Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On the way back from Atlanta

On the plane again, now on the way back to Amsterdam, leaving a rainy, grey and humid Atlanta for the bright blue skies of Amsterdam (he says hopefully….). Actually we had two days of fine sunny weather, but it clouded over last night and became all humid… just in time for their Memorial Day Bank Holiday. It has been a very quick visit and I regret not coming over a day early to spend more time with my colleagues in the International Finance department here in Atlanta. We had a very busy time these past two days and did not have time for anything else. Maybe I should have gone to the office on Wednesday when I arrived instead of hanging around the bar watching the Champions League final. To be honest, I said I was for Manchester United when the receptionist asked me with interest, however, I found myself secretly wanting Chelsea to win, as it would have evened up the spoils between the two clubs and would have wiped the smile off Alex Ferguson’s face. As it was John Terry missed his penalty and gifted victory to The Reds. At least we can be happy that the team playing the more attractive form of football won, rather than defensive Chelsea.

It has been a day since the Eurovision semi-final and so far, through comments made by friends of mine on flickr, that my favourite song from Macedonia did not make it through (losing me the 770-1 bets), but that Iceland, Denmark AND Sweden all made it through, making it 5 out of 5 for the Nordic countries – not exactly my favourite… at least they will have to split up their ‘neighbourly’ votes, them being consistently worse for a longer period of time than what has been claimed to be ex-Yugoslavian favouritism. I’ll be rooting for Serbia and Israel in the final, although wins by Russia or Azerbaijan will both win me money, the latter more than the former, given the 120-1 odds for Azerbaijan against the 7/2 on Russia.

The plane is due to land in Amsterdam just after 7 tomorrow morning, meaning I can be at home by 8 or 8.30, in time for a short snooze before watching the video that Fred has made of yesterday’s semi-final. Time then to go to the garden and the garden centre and do this weekend’s spot of gardening. I plan to sow sweet corn, sunflowers, peas, runner beans and other climbing beans (to stop them being eaten by pests). I think the beetroot was already planted last weekend. Maybe time for some more lettuces and some spinach and more carrots.

We went out for dinner twice in Atlanta and, unlike last week for Fred’s birthday, there were only large portions and large portions of largely non-tasting food. Crabs legs almost a foot long, filled with white meat, but no taste. The only taste was from the accompanying sauces, in which you could have dipped pieces of bread and it would have been tastier. Tomatoes and mozzarella. Tomato slices almost the size of a side plate with a thick round of hard white-ish cheese, which I assumed must have been mozzarella, unlike anything one had seen or tasted before. And for breakfast it was slices of massive watery and flavourless melons with strawberries almost have the size of a normal cantaloupe… Oh dear oh dear. Even the wine didn’t taste too nice – or maybe it was just me being tired… and of course it is always nice to feel European and slightly superior…

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