Sunday, July 02, 2006

First blog of July

It's HOT.
88F/32C in London with relentless sunshine...and not enough breeze.

The brightness hurts my eyes. I ought to go out...somewhere. I'm doing laundry because it's been so hot for the past few days, I've run out of serious summer clothing, and this heatwave will stick around for the rest of this week.

Meantime I'm watching Alan Titchmarsh presenting A Natural History of the British Isles.

Thing I have learned:

1) Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the British Isles are already 10 degrees warmer on average than any country at this latitude ought to be. Some believe that, rather than giving us a Mediterranean climate, global warming will plunge us into an Ice Age: the cold water filling the surrounding seas from the melting icecaps will cause glaciers to form, and we will have heavy snows and long winters. (This could take 500 or 5,000 years, who knows?)

Rising water levels will engulf London - it could be another Atlantis.
Britain could look like one thin strip of land surrounded by islets, or a chain of small islands.

2) The Britons called Roman roads "streets" - even Oxford Street started as a Roman road!
The Romans introduced the scythe and haymaking to England.

3) The Normans started us on the way to land conservation. When they arrived a thousand years ago, 80% of England's dense woodland forests had been cut down to make way for the farmland we all think of as "the English countryside". (This is when boar became rare, bears went extinct, etc.).

The Normans loved hunting. They discovered that there were no deer here, so they introduced the fallow deer and allowed them to settle. They set aside hundreds of square miles of protected forest for this purpose, much of which survive today as our national forests.

There were no rabbits in the British Isles either, so they brought those over from France too. At the time, they were a delicacy, and rather delicate creatures too. So to prevent poaching by ignorant peasants, the rabbits were "farmed" on an island off the Welsh coast.


Miss S and I went into Richmond yesterday for the best fish n chips, and a stroll along the River Thames. With ice cream. And a look into the farmers' market, where we sampled chilli sauces and she bought a jalapeno tree.

My feet are finally tanned, with a line across the arch where my shoe strap sat.
But despite drinking from a giant bottle of water, I still came home with a throbbing headache.


Friday, I met Randis, who has occasionally commented here. He's just graduated high school in Colorado and has come over to see a friend who has family over here.
We went for a long walk around town and ate dim sum in Chinatown. It was fun.

He is just like my Canadian cousins! He and Alyssa share the same sort of humour, and he looks like Paul will in a few years.


Went into Tesco the other day, and now I'm afraid to go back. I don't know what happened - whether a memo went round the office to remind all employees to nod and greet Olivia and ask her how she's doing, or whether someone had written something on my forehead.
But there was definitely something going felt like an official state visit...


Leilouta's Section:

A linen outfit for a very hot day. This is what I wore in Richmond.

It really is one of my prettiest tank tops and I am happy that I am finally brave enough to wear these things. In fact, I want MORE! (Ahem...50% off sales this week...)

I think it's rather historical. A bit Edwardian in its lace workmanship, Georgian in its eggshell blue colour. And Vanessa gave me that sweet little necklace!


Prerona said...

the global warming thing is scary. i know that it will be ages till drastic effects start showing up - and maybe by then things will have been gotten a bit more under control. but the little signs showing up now - like bizzare changes in weather (calcutta india hit minus something centigrade for the first time in history a few winters back) are scary enough for me

awesome dress, btw. why cant i be un-fat :(

tooners said...

i LOVE the tank top! where did you get it? 50% off?? it's just beautiful! the necklace looks quite nice w/ it as well.

honey, you think your weather is hot. we've been up to 42 celcius! w/ 80% or more humidity... it's killing me, and i can't wear tank tops like that here... in the house i can, but not out. i wish!

wow, i had no idea the normans did all of that for england. very interesting! are there bears in england now? the english really like to hunt... i'm surprised that the fox isn't extinct there!

Olivia said...

Prerona - wow, India at *anywhere* near zero let alone below it, is something I cannot imagine.

Well, last winter, remember it snowed in Athens???

I think you should know that it has taken me years too look like this. I was skin and bones since the day I was born and am still a bit underweight according to my height (but not my tiny bones!) A couple years ago when I finally reached 100 lbs I ran around the house shouting with excitement!

Tooners - got it at Warehouse, but I don't think you have that in Bahrain and certainly not the US.

Hey, (and you know this) when we lived in Texas, we celebrated in the summer if the temps dropped to the upper 80s during a thunderstorm!

I've been re-acclimatized to this cool climate, and without A/C it is a bit tiring.

Brits complain about grey weather, and summer passing by in the blink of an eye, and they flock to Spain to lie on the beaches and roast - but when temps here begin to equal that in any way, no one knows how to handle it.

I've lived in Houston, too, and what they complain about here as being humid, would be considered feeling pretty dry and comfortable there!

As for you covering up in that heat, I would scream. I saw one of the strictest muslim practices yesterday - a woman was covered from head to toe in black with the slits for her eyes PLUS black gloves on her poor hands.

What are the rules in Bahrain? Can't be as strict as Saudi, right?

Steliano Ponticos said...

I am melting, its 42 celcius here too, too, tooners....Olive you look very beautiful in these clothes.

lunaliar said...

We had a little storm over the weekend in Dallas; so instead of it being 98 like the forecast two weeks ago, it's 77, which is unheard of!

Nice tank Livvy! Looks way cute! I went shopping (rare) and came out with 4 lovely tiered peasant skirts! So cute, and very cool! One's got a lovely print made of linen. Anyway, I think that tank would look great with a nice mid-calf tiered skirt and some strappy sandals! :)

Olivia said...

Merci bow-cups, Steli-mou

42C is hellish!

Luna - I know, 77 in Dallas in July...enjoy it while you can. My Mum said it was 75 in southern Ontario today.

Luna talking about clothes? Are you feeling ok???

Vanessa who sometimes comments here LIVES in peasant skirts, she was talking about them only yesterday, about how cool they are. She was wearing them before they came back into fashion, and they served her well in Thailand a couple years ago.

I did buy a linen-mix skirt today, but it's black. The shape would go with this tank - calf-length, slightly flared, AND lined, with one tier near the bottom...only GBP 9.99 at H&M (and that's not on sale!), you would love that store.
They have an endless variety of clothing and they get new stuff every week. I've learned to snap up things in my size immediately or else never find it again.

Jia Li said...

ooh I like it

Olivia said...

JL - ditto 20six ;)

Steliano Ponticos said...

de rien Olive and it is hellish, I slept all day and I am going to do everything I wanted to do now at night

Leilouta said...


You're so sweet :) I love the top! Very very pretty and elegant, and you bought it for 50% off!!
That is one of the thing I love about the USA. There are sales all the time, and I rarely buy anything for the orginal price.
Again, I love your clothes.
I took a picture of my closet, but I am not sure I am comfortable enough to post it :)

Olivia said...

LOL Steli tu es si drole! +)
But no matter the time of year, i think both of us prefer to be creative at night.

(However, I've been so sleepy at night lately that I may be growing out of this old university habit!)

Leilouta - it is my pleasure and whenever I wear an outfit I find pleasing, I will post it for you. Who knows, I may never recreate it - can't tell you how many combinations I've never repeated.

Oh but I do miss Ross and Marshalls - do you have those in your part?

yea watch out for closet fetishists, aha what a double entendre there.

Leilouta said...

hahaha...yes, and I go to Ross and Marshalls all the time.I ususally buy all my tops from there. TJ Maxx is one of my favorites, they have great purses. I also love Express clothes.

Chris in MB said...

Hey, what's this! Your a cutie!

From your comments on my blog I would have expected to see a frail, sickly, boney, hairy creature. Your look well proportioned & I see no hair!

BTW, I've always like the Norman's. Always thought they received a bad rap historically & culturally. You know, like as in Robin Hood & always being referred to as the "Norman Invaders".

Olivia said...

Leilouta - ah yes, TJ Maxx, I also used to like. They call it TK Maxx here, but it's full of crap.

Express! I was trying to remember their name last night! They are always beside Structure. Nice clothes, lots of XS sizes, but no petites for shorter legs like mine ;)

I used to sometimes go to The Limited, too, but more than that, department stores like Foley's that had junior sections with smaller sizes. Petite Sophisticate, 5-7-9 (when I was a teen), NY&Co for polo t-shirts, Rampage for unusual tops.
I said that when I reached my late 20s I'd shop at Ann Taylor, but that was before I came back to London and we don't have them in Europe.

Olivia said...

Chris - Thanks! Preemies are also resilient as you know...

It took me years to get where I am now. At school in the 80s they called me an Ethiopian :(
When I reached 100 pounds (45 kilos) a couple of years ago, I celebrated!
A bit of laser on the arms, et voila.

The Normans were civilisation builders.
Even the Vandals were sophisticated enough to make the Roman Empire feel threatened.
As the victors write the history, and the Roman Empire effectively continued under the name of the Roman Catholic Church, this is why we think of the Huns, Vandals, Vikings, and Britons as raving barbarians.

Steliano Ponticos said...

that's right about creatividad..we are, we always post at night..

tooners said...

hey... in bahrain you will find girls wearing all sorts of things. you have the brits who wear pretty skimpy outfits including short skirts, strappy tops, shorts and such, and then you have the other extreme including covering in black from head to toe (like what you saw) w/ gloves and socks... no skin exposed. i wear knee length skirts and short sleeved shirts but you usually don't find a lot of bahrainis doing this - sometimes the younger generation does but not a lot.

i used to love Ross, but never could find anything at TJ Maxx. like in london, they always carried a lot of crap. i love the purses and shoes at Ross. there aren't any stores like this here. a lot of the discount places carry clothes from China and such and they don't fit me... as well as shoes... very small. thankfully there's a 9 West here and i enjoy shopping there for shoes.

Oliver said...

Very nice outfit, Olivia, and so suited to a day out in Richmond... Oliver (of Oliver's Poetry Garret)

P.S. Many thanks for the link - it is much appreciated.