I took this photo on the way to dinner on Thursday night, while Dave sat patiently in the car. Don't you love all that neon? It zigzags down the sides of the building and gives a very colorful effect.
Speaking of electric lights, yesterday we had our Christmas dinner with Dave's family. But it almost didn't happen, courtesy of Zeus or Thor or Tesla or whatever god of electricity strikes your fancy.
Dave's parents, sister and nephew were getting ready to go to the beach yesterday morning when suddenly, everything in the house stopped working. Granted, we had a lot running -- washing machine, dishwasher, air conditioning, TV, Internet, lights and whatnot. It all went dead. At first, none of us thought much about it -- power outages in Florida aren't that unusual -- and in fact the family left for the beach.
But as Dave and I sat around in the rapidly warming house, I began to think we needed to do something. It's not typical for power to go out for an extended period of time on a sunny day, and as we looked around at the neighbors it became apparent we were the only ones affected.
Besides, we had an uncooked turkey sitting in the refrigerator (!), and Dave had to start meal preparation sooner or later.
So I began texting Dave's parents about calling the power company and looking for the breaker box. Maybe this made Dave's dad nervous, because he decided to come back from the beach. He reset all the internal breakers and called the electrical providers and some other people. Several hours later -- after I drove out to the beach to retrieve the rest of the family -- someone showed up from the maintenance office at their mobile home park and found a main breaker near the outdoor meter that had flipped. He turned it back on and we were back in business.
We'd been making contingency plans to go out to dinner, but fortunately that wasn't necessary and our spatchcocked turkey got eaten. And we didn't die of salmonella. Whew!
Dave's sister asked me to take some photos of her son for graduation announcements, so he and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and took lots of photos in different locations. I'm always a little nervous about doing portraits for people, because I have no training in portrait photography beyond what I learned in my photojournalism class in college -- but these turned out well and I think they've got some good shots.
On our walk we saw a flock of colorful parrots descend on an orange tree and begin squawkily gnawing their way through the fruit. I believe they're Nanday parakeets, which we never see in London. So that was kind of exciting!
Speaking of London, in case any of you are wondering about Olga and what she's up to in our absence, our dog-sitter sent us this video Thursday. I believe it was taken on Hampstead Heath. You can see Olga very clearly in the beginning and then she runs to the front of the pack -- which is definitely just like her. "She is full of beans, never stops, then gets home and sleeps like a baby," the dog-sitter wrote. I'm pretty sure she doesn't miss us at all!