Is That You, Banksy?

I finally found some Banksy street art here in London. I’m fascinated by Banksy and how he’s managed to remain anonymous despite being quite famous.

On Farringdon Road in East London, outside the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre, this rat with a sign (which, according to the interwebs, used to declare “Always Fail,” apparently in reference to the Royal Mail’s nickname) has been confirmed to be an authentic Banksy.

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Fourth of July State of the Family Address

It’s been three years this month since we moved to London for two years. We just renewed our visas to stay on for a fourth.

I don’t know what it is about Fourth of July that makes me wax wistful and nostalgic (and a bit rambly)… I guess maybe because we moved here in July, so it’s nearly the anniversary of our big move; and it’s our home country’s birthday, and so I’m feeling more patriotic than usual. (I’m not particularly patriotic, generally.)

I’ve always thought that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but maybe it’s a tie with the Fourth of July. They have a lot in common, when you think about it. Both are all about coming together with friends and family and neighbors and eating and drinking and enjoying a nice social atmosphere, with no gifts given or received. And they are both holidays that can be celebrated by all Americans, regardless of religion. And, unfortunately for expats, both are celebrated only in America.

We love you, England, but we are still Americans. Despite today being a school day and work day we are still celebrating our Independence Day. I feel a bit envious as I see the pictures friends post of all the fun things they are doing today—Fourth of July BBQs and parades and pool parties, eating watermelon and setting off fireworks, just classic American summertime nostalgia—while we are having only a small family celebration this year.

I have really fond memories of big neighborhood Fourth of July BBQs and fireworks displays from my own childhood. But our kids’ childhoods will just be a bit different than our own.

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Searching for fairy doors on the common today, making their own childhood memories

The girls still loved dressing in red, white, and blue; waving flags and sparklers; and helping me make patriot parfaits for a special dessert.

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