This is Ridiculous Now, England! (with love)

You guys, I have a bit of bitching to do. I am annoyed with the UK today for a few reasons.  I am not even sure where to start, no, actually, I have a pretty good idea. This is me right now:

Yeah, this sucks. Observe all this glory right here.

I am not  even sure if they sell fly-swatters here. I think the bugs are just coming in to escape the heat. It is rapidly cooling off, thank the gods, but it has been proper Michigan Hot here for 2 days. (I cannot even have ICE, hence this post) I did NOT come to England to be hot, people. I came for the clouds. I want them back.

And the other problem is that we have been here for 3 summers now. We are losing our mid-western glow and becoming translucent like the rest of the pasty Brits. This is fine, except now we burn if a sunbeam touches our pale, fragile skin. I can remember laughing at the teachers saying that my kids would need sun-cream for 15 minutes on the playground. In the spring shade.  “No, I swear that they do NOT! Promise!” OK, we do now. Dammit.

Due to this terrific weather, I figured that today would be a good day to defrost the freezer. That’s correct, you heard me right. Defrost.The.Freezer. In 2012, in England, people still do this. I swear that I am not making this up. The last person in my family to have to defrost a freezer was my great-grandmother. In the 1950’s. I certainly have no memory of anyone doing such a thing in my childhood. It isn’t a chore that I particularly dislike, I just find it backwards and surreal. I realize the irony in not having any ice, but a freezer full at the same time. I try to wear heals, rollers, and an apron while de-frosting. It helps me deal.

Upon reflection, though, I have a number of things that are making me thrilled that I live here. This afternoon I took The White Rose to the doctor. They were great, and of course it was free. Then they gave us 7 hundred prescriptions and those were free as well. I cannot express how awesome this is. I would not have been able to afford even one of those scripts. I had the most awesome health ins in america (i mean that) and it never touched the care that i receive in the UK.

I have to say it. I am so freaking thrilled about the Diamond Jubilee. OMG YOU GUYS! SO COOL! ( I promise more to follow on this!)

It not only evens out, it makes me feel bad about bitching. I love it here, I cannot wait until I get my shiny UK passport. Thanks for being my punching bag, England. I love you far too much. Now give me my clouds back.

That THING Just Bit Me!

I can tell that this is going to be a long weekend.

If I have to start out a friday afternoon with the phrase:

“NO you cannot bring anymore wild animals into the house!”

then, yeah, long days ahead my friends.

I swear, this is my side of the conversation that I had with the 4 or so children that were here:

NO MORE WILD ANIMALS! What is that thing? Oh My God it JUST BIT ME. no, sweety, that is not an antelope. Stop chopping that onion until i get into the kitchen! Someone open a window maybe it will run out. NO you cannot have glass to start a fire with. I SAID  I WAS COMING. What? NO. What? yes have a popsicle for christs sake. ONE SECOND! Put a wooden spoon in your mouth if the onion is making you cry. WHo needed this bandage? I have no idea if cats see green. Stop chopping the onion! Hi, what did you want again sweetheart?

I dearly love having a house full of kiddy goodness. But there must be some kind of middle ground between full on crazy and playing nicely. No?

Then someone knocked on my door. To panhandle for charity. In the middle of this. And sweet sally-two-shoes asked the 7 hundred kids their ages.

“6,8,9,7,10…”

It was a beautiful moment when she just looked at me, in my flowery apron and said “i think i should go…down the street…i’m sure your neighbors want to give…uh… bye”

And yes, that thing did bite me. It looks…ok. I’ll keep you posted.

 

DAD LOOK (with troll bums and dwarf wee)

DAD LOOK happened this weekend and it was a sight to behold.

If you havent read my post MUM LOOK go ahead and read it or this will not make any sense. Go ahead, it’s right here. I’ll wait.

OK, everybody back? Do I have the attention of the class? Hmmm?

Manboy is one of those people who is always poised and full of liquid grace and dignity. I do not think I have ever seen him at a loss for words. He is so not clumsy that it makes my brain bleed. He might get frustrated with the kids, but I have never seen him shout or get so discombobulated that his brain turns to mush, mummy-style.

Until this weekend.

We had our favorite Wraith Child to stay over on Friday. She is Little Stormbringers BFF. She is nocturnal. I have never seen a child who can stay awake like that one.

Saturday we went LARPing at a Dumnonni event. It was Wraith Child’s first Role Playing experience. They ran a brilliant child adventure where we had to collect Fay tears, Dragon blood and Dwarf wee. It was awesome. But soon my kids were starting to get worn out from the late nights, and hiking all over the woods killing giants and ‘kicking man eating trolls up the bum’. (this is funny to British kids. Dont ask)

The next day Little Stormbringer ran in a marathon. It was so cool. She even came in first in her class. BUT on the way to the marathon DAD LOOK happened.

In the UK you can never just drive somewhere and park and go in. No, that would make too much sense. You must drive somewhere, find the furthest possible spot to park your car, pay £1000 and then walk 3 fucking miles to your destination. (This is why we walk near-goddamn-everywhere. Sigh)

On the 3 mile walk to the marathon (I feel stupid just typing that) my kids were both holding hands with Manboy as I ambled behind. I was (AGAIN! IDIOT!) wearing my too big Capri pants, and trying to match Manboy’s exhaustive pace while pulling my trousers up every 10 seconds like an asshole. But he had both kids, and I had a view from behind.

DAD LOOK! A bird!    DAD LOOK! A red car!

DAD LOOK! A sign!   DAD LOOK! Everyone has legs over there!

DAD LOOK! That tree!   DAD LOOK! Look at that roof!

DAD LOOK! I just saw a bug!  DAD LOOK! Is that a unicorn?

DAD LOOK! Another bird!

I found this absolutely hysterical. He is mostly programmed to respond to orders anyway, and he is totally not used to the constant barrage of LOOK. I know that there is never anything to look at that matters. I do believe he had either never experienced this or he had forgotten. His head jerked up at every shout and pointed finger. Until he turned around, STUMBLED and looked at me like this:

I had to stop, grab a belt loop and double over with hysterical laughter. I think there might have even been a tear. I am sure we looked like we had been let out on a weekend pass from the loony bin.

But the DAD LOOK was priceless. One great moment in a very wonderful weekend. 

Life in the UK is not always Awesome

Ice cubes are delicious

When was the last time that you went a week without using a single ice-cube? I have been here for so long that I cannot honestly remember. Please let me know.

I am pretty sure that I remember using them all the time. Possibly even daily.  Store bought 2 liter? Ice-cubes. Water after housework? Ice-cubes. Soup too hot for kid? Ice-cube. Offer anyone a drink? Ice-cubes for sure.

There is something magical about slowly pouring a freshly opened soda onto ice cubes in the summer. You simply cannot have iced tea without them. Then there are ice packs, filling coolers, rubbing on a burn, or heck, your forehead and boobs in August. Ice-cubes are such  lovely fantastic things.

Except we do not have any. Ice-cubes here are a luxury. Usually reserved for gin and tonic or maybe Pimms. (I adore Pimms.) And then only store-bought ice-cubes are used.

I think that there are two reasons for this. Everyone drinks everything warm here. I am used to it and I don’t really mind any more. Warm beer? Yeah, that’s fine. The second reason ties into this. You can no more put a case of beer or soda in your Euro-fridge than you can make room for ice cubes in your Euro-freezer.

I found an actual ice-cube tray in a pound shop once. It made a dozen teeny-tiny ice-cubes. I was THRILLED. I brought it home and made ice! Then I cracked all 12 tiny cubes into a glass of cold water. Then I had 4 sips, and the ice was all gone and I cried.

The very first purchase I make after collecting my lottery winnings will be an American fridge freezer. I mean that with every yearning fiber of my being y’all. Here is the best example of why American appliances will beat the euro-crap that we have here. I could not have said it better. Not without swearing.