Sunday, October 7


Last Saturday night was one of the coolest experiences I have had here in the UK so far! Sarah has a friend who just bought and refurbished a multi-million pound home right on the Themes river. Yep, you heard me, right on the Themes- and the best part is that he decided to have a party. No I guess that isn't even the best part, the best part is that I went to that party! It was fun because I got to get all dressed up, do my hair in loose curls and my makeup a bit darker (and awesomer) than usual. I absolutely loved it! The party was just eating, drinking, and socializing. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the small Asians weave through the masses balancing giant plates of finger food on one hand feeding the people. When they came around to me I picked one up and said 'thank you' in my most posh accent. Then there were the guys with a wine bottle in each hand going around topping off everyone's glass- and of course there was me with my can of orange fanta that practically screamed 'weirdo' to everyone I spoke to. It was so funny cause when I went back to the mini bar to get a drink I asked for a coke- and the man reached for the wine bottle and looked at me as though I would be crazy not to drink this stuff. I said no and repeated my order for Coke, and he looked confused back at me and said "beer?" Finally I did get my coke though, after about 12 tries and going through every drink in the bar and shaking my head. His excuse for the mis understanding was that I was the only one to order a soft drink all night! That should tell you something. The house had four balconies looking out over the river. It was so cool to see London this way, and to be in this amazing place socializing with these people who live in a completely different world than one I have ever known or ever will know. It was a bit eye opening, and really just an enjoyable evening altogether! Once we got back to the car I was designated driver, so-now here is something I never in a million years thought I would do- I drove home through central London! Thats right folks, your talkin to an experienced city driver now. Sarah and I stopped for some Donor Kababs before returning home at about 3:00am. What a night!!!

Speaking of driving, I had a request for a video of me driving on the roads here. Now this is a very short video, but it gives you a bit of an idea what the roads look like- and perhaps a little understanding as to why it took me so long to get my bearings... all the roads look exactly the same!

As most of you know this weekend is conference weekend. I just found some facts on the church here in England as compared to the church back home and it was quite interesting! First of all, when I was home I never gave a second thought to how 'other' people watch conference. I mean, I know they watch it on TVs or internet or something like that, but I have to start watching it at 5:00pm and finish at 11:00pm! It was strange watching it in the evening, but I did enjoy getting to sleep in as long as I wanted and not worry about missing anything. Out of curiosity I was looking up statistical information on the church. Did you know that in Utah alone there are 1,789,707 members, 4,585 congregations, and 11 temples? Compare that to the whole of the United Kingdom that only has 180,078 members, 350 congregations, and 2 temples! Big difference! I already knew there was a huge contrast between the two places in terms of the church- but I just didn't know how big. That kind of puts it in perspective don't you think? yes, I do think.

Well today is Gemma's birthday party, and we are doing a beach theme. I am SO excited for it! Parties here are something different from anything at home- they are such a huge deal. We are talkin' 4 year olds who have Barnum Bailey and Lance Burton show up to do private performances for their birthdays. Compared to the traditional Mormon-style birthday party where you trade a slice of $3 homemade cake for a $10 dollar gift from any given child and play a quick game of 'duck-duck goose' and send everyone home, these parties are off the hook! I will take some pics at that party so you all can understand what I mean. Until then, Happy Conference Weekend everyone!


Marie said...

Wow that party sure sounds FAB! I can remember going to a party similar to that at my ex sister in law's in Toronto, Canada. My ex brother in law was in the children's entertainment industry, being responsible for Polka Dot Door and Bananas in Pajamas amongst other shows. There were quite a few famous people at the party and the food was fabulous as well as there being a free bar for everyone to get sloshed at. Like you I was one of the very few that didn't imbibe and seen as somewhat of an oddity! Nevermind I was probably one of the few that had the best time and I didn't have to pay for it with a bad head the morning after! Hope the birthday party went well and that you have some lovely pictures to share with us of it! Oh, and by the way I take all my own pictures, both of the scenery and of the food. It's another passion of mine. :-) We have watched conference on the computer today. I was so pleased to see Henry B Eyring installed as the newest counselor in the church presidency. I really admire and respect him. Perfect choice!

skousenmom said...

Love the update honey! Next time you video you driving you ought to have someon else holding the videoing and driving! Just kidding. Loved reading about the party..even though you had told me about it, I enjoyed reading about it. Plus, I didn't realize we had quite that many members in Utah! Well, I love you and will talk to you soon! Mom

Dona and co. said...

Enjoyed the drive! The roads are beautiful. I wonder how long it will take you to adjust to driving on the right hand side of the road when you come home. Amanda got to sing in the afternoon session of conference.

colie-o said...

WELL mother, I should think that it would impress you that I can video and drive! Just kidding, I just set it on the dash and kept it steady with my hand, and notice there aren't any other cars on the road. when there was a car coming, i put the camera down and grabbed the wheel with two hands. I guess it is in my blood to multi-task at the wheel though... I mean seriously- Dad practically puts on a one man circus while breaking land speed records when he drives!

Martha said...

Hey Nicole loved the blog!

Amanda lee said...

You are sooooo in the "In" crowd to go to a party like that! How fun that would have been to dress up and go out. I am jelious, lol!

Love the video, I forgot how small those tiny country road are. It actually scared me when the car passed by on your right.

When it was conference there we used to have to go to the church and watch it and it was always the Sunday after conference. They had to mail the VHS tape to our branch. Funny how in 10 years technology has changed. I would rather watch at it home in the evening also! Have fun at the b-day party. Barnum Baily makes Chucky Cheese look cheep:)

Anonymous said...

Dear experienced London driver - I'm thankful for your safe drive home from the par-tay! - true you've had lessons from your experienced driver dad - but that was driving on 'our' side of the road. The par-tay was big stuff but getting home safely without a hangover is even bigger stuff in my book!

I wrote you an email about coference, etc

I have a couple of photos of you and of Samantha on a sceen saver of random family photos - so I get to 'see' two of my grandaughters appear before my eyes unpredictably. I like that unpredictable part of my life!

Love ys!!

Anonymous said...

My Dear Nicole,
(Pronounced Nick-oh-lee)
It is a little late to tell you not to grow up so damn fast, you are there!
Your adventures may compare favorably with Marco Polo in that you have obviously experienced and seen so many wonderful places and things, talk about an education.
I too am alittle concerned about some of the places you have gone, please be careful and try to go with and stay with a group.
When you get home and someone mentions about seeing an old buoilding that was built in the 1890's, try to laugh too hard.
I have seen a few of the places you have been but I am ready to go again and see more, maybe next year after Mary feels better.

Gota run, will write more later and hopefully much more often.

We love you and are very proud of your adventuresome spirit. Like I told you when you were reluctant to play the piano on the cruise, when you look back from, let us say age 73, (I can relate to that), you will review from the back rooms of your mind all the things you have done and don't want to waste time thinking about the things you wish you had done.

Grandma Mary and Grandpa Don