I got ICE in England and I made a Fabulous Frenchmen fall over

This might have to be my last post about the ICE issue because I actually got some. This is certainly my first story about making fun of a Fabulous Frenchie.

So I was at a pizza place the other day for lunch and, as usual, my kids and I made fools of ourselves. We were eating foods and quizzing each other on times tables and then I knocked Little Stormbringer’s drink over and we all got wet. Good times.

We like to play a little game when we go to restaurants. It is called “How Many Euro-Cubes Will We Get”. So when they deliver our drinks we shout: ‘Two Euro-cubes! One Euro-cube! No Euro-cubes!’ depending on what we have. Usually the inefficient Brit that has brought us our drinks has wandered off by this point.

This time the Brit was still near by. He was confused. I explained about the ice issue. (see here, and here if you haven’t already)

“Oh, you see, in America, they fill the glass with ICE first, then put the drink on top. We always count our euro-cubes because it is funny that there is no ICE here. ha.ha.”(I’m not socially awkward at all. nope.)

Then he smiled and said ” I will get you some ICE!” I have heard this before, people.  This never ends with ICE. It ends with four euro-cubes of ICE. I let the silly Brit go and get me some ‘ICE’. The kids and I laughed, knowingly. Then this motherfucker got me some GOT’DAM ICE. I could not believe my eyes! A whole glass! A whole glass filled to the top with Euro-cubes! It was unbelievable! I took a fucking picture of the glass and then one of the Brit next to the glass of ICE. He was a bit confused, I think, but maybe hoping for the first tip of his life from the silly Americans. (he got one)

I was overjoyed, but now I am a bit sad that I can no longer say that there is no ICE here. Oh well. We got ICE in England. It only took me five years.

When I was on holiday in The North we went to a french restaurant. Our waiter was very French and pretty Fabulous. Terrific. We are going to get some super service here, right? (no, i did not get a single euro-cube, but who puts euro-cubes in champagne? Oh, just me? OK. )

Manboy got an ‘A’ in french and I did some in high-school. Oh wait, I slept through that. Manboy, however, can speak it and did all of the ordering. I do not attempt to pronounce ‘fougasse a l’ail’ or ‘moules mariniers’ and do not get me started on the ‘frites’. Frenchie became all snooty and sniffy about Manboy’s pronunciation. I do believe he came to regret this.

‘Shambolic’ does not come close to describing the experience that we had that evening. If this meal had happened in America, not only would it have been ‘comped’ (free for my UK boos) but we would have had vouchers for our next meal, a massage and at least one bottle of champagne sprinkled lightly with unicorn tears. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Frenchie only managed to order some of our food, so the first course was a mix of one drink, one starter, a bit of one main and something we did not even order. None of it was cooked properly. None of it came with the right sauce, no one got a complete meal and I think the salt was in the pepper grinder.

Frenchie-Fabulous was beside himself. He was flapping his fabulous hands and being all french and wailing about how ‘zis is no szupposed to be like zis! I will get yoo a free bev-er-aj! Please wait a momenz!’

Then on his seventh trip to the kitchens on his useless mission to actually bring us the food that we had ordered, in the right order, and OMG actually bring us beverages, he had his literal downfall.

We had done the unthinkable and brought our souvenir shopping with us to dinner and placed it neatly at out feet while dining. Flapping Fabulous Frenchie managed to hook one of his feet around one of our bags and launched himself into the air and onto the ground. I would like to say that we didn’t laugh at him. I would like to say that my kids totally did not snort into their milk and shout ‘Sacre Bleu! LOL!’

The sound that came out of Manboy at this point made me laugh so hard that I pulled several muscles. I think that it was the most evil, malevolent laugh that I have ever heard. It was at an almost comic-book-villain level. Totally a well deserved laugh on our part. I think our waiter went out-the-back and had a quiet, private cry.

So when we turned up for dinner again two days later, Frenchie-boo spotted us and singled us out. He wanted to redeem himself. He wanted to give us decent food and service. He wanted us to have a Dining Experience.  He did actually manage that last one. A Dining Experience was had.

We had booked the kids in for an activity that evening. (Centerparcs, I love you,man!) I was going to have dinner, alone with my husband, for the first time in almost a year. So Excited! Ordered a bottle of champagne. Happy days!

What followed was chaotic, disorganized, and mismanaged. I actually had to point to my empty glass and then gesture to the bar where our beverages were waiting. I ordered a rare steak and got one well done. (Gross!! you know that shit got sent right back to kitchen for reals) We ordered food that never came. We ordered drinks that never came. I had to have Manboy steal a salt grinder from another table. All of this is true and I cannot type all of the things that went wrong because there is not enough blog space in all of the world to hold the tale of how genuinely fucked-up-the-eyeball this meal was.

We ordered in the standard way:

1) Order drinks then read menu

2) Order starters and mains (appetizers and entrees in American)

3) Drink drinks and wait for first course

So what do you think should happen when you follow these three simple steps? Would you expect to get drinks, then starters, then more drinks perhaps, then your main course? That is kind of what I expected to happen. After all, our-man-Frenchie was on the job and ‘determainez to gets zis rvight!’ Nope. None of that happened.

The good news is that we were having so much fun on holiday that none of this made us even slightly annoyed. Had this happened to me at any other time or place I would have set fire to the tablecloth and shot a hole through the bill. However, this was somehow entertaining and made us just giggle and shake our heads in amusement. And poor Flappy-Frenchie even got a tip. Hilarious. Maybe we should drink champagne more often.

Advertisements

I think I may have committed a dog crime. I need advice.

By now you all know that I was trapped in the USA for almost four months. Yeah, there are rules for immigrants to the UK. (As long as you are American that is) Many , many rules.

Anyway, so I was minding my own  wine business when a hound happened. It was a Saturday and my kids and adopted dog were out playing. suddenly a hound appeared. It had a shock collar on, but apparently it gave zero fucks about that and had just run through the pain. It seemed entirely pleased with life and was happily playing with the other dogs and kids.

Except there are no stray dogs in my mothers gated community. This was now A Problem.

Take off shock collar. Check the hound’s collar. Has a number. Call number several times. Wait.  Leave msg. Wait. Have more wine. Call the pound. Wait.  Call Animal Control. Wait and wine. Use Google maps to find the hound’s house. Tap fingers. (meanwhile, hound is either running around the house eating cats or locked in the garage destroying everything)

So naturally I say to my mother “I’ll just walk it home then, shall I?” Seams reasonable. I can at least put it back in its yard and hope for the best?

This hound is not leash trained. And by Not Leash Trained I mean it is trying to kill itself on a lead. This hound acted like it was on a hunt and needed to Go Faster and/or was a sled dog and needed to Pull All Of The Things. We both nearly died walking down the damn driveway. I am so sure we are never going to make it the three blocks. (this was after the raccoon so I am expecting the worst, people)

One of my mother’s neighbors drives by. She owns many hounds. She sees me basically flailing a hound down the road and stops. I explain and she offers to drive me to the house. With her hounds in the car as well. I am now officially in insaneville and wishing I had either more or less wine. We get to the house. Car in the driveway, garage open. No one home.

The hound is clearly excited to be home! (the hound is excited by everything) There is a similar shock collar in the garage. There are fucking cabbage patch dolls and collectible ‘dolls’  all over the inside of the house. I know, I banged on every door and yelled at every window. No one is home. I check to see if the door is locked. It isn’t.  I put the hound in the house. I leave.

Just to re-cap here: I have put a dog inside of someones house. I realistically have no idea if this house belongs to this dog. I mean, sure, it was an educated guess, but still a guess. I am wondering if this is an actual crime. I still have no idea if these people got home and said “huh. I put the dog out this morning and now all of my dolls have been eaten” or perhaps “Oh good! Benji is HOME!” or worse, “WHAT?!!? Who put this motherfucking dog in my motherfucking house!”

Well? What would you have done? Please, please tell me. I am sure someone out there would have had less wine  is more sensible than me.

The one where we had a Raccoon. And many police.

I have an amazing story to tell you. I have been holding onto this one for months. I think this might have been the most astounding and surreal thing that happened to me while I was trapped in the USA.

So it is a normal morning. For a given value of normal. My kids are outside playing and my step-dad is outside working in the yard. (garden, whatever. I can not translate everything for you. I kinda can not translate anything anymore. shuddup)

There are many dogs barking. Step-daddy (hereafter known as Pat-Pat) goes to investigate. There is a raccoon.

For my British readers; I guess you will just have to think of this as a fox. It is fine to feed it, but only if you know that it is totally possible that the cute little bugger might decide at any given moment that it would rather eat your face than the treats in your hands. Meh.

There is a raccoon in the bushes. It is being all friendly and…oddly thirsty. It is not afraid of the dogs or people. This is a bit strange, but not overly worrying. The Pat-Pat tries to run it off. It just moves into the next yard. All of the barking brings out the neighborhood kids. There are now twenty-hundred kids surrounding the ‘friendly’ raccoon, either poking it with sticks or throwing food at it, depending on the gender of the kid.

This is when I bring my kids in the house. I am sorry, but I do not let my kids play with wild animals that are mysteriously active during the day and wandering around looking both high and sniffy. My kids were FURIOUS about my decision. “But the other kids get to play with it!! It’s *cute*! The raccoon is hungry mumma! ” Yeah. No.

That raccoon wandered around the neighborhood trying to die for about two hours. Where does it decide to live out it’s last few hours? Yep. On our front lawn. Of course. My parents decide to take a nap.

There are many  man-folk in the neighborhood. One plaid-wearing man says ” Welp, i would help you, but i left my guns up in the cabin.” One man-folk sits on his fancy-porch-extension and says “gosh you should do something!”  One man drives buy and shouts: “call this number!” This number  belonged to the local police. I have now called the police on myself. Wonderful.

I am frightened, confused and pissed off. Why is it up to ME to do this? I do not even live here! Do these kids not have parents?

“Oh Hello! Um, i know you can not do anything about this, um.  But I have a dying and probably diseased raccoon in my front yard and there are a tone of kids poking it with sticks, and um, do you know whom I should call about this?”

RRRRuuuuuuRRRRRuuuuu  rrrrruuuurrrr…The Police show up. All 90 of them. At least, in America, you now that when you call the police, they will show up, in force and within minutes.

Now I have 90 police in front of my parent’s yard. I DO NOT EVEN LIVE HERE. I am wearing sweatpants and a Detroit Lions T-shirt. I could have been a front for a robbery.  I did not look like I belonged in front of that house. They never questioned the fact that a white trash girl was taking control of  a high-class neighborhood.

I want you to take particular care reading these DIRECT quotes from the police;

Do you have a shovel?

(uh yeah) Yes,  yes I do. I think we know where this is going. I give the policeman the shovel .

Do you have a box?

(uh…) Let me look. *much looking happens. My parents are still asleep* No, no i do not have any kind of box or pet carrier. I am so sorry.

I need to call my Sargent. He might have a K-9 carrier.

WoooooooooWooRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrWoop

29 hundred police and one Sargent show up. I am astounded that we do not have fire trucks. yet.

The Sargent looks at the dying, diseased raccoon, lying on the lawn of a million dollar housing gated community surrounded by 20 hundred kids  and says  (and I quote..all of this is real) AND SAYS:

Shoot it.

The policeman looks at me, the kids, the big houses and then slowly, back at his Sargent. Then he says, with conviction;  ” NO, *you* Shoot It! ”

I have to admit that I laughed (in my ever crumpling mind) at this foolishness at this point.  NO, YOU SHOOT IT! bwahhaaaaa

They managed to call a k-9 unit with a cage for the poor raccoon. They used the shovel to urge it into the cage. The poor policeman on the scene managed to step in much dog poop during this ordeal. Mr. porch extension offered his help at this point. ” I have a hose if your shoes are dirty”  Yeah, they blanked him.

I managed to assure the kids that THEY WILL TAKE THE RACCOON TO A VET AND HE WILL BE FINE! RIGHT POLICEMEN? They said yes and they were awesome. They made it down to the end of the street and I swear I could hear the gunshots. So, no, then.

I then walked the half mile to a shop/store and bought some wine. I was so done with all of the foolery. The kids came with me. We braved the no-sidewalk/pavement half mile death-walk of the USA. I even bought them snax and ice creams. Believe me when I say that I was done and had laid my burdens down.

I walk in the house. I have a back-pack full of wine and bubble-gum. My lovely posh parents say:

“hey, have you seen that raccoon?”

I fell out. And when I tell you that I fell out, I am not making that up. I CACKLED people. I hit the floor, laughed the laugh where you cannot speak, and just walked (crawled) away with my wine.

I met Mr. Raccoon Policeman at the library a week later. I am thankful for their help. I am also slightly ashamed.

Next up; the one where I put a hound in someone’s house at random. kinda. At least it is policeman free.

.

I’m back, and I am Never Leaving the UK again. (the top seven things I hate about living in the US)

I just spent three months in America. I am here to tell you that I am never going back. Holy Crap, America! You suck even more than you did when I left! Get your shit together! Here are my top seven reasons that living in the US is awful and impossible.

GUNS

They are everywhere. All of the time. NO REALLY. I stayed in a super-posh suburb of D-town and still…everywhere. Boom, boom, crack, boom, bang! If you are not hearing gunshots you are hearing sirens. It is a mess. Even the kids have them. I had to call my children inside because…brace yourselves…one of the kids had A GUN on THE TRAMPOLINE that my kids were playing on. Read that again.

NEWS

There isn’t any. You get local news, and I kinda miss that, but actual news?  There is none. I made a joke about PSY meeting Ban Ki Moon and not one soul had any idea. “ya’ know? he is, like…in   charge    of    the UN…no? no. ok. ”  People in America are just ignorant about the world. And they don’t wanna be. They want to know. But they do not get to. It is stupid. (Pay your License fee and shut up Brits!)

SCHOOLS

My kids got to go to an American school for three months. I think they came out dumber than when they went in. NO REALLY. My kids were  at least two full grades above in everything. They delighted the teachers. My kids were horrified by the way that the students and the teachers acted. So was I. American schools=full of Assclowns. I shit you not.

POLITICS

Nah. No Sir and No Ma’am. I was in the US for the election and I am here to testify that the whole thing is level-crazy. The only way I was able to deal was to stay off facebook and hide under a box’o’wine and/or a table. You have no idea. Give me anyone from Eton to vote for and i am FINE. I am actually amazed that only a few people were killed during that mess.

TRANSPORTATION

You can go Nowhere in the US on foot. I mean this. The first month that I was there I tried to walk to the shops. I gave it up for several reasons. There are no pavements/sidewalks. You must walk on a gravel shoulder and hope to live. One of my kids was sick at school and I was powerless to go and get her because the silly mile walk was impossible. I had to wait for someone to drive me. Not just that one time but every time that i wanted to go anywhere.  (for three months)

NATIONALISM

While I am happy that my kids know all of the “Fifty Nifty United States” and the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful and This Land is Our land and The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Pledge of Allegiance…Jesus, you guys! America has taken Nationalism and ratched it the fuck up to 11. I was embarrassed several times. I am American and I grew up there and I was still embarrassed by it. WOW.

STRANGER DANGER

I used to think my mum was a bit crazy when she freaked out when my children were not in my sight or within my reach. Not anymore. In the US kids go missing all the time. Every day, and not just missing, not just runaways or parental disputes. JUST GONE. Every damn day. I am not exaggerating. America has a BIG problem with kids ‘going missing’. In the UK my kids can walk down the block with a reasonable expectation of getting home safely. Not in the US.

I am going to write about all of the things that I love about living in The States. I am going to expand on many of these topics. I still love you America! I had to get some of these things out because I am so glad to be home in the UK.

I promise not to ever leave the UK again, and I promise that I will bring the funny back to my posts soon!

Got anything to tell me about living in the US or the UK? Would you choose differently than I did? Tell me what you think.

New ways I am failing at parenting and being an expat

I will never get all of my laundry done. Never, ever, never ever ever. I have not yet adapted to doing laundry in the UK. Allow me to contrast the ways that laundry is done in the US vs the UK.

Let’s assume that you have two loads of laundry to do. I’ll stipulate that a washer-full is different in the US (bigger obviously) but let’s just set that aside.

USA:

9 am: put laundry in washer

9:45: Put laundry in dryer, wash a second load

10:30: take laundry from dryer, start second load drying, fold and put away clean dry clothes

11:15: fold and put away second load

DONE

UK

9am: put laundry in Euro-washer-dryer thingy

3pm: take hot wet laundry from the dryer and hang on the line. Put second load in the Euro-washer

9 am the next day: Observe that your laundry on the line has been lightly sprinkled on. It does not yet have slugs or spiders so decide to let it dry off a bit.

Noon: It rains. Your wet laundry is still on the line. Your second load is still wet in the Euro-washer-dryer.

4 pm: pray for better weather

9 am the next day. you decide that the clothes outside are ‘dry enough’ and bring them in. Lay them on the radiators to finish drying. Hang out second load.

10 am: it starts to sprinkle. The cats have lounged all over your clean laundry. The kids have knocked it to the floor. Pick up hairy, linty laundry and just fold the fucking shit.

5 pm: it sprinkles a little more.

9 am the next day. Your second laundry is mostly dry. Only has a few slugs. Bring in, hang on the banisters.

9 am the next day: fold crumpled fucking laundry and put it away.

DONE.

So the score is USA-3.5 hours, UK-5 days. USA-clean, dry, wrinkle-free clothes. UK-slightly damp, fuzzy wrinkled clothes.

What would your laundry situation be of you could only do two Euro-loads of laundry a week?

It is actually worse than this. The piles are bigger and I have not drawn the slugs.

OMFG YOU GUYS, I will never, ever get it all done. How is everyone else dealing with this?? Why can’t I figure it out? Seriously, if anyone knows please tell me!  I have piles and piles of laundry. Some of it I might just throw out. Euro-washers do not remove stains anyway so screw it. Just keeping my kids in clean clothes is a miracle. All of my clothes that are not ‘drying’ on the line are dirty. All of them. I put on a clean shirt today for the first time in 4 days. ‘Clean’ has a new meaning to me. If one of my shirts does not have gravy on it, it is now ‘clean’. I cannot go on like this. (help me)

I have said before that my kids swear like fucking champions. I have no idea where they get this from. But Little Stormbringer surpassed herself today. The White Rose was doing a truly cringe-worthy puppet show. The kind that is great if you are two, but was extremely sub-par for her. It had a dance routine and involved me watching a pipe-cleaner tell knock-knock-jokes. I love this stuff but apparently it makes older sister’s ears bleed.

I watched as my oldest started to twitch. A bead of sweat appeared on her temple. Then she saw my face and started to giggle. I giggled. Even The White Rose started to giggle at her foolishness. Then Little Stormbringer said “OMG fuck-the-hell-off with that shit!”

Then we all collapsed with laughter. I told you that we aren’t right. I was all ‘wow. that was a mouthful of swearing even for me! Tone it down a bit child! Jesus Christ!’

I set such a good example. But then later in the day one of her projects wasn’t going as planned and she said ” Awww STICKS!”

Are you kidding me? Of course we laughed about that too. I told you that I was failing at parenting!

You want to hear something worse? My kids are so gross. So very gross. This they do NOT get from me. One comes down and says that the other is reading a book on the toilet. I can only assume that the door is open. Yuck. Manboy and I eyeballed each other. “we did NOT need to know that, thanks.”

Then the other comes down, wearing only underpants, stretches, smiles and says “ahhhh…that let a lot of junk out of the trunk!”

OMFG SO GROSS. Are you kidding me? This is a little girl. Strutting in my living room in pants and talking about her bowel movement. No one that she has ever met reads on the toilet or brags about the product. Our living room explodes with cries of ‘ NO! Gross! No way! Ewwwww. Jesus! Please stop! Yuck!’ And them hysterical laughter at the absurdity of the whole thing. I cannot be the only one whose kids are disgusting. Right? Right?

How is your laundry today? Have your kids ever done anything that gross? Tell me all about it!

I can’t tell if we are mentally or morally handicapped

“The next person to leave my refrigerator open will have to sit in the refrigerator all day. Am I Clear?”

I actually said this a few minutes ago. Out loud. Quite loud actually. And all of my windows are open. And my neighbours are outside. Sigh. I am sure that they think I am some sort of vile beast.

Ok, as I have a Euro-fridge, neither of my children would actually fit in it. But I swear, I am so tempted. How hard is it to close the door to the fridge? I mean, how do you NOT close it? Neither of my children are mentally handicapped. I think.

Morally handicapped? Well, probably. We had another of those charity pan-handlers at our door again yesterday. (The British have a great word for them. Chuggers. Short for charity muggers. Get it? Hysterical.)

So this time they were collecting for deaf children. (OMFG, what next, blind puppies?) The White Rose thought they wanted money for Dead Children. “we don’t know any dead children, but my gramma is dead.” She says helpfully. Now, a normal parent would calmly correct the errant child and apologise for the awkwardness. Not me.

No, I started to giggle and could not stop. I’m all “dead children hahahahah”. The poor bastard at my door had no idea where to go with this. This made me laugh more. “I’m so sorry” I mumble, “dead children aren’t funny. BWAHAHAHAHAH!”

In the end, I just closed the door. It was the kindest thing that I could do for the poor man.

There is something seriously wrong with us. Then I had to come back into the living room where Manboy was nervously waiting to hear the result of me opening the door. The only explanation that he got was “OMG she said…and he wanted…ahahaha! OK. I’m OK now.”

The BBC has helpfully provided a guide to Brit life in the run-up to the Olympics. Here is a snippet from their advice to tourists:

“The English are British and lots of people think the British are English but that annoys the Scottish and Welsh because although some think they’re British and some think they aren’t and some think they are but don’t want to be, they all agree that they definitely are not English.”

(link here)

OK, thanks very much for that. That was super helpful. I feel so much more confidant in my ability to handle London now. Jesus wept. The person who wrote that needs to just have a seat in my refrigerator.

Morphine in the UK, and yes, I’ll be fine

I am beginning to develop relationships with the staff in the emergency room. I should have a punch card or a VIP pass at this point. It would not surprise me if, the next time I am in there, that they pull me aside and ask me if I am ‘having trouble at home’. (I’m not)

So I fell down the damn stairs again. This happens to me more often than it should. I am so clumsy that I regularly fall UP the stairs. I am the only person that I know that can manage this feat of grace.

Look, I am 5’2″ and most, no, all of my clothing is too long for me. All of my trousers are at least 4 inches too long and all of my dresses are even longer. I waift around the house pulling up my skirts like a damn Edwardian. This means that stairs are a huge hazard. Especially when I have Doom Cats swirling around my feet begging for food.

So I fell down the damn stairs again. I spectacularly fell down them. I fell down them so hard that I managed to unglue one of my shoulders. This was not cool. Being British, I had some wine and then went to bed with mutterings of “I’m Fine” and ” I am sure it will be better in the morning”. It wasnt.

I got up the next day and was all “OMG I AM BROKEN! SHIT! THIS TOTALLY SUCKS!” I was positive that I had been mortally wounded and would die at any minute. I had probably contracted ebola as well. So of course I had to wake up manboy and demand to go to A&E. (Accident and Emergency. Somehow ER sounds more dire, but that’s Brit life for you)

I hate this.

Now, the last time that I was in A&E it was because I had broken my foot. Would you like to know how I did this? I broke my foot getting out of bed. I am not joking. I awoke  in the middle of the night and wanted to go to the bathroom. So I got out of bed, hit my foot on a bookshelf and broke it. Again, I just went back to bed all “I’m FINE. ” I got up the next day with blood all over me and a purple foot. I had even managed to rip off one of my toenails. I am an idiot.

I had to go to A&E with a leaky foot, toenail hanging off by a string, and broken toes. And I was all…”I hit my foot on a bookshelf because i had to pee” and they were all “yeah, sure you did, ok, that looks really bad though.” Sigh.

So this time I was prepared to look like an idiot, no worries. When they greet you with “oh, Hello! ” at A&E, you know that you fail at life. The first nurse that saw me asked me what was wrong.

I broke my shoulder.

How do you know that it is broken?

It hurts and it does not work. (this is my definition of broken. Broken=not working and oowie)

OK, let me get the doctor.

The Dr says, Ok, now, I don’t want you to scream. I am sure he is going to move my arm or press my shoulder or some other dire test of pain. This is how it goes right? No.

Do not scream, but you have a spider on you.

I turn my head to my not-broken-sholder and shu’nuf, there is a spider. I pluck it off and set it free on his desk. It spiders across his desk, around his keyboard and spiders away. He looks at me as if I am crazy. (WHAT? That is totally what normal people do. Shut up)

Then he prods me and pokes my obviously broken appendage and says, well, we will have to give you some pain medication in order to examine you further. Lets start with some really lame OTC painkillers. And I am all…can we skip that and go right to the Vicodin? I am totally ouchie here.

Now in the UK they only have three types of pain management. Tylenol, codeine and morphine. That is all they have. I do not know why. So he says “would you like some morphine?” HELLS YES, BRING THAT SHIT. I mean, yes, that would be very kind of you. ouch.

Turns out that I dislocated my shoulder, then ripped some ligaments or muscles or whatever I have in there, then popped it back into place and hurted it more. Great. They gave me a strip of cloth with a diaper pin and sent me home. Which is fair enough, I get to go back in a few days and be poked some more. I have no dignity, it’s FINE.

Oh and don’t worry about my hurty arm. I am sure I will break something else soon, just to take my mind off of it. I promise to tell you all about it.

(for a Better pain rating scale; see here)

Living in a Big Old City

I can not get this out of my head. Because I am. Living, and for sure in a Big Old City. History cannot escape you in the UK. 

I do not talk about what we left behind in America. Not just now. We left it all behind us. But when i hear Little Stormbringer sing “someday, I’ll be, living in a big ol’city” I know that we have made it. We are Here. I know that this is not the point of the song. But we did it, we made it, and now we are here, safe, in this big old city.

It might not be ‘big’ as you would think of an american city. But it is old. So old. Dumnonii  is an old place. You can dig three feet down in your garden and uncover a hord of Roman coins kinda old. No, i take it back, it is only two feet down that you have to dig. And then you find an old walled fortress. I am not joking.

This is very soothing. When I try to explain this feeling to my British friends they just chuckle nervously.  This attitude must come from the 3000 years that they have been trying to defend this tiny island. ok, probably 30,000 but STILL…

There is a magical part of living here, you KNOW that you are part of something bigger and better. Something old. Something wise and wonderful. Something more.

I am an American through and through, but i do not ever want to leave this big old city.

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.

 

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.