Monday, June 25, 2007

Mind the Gap [in Intelligence]

Back from the other side of the pond and let me say, I'm glad to be back. Some ideas I came away with:

- Bear left and don't get hit by a car.
- Refrain from using expressions like "Pip pip, cheerio."
- The Tube is too far underground.
- Guinness tastes better across the pond.
- Smuggling DPNs onto a Heathrow-JFK flight is easy but throw your water bottles away.

But certain quirks and scenarios got my blood boiling.

Like in other European cities, service is included in British food and drinking establishments which means no tipping. Without a tip, however, servers don't "need" to work harder which means, in my experiences, mediocre service at best. No stitch-hitter stamp of approval.

Technology - workwise
As my company is in transition in our London office, our computer servers and bells and whistles are as well. This means that we are using our New York artillery to keep us going. So, not only were we already working in temporary spaces that resombled a World War II-style bunker, our computers were running slower thank a 56k dial-up from 1996. They would time out, bump you off, freeze, you name it. Horrible experience. Appreciate your internet.

Back to Land o' Knitting!

I went to Loop in Islington [northern London]. Wonderful! Such a great selection of yummy yarns at good prices. This being my third trip to the UK in a year and a half, I had to buy yarn! The lovely owner [I think?] was informative and made me feel right at home. I was on the prowl for yarn you can't buy in the states, but that was a lot harder [and more expensive] than I thought. Those yarns were hand-dyed cashmere yarns. I might have been treating myself for my birthday [last friday!], but I wasn't feeling THAT generous.

I'm thinking this Pear Tree yarn will make an adorable cardigan or lacy sweater. I immediately fell in love with the sky-like color and its softness.

Standing by the register, after I picked up the Pear Tree, some darning needles and a yarn cutter [finally, I have one!], this Colinette Jitterbug caught my eye. Delish! At 200+ meters, I'll be making enough socks to keep everyone warm! I might need to start using sock yarn for something else.


misplacedpom said...

I'm not sure about the intelligence bit, but my fellow Brits are some of the rudest service industry providers out there. When I worked in a store during my teenage years I used to be sickeningly nice to people all the time. I think I was a one off.

Mz Kwooz said...

Yay! You're back. Now I'm off--but ballet in July, yes? I think you have lots of good knitting ahead of you, judging from that yarn you smuggled back!

Debbie said...

yum, blue yarn! you should come over so we can have a winding party!