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Software techie and professional seamstress.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I had another nice day here in London. This time I remembered to set my alarm, but I was already awake when it went off. Maybe my ability to adjust to London time is some gift from all my ancestors that came from here:
Grandmother on father’s side—she was from the part of London where it always snows and everywhere you go is uphill. There was apparently a severe butter shortage at the time since she never had anything but lard for her toast. She emigrated to America in her early 20’s, but her good English upbringing ensured she had a miserable life no matter where she lived.
Great-grandmother on mother’s side—family lore has it that she sewed for the Queen before emigrating to American. It would have been Queen Victoria. Seemed impressive until I read that Victoria often used local crafts people when she travelled. Still, it’s better than her having been a charwoman or the one who emptied the night jars.
Parliament and Big Ben
Leslie Howard, mother’s father’s first cousin—If you’ve seen Gone With the Wind, he was the ever-simpering spineless Ashley Wilkes. He missed the premier of the movie since he was due for duty--he flew for the Royal Air Force, and never came back from a mission.  Huh—just realized that one of the memorials I saw the other day was for blokes like him. Nice.

I figured out the camera and got some photos of the view from the office.
Buckingham Palace private gardens. Queen HATES that anyone has this view.

Have you ever seen a coffee maker like this? that thing on the right--milk fridge. Yep,  steams your milk automagically.

Had a tasty lunch at a Spanish restaurant right downstairs—I chose shrimp and calamari, and had a taste of a couple other things. I’m eating as much seafood as I can.
Got a fair amount of work done, and had some good chats with a couple of the devs here. Never thought working on the database would make me so popular.

After work Manuela and I headed to Liberty. She wanted to look for patterns for knitting gloves, and I wanted to apply for a VAT refund. Ended up getting a pattern book, some English wool yarn and larger needles. I wanted to get the yarn for a sweater, but there’s no way I’m bringing back 16 skeins of yarn, so I’ll make a scarf—6 skeins seems much more reasonable.

At the risk of disrupting the space/time continuum, I asked Manuela to take a picture of me wearing a shirt I made of Liberty cotton that I got from April of Fabricker in Austin, holding a bolt of the same fabric, standing in front of yet more beautiful cotton in the Liberty store.
I apologize for any abnormal behavior exhibited by your computer…

Okay last item tonight: a happy accident.
I left Manuela in the Oxford Circus station and headed back to the flat. I still needed fish sauce for curry and was happy to find the nearly Sainsbury Local had what I needed, as well as yogurt (Rachel’s Organic is very tasty), wine, champagne and washing up liquid (dishwashing soap in America).
When I got back to the flat, I realized that I had forgotten to get curry powder and that Thai Red curry is nothing like Indian red curry paste.
The good news is that it turned out anyway—tastes very much like Thai coconut soup.  Yum!

Drawing a bath now since there is a bath. The bathroom is tiny but very functional. I can sit on toilet and brush my teeth at the same time—the ultimate in multi-tasking.



  1. Hi Juliette! Wow you are in Europe! I didn't know your blog before. You can check mine at

    It's a good idea to stay in Montmartre it's close to the main fabrics shops. My favorite fabrics shops in Paris are :

    Have a nice trip, enjoy! And say hello to Thomas!

  2. Ah et tu dois voir ça aussi !

  3. Merci, Ségolène! I wish I could see you while in France, but I won't have time this trip. I hope to be back soon.

    1. Hi Juliette, I also wish I could see you. Bordeaux is quite far from Paris, I should have come to Paris but it's too late now for planning the journey! Next time yes!

  4. I was tempted to ask, but I know it would hard with the babies and Thomas is taking me somewhere in France over the weekend, so not much time. If we head towards Bordeaux, I will let you know!