It’s rainy and cold out.

It’s not really that cold. People keep wondering if winter is really going to arrive this year. But Lorraine cold, warm as it’s been, is a special kind of rainy, windy cold, especially tonight. So instead of carrying out plans to go to Thursday night at La Boheme, I’m staying here in avoidance of the fifteen minute walk. Tomorrow is a B week, so it’s my ridiculously easy Friday–one hour of disposition in the salle des profs and no classes. I think I will have copies to mark up.

I went to Nancy yesterday, and I’m going again tomorrow. I’m going to Spain in February, and possibly to The Decemberists in Paris.

I went to see a movie yesterday, Stranger than Fiction. Right beforehand we were telling R#2 about how the exit signs in the U.S. never say “Way Out” like they do in England. He said he thought it was more formal. We said we thought it was less. Then the movie, in its unnamed American “city,” nefariously showed the only sign I’ve ever seen to say “This Way Out” in a building. Or maybe it was underground. Does it matter? You could hold that unnamed, fictional cities don’t really count as proof of something’s existence, except that it was obviously filmed in a real place and not on a movie set. Why must the movie fates work against my trivial arguments? Don’t they have better things to do?

To give them their due, the movies have been actually very helpful to me this week, since I’m supposed to work on the American dream with some students. The trailer for The Pursuit of Happyness (which I’d really like to see and which works most easily into the lesson) conveniently showed the other night, when I went to see a (different) movie.

I’ve gotten hooked on Friday Night Lights. Woops. Curse you, curse you, Texas.

Now for the rest of the London pictures.

Buckingham Palace

Parliament and Big Ben were really hard to get a good picture of at night. So here’s sort of a bad one.

So was Trafalgar Square, and it didn’t help that the bottom of the column was engulfed in scaffolding. These are two crummy pictures of the same thing: the Christmas tree, Nelson’s column, and Big Ben peeking through.

On the other hand, Picadilly Circus was really easy to take a picture of.

Kensington Palace, on New Year’s Eve

Kensington Gardens + mini sailboats

That afternoon, in the back of the Victoria and Albert Museum. I was actually a bit obsessive about this thing. They turn off until someone walks by them, and then they start doing different things. I took many many pictures for myself, because the colors and the patterns change. But I won’t bore you with them.

Happy New Year. I won’t take credit for this picture–Alix took it. That’s the top third of the London Eye, which is about what we could see.

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