Storms are a’comin’
Apparently from 15 August it is officially storm season. To be honest, it’s been pretty much storm season for most of the summer, but I guess this just means the storms get more frequent and intensify.
Storms here really are much bigger than in the UK. Everything just seems bigger, like the butterflies, the portions of food and the robins (actually I don’t think they are robins, they are just big birds with a bit of red on them).
Obladi, oblada life goes on
Yesterday I attended a meeting for my buddy Tom Coale, who is running for the House of Delegates in District 9B. This is USA politics, and I am volunteering to be part of Tom’s team to support events, PR and communications. I am supporting him because a) he is a top bloke, b) he stands for all the things I believe in c) he is genuine, passionate and sees that the time is ripe for opportunity in Ellicott City and d) if I lived in Ellicott City, District 9B and I could vote (which I can’t) I would vote for him.
How will this PR experience in politics differ from my experience in the UK? Well, firstly, I don’t think we would have had a meeting in such a glamorous location, and secondly, whilst I believe communications and PR skills are transferable across many areas of work, in order for them to be fully transferable across the Atlantic, I have to understand USA politics in full, because the process is entirely different from the UK way.
So first off, here is my British Idiot’s Guide to USA politics:
* The US is a federal republic of 50 states.
*The framers of the Constitution, drafted in 1787, wanted to block any individual or group from gaining too much control, so they established a government of separate institutions that share powers.
*Authority is divided into three tiers of national, state and local government, with the American people electing officials to serve in each tier.
*At the national level the government is split into three autonomous branches – legislative, executive and judicial.
*Each has its own distinct responsibilities, but they can also partially limit the authority of the others through a complex system of checks and balances.
For a really good overview of how it works, see here. It sure helped me!
So where was this glamorous location at which we met? The Obladi Hotel – the only hotel in Ellicott City.
This hidden gem is amazeballs! I had to concentrate really hard on the politics stuff because I was distracted by the Beatles all around me! John, Paul, George and Ringo were hanging out in every room.
The hotel is a shrine to the Beatles. The four bedrooms are named after the Fab Four and there are images of them everywhere.
You have to knock on the door and ask to look round – it is so worth it! The Obladi is a historic building dating back to 1838. You can totally tell that it has been lovingly renovated by owners T Garland and Zan Wilson.
Take a look!
Also, on the answer phone message they actually finish by saying ‘Obladi, Oblada!’ – haha! (Not my fave Beatles song, but hey ho!)
Ellicott City just gets better every time I visit it. I love this place!
Lifeguards HoCo style
With only two weeks to go until the pools close, it would be remiss of me not to mention the lifeguards at the local pools here in Columbia, MD.
These guys and gals take a summer job and train hard to be lifeguards at the 23 pools in the area. I guess it must be quite a stressful job with all those kids to keep an eye on, but let me tell you they are fabulous! They learn your name, the kids’ names, help out with swimming lessons, and make the pools a totally friendly place to go and hang out (I still think there should be a bar there tho!)
Harry’s a bit in love with Heather at the River Hill pool, so he posed for a picture by the American flag with her (which he then tried to dress himself in, much to Heather’s horror – he doesn’t realise the sanctity of that flag!)