Some of you have asked about daily life here, so here’s a review of Saturday (yesterday):
I got up, had breakfast, wrote a few emails, showered and dressed, and then hopped into my leased Peugeot 207. I drove south on the A33 to Madejski Stadium to buy a rugby ticket for next weekend. However, Saturday’s Reading Football Club match was being televised and so had a late kickoff time of 5:00 pm, which meant the ticket office delayed their opening, and so I was too early.
Back in the car, through the roundabouts (they are ubiquitous: I went through 30 of them on this day) and up the A33 to the Reading-Caversham border at the Kennet River and the Leaderboard Golf Center, where I hit 75 balls on the driving range for 45-minutes. Many straight and long, I might add.
Then back along the Kennet across town to Staples for a few supplies and a lunchtime stop at McDonald’s next door. I haven’t been in a Mickey D’s since my arrival here last February, so this was a bit of an exploration. Gone are the traditional big menu signs, replaced by big sexy photos of their top selling items like the venerable Big Mac and something new to me called the "M". Is this the case in the US, too? The trusty double-cheeseburger was still available, however, and I ordered one, along with a "small" drink. To my surprise, the drink really was small, only about eight ounces. The burger tasted just like any I’ve had over the years but the wrapper contained detailed nutrition info in 11 languages! Who knew there were 450 kCals in a single double-cheeseburger?
Then I hopped back in the car, retraced my route around the edges of central Reading in increasing traffic volume, down the A33 again, and back to Madejski Stadium, by which time the ticket office was open. After buying my ticket, I came back up into Reading and to my parking spot out back of my building.
At home, I spent a few hours doing laundry and some web research for weekends in London. Then I walked down the hill to the central pedestrianized area of Reading and my favorite news agaent (convenience store) on Duke Street. I picked up a copy of The Independent newspaper and walked across the pedestrian mall to one of my favorite brew pubs, Zero Degrees. There I spent 90 minutes having a couple of pints of their excellent Black Lager and reading the paper.
Finally, I headed home, stopping into Marks & Spencer on the way for a few grocery items. Then I walked back up the hill, inspected construction progress on the new Tesco Express grocery store on the corner, and arrived back at my flat about 5:30 pm.
There you have it, a typical weekend day in The Life.