Hi. well, this site is still very much under construction. Please follow the links below.

I'm running the London marathon. Click here for details.

Follow this link here to find out about my expedition to Bolivia.

I'm now in Connecticut for four months to do some research for my PhD.

Sunday 9th January


7.25 am

I slept in a litle later this morning! I was really tired last night but I think my body's now adapted. Yesterday, I phoned a few of the contacts I'd made at roommates.com and Les drove me to fetch a car. As the car rental place was next door to the airport, we called in their to check about my bags. Despite having been informed that my bags were with a courier service and were on their way to Les' house, they turned up in a pile of bags outside the baggage reclaim office. At least this meant we could just take the bags and go.

My credit card failed to work at the car hire place but a photocopy of my return flight ticket and a debit card seemed to suffice. I folllowed Les back home. It was raining and the roads were O.K. but it was also freezing and the possibility of hitted ice seemed high. The hardest part of the journey was actually the run up the dirveway. This is steep and iced over. The car skidded but I made it!

After some route planning, we travelled to AAA where Les could acquire free maps. With these in hand, I drove in to West Hartford to find Dover Street. I sat outside the house, in the car, and waited for the lady to arrive. A couple arrived and turned out to be agents, managing the letting. They were helpful but the place was a completely unfurnished ground floor flat with no-one living in it. It's in and excellent location but I'm not sure I want to be the first person to move into an unfurnished place. How do I sort out bills, furniture, etc?

I drove into West Hartford Centre, a small area with a few restaurants and shops. I managed to park and had a bagel from Dunkin' Donuts. (The Bernsteins were not impressed by this revelation!) I tried phoning a few more people but I failed to line up any other visits. So, I drove to Farmington and then to Hartford, hoping to find an internet cafe (apparently this would be an unlikely find). I got lost around Hartford and eventually found my way home, just in time to see the dying minutes of a college basketball game. Connecticut lost 68/67!

Stephanie (Les and Marcia's daughter) was home and she and her friend joined us in going out for pizza. By the end of the evening, I was tired. I fell asleep listening to some commedian Les liked! The evening picked up when we staarted watching old family videos. Very funny!

I was a little dissapointed with West Hartford. I was hoping it would be a little bigger and a little more cosmopolitan. I think I've got used to living in a big city. I really hope I meet some people out here.

Saturday 8th January


6.43 am

I made it! My bags didn't. There seems to be a pattern in my visits to the States; something always goes wrong with my baggage.

Anyway, I met up with Les very easily at the airport and we drove straight back to his house where I met his very lovely wife, Marcia. I arrived into Bradley international just as the sun was setting and we drove, mostly in the dark, to Les' home. The scene was picture card America. Big, wooden houses with big cars outside, all covered in a layer of white snow. The sky was clear and many houses still had Christmas lights outside. I have to say, none of them looked as hideous as some of the Christmas decoration at home. Why do poeple buy plastic Santas?

After a little chit-chat and a tour around, we went out for dinner. We drove 10 minutes from Les' home to Chilis (Tex-Mex). I hadn't wanted to go far because I was jet-lagged. Despite phoning ahead, there was a big queue for seating and we spent 20 mins waiting. The food was good and I had my first beer here - Samual something and actually quite good. Neither Marcia nor I could finish our meals so we took them home in doggy bags! This amused me and my obvious discomfort with the idea amused them.

Back at home, we tried to phone US airways to find out where my bags were. After a lot of searching using automated phone services Les finally spoke to someone and we found out that they still hadn't arrived in Bradley International. At 9.30pm, I went to bed (it felt like 2.30 am) and I'd been up since 6am. Now, it's early in the morning and I'm awake.