[Note: Updates are often posted with a bit of a delay; this is why the following post about being in London for a weekend comes a day after my post about leaving the farm.]
Spent the weekend in London with my Buck's Rock friend Steve Leach. I hadn't really realized, but it's been quite a long time since I'd been there (last time was maybe about 10 years ago with my parents). Didn't do too many touristy things (saw "the Gurkin" (sp? Apparently it's gherkin.) the big, bullet-shaped tower (gherkin is what pickles are called here), the Houses of Parliament, the Thames, etc; didn't go in any of those places; just saw them from afar). But did plenty of British things nonetheless- went to pubs and had a good amount of beer, ate some scones with jam and clotted cream, drank lots of tea, etc. I had a kilo of honey that Véronique and Vincent gave me as a parting gift; good thing too, because apparently the Brits don't ever put honey in their tea! Shocking. Steve and I had a good time figuring out various differences between American and English culture, expressions, etc. (I've noticed that there are lots of idiomatic expressions that are almost identical in terms of meaning, but just using different words. I can't actually remember the ones that I remarked on, however, so... not that exciting for you to read about).
Spent most of yesterday in Hyde Park, playing a bit of Frisbee and hanging out with a friend of Steve and that guy's friends. Generally friendly crew, fun to hang out with. I find that I can pretty easily chat with groups of people my age if I have an "in" into the group; ie, a friend of mine knows people in the group. And I can also start chatting with people if there's some reason for us to be doing so (ie, hanging out at an Ultimate tourney, or, as is the case right now, chatting with the two American girls that are sitting near me on the train I'm on).
So, now I'm off to the next farm. I managed to miss the first train I was going to take (we got to the train station with about 8 minutes to spare, but I had to get my ticket from the self-service kiosk, and, as is the case in France, British credit cards have chips in them, and sometimes cards without chips (ie, American cards) won't work in kiosks like that. So, I missed the train; fortunately, Steven and I were able to look up the phone number of the farm I'm headed to (which I had failed to write down); they were nice and understanding on the phone, and sounded quite friendly- encouraging! So I got a train an hour later to Bristol, which is about half an hour from where they live.