I just realized I never blogged about my February UK visit. I was sure that I had, but can't find any evidence of it. Anyhoo, it was my friend, Maggie's, birthday at the beginning of February (same day as Izzi, actually). She's from the Seattle area and used to work with me at the Big A. Her boyfriend, Hugo, is English and his family is rich. They own a ridiculously amazing house out in a village in the Cotswolds. Part of the house was built in the 1500s, and the rest was added on in the 1600s, then remodeled in the 2000s. The neighbors hates Hugo's family because they added under-floor heating in their kitchen, which somehow cut through the village's main power line, so the lights in Hugo's house and the neighboring houses flicker on and off constantly whenever the floor is being heated, i.e. whenever anyone is in Hugo's house. Maggie wrote her master's dissertation from the house, on the topic of gentrification in modern society, and used the village as a case study. I wonder if she included a statement on the necessity of under-floor heating and its effect on neighborly relations.
Anyway, it was crazy fun. We went for walks and ate amazing meals cooked by Maggie and fresh bread from the bread maker and Maggie tried to ride Wayne the Pony by throwing herself onto his back. There was even a sword fight! Then Hugo read his granddad's diary, in which each entry ended "I.L.J." for "I love Jill." (Hugo's grandmother's name was NOT Jill.)