talking for hours on end. Quite often we don't leave the dinner table until very late in the evening.

Then there's the little domestic things. Cuddling with Max on the couch, making dinner together, fighting over stupid inconsequential things and then laughing about it. (We have never had a "serious" argument.) Living with him seems so right and we do it well.

This time I am going to have fun with the digital camera. I know my way fairly well around London now that I've lived there for long enough. Some days while Max is at work I'm going to take the tube (subway) around the city and start snapping photos of anything interesting I see. A few of my favorite places are Camden Market, Hampstead Heath, and Soho. I'd like to explore more of South London, but I'd rather do that with Max as I don't know it well yet.

We will probably be visiting Boston and Southampton again. Also Max's parents own a small house in St. Juire (a little village of about 300 people), France that we may go to again. I'd love to spend more time there, and maybe see more of France if at all possible.

My only wish is that my parents could visit us. I'd like to show them around and for them to meet Max's parents, and vice versa. I hope it happens within this year at least.

England, and London in particular, has its downfalls.. but so does the U.S. I often wonder where I would be happiest living. I wonder where we'll end up living after we're married. The future is rather vague right now, all we know is that we'll be together.

Let me know if these photos are frustratingly slow to download for you modem-people, and I'll down their size.

Statue near Oxford Circus.

London Eye and Big Ben.

Human habitrail. (London Underground.)

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On February 20th, 2001 03:19 pm (UTC), vulgarlad commented:
seeing those pictures makes me very, very nostalgic. i need to get back there again. soon.

~the lad
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On February 20th, 2001 09:03 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Are you from England, or have just visited?
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On February 21st, 2001 04:47 am (UTC), vulgarlad replied:
just visited. but i have every intention of moving there in 2 to 3 years, once both myself & my lady friend are done with law school.

we went there together last March, and we both had a fabulous time. it was the first time for both of us that we've felt "at home" someplace. so although we haven't spent very much time there, the experience has been forever branded on our collective psyche.

~the lad
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On February 21st, 2001 04:14 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
I felt instantly at home in Europe, and I am very torn between the two continents. I suspect that my fiancé and I will be going between both places for awhile until we decide where would be best to stay more permanently.

It's a much more enriching experience to live in a foreign country for at least 3 months, and to really get to know it than to just pass through. I hope you and your lady friend are able to do that.
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On February 20th, 2001 09:07 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
I usually do have a camera with me when I travel, but not a digital camera. I have hundreds of photos, and even a few rolls of film yet to be developed. I'll make a point of taking more photos and I will be sharing them online as long as people remain interested.

Don't worry, we'll keep "those" photos to ourselves. ;)

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On February 20th, 2001 06:21 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Hi Naomi..

I was just wondering.. Have you ever visited holland in the times you've been here in europe?

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On February 20th, 2001 09:02 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
cylob!! :)

No, I've never visited Holland. Closest I've come to it is Belgium. I'd love to see Holland and explore the rest of Europe at some point. I doubt that will be for at least a few years.

Have you ever been to London?
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On February 20th, 2001 09:17 pm (UTC), liquidmercurial commented:
Perfect photos!!
The size of the photos is fine (even if I am on a modem connection right now ugh). As long as you have a post that I can read before them, it takes as much time for the photos to load as it does for me to read your post. AND I am willing to wait to see your photography always. It's INCREDIBLE.
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On February 20th, 2001 11:03 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: Perfect photos!!
o.k. I'm glad the photos are an acceptable size, I know how frustrating it can be having lots of huge photos in my friends list when on a modem. :)

Thanks, and I'll pass the compliment on to Max as well. We both took the photos, I don't remember which of us took the first two, but I know he did the last one (London Underground.)

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On February 21st, 2001 12:44 am (UTC), atlaz replied:
Re: Perfect photos!!
If I recall correctly you took the first one and I took the latter pair.

In case anyone cares: The 2nd was on a long walk from Bank to Waterloo via Saint Pauls (it's just after Waterloo bridge) and the 3rd one was taken on the move at Tottenham Court Road tube station (on my way to the office).

Thanks for the compliments anyway :)
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On February 21st, 2001 12:55 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: Perfect photos!!
I don't remember who took the top photo, but I know we both took photos of Big Ben at the same, so it could have been either of ours.

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On February 21st, 2001 04:15 am (UTC), pry commented:
I know exactly how you feel. I have visited London three times now. The first time I just followed friends around everywhere, the second, when I visited Paul to watch football, I tackled the tube etc on my own (Living where I do, the most complicated form of transport was which bus number to get).. the tube was abit of a challenge, but it was fine. The third was in January when I went to meet a visiting friend from Australia, and I was fine. The first day or so I still felt like an outsider, everyone was moving at speed, and I felt uncomfortable. But by the third day, when I went home, I felt fine.
I do intend to do the digital camera thing some day too.. my previous visits, ive always been too occupied to stop and get my camera out. I have never been able to explore London either, I've always been stuck to a particular route and never ventured to somewhere new.
Prehaps I'll do that next time if I can stay a couple of days when I visit.

PS: Bread & Cheese in the pub.. as in garlic bread & cheese? because I loved that at the pub I went to in Paddington, yum yum yum.
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On February 21st, 2001 04:26 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
The tube/train system in London is considerably easier than the bus system here in WA state. Where I am if you miss a bus out of town, you have to wait 30 minutes or more for the next one. In London you only have to wait about 6-10 minutes for the next tube, depending on where you're going. The only thing I hate about the tube is how incredibly hot it can get in the summer. I feel like I'm about to melt into a gelatinous puddle sometimes.

The camera gives me more of an incentive to go out. I don't care for wandering around aimlessly alone, I much prefer to share the experience with someone. But with a camera I have a sense of purpose. There's a lot of things that I wish I had taken photographs of before, so I'm going to remedy that. I have to stop taking my time there for granted.

Philip & Jackie usually have all sorts of French, Spanish, English, or Greek cheese around. After dinner the big "cheese plate" is taken out, and we eat it with bread and wine while conversing. It's a French custom, I think (Jackie's French, as I'm sure you know.) Though the garlic bread & cheese does sound tastey. :)
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On February 22nd, 2001 01:12 am (UTC), atlaz replied:
Yuh, meals = long at home.

Lemme think, generally, a decent dinner goes; Aperitif, starter, main course, salad, cheese, desert, coffee. Throw in a bunch of wine and a G&T or two and that's it (this is just a regular dinner when my parents are over or we're over there, not a special occasion or anything).

For some reason there are people who find the idea of spending several hours at the dinner table really odd, but I can't think of too many things that are more pleasurable.
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On February 22nd, 2001 02:05 am (UTC), nomi replied:
good food, good friends, good conversation.. everything worth living for imo
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