12.05.2007

Live From London (And yes, it is pissing it down)

It's a bit ironic that while my personal blog has done nothing but languish over the last month, my life is full of conversations about blogs, wikis, web 2.0 and What It All Means. Yesterday morning I left the house at 6:15am and hopped on a train down to London (doesn't *that* sound swanky?) Along with every other geek and 'informational professional' in Europe, I have descended on the annual Online Information conference, and was captivated by the opening key note by Mr Wikipedia himself, Jimmy Wales, who showed us in soft and rosy terms how web 2.0 can Change the World. Since then, lots of discussion over how we can harness the potential of facebook to edumacate the masses, and what happens when you give over control of content (answer: Nirvana or Anarchy, depending on your persuasion).

Anyhoo, I am slowly finding my way. Yes, I am sitting in a cafe in South Kensington with wet hair, a dripping umbrella, and a tube to get in 5 minutes. That makes me sound like I actually know where I am, but I don't. Since arriving yesterday I have relied on buses, taxis, and the tube to cart me around, and as I race around the city I feel completely disorientated--no clue where I am. Hey! There's Hyde Park, Ooh! and the Royal Albert Hall! I am hemorrhaging money as I wend my way. $10 quid for a sandwich and a bottle of water, no problem! £3.50 for some rank coffee? Here. Keep the change!

If that's not enough to remind me that I am 'home,' the shabby yet genteel quality of my minute hotel room brings it all back. It is the size of a postage stamp with a bed that would be termed 'suitable for toddler' back in the U.S.A. I am not a tall woman by any means, but my feet flopped over the edge last night and got a good airing. Which was fine, because the heat was on full blast, so I sweated my way through the hours. By the time I fell asleep, I was woken by the sound of the man next door cleaning his teeth and then flossing. Thanks to the flimsy nature of these here walls, not detail need go unmissed (thank GOD they are singles). All this was mitigated by the full English breakfast that was laid on this morning--slowly but surely I am reacquiring my taste for dire British sausages and buckets and buckets of tea on tap.

So now I am going to plunge back into the rain and try and avoid getting run over (I've has some seriously close misses). I wearing a suit and heels. I have a drag act as an information professional to perform.

22 comments:

slouching mom said...

Joy! I've been missing you! Thanks for the update.

Birchsprite said...

The weather is grim here at them moment! Good to hear from you even if you are a bit soggy! According to the bbc weather webite it's basically going to rain til christmas... hooray for the british winter...grrrrrr

doow said...

Ohh, you're so close! No wonder the rain has just eased and I can see blue skies outside my window.

cinnamon said...

Hey I was just thinking about you yesterday and how we hadn't heard from you in a long time... I was hoping no news was good news and it seems that's true. Good to hear from you.

MsPrufrock said...

The changeover has commenced - you used "disorientated" rather than "disoriented". I still struggle with that one, but the other way round of course...

AliBlahBlah said...

Yay - I swear I was just thinking about your blog last night. I shall have a bucket of tea to celebrate.

Mom101 said...

I am not only happy that you are enjoying life instead of merely blogging about it, I'm almost jealous. But mostly happy.

So glad to hear from you, friend. Rock those heels!

ozma said...

Aw, you are back! Lookit how awesome you are. We were all waiting for you with baited breath. Your fanbase will NEVER DIE.

I'm so glad your job is fun.

You know what cracked me up the most in London? Buckingham Palace is shabby. I walked by it at night and did a double-take because I had not meant to walk by it. It was the saddest little grey building. I'll bet the Queen can hear Prince Phillip flossing before she goes to sleep at night.

(I was only in London one day for work and had no tourist time so I spent the night wandering aimlessly and hoping that all my illusions of violent crime in other countries were true.)

Mimi said...

So nice to see you back, um, far away, Joy! Glad you're going broke for crappy coffee while pursuing lofty intellectual, errr, pursuits. :-)

ps: first four letters of verfication string are 'arse'--teehee!

Liz said...

Hi Joy, welcome back. We've missed you! I was so interested to hear about your conference; wish I could have gone. I am a measley little library & information science graduate student and we were just talking about web 2.0. Fascinating. Anyway .. stay dry and wear your rubbers. (Ha, that will get the Americans giggling!)

Lawyer Mama said...

So good to hear from you! Stay dry.

mothergoosemouse said...

Flashing back to a teeny tiny London hotel room with bed to match. Oh, and those really thin walls (and an amorous couple on the other side - yuck).

Can you tell me what the fuck is up with the crazy shower heads there? And bathrooms that are smaller than those on a cruise ship, and lined in plastic besides?

I miss you lots.

sweetney said...

yes, i too have been missing The Joy.

gingajoy said...

aww! folks! you have made a gal very happy and smug-like this morning.

Mrs Prufrock--you are so, so right about the disorientated thing, but let me tell you I choke on it every time. But I am opting to go Briddish with my spelling and usage as much as possible, so I get used to it--I spend a lot of time writing in this-here new job, and I am *constantly* vexed over whether I need a z (in my mind I still say zeeeee) or an 's' in words like personalize...

aww poor poor me;-)

Fairly Odd Mother said...

You know, you should come back to the US to do some shopping. I hear that all of Europe is here while the dollar stinks.

Nice to hear from you! Was just wondering how you were doing.

Eleanor said...

Great to have an update, and great to picture you clicking your way round london. The pouring rain and wet, wet hair are horrible. And the grumpy people and the sales assistants who are sure they are doing you a favour. But isn't it all worth it, and made quite fantastic, when presented with a steaming hot cuppofftee. Mmmm.

(And with reference to the spelling thang - my Mozilla is constantly telling me that there is no 'u' in favour, and no 's' in maximise. It is wrong. But where can a girl go for advice and council? Joy I feel your pain.)

Gunfighter said...

Glad to know that you are still among us, Joy.

Be well.

Redneck Mommy said...

I miss you.

Shucks. Have a jolly Christmas friend.

BlogWhore said...

that sounds like a vacation to me. ahd there are no diapers involved?

Gunfighter said...

Happy New Year, Joy!

seo companies said...

These all information which you can share is really very great. I am not a tall woman by any means, but my feet flopped over the edge last night and got a good airing.

r4i sdhc said...

I plunge back into the rain and try and avoid getting run over (I was seriously close to missing)'m going. I wore a suit and heels. I perform a drag to have to act as professional information.