What’s On at the Fourth Plinth

Several months ago I shared with you the weirdness that is Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth.

While visiting London in March, I happened to arrive at Trafalgar Square just after the unveiling of the newest sculpture, Gift Horse.

Picture of the sculpture Gift Horse in Trafalgar Square, London, England

My friend theorized it was a commentary on war, in that the horse is wrapped up in a pretty bow made of a stock ticker–symbolizing profit–but underneath it is just death. It’s a good theory.

Unfortunately, that’s not what the sculptor intended. But, if art is what the viewer makes of it, then I’m going with my friend’s explanation instead.


Regent’s Canal and a Lovely Day for a Stroll

Formerly the hunting grounds of Henry VIII, Regents Park today is home to a university, Queen Mary’s Gardens, and–if legends are to be believed–one of the residences of the Sultan of Brunei.

A canal runs along the northern edge of the park and down south to the Thames. Designed by John Nash and opened in 1816, the Regent’s Canal was, like so many new waterways of the time period, quickly obsolete.

A few dedicated people cling to life on the canal. Mostly, though, its only use to modern Londoners is as a place for a peaceful morning jog.

And I think it serves that purpose just fine.

Picture of Regents Canal in London, UK

Picture of Regents Canal in London, UK

Picture of Regents Canal in London, UK

Picture of Regents Canal in London, UK

Back in Business

Well, I came back from London and, about two weeks later, moved to southern Virginia! The cats and I are settling into our new home and I’m still unpacking, so apologies for the delay in posts.

There are so many exciting destinations in this part of the country—Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown are all right down the road. There’s the Battleship Wisconsin and fossil-hunting grounds. Wineries, breweries, and strawberry-picking farms. And the beach!

This means I’m retiring Mondays in Maryland, or at least won’t post to it weekly. Instead, I’m looking forward to sharing with you my adventures in my new home state and beyond!

Tuesday Tip: Beware of Thieves!

I’ve always considered myself fairly savvy when it comes to petty crime. While in London, though, my friend saved me from a phone thief.

The scam is thus: Thief comes into a restaurant/bar/cafe. This being the age it is, many of the customers will have their phones on the table. Thief pretends he is selling magazines/newspapers and goes to a table with a phone on it. Thief puts the magazine over the phone on the table, palming the phone while he displays what he’s pretending to sell.

The customers at the table are in the middle of conversation and, annoyed, quickly dismiss the thief. They don’t notice he’s taken the phone with them until it’s too late.

My friend had nearly lost her phone to such a thief while in Paris. So when the paper went over my phone as we were sitting at our favorite hot pot restaurant, she lurched across the table and grabbed the phone away. The thief ran off.

The simplest remedy would be to just not keep your phone on tables, but, if you’re like me and your phone has become an additional appendage, that’s not going to happen. I hope, then, that this cautionary tale helps keep your favorite possession safe!

Have you been the victim or attempted victim of a thief while on holiday? If so, please share your story with us!

Food, Glorious Food

Well, I’m back from London and adjusted to East Coast time again. My trip already seems like a distant memory—isn’t it funny how quickly we fall back into the grind of everyday life?

One of my favorite parts of any trip is exploring the local food scene. As usual, London did not disappoint.

Picture of tofu cutlet and mash from Manna in London, UK

Tofu cutlet and mash from Manna

Picture of vegan sticky toffee pudding from Manna in London, UK

Vegan sticky toffee pudding from Manna

Picture of vegan English breakfast from inSpiral Lounge in Camden, London, UK

Full English breakfast–vegan, of course!–from inSpiral Lounge

Picture of peach cake with vegan cream from Amico Bio in London, UK

Peach cake with vegan cream from Amico Bio

Picture of Vegan fish and chips from The Coach and Horses in London, UK

And, finally, my favorite discovery of all—vegan fish and chips from The Coach and Horses

What’s the best dish you’ve had while traveling?

Hoppin’ the Pond

It’s snowing right now. Again, still. In a few hours I’m supposed to take off for London, and every time I check the weather I’m astounded by the temperature differences between here and there.

London is at 52 degrees right now. We are at 21. I’ve been tempted to pack shorts and tank tops; 52 degrees is positively balmy these days.

Anyway, I hope to post a few times while I’m abroad. If not, I’ll see you in two weeks. Have lots of fun things planned that I can’t wait to share with you!