31 December 2011

Are you alright?

Quite often someone I vaguely know will ask me "Are you alright?" I always assumed I looked like I hadn't slept in weeks (which might not be far off) or that I looked as if I was about to burst into tears (also possible). I finally realized that "Are you alright?" is the equivalent of "How ya doin?" or "Whas up?" I no longer try to reassure people that I am not actually on the edge of a breakdown when they ask me if I'm alright.

27 December 2011

London seems empty. Where did everyone go for "Christmas holiday"? Shouldn't I be there too?

Where is everybody?

26 December 2011

What the heck is Boxing Day?

From some website: Traditionally, 26 December was the day to open the Christmas Box to share the contents with the poor. The Christmas box was a wooden or clay container where people placed gifts. 

What a nice tradition. I don't think that they do this anymore. Today the main thing going on seems to be a transit worker strike.

22 December 2011

The Dead

People haven't ever heard of The Grateful Dead. Guess I'll have trouble finding Cherry Garcia Ben & Jerry's here.

16 December 2011

Bah Humbug

Ruby came back from school today with tons of Christmas artwork including a few copies of this gem. Does anyone else think this is crazy? Ruby is now asking me to remind her of who all the people are in this drawing and asking me to sing the hymn she sang about Jesus' birth in the school play. (This is a public school!) 


15 December 2011

Where did Hanukkah go?

There is no sign of Hanukkah anywhere. I can't even find candles for my menorah. When I ask in the stores they just point to little birthday cake candles. I sent Simon back to NYC this morning to buy me some. (He actually has an NYC business trip, but I can pretend). Since October, everywhere I look there is Christmas paraphernalia. Even in our house - Simon got the kids a tree at a crazy store where you order things out of a catologue. The Christmas Tree
I thought I saw a tiny menorah on the dashboard of someone's car, but on closer inspection it was a Christmas candelabra. Ruby was in a Christmas show at her school. I haven't heard that annoying Adam Sandler song once.

Where's the FUNukkah?

09 December 2011

Driving "theory" test

Part one of my driving test is a multiple choice test on a computer. 100 questions (you need to get something like 85 correct) and it takes an hour. Then a "hazard perception" test where you watch videos and click your mouse when there is a hazard. All the interactive study materials only work with windows PCs, and our computers are both macs. My test is this Tuesday.

My head hurts.

08 December 2011


A friend just blogged about my blog on her blog!

Robyn's blog

Bean Bags

There are a lot of people here who I can't understand at all, and a lot of people don't understand me. A plumber came to the house today. He asked me over and over again if I had a couple of bean bags he could use. After a while I was cracking up, picturing me and this big dirty guy hanging out in the bathroom lying on bean bags. I finally got that he was saying "Bin Bags" and wanted some large garbage bags. At least this was kind of funny. When I had the driving instructor who I couldn't understand at all, it was kind of scary.

06 December 2011


Not sure why all my posts are about food - and mostly snack food at that.

Sweet Popcorn - avoid it
I want to point out that popcorn here typically comes in 3 flavors: "salt", "butter" or "sweet". I found this out when I went to a movie theater and later saw microwave popcorn sold in a variety pack of these flavors. Don't know why you wouldn't be able to have salt and butter on your popcorn. If you were wondering, the "sweet" one is NOT caramel popcorn. It tastes gross and smells like nasty chemicals when it is popping in the microwave.

I'm not brave enough to try this flavor.

05 December 2011


The house is cold and drafty. The back door doesn't shut properly and the many windows aren't double glazed. Apparently there is a big market here for "door draft excluders". People seem to like them to look like an animal.

Fush n' Chups

A typical English meal complete with mushy peas. (The stuff that looks like diarrhea is curry sauce.)

The other typical "tea" we have is "pie" - a puff pastry shell with bits of meat or vegetable inside.

London Fog

02 December 2011

Sun monday?


We think a red fox keeps defecating in our backyard even though it is completely enclosed by a high fence. The fox keeps leaving the poo right by our back door. Every morning I have to check for poo and go out and scoop if it is there. There are lots of clumpy brown things on the back porch and I think most of them are mud, but some could be fox poo. Guess I'm more used to dealing with mice and cockroaches.
Poo machine