Thursday, 11 February 2010


Hmmm. Not the best photo of me, but hardly the worst. I have lost count of how much snow we had, but it was certainly a lot and, coupled with 30,40,50 mile an hour winds, made the walk to Patterson park pretty cold. Once in the park, there were no paths at all, and we drag ourselves through deep snow into which we sank unpredictably - up to my knees at times. Unfortunately, steep gradients were not as easily come by as I expected, so we had a pretty unsuccessful sledging trip. Never mind - we might try again today.

Saturday, 6 February 2010


We are having a great visit down in Nashville, but are slightly disappointed to be missing the big snow. 20 inches already and current snowfall of 1-3 inches per hour in Baltimore. No idea if we will be able to fly back to Baltimore tomorrow (it seems unlikely at this point), so we will see!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


WOke up to 5 inches of lush white snow and walked to work in it taking pics.
Not much else to say. These are, in no particular order: the view from the roof; two views on Lancaster St; the head; a fence; and the Hopkins dome.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Snow Business like Show Business

So that was January. We escaped the snow storm in the UK just after New Year (both a good thing, as I got to come back to work, and a bad thing as we missed all the excitement) and it all followed us over here. Nothing like as dramatic as the snow in England, but fun all the same. We couldn't come up with anything sledge-like to take to the park, so we have wasted a great chance - not quite Mel's feeling on the subject, but there you are. So what else has happened in January? We had a great open house last weekend, to which came Manus, Paula and Megan, Wendy, James, Rich and Patty, David, Susanne and Isabella, Danny and Josie, Danielle and Annie, Matt and Jess, Ellis and Ginger, Jill and Hamp and Albert. If half of them had as much fun as we did, then it was a great success. We rounded off with a great rendition of Tom Kane's hat game, which we confidently predict to go viral and take over America.
What else is new? Mel is swimming lots at the MAC and has started her docent training at the Walters Art museum. We are enjoying getting stuck into the Gallery church. Megan (Manus's daughter) started crawling. Allegedly. I have actually yet to see it, so I suspect he is just trying to save face. On Thursday we are heading down to Nashville for the weekend - so that should be exciting! We'll report back on that in a while. Over and out.

Friday, 29 January 2010

January is almost done

Brrrrrrrr. It is VERY cold in BAltimore this morning, so cold that the water on the harbo(U)r is partially frozen. You can just about see it in the pic. It has been a mild January though, so I guess it is due. Possibility of minor snow this weekend!
Before I get ahead of myself, first up can I say how great it was to see everyone over Christmas. We had a great trip home, and saw a lot of a lot of people, so that was great. I had a fun and productive fortnight's work in Cardiff (one paper of results submitted yesterday) and that made it feel less like taking advantage to have a good long relax over Christmas. We had a white Christmas (woop), I made Thomas a snowman (for non English natives - 'I made a snowman for Thomas' - the alternative would be too cold), and we escaped in JAnuary just before the heaviest snow since the ice age. In other cold-related news, this weekend is the polar bear plunge in the Chesapeake, which I might get sponsored for next year. Amazing.
So what's going on in 2010? Mel's parents are visiting in March at Cherry Blossom time, Mark Potter and gf Charlotte are coming in July and I think my folks are coming in the autumn. Hopefully we'll get a car too. But maybe not that one.
These pics were taken on my freezing walk to a bus this morning. Brrrrrr.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Happy Christmas Post

Festive greetings to our friends in all continents!

Mel here. This is actually my first ever entry for this blog (contrary to popular opinion) and its purpose is to act as our 'Christmas letter' for 2009. If, after reading this, you feel desperate for even more Edden news and commentary, you can check out the older posts which Richard has been keeping since our return to Baltimore in September.

We are back in the UK for the Christmas period and last night I went to watch the Year 3 and 4 Christmas concert at Howell's Junior School in Cardiff. I had been seated in the front row next to the teacher who was frantically prompting lines and song actions. It was hard to believe that it was myself sat in that chair exactly one year ago! Looking back, the first half of 2009 was, to be honnest, a bit of blur. Teaching kept me very busy and, before I knew it, I had reached the end of my NQT year and was stripping down my classroom walls. The second half of 2009, on the other hand, has been a complete contrast. My american visa does not allow me to work so, once all-things-related-to-an-international-move had been taken care of, I embraced my new-found free time by joining the local library and borrowing a bicycle from a friend. My current lifestyle now mostly features: reading (a mixture of classics-I-should-have-read-years-ago and other fun-looking fiction - suggestions welcome!); cycling around the harbour, mostly to and from Safeway; swimming (in a salt water pool which is "a little like swimming in contact lens solution" apparently!); cooking new receipes (the most successful being a peanut and bok choy stir fry, the most scary, yet tasty, being Mexcian chimichangas made by deep-fat frying); and meeting friends for lunch! So I can't complain really!

So Edden life 'stateside' (as a friend coined it recently) is going well. We have settled quickly into our new apartment, which is in the newly-developed 'Harbor East' neighbourhood of downtown Baltimore. It is close to shops, some fantastic restaurants and supermarkets which is very convenient, especially while we are car-less. Richard is continuing his MRI research back at the Department of Radiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (photo above of the original hospital building which is still on site). He seems to be collaborating with lots of different people on various projects, including maintaining links with Cardiff University (hence us being able to spend some time back in Wales this Christmas - yey!).

We really haven't 'done' much in Baltimore yet that I can log in this letter, except get settled and catch up with some old friends. We have, however, found a fab church and are enjoying making new friends there. Also, Richard's parents were able to combine a wedding in Connecticut with a visit to Baltimore in November. Their visit was intentionally planned to coincide with the 'fall' leaves and we had many enjoyable hikes where we leaf, bird and even chipmonk-spotted. It was lovely having our first guests and showing them where were were living. Hopefully 2010 will bring more visitors?...

Wishing you all a very peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Love from Mel and Rich

Some Photos:

Unpacking our shipment! Very exciting after living with two plates and two bowls for two months!

A view across Baltimore harbour from our roof garden.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sunday Virus Blues

My baby she left me, da da da da dum,
The dog just left too, da da da da dum,
But my laptop's infection, da da da da dum,
is what's making me blue.

So, if the virus is posing as antivirus software, how do you know who to trust? Luckily Malwarebytes seemed to mop it up, after opening in Safe Mode with Networking and updating it...enough of that.
Thanksgiving in DC was awesome - thanks Justin and Irina. Food was lush, company great too. Friday we went out for lunch in the IMF building in DC, which has a cool fountain to run under... Alix made it first time (one more than Daddy in Baltimore!) and then got a faceful. Haha.
Disclaimer: my baby didn't leave me and I don't have a dog. Poetic licence, dahling.