Sunday, March 24, 2013

This post is supposed to be about Leamington but....

      My last week's mission was to go around our lovely little village (Leamington Spa = village; Oxford = town; London = City; New York = Capital of the Universe according to my husband :-)...), take some amazing pictures and write about famous Royal Leamington Spa :-), but....

      In the middle of the week I left the house with my camera, took a pic of town hall

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just another rainy week in Leamington Spa :-)

      This week we listened to the very interesting talk by Oliver Sacks. He gave a talk at Warwick University (where my husband works, and that is how we found out about it) where Oliver Sacks is also a visiting profesor. To be honest I didn't have an idea of who he was even though he is very famous outside academia as well. One of his books was made into the movie Awakenings  (which I also never watched) with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. The lecture was open to the general public and it was amazing to see how he presented the topic simply, without pretension, so anyone without any knowledge of psychiatry could easily follow with great interest. He is also very charismatic and funny. While drinking water from a small glass flask he was spontaneously slipping in jokes about it.
      The lecture was about his professional journey as a psychiatrist but from a story telling perspective. His talk did not sound like a talk from a doctor. Every case he presented would follow a real world story, and one of those really stuck with me. He was talking about one patient, who was a writer, and one morning realized that he could not read anymore (I found this essay about it by Oliver Sacks in the NY Times). He said the paper he would read every morning suddenly seamed like they are printed in some foreign language like Armenian or Serbo-Croatian (yes he actually said Serbo-Croatian :-)...). How the patient dealt with the problem I found very interesting. He explained he still knew how to write but his brain had lost the ability to read; so he would follow the lines of letters with his finger and process the words in that way. Or he would "write" with his tongue in the back of his teeth and read the words by "writing" them out. It is amazing how humans adapt to a new situation and develop new uncommon skills in order to (survive) carry on.

  To lighten up this rainy Sunday afternoon, I am adding some pictures from our favorite tea place in Leamington Spa. It's called Vinteas, it's cute and very Alice in Wonderlandish and we just came back from there. They have amaaazing cakes and cookies, and we found out they are getting them from The Cakery. The Cakery is one block away from us (everything is one block away to be honest :-)...) which is good and bad at the same time.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oxford


As most of you know we live in Leamington Spa. Leamington Spa is approximately 30 minutes from Oxford (only two train stations away) and 1h 15 minutes to 1h 30 minutes away from London, depending on the train being local or express. Birmingham is also very close, aproximately 30 minutes. 

We spent last weekend  in beautiful Oxford meeting our best man (aka kum) and hopefully prospective Oxford professor (keep your fingers crossed).  

Oxford's first colleges were established in the 13th century and they have a reputation as England's prestige  education center. The most famous college is Christ Church College where, among others, Albert Einstein, John Locke and 13 British Prime Ministers attended. Oxford is also the birth place of the Morris car

The whole town looks very Harry Potterish (even though I have never watched any of the Harry Potter movies). The town looks like a museum under the sky and very impressive I have to admit. 

On the picture below is the Radcliffe Camera (Camera means room in Italian). It was built in 1737-1749 as a Radcliffe Science Library



Saturday, March 02, 2013

Socialism versus Consumerism 1:1



      Since February 15th I am trying to use my groupon voucher with no success. Generally most of the places around here giving different kind of services (waxing, hair...) don't have a receptionist and then you play this game of leaving messages to each other, which can be very frustrating. After couple of voicemails (couple of days) back and forth I finally made my appointment. The first available was ten days later, which I find almost unbelievable for a "village" this size with at least five to six other hair saloons, but ok. The day of my appointment arrived and they sent me a text that they have to cancel it. I simply cannot describe my anger. I said ok, I am just going to call Groupon, request a refund and go to the first hair saloon I see on the way (Btw I am not being spoiled I didn't dye my hair since December 15th, and I am almost not blond anymore). 

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