Friday, March 15, 2019

Letter from Boulder

I'm not sure whether I like or hate the internet this week. Would it be easier if I couldn't follow every tortuous twist and turn of the crumbling UK Parliament? Would I be feeling more at ease? Happier? More hopeful for the future? I despair.

But in London as I write, young people are off school, striking for climate change:




I went to the Boulder Museum yesterday with Isaac. It's small and spanking new. The temporary exhibition is about wolves and the campaign to re-introduce them to Colorado for the sake of the environment. Isaac supports it. I am not sure I welcome the possibility of more wild animals visiting the family garden (sorry - backyard) when the girls could be out there, playing. It's bad enough they've had bears, raccoons, a bobcat and a mountain lion. And Lux wants to camp out this summer.

The permanent exhibition at the museum is on the history of Boulder. I learned a lot....

Boulder was the first US city to introduce sales taxes to support the preservation of open space purchases, the management and conservation of native habitats, and the support of recreational opportunities.

Boulder was a dry city (except for 3.2% beer) until 1967.

Boulder was the first place in the USA to issue same-sex marriage licenses (1975).

The median age of Boulderites is 28.7 

The first schoolhouse was opened in 1860 and Colorado University opened in the 1870s. Pretty fast going! 

There are a lot of people who oppose mandatory vaccination. Boulder Valley School District Kindergartens have the lowest percentage of vaccinated children in the whole of the USA. Most of the parents who oppose it are highly educated.

Here are some slides from the exhibition (captured on my phone so forgive the wonkiness).





One day every year, Boulderites leave their bikes at home and travel to work by tube on Boulder Creek:





Yes, folks, this is the city where you can go into a restaurant and be offered massaged kale.

Language...

Isaac has lived in the States for 16 years and now has a slight American accent but this sometimes slips into English when I'm visiting, and the girls always laugh. We often discuss the language differences.

There is one American pronunciation he doesn't use and when Wendy says it, it always that makes me flinch - "herb." Americans don't pronounce the "h" and I always think "Why do they pronounce this the French way when usually their French pronunciations are way off beam?" Traditionally Brits have learned French as a second language which is why we pronounce "croissant" the French way, and Americans learn Spanish as a second language so they probably excel at stuff I know nothing about.

In conversation over breakfast we were talking about recycling and Wendy and I suggested to the girls they could write to the State governor and ask him to introduce bottle deposits.  I used the word "scheme" and Wendy laughed. She would have used the word "programme." She says that when she hears me use the word "scheme" she interprets it as an evil plan.

Well, this is sufficient rambling for today. It's bright sunshne outside and freezing cold and the cycle paths are calling.










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