Friday, August 5, 2011

Gearing Up for the Weekend

The highlight of my week was baking cookies.  That doesn't make for a series of compelling blog posts, but they sure are tasty!  I will probably wait until I have a good reason to bake again, since our neighbors are out of town, we don't have any guests, and there are no events on our social calendar that require bringing treats.  The two of us really shouldn't eat 4 dozen oatmeal walnut chocolate chip cookies on our own, but I'm sure we will -- and we'll enjoy it!

I've been taking it easy this week for two reasons.  First, I have no money.  Our joint bank account was seriously depleted by all our household bills, train tickets, groceries, and other expenses, so I've had to lay low for a few days until the automatic transfer Josh had set up from his personal account goes through.  We generally stay on top of our finances, but I forgot to take into account our monthly council tax payment (£233!), and Josh clearly needs to adjust the amount he transfers into our joint account each month.  I don't have a UK credit card, so I have to pay for everything with a debit card, which is pretty standard here.  From what I hear, it is much harder to get a credit card here in general, and practically impossible if you haven't been here long enough to establish a credit history.  So despite the fact that we own a home and have excellent credit in the US, our first UK credit card application -- for a Virgin Atlantic card so we could earn miles -- was rejected.  We may try again in a couple months, but for now, we have to keep a close eye on our bank balance.

(Yes, there are plenty of free things to do in London, but I also needed to do laundry and clean the house and fun stuff like that, and it's much easier to not spend any money if you don't go out.)

And second, we have our first overnight trip planned for this weekend.  We are going to do a two-day walk from Salisbury to Winchester.  The route is called the Clarendon Way, which seems auspicious, since the Arlington, VA neighborhood we lived in for the past 7 years is called Clarendon.  The walk is 24 miles long, which is nothing compared to the charity breast cancer walk our friend Diana will be doing next month, but we are splitting it up over two days so we can stop and enjoy the sights along the way.  We'll spend Saturday night at a small hotel about 2/3 of the way along the route, and hopefully will reach Winchester in time to see the cathedral, since we didn't get to go inside on our previous visit a few weeks ago.

Since we'll have to carry everything on our backs, I've been spending some time today trying to reduce what I'll need for the next two days into the barest of necessities.  Good thing I have a stash of sample packets of shampoo, lotion, body wash, toothpaste, facial cleanser, etc.  Those will come in handy in case the hotel doesn't provide any toiletries (I wouldn't be surprised).  The weather should be decent -- the current forecast is partly cloudy skies with highs in the mid-60's and a 20-30% chance of rain, which seems to be the default.  I'm charging up my spare camera battery and have a new memory card ready to go, so I can take lots of photos.  I won't be able to post them or an account of the trip until next week, so you'll have to hang in there.  Have a good weekend!


  1. ENJOY!! I hope the weather stays clement for your walk and be sure to take a picture (even if you have to do it surreptitiously) of Jane Austen's tomb in the cathedral.

  2. FUN! I will be walking to Maryland twice this weekend, and passing through Clarendon four times, so I will be thinking of you and Josh as you do your Clarendon walk!!


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