30 January 2012

Toad in the Hole

Yum yum. This was Simon's dinner the other night. Toad in the Hole consists of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter. This is a frozen vegetarian version. I've seen this on a lot of menus but never tried it.

Here's a better looking version.

24 January 2012

Burns Night

Looks like I may be going to a Burns Night soon. From what I can tell, this is where you read poetry from some poet named Robert Burns who lived in the 1700's, eat Haggis (which Burns wrote a poem about), drink whiskey and do traditional dances.

Poet Dude
Burns Supper

18 January 2012

Thai Withdrawal

It's been almost half a year since I've had decent Thai or Mexican food. I'm almost over my withdrawal symptoms. The first 2 months were the hardest. I still occasionally try to order or make Thai or Mexican, but it is always very disappointing.

I was excited to see these Thai "pots" in the grocery store. Microwaved it up. It was pretty nasty stuff – a sort of ginger Indian-like curry with water chestnuts, yellow split peas and soybeans inside, plus the rice all mixed in with it. Simon didn't mind it, but I'm ready to buy a ticket to Thailand.

16 January 2012

Sir DJ Lance

 We've found some of our old favorite TV shows: Wonder Pets, Yo Gabba Gabba, Max and Ruby... but someone decided that all these shows needed to be rerecorded using British actors. Even DJ Lance is a Brit. The only thing they couldn't find a British voice over artist for was Biz. He's still a homey.

Biz's Beat of the Day

Also, you can't get on the US Disney Princess website here. There is a similar Euro-site but none of the Princesses can talk. They just gesture. It's kind of creepy.

Disney Princesses UK


 If I was a dog I'd want to live in London. You get a cute little coat to wear if the weather is a little bit cool. You can run leash-free with zillions of other dogs through the city parks (at least around where I live) and you can dine in restaurants with your owner. You can even go to the pub. British dogs don't even know how good they have it.

11 January 2012


Here is a beautiful drawing Ruby made of me and her in the grass. She told me the blue stuff above us is the rain.

Tiny Soldiers

Wherever I look there are little bands of kids dressed in matching uniforms with crests on their clothing and backpacks. They walk in little clumps of navy blue or forest green. The littlest boys and girls wear "smocks" which look like long red dresses. There are dozens of schools around here and you can tell where each kid goes just by looking at them. Ruby's school is the only one I've found with no required uniform, but you can still spot them by their navy blue backpacks. Most mornings I look out my bedroom window and see clumps of Ravenstone kids passing my house and think "Damn! I'm late again."

06 January 2012

School Dinner

Sometimes I laugh to myself while I'm packing Ruby's lunch for school. Her lunches must seem strange to people here. In her Wonder Woman lunchbox she has peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread or a cheese and ham multi-grain wrap, and various other fruits and vegetables in many little plastic sandwich bags, plus a yogurt smoothie with bendy straw. I think maybe this is a very American lunch. I never see P, B&J here or wraps. One of the teachers, the "nursery nurse", called her rice cake a "piece of cardboard".

The other day she told me that 2 girls in the school bring "chicken on the bone" in a bowl for lunch. I think they are immigrants from North Africa or the Middle East. With all the different ethnicities at school, there must be some very interesting packed lunches.

Most of the kids eat the "school dinner" which is a shepard's pie or beef and potatoes or sausages or the something else meaty. I tried to get Ruby to eat the school dinner for the first week. She wouldn't touch it.

05 January 2012

Going Back in February!

Health & Safety

I don't think Brits are as preoccupied with health and safety issues as Americans.

Before I moved here my pediatric dentist told me to check any medications doctors here prescribed to see if they were FDA approved, because the approval of drugs here is more lax.

My friend, an American who has lived here for a year, went back to The States for a vacation. She said she was shocked how much anti-germ hand cleanser people used back home. It was everywhere. I used to use those little kid hand wipe things all the time in NYC, but haven't seen them for sale here. They don't even have the antibacterial hand gel stuff in the doctor's offices I've been to in London.

And I don't understand the fire safety here - or lack there of. Didn't London burn down in 1666 because a cow kicked over a lantern? I haven't seen any fire hydrants. Maybe I just don't know what they look like here, but I can't find them. At least there are a lot more parking spots! I guess they could just wait for the rain to put out any fires.

Ruby's school is surrounded by high gates and almost all the doors in the gates are locked with enormous iron locks a few centuries old. There is no way the kids could escape if there was a fire or a sniper on the loose. Maybe they don't have snipers here.