Monday, January 29, 2007


Dearest Readership,

Just a brief note... I've upgraded 'The Roaming Gnome' (as required by Blogger). In the process I've made a couple of improvements.

You'll now find:
1) Links to some of my mates sites & the wider world;
2) Anti-spamming security (sorry to those who don't want to register to comment); and
3) Listing in the Blogger registry.

This last point is helpful if you'd like to know when I've posted or others have commented as you can have an e-mail sent directly to you.

Finally, I've gotten many e-mails asking why there are no pictures of me on my site. Many of you will remember I don't have my picture taken; I am artist not subject. Actually, there is a slightly more practical reason (besides detouring my current stalkers ha ha ha). In all my travels and tales, I have observed that people enjoy the experiences more if they can imagine themselves in the midst of the action. How would they feel? What would they do? Posting my ugly mug cements that memory in your head with me, rather than possibly you in the future. So, for continued, and purely selfish reasons, there will not be no change in this policy. I want you all to have the opportunities to explore this great big planet...

Adventurously yours, The Roaming Gnome

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Greyhound

... bus, not dog, sorry!

Now that life is finding a ‘normal rhythm’ (which really means I’ve got both reliable Internet access and a little bit of free time), I thought I’d post a few stories and pics from the New World… In November, I hit the road thinking it was a great opportunity to see old friends and my baby nephew. First stop: Tallahassee, Florida and my high school buddy K.

I arrived in Atlanta after a rather unpleasant flight - packed and lots of screaming munchkins. (Does anyone remember the last time a flight wasn’t packed to the gills???) After killing 8 hours in a muggy Greyhound bus station, we hit the road at midnight for the final leg of the journey. For those of you unfamiliar with public transit in the US, it is much different than in the UK. Ok, they're both unreliable, but the similarities end there. In my experience, everyone takes buses and trains in the UK and as a result there are at least a few minimum standards. In the land of the car, things are a wee bit different. Public transit is unreliable, questionably safe (both hygienically and roadworthily), and generally catering to a different ‘clientele.’

Being adventurous, and on a budget, this was obviously the most realistic transportation option. Turns out, I must have been the only white girl to ride the bus in years. When we arrived in Tallahassee, at 0530, I tripped down the stairs, hugged my friend, then attempted to claim my rucksack… only to be asked for my luggage ticket. Yes, you read correctly, asked for my luggage ticket. (Does anyone remember ever producing a claim ticket at the airport? I certainly don’t.) A bit of shuffling later, the ticket was found, rucksack in the boot, and on our way wondering, “Since when do white girls get up at 0530 in the blooming morning to steal luggage from the Greyhound station? Where’s the cow? I think we need to practice our tipping!”

On a more personal note, if you find yourself conflicted about the ‘War on Terror,’ wander down to a Greyhound station. I watched 3 buses full of kids (yes, I said kids) pack up and head to basic training. These are the kids next door, both boys and girls, giggling, smiling, their entire lives ahead of them… How many of them are going to come back maimed? Or bitter? Or both? It’s easy to say the cause is noble… Until you see these kids…

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Adventures in Technology

Howdy Partners!

I've finally arrived in wintery Edinburgh - cold, burrrrr! BBC is forcasting clear and cold, -4oC, for dawn with a daytime high of 3oC on Tuesday! I arrived to a chilly, but secure. flat. After 14 hours, the central heating is still churning away on its quest to reach 19oC.

I must apoligize for the lack of correspondences over the past few months - I was both mobile (sans computer) and climatologically challenged. Western Washington experienced one of the worst winter weather seasons in memory breaking both rain and temperature records.

One day you might wake to...

The next...

Never fear... I've got lots of tales and even a few pictures to share! So please grab a dram and stay tuned.