My kids break everything I own and I am bitching about England again.

You guys. My kids are breaking my house now.  It isn’t enough that they have gone through 3 computers (or is it 4?), one TV, one expensive DVR box, one kindle, one couch….no, make it two TV’s…a few door handles, some light-fixtures, one toaster, one car roof, seven bicycles…you get the idea.

Now they just want to break my house. It is a house of bricks people. Like the one that stopped The Big Bad Wolf. Nope. If you build it, my kids can break it. If anyone knows how I can get a bespoke window latch replaced for a few pence, let me know.

Let me just back up to the couch for a minute. How do you ‘break’ a couch, you may ask? I’ll tell you. You wait for mummy to cook dinner, then you jump on it until is is a pile of dust on the floor, then you say…’mum? why is the couch made of sadness?’ yeah. This couch had a welded metal frame. I am not joking. Dust.

And how, just how, did they manage to wrench the latch off of the window in Little Stormbringer’s room? Seriously? If, in a fit of madness, i decided to vent my anger on a window latch, i could NOT pull that shit off. I’m a Big Girl from Detroit, and…and i have issues…but…no way am I strong enough to bend metal, people.

Sure. I am convinced it was easy. So easy.

And yet, my sweet, soft, squiggy little White Rose managed it. Now I cannot close the window. At all. They even stripped the screw, and FUBAR’d the lock. OK…….i’ll just …uh, fix that…somehow….uh…

Add to that…this weekend they managed to break an OAK AND IRON bench that sits in my front garden. Are you Kidding me? Jean-Claude Van Damn with a Seattle attitude, high on Bruce Lee and Bruce Willis could not have cracked that. And yet….

(this is where you go and comment and make me feel better. Please tell me that I am not the only one with destructo-kids)

England, you’re killing me here. I love the UK with extra loves, but you owe me a break for a minute. Last week i had to re-wash several loads of laundry. Two because, well, there are only so many weeks that you can watch your pants be rained on while you are waiting for them to dry, and one because my fresh, lavender-scented laundry is just what Orb-weavers and slugs want to nest in.

Sloe-worms. Maybe it is slow-worms. I do not mind a snake, or even a worm or two. Heck, I am the girl that will stop to save a worm from sidewalk-sun or a snail from dry-death. But there is something that is just gross about a creature that cannot figure out if it is a worm or a snake and just wants the worst of both. Ick. Trust me, they are even more gross when they have been chewed on by a cat and dropped at your feet. Just no.

I cannot stress the superiority of american appliances. I have to sing Mary-had-a-little-lamb TWICE just to time how long i have to push a button on my Euro-stove  to get it to light so that I can cook foods.(you can see that this is not driving me insane) Tell me, what is the best temperature to cook chicken on? Is it 5, 8, 9, 12,  or the series of dots, or the one that says POWER? I have no idea. What is an oven-timer? You know, that  thing that goes ‘beep’ when your food is done? I do not remember. (kill me now)

I even have to adjust my shower in Celsius folks. How hot do you want your shower? Somewhere between 20 and 30 degrees? Yeah, good luck. What that really means is: you must choose to burn or freeze.  Choose burn. Choose freeze. You may not choose warm. Sigh.

Well that wraps up this week. Enjoy your appliances, America. If your kids break everything you own, you can take some solace here.  I’m out.

Defrost the Freezer Rooney!

Yep, it is that time again.  That time for me to Defrost the Freezer and yell the three words Come On England!

(yes, we had the refrigerator, but that is so different, ahem)

I try and just let the rules of football come to me by watching. I only ask questions if i am so completely fluxomed that it will ruin the game for me if i don’t know. This is working out for me pretty well as I can now tell the ‘shape’ of the teams.

Football fans will see this as not a ‘shape’ but as 2-4, 2-2. 4-6….ok, i dont know… but i see SHAPES OK? I can see the maths of the game and i can see why it is called (get this Americans!) The Beautiful Game.

I am willing to bet, however that Colleen Rooney is not defrosting her freezer today. I’ll be willing to bet that every house-maid in the UK is getting the laundry either in or out this morning as we either have SUN or RAIN…well mostly rain…

Me? well i will be cleaning up one bird and two mice (THANKS CATS), looking after my poorly family. That means they are sick…uh…in the UK term and in the US? uh..lets just say I WILL HAVE a lot of things to clean. ahem.

Rooney……defrost your freezer. The Germans are coming.

The ‘Special Relationship’ explained (no sub-titles required)

So I have been asked recently to explain the weird thing that British people do, when they put down Americans. I think I can help make some sense of this.

All of the stereotypes! “yea! WOO! nice monocle dude! ” (sigh)

Your average american on the street loves ‘The English’ with extra loves. They cannot understand why this is not enthusiastically reciprocated. Allow me to shed some light on this.

America, to the Brits, is like a 13-year-old daughter. Annoying, pompous, silly, and so totally convinced that they are cooler than everyone. (yes, i know we are, but still…) I am not sure if Americans are aware of this but let me tell you a little secret…they think that…they blame us for…they feel that it is America’s  FAULT that they no longer have an empire.

Yes, you may say, but we DID win those 2 wars for them! Uh, yeah we did, but they seem to take offense at this, and we DID kinda make them give up the odd country or so…and pay us for the privilege of saving their dumb asses from Germany TWICE, but…DO NOT SAY ANY OF THE ABOVE TO ANYONE IN THE UK EVER.

Manboy would like to point out that he agrees with Al Murray, Britain is the undefeated WW champions, because if you are not in it from the start, you’re not in it at all. (what-ever)

Also, America likes to make fun of the ‘English’ whenever possible as well. No, we do. Let me give you an example from the ever-loving-hell that is the Disney Channel. Said about the one Brit kid in the ‘american-high-school-laugh-track-show’ : “Cricket? wicket? let’s tell him where to stick it!” Um…..

Also, isn’t it just great to have every villain ever be British? Yeah, we do that too.

So it isn’t fair to think that the Brits are all hating on the US. Americans do it right back. I think that it is best to think of the two countries like siblings. The UK is the sensible older brother, the US is the annoying little sister. We love each other, but we show it by punching and tickling and the-pulling-of-the-pigtails.

THAT is our special relationship.

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.