10 February 2010

Wikipedia Here She Comes

Swim 1
Do you think she might be channeling Gertrude Ederle?  Why else would she get to the UK and refuse to take those darned things off?  She wore them to school on Tuesday with her uniform.  It was interesting to watch the reactions of the other children and parents.  Perhaps we committed a faux pas?  Oh wait that's French.  Perhaps it was improper?  From the reactions she received, it was clear that Laney was the first to attempt such a thing.  I don't think there is a place in Wikipedia for her with this first, but keep working at it Lane.  Swimming the English Channel is taken, but I am sure there is something out there for you too.
Laney's Goggles

Speaking of French, the boys have kept me laughing with their pronunciation of their new vocabulary words.  Their favorites at the moment are "zero" and "bois".  Both are said with a lot of enthusiasm and spit.  I imagine that is not proper either, but it sure is funny!

04 February 2010

Stop The Presses

Well, in keeping with everything else that has happened thus far we are not moving into the house tomorrow. The inspection revealed that there was more to be done to the house. It had not been cleaned and the sub floor heating (the only heating) on the first floor does not work. So, the movers have been cancelled and we are now waiting to see what happens next. We'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, I might just need to make some more cookies.

Moving Day (Again)

Tomorrow is moving day!  Our inspection takes place this evening, we get the keys at 9 am tomorrow and the movers come at 9:30.  We are all so excited to get settled.  Unfortunately, all of this comes just when AJ has finally found something to amuse himself.  He loves to open and close the door and spin the barrel.   

03 February 2010


Great Burstead
The backyard at the Pump House (the place we are staying)

Everyone in Michigan is always complaining about the weather and, I have news for all of you Michiganders, the weather here is terrible too.  It is gray all of the time and it's cold. The temperature is not as cold as Michigan, but it's a damp biting cold.  Fortunately, there are some signs of spring here with bulbs beginning to sprout, but I think it will still be a while. 

In the meantime, I have some new favorite things:
  • Radiators - you know they give off a really nice cozy heat.   
  • Grocery delivery - well, the idea of it anyway.  All of the grocery stores deliver here and when you spend 50 pounds it is free.  It is really quite sophisticated here.  If you go into the store and purchase something, you can go on-line and it will be in your favorites.  I imagine I will get quite a bit of use out of this. 
  • Prepared foods - Whilst (see, I am really getting into this) on the subject of grocery stores the prepared food isles here are amazing and, most importantly, the meals are really tasty and seem to be fairly healthy.
  • Duvets - Man, I had no idea.  A fitted sheet, I think I would like all of them to be the "valance type", which is like a dust ruffle and sheet all in one and the duvet on top.  No top sheet to bunch up - brilliant!
  • Jaffa Mini Cakes - Well, what can I say, they were on sale and they seem popular here, so I gave them a try.  I wish I hadn't.  With vanilla sponge cake, orange jam in a dark chocolate coating, they are like a fancy Ho-ho.  There are all kinds of jokes on the wrapper about "Jaffaholics Anonymous", but seriously, if I had a phone I might just call. 
There are a few things that I am still getting used to:
  • The "other" side of the road - this is particularly hard when backing out of a driveway.
  • 220v - it scares the bejesus out of me. 
  • The 24 hour clock - way to much math.
  • The plumbing - hmm I'll just leave it at that.
  • Roundabouts - they really aren't free-for-alls.
  • Carrying a sizable amount of money in coins - they coins worth 2 pounds!?
  • Shifting the car with my left hand - I'm just not that coordinated.
  • Writing the date in the day/month/year form - I guess I'm just thick because this is really hard to remember.
  • Driving on "lanes" - sometimes I have to turn my head so I don't have anything in my peripheral vision otherwise I panic.  Really is is just plain SCARRY!
  • Words like: football, trolleys, chips, biscuits, jumpers, trousers, car parks, coaches, lorries, bins, rubbish, and bits...- really this list could go on and on.
  • The expression "cheers", which seems like it is used as a "thank you", oh, and maybe "you okay?" too - I'm really just not sure how to respond.
  • The shopping carts with 4 pivoting wheels - can you say backache?

Whew, and that's just the beginning.  Adaptation - it's not as easy as it looks, but we are getting there.

02 February 2010


We have been here for 3 1/2 weeks now and I've got to tell you I needed a chocolate chip cookie. The biscuits are fine and all, but I wanted that taste of home.  AJ has been a challenge to say the least and it seems that every little thing that could go wrong has, so I needed to drown my sorrows in a little butter, brown sugar, vanilla and melty chocolate chips. 
cookie 1
I bought all of the ingredients at the store, which was a bit of a challenge.  I guess they really don't use chocolate chips here because all I could find was a tiny 100g bag of chips and those were $1.60.  The next challenge arose when I went to mix up the dough and he measuring cup was in liters.
cookie 3
You know I have been wearing the same pair of shoes since we got here, but I did manage to pack my favorite chocolate chip recipe.  It, of course, uses American measurements, so there were a lot of conversions on the computer, but fortunately, butter, sugar, vanilla and flour tastes good in grams too.