Tuesday, August 22, 2006


  • Them Magnum bars sure is delicious, ain't they?

  • I spent the day working on my book again. I am happy to report that I did not take a shower until late afternoon.

  • Both of the jobs Rachel applied for were bust. The job in Swansea called her last night; the job in Cardiff called her today. Both were very pleasant, but in the end said no. I like the fact that would-be employers here will call and tell you why you didn't get the job and then offer suggestions on how to improve for your next interview. In the U.S., they just never call.
    That's of little consolation to the child bride, however. She's been pretty heartbroken over it and I haven't been able to do much but sort of stand around.

  • Eventually, she decided to spend some time looking for jobs on the internet and I went on a walk. I found a path that runs behind a few homes, under a road, and then suddenly you are out in farm country and there are sheep and cows and horses. That's something we don't have in Minnesota. When the weather improves a bit (it's supposed to rain the rest of this week), I'll probably pack a lunch and see how far I can go on the path. Apparently it connects to the 70-mile Millennium Heritage Trail. So, when the child bride and I run out of money, that's where you'll find us. We'll just keep wandering the Vale of Glamorgan and become the stuff of legend, like the big cats people are always claiming to see: "Somewhere in these woods, son, there are Americans. Stay close."

  • But since we have a little time on our hands, Rachel and I are going to again attempt to leave the country and return legally. We figured we'd loop it in with a trip to London, planned all of a sudden when I discovered that the Minnesota Orchestra is playing at proms on Thursday. I am still putting things together, but I may find myself relying on the incredible hospitality of Chris and Jenny. I was talking to them tonight about my plans and I had trouble saying yes to their offer of accommodation, even though I really wanted to.
    It's that thing of feeling bad for not being able to offer something that's really of equal value. Here's what I have to offer: a nice home in a quiet, comfortable area of Cardiff; homecooked meals; the most comfortable place to sleep I can provide (probably an air mattress, admittedly); eagerness to offer helpful information on any activities in the whole of South Wales; endless country hiking just outside the door (fields of sheep in a five-minute walk!); and they are welcome to stay for as long as they like. But let's be honest, are they really going to come to Cardiff? And even if they do, how many times?
    If I hit up Jenny and Chris for a place to sleep this week (as I almost certainly will), the hospitality score will stand as this: Scottish 2 - 0 Yankee Scum. And with little chance of the child bride and I ever taking the lead.

    Anonymous said...

    If you do go see the MN orchestra, have rachel rush the stage and throw things at Matt for me! (Bass player, she'll know who!)

    Jenny said...

    Oho! You will be sorry, my friend. One day I will crack, throw a child out of a window and be struck off. When I am released from the institution the boy will have to leave his job to care for me and we will be destitute. And you will never be rid of us.

    Also: we will insist on plying you with food and tea and fine port and lottery scratchcards. Please don't fret - it's just the Scottish way. We do the same to the TV license guy.

    Woman of Wales said...

    Has Rachel tried the NHS Wales website at www.wales.nhs.uk/jobs/ Worth a look every week or so as it's updated regularly,also try the Western Mail newspaper where most NHS jobs are advertised.

    Check out my blog Walks and family stuff in the Vale of Glamorgan at www.raven-shoe.blogspot.com
    for photos of some brill walks in the area, many linked to the Millenium trail. Also check out the Valeways website for walking routes.