Wednesday Jul 13, 2005

We're Not Afraid

Reading the latest about the London bombings on the BBC News website, I learned about a website called We're Not Afraid . COM".

There, one can find collections of images and thoughts around the theme We're Not Afraid.

This is just one example of thousands which are being sent in from all over the world.   Kind thoughts.   Images of hope.   Silly pictures.   It's an ever growing eclectic collection of images...   Some quite moving, some comical, some strange, some designed to simply help one find their smile.

Cool website, yes, one might agree, especially if one wants or needs to feel a bit more upbeat about life again.   But what strikes me about this site, is that for me, it is echoing the spirit, tenacity, and strength of the British people while also showing Britain has friends around the world.

The Brits have seen a lot throughout their history.   They will see this through as well.   The We're Not Afraid . COM" website is just another way some of them will do so.

As a dual citizen of both countries, greetings in English & American:   Cheers & Have a Great Day!

Wednesday Apr 27, 2005

I Miss UK Speed Cameras !

It's not just the banks I miss...   Now, I also miss being able to overtake lorries.

To give credit where credit is due, the state police here seem to pull over a fair number of speeding motorists.   While driving to and from work, I see at least a few nicked motorists having a chat with the police.   I like that.   But I have yet to see a big lorry get stopped for speeding.   And, believe me, many of them ARE speeding.

In the UK, there were three major deterrents to lorries speeding:

o   Built-in speed limiters on the lorries

o   Tachographs which record speed and the police can inspect

o   Speed cameras

Sure, in the UK most people moan about the speed cameras.   I did, too.   However, now I appreciate them.   But only after having too many 18-wheeler trucks come barreling up behind me while I'm doing the maximum speed of 65 miles per hour.

Don't get me wrong.   I like the big trucks.   But, I'd like to see them slowed down.

Friday Apr 22, 2005

I Miss The British Banks !!!

I miss my UK bank!   Today, after much dismay, we have come to believe the various USA bank personnel with whom we have spoken.   What they tell us is still difficult to believe, but there we go....

Apparently, there is no equivalent in the USA banking industry to the UK "Direct Debits" and "Standing Orders"!

Sure, you can arrange to have regularly scheduled bill payments in the USA, but these are done via posted cheques (mailed checks) and not via electronic transactions.   No offense to the US Postal Service, but I would rather my important financial transactions go electronically instead of by air or road.

And wire transfers can only be done once per request, at around $20 a whack, and even then, only after one goes into the bank to arrange it.   Gee, what if I'm out of town and need to set up a wire?   Yup.   You guessed it.   Out of luck!

So, here I sit, now missing the ability to create a simple Standing Order to regularly transfer funds from one place to another, from one bank to another, from me to others, electronically, easily, swiftly.   Sigh...

Maybe someday, the USA banks will catch up with the British Banks.

Saturday Apr 09, 2005

Charles and Camilla

Like foxhunting and the culinary value of Marmite, the subject of Charles & Camilla marrying was one which generated strong views of opposition.

Hopefully, however, today's wedding and blessing will mark not only the beginning of their happy marriage but also the beginning of the closing of the gap in public opinions.   Hopefully with time, the British public will come to embrace Camilla in her new role as Charles' wife.

Personally, my romantic side loves the idea of soulmates and best friends marrying.   And that is what the world witnessed today.

Among other things, Charles and Camilla share a love of the countryside, countryside pursuits, and equestrian activities, which connects them to a vast number of the people of Britain and across the globe.   No doubt they will continue to appear in Horse & Hound as well as the usual tabloids.

Best wishes to the new couple!

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Kimberley

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