Post "Incident" Update

Just got back from my just-under-2-week follow-up appointment with the orthopedist and here's the latest (I'm still typing with 1 hand so this'll be brief):
- in the shoulder area, I have a Grade 2 acromioclavicular dislocation... not much one can do for it other than let it heal. I wear a sling occasionally to give my neck and back a rest.
- the 2 broken bones in my right hand are healing nicely. I was fitted with a new cast which gives my fingers are lot more range of motion. I should expect to be in this cast for another 4 weeks.

I head back again next week for another appointment and another set of x-rays.

And, of course, Hi Kristin!


A Day of La-De-Da

[I'm still typing with one hand, so the next several posts might be of the short & sweet variety.]

We're doing another "keep it local" weekend... we enjoy traveling, but also know there's a lot to do closer to home where we can mix it up with the locals. So this morning, we got dressed up considerably more than we usually do for a Saturday, and headed to the tiny town of Ascot for some perry, cider, champagne and horse racing (and perhaps a little wagering, too.)

Why did we get dressed up? Well, for this particular day of racing and for the level of ticket we bought, both ladies and gentlemen are asked to dress in a manner appropriate to a smart occasion. Many gentlemen wear a shirt and tie with a jacket or suit.

There were 7 races in all today, with the first one going off just before 2:00 pm and subsequent ones starting every 35 minutes. Racing-wise, the highlight of the day came in the 7 furlong long 4th race which had 28 entrants. Even with betting "each way" (which means we win something if the horse we pick wins or places) Peggy and I were 0-for-2 wagering up to this point. So, we let Chloe pick and again we placed an "each way" wager. And wouldn't you know it, the horse won! (If only we had done a straight "win" bet!)

The other highlight of the day took place as we were leaving after the final race. There was a band playing on the one lawn and we, apparently like many other racegoers, weren't interested in leaving quite yet. For the next 45 minutes or so, we joined in on the revelry, dancing and the occasional conga line.

(Pictures: top 3 are general; bottom one is of the Parade Ring.)


Oops, I Did It Again

Well, if my quoting Britney Spears isn't an indication I took a good shot to the head recently, then nothing is.

Unfortunately, I had another incident whilst riding my bike... no squirrel this time; rather an inattentive motorist in a roundabout put me on the tarmac. It happened on Friday on my way back from Windsor (it's Windsor Castle you see in the previous post.)

I am, by and large, OK... no surgery is expected this go-round. The damage report is: A partial ligament tear in my right shoulder, two broken bones in my right hand, and some obligatory road rash. I'm able to get around just fine and can get myself and Chloe ready for the day. I should be back to "normal" in a couple of weeks. I think the bike is OK except for the handle bar tape getting chewed up. I'll get a better look at it on Wednesday after I pick it up from the police station it was taken to after the accident. Also on Wednesday is a follow-up appointment for the doctor to have a look-see at my hand and get it re-cast.

I'm sure there is a lot more I could type, like how I might take up running. But because I am typing with one hand, I'm not going to, except for this one bit of irony: my nice wheels, ones I mailed to myself a month ago from Boulder and for which I made several calls to and filled out several forms for Customs officials to discern there whereabouts, finally arrived at our flat this morning!


School update

Chloe completed her first full week of school today (there is no Labor Day Monday over here.) Following is a list of miscellaneous facts and observations:
- The school she is going to is an all-girls school. Class size is intentionally kept small at 14 students, and for Chloe's grade, Year 3 (2nd grade equivalent) there are just 2 "homerooms."
- Lasting from 8:30a until 4:00p, her school day is a bit longer than the one she had in Boulder.
- The school year consists of 3 terms, and the last day of the 3rd term is July 7, 2011.
- As far as Chloe knows, she is the only girl from the States at the school.
- The main building for the school was once the home of the first Governor of the Bank of England. As far as I know there, is only one other building for the school.
- One of the after school activities available to Chloe is fencing.
- Chloe's year (i.e. grade) has an overnight field trip in February, and one of things they'll be doing during their time at their off-campus site is trapping small mammals. It's unclear right now what they'll be doing with their quarry.
- All girls at the school take French class. The school emphasizes the importance of French and will continue to do so in recognition of Britain’s role within Europe. (The school's words, not mine. Personally, I find that reasoning striking since the two countries, historically, have had more than a few skirmishes.)
- Apparently, having Chloe say "tomato" is quite a novelty for the girls. She's been asked to say it several times already. And they like to hear her accent when she talks.


The Blazes near Boulder

Though we're overseas, we are keeping a check on the wildfire that is burning just West of Boulder. The latest figures I've heard are that 92 structures have been lost, over 7,100 acres have burned and there is 0% containment.

While those numbers are staggering, everything I've read (from websites, emails from friends, etc.) indicates the fire is still in the hills/canyons just West of the city limits, and that presently there are no evacuations for our neighborhood (or for any part of Boulder city proper, for that matter.)

The local paper, the Daily Camera, is doing frequent updates, as is the local emergency operations department.


Flora, Flora Everywhere

Wanting to see some sights but not spend a good chunk of the day in the car to do so, we checked out a nearby landmark, the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, which lie just about 3 miles away. Being a "Royal" garden, it isn't squeezed into a small patch of earth between two pubs. Rather, it has gardens, groves, and greenhouses (among other things) spread out over its 300+ acres.

Some highlights of the visit:
- Checking out the Palm House, in which was housed a coco-de-mer palm, a variety that produces the largest seed in the world (up to 40 pounds), and the world's oldest potted plant, a giant cycad originally harvested and potted in 1773 from South Africa, and arrived in England in 1775.
- Seeing the amazon waterlilies (probably about 4' in diameter) and redwoods (maybe just 1/3 in size compared to the ones in CA, but still very impressive.)
- Walking through the Temperate House was impressive for not only its contents, but its structure: it is the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse (i.e. greenhouse) in the world, covering 5,850 square yards and extending to 63 feet high. With those dimensions, it is for good reason that a Chilean Wine Palm resides here... at 58' high, it is believed to be the largest indoor plant in the world.
- Watching Chloe doing her flower sketches as we walked around.
- Learning things, like... bamboos are actually a grass, and the fastest growing woody plants in the world (some can go from seedling to about 8' in around 16 days); and there are about 600 species of carnivorous plants.

(Pictures, top to bottom, click to enlarge: PnC and the amazon waterlilies; Chloe inspecting one of her subjects; the Temperate House (this picture shows about half the building); and could this perhaps be the germination of Chloe's interest in plants?)


Chloe's First Day of School - UK Version

This morning we walked Chloe to her new school, the Old Vicarage School in Richmond. It's just a 10 minute walk, though due to her excitement, it was more like a 10 minute skip for Chloe.


Stow the Muskets...

... the "School Saga" is over. Chloe starts tomorrow at... [duhr Duhr DUHRRRRRRRR]