Update - 28 October 2000



Hello all!
Since the last update...

We were back in the States near the end of August for our "big" wedding. Aside from being one of the hottest days of the year in Pittsburgh (the church does not have air-conditioning, of course), everything went surprisingly well. Even the rain held off until after dinner started. Thank you everyone for sending along your doubles! Have not seen the proofs or videography yet, and STILL working on all the Thank Yous! Hope to have all that finished SOON!

Left for southern Spain immediately after flying back to London (we arrived around 9:00, repacked, and headed back out to Heathrow). Flew into and spent the first night in Malaga (which is on the coast). Continued on to Granada (Alhambra), Cordoba (Mezquita), and spent the last two days in Sevilla (Giralda and Cathedral, Alcazár). As expected, the weather was warm (especially in Cordoba and Sevilla). Enjoyed lots of tapas, sangria and caught a bit of flamenco. Especially loved Sevilla and the late Spanish lifestyle.

Now that the "official" tourist season is over, tickets are available again for most of the plays. Went to see a musical called Notre Dame de Paris. It is a very visual interpretation of the Victor Hugo story, complete with acrobats. Need to see it again just for the music! For you Abba fans, we just saw Mamma Mia! which is a story tied together with Abba music. At times, this "concept" was especially funny when you realized that dialogue was beginning to segue into the next song.

Visited Cambridge with another couple (James & Wendy, some friends we met a couple of months ago). Rained most of the day so we ended up spending more time in the pubs than actually touring around. It is a short trip from London, so I am sure we can get out that way again. The area is exactly what you might expect. Thinking about visiting Wales and getting out to York or Bath in the next couple of weeks.

Started a Beginners German class a number of weeks ago. It was offered as part of the adult education program in the neighbouring borough (Hammersmith & Fulham - this is a new area for us and we have discovered a plethora of new pubs and restaurants). Was worried that Shelly might be a little bored (she had a number of years of German in high school), but so far we have both enjoyed it. Had a bit of excitement week before last when the teacher severely cut herself opening the window - she put her hand through it. We have since learned that she has loss use or partial use of three of her fingers, but hopefully she will not suffer any permanent nerve / ligament damage. We were introduced to the new teacher (Claudia) last week. Since we are already at mid-term, I would expect she will complete the semester with us.

Went to our first rugby match a few weeks ago. Saw the London Wasps play the Northampton (or was is Southampton?) team (not sure what their "name" is). Thought I had a good understanding of the game though I did not understand any of the penalties. Bottom line - those guys are nuts! :)

Saw Van Morrison at the Hammersmith Apollo (where we previously saw Blast!) Like the other shows that we have seen, the audience was relatively reserved and remained seated for most of the show. In fact, when a woman to our left stood and started to dance, she was asked to seat down by the theatre staff. However, near the end of the show, much of the audience left their seats to dance and get a little closer. Though the staff tried to get everyone seated again, there were too many people and they eventually gave up.

Caught the Arsenal v. Aston Villa match recently. Was VERY interesting since we sat in the vistors' section of the stadium. A guy that Shelly works with is a big Villa fan, so he arranged the tickets for everyone. The Villa fans are definitely INTENSE (especially the dozen or so that were "asked" to leave by the Met Police). Our section spent nearly the entire match standing, chatting and singing. Arsenal won the match, though I am not sure that made much difference!

Looking forward to a couple of visitors and a couple of upcoming trips. There were some fares specials offered by one of the budget airlines, Go. We bought tickets to Munich for the second week in December. Leaving Thursday and will probably spend a day in Munich and a couple of days in Rothenburg exploring the Christkindlmarkts. Also, bought 2 - for - 1 tickets to Bologna in Italy (though not until February). Viv is visiting during the second week of November. Hoping to catch a Premiership match and ride the London Eye (the big "ferris wheel"). Then, Michael is visiting less than a week later for Thanksgiving. Hoping to catch another Premiership match, attend the Thanksgiving service @St. Paul's Cathedral, and jump across to Ireland (maybe Dublin) for the weekend. Hoping that our traveling plans will not be curtailed as we just sent our passports in for the visa renewals. Definitely a strange feeling not having those while we are living abroad.

Still no news regarding how long we will be here, though things continue to be positive. Lots of upcoming pricing and corporate board reviews, so we should know something EVENTUALLY. Just finalized plans for Christmas (arriving December 23, returning January 1) so we hope to see you all soon.

That's all for now...

Take care, and miss you all!
Norman

P.S. Per usual, check out the website when you get the chance. I have posted new pictures from Vienna and Brugges. Also, I am working on getting a video clip of the infamous Sophia (Warsaw) posted (just needs a bit more "tweaking" - that's tech speak). I have moved everything to another website, so hopefully things will be a little faster!
http://www.SpeicherIndustries.com/