Thursday, January 31, 2008


Well, it looks like I have to stay home until next Wednesday. Not out of choice: because my boss thought I'd be out for two weeks and my consultant for three weeks, and I want to go back on Monday, I compromised.

Also, apart from thinking I'm still contagious, my boss doesn't want me going out in public and catching anything else until I'm much healthier. :)
But I feel useless and am not used to being out of action for so long.
And I am fed up of these tablets, 7 more to go (1.5 days) - the thought of taking my midnight one a few minutes ago...ugh, queasy...


Australia is banning incandescent bulbs in 2012. The US Congress has also passed a law for between 2012 and 2014. Oddly enough, they haven't got round to it here, of all places.

Did you ever think I would talk about lightbulbs? This means I really have nothing to blog about, plus my head hurts.

In Defense of Incandescence, an interesting and well-written article from Slate, which I enjoy browsing every day.


OK, alright, I could tell you I've spent the week so far browsing jobs and house shares in my selected locations across the USA. I mean, I've checked in every few months since coming to London (really!), but I'm really keeping up with it now.

Do you want to know where I am looking? NYC, Houston, Austin, the DC Metro area, and Asheville, North Carolina.
NYC - I've got London under my belt and might as well give this a go for a while. I want to experience that dynamic energy that everyone talks about. Plus I have as many friends there as I do here, half of them from Houston.
Houston - I miss it, it's damn hot but I miss it and I have friends there. The way of life is affordable and it's a world class city with all the arts, NASA (!), a lot of culture, and not at all your Texas stereotype.
Austin - it's the small but hip and sophisticated riverside university town that is also the Texas state capital. 6th Street is the densest area of music in the country, hence the long-running Austin City Limits show on PBS.
DC - Do I have to explain? It's a bit of the south and a bit of the north, with that whole Federal vibe that I love. And many years ago we were looking at buying a B&B in the area between southern Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina.
Asheville - I've had a thing about it since looking at the B&Bs there. It's pristine, artsy, cultured, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and it's right by the Biltmore Estate. Plus it's said to be America's happiest city.


MattJ said...

I think you shoudl do Houston for a bit and then decided from there if you want something else - you'll get that feel of 'home' that will help you settle in quickly but you'll be over there and if you decide to move again, the States is your Clam Chowder or whatever it is you people eat. (hehehehe! I am quite enjoying this British Imperialist idiot speak! :D)

amillionpieces said...

That article was brilliant! You've made a slate fan out of me. And I agree, entirely. I don't really like tube bulbs they just seem ugly.

I also think any such laws are invasive and reactionary. If they want to change then they should pro-actively promote it and alternate lighting, not reactively ban it. If they do it here, I think I will stock up on incandescents just to spite the government for nannying me.

Olivia said...

Matt - plus you'll be there in October! And Jo, I hope.

You're quite right, I did consider going to Houston first because I know it, and my friends can re-socialise me and re-culturise me and all that ;)
However, if I do go to H-town I'll need a car, but not if I go to NYC...although I will need to renew my DL in 2009...


Pete - so glad you like Slate, I enjoy its fresh and often quirky perspectives.

Unfortunately, I haven't touched a classic light bulb since I left St John's Wood, where I had a darling gilt chandelier with candle bulbs, one blew every few weeks! In Harrow I bought a soft light energy saver and am not sorry I did. In my loft now I have inset halogens.

C'est la vie.

The Moody Minstrel said...

It's a shame how badly Edison's invention is being degraded. Incandescent lights haven't been banned here in Japan, but they have been all but replaced in the consumer market for quite some time. Fluorescent tube lamps have long been the standard, even in household use, simply because people think they give better illumination. Moreover, even lamps designed for incandescent bulbs are now more and more using bulbs that contain coiled fluorescent tubes (and use far less power). I actually prefer the warm glow of real incandescent bulbs to that nerve-wrackingly pale, brittle light of fluorescent lights, but my opinion is in the minority here.

I'm in agreement with the others. I'd go to Houston first until you get re acclimatized to life in the States. Then you can move on from there. Anyplace else would be a bit of a plunge...especially DC with its high crime rate.

You've got the time now...USE IT!

Anonymous said...

Second time that's happened - typed out a brilliant comment and blogger EATS IT.

I was bemoaning the fact that California isn't even on your map! Though I understand since So Cal isn't all parades and roses. I liked reading your reasons for the locations you are considering.

Hope you get really better really fast. Hugs.

Olivia said...

Minstrel - Plunge? I did that when I was 12. Yes I will have to re-acclimatize, but think of all the people my age who have never lived abroad and then suddenly they have to.

Ohhhh, I wanted to leave today, I had a stupid couple of episodes in the kitchen, and now I hate the house I live in! Grrrrrrrrr! How can anyone be expected to cook in a kitchen the size of a closet and not have the alarm go off?????


Nikki - I did consider it briefly after you tempted me, but I just don't know enough people out there apart from you and some family friends in Palm Springs who may be relocating anyway. And it's expensive! Oh, um, and I'm still more East than West coasty ;)

But you know what? Nowhere is all parades and roses ;)

lunaliar said...

Y'all know I'll be there to see you guys if y'all make it to Houston! You do need a car in that city, though. It's impossible to live there without one, and public transport is ridiculously limited.

I've thought about moving to both Austin and Asheville. SOme of my close friends are moving to the mountains to start studios out there. They just bought land and are starting to build right now. So exciting!

I'd think again about D.C. The politics are really racially fueled and it's not so safe.

Olivia said...

Jo - I definitely plan on renting a car out there for my visit, or Vanessa offered to lend me her car and pool with her housemate. Not going to bother with the light rail, other than maybe to try it out one day if I have time.

I decided today that unless something stops me, there is no reason why I shouldn't try any of the cities on my list, or even more, whenever I want to. I called myself a nomad when I came to the UK but now I think I really am one!

As for the DC area, my mother has some cousins in Alexandria, or I've heard Bethesda is pretty safe.

Too bad I am trying to get to Asheville after everyone else has discovered it, rather than acting on it 8 or 9 years ago or whenever it was.

We'll see how things turn out...