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.

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.

OK, England, you are super silly now. I humbly offer my help.

I have been home long enough to complain now. You have issues, England. I am going to help you through this difficult time.

I have written about UK weather here, here and also here, but what I have not done, is explain the basics. I shall do so now.

*deep everlasting sigh*

OK..so there is this thing called winter. In the northern hemisphere it gets cold from November through March. Occasionally, in the winter, water falls from the sky. If it is cold enough, this water might freeze on, or above the ground. This is called Ice and Snow.  It happens. Every year. In the winter. If you are from the UK, please go back and read that again because I am SURE that you don’t get this.

I understand that snow and ice in the UK is a ‘rare’ thing. In the south of the USA, snow is also rare. I understand if you are surprised and possibly stranded. This is totally fair. What is NOT fair is for the third biggest airport in the world to be closed because of a snowflake. Heathrow airport is huge and it is the only way into London, never-mind the rest of Great Britain. It is now closed .Because of a snowflake. FAIL

The BBC helpfully reported that they have 500 people on snow removal. Five HUNDRED people. Five hundred people were not enough to remove a snowflake from the main airport in the worlds best City. For shame.

(it is a wonder that JFK, La Guardia and O’Hare even operate at all. gheesh.)

*Epic sigh*

I had to walk into a store last week and return some horse burgers. Yep, you read that sentence correctly. Apparently, buying 8 hamburgers for one pound means that you have no idea what is in said ‘burgers’. As an American, I was expecting worms, lips and assholes, just like what we get in the USA in our delicious bologna and hot-dogs. NOPE. What we got was almost 30% horse. Horses. Neigh, I am not down with that. Do I look like I am French or something?

The honest reason that I had to return the horse burgers? It was not from a place of honor or of morality. Nope. It was because Manboy said..”I know you. You could keep them and feed them to the kids. But then you would get silly and be all GUESS WHAT YOU JUST ATE! BWAHAHAHA and that would be bad and then you would be sad about it and the kids would cry. Return them. ”

So yeah. Please, England, keep it to lips and assholes of animals that I normally eat.

So just to recap; snow happens, horses shouldn’t.

I love you England, stay classy.

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.

.

Why Can’t They Shut Up? The Stream-of-Conciousness Summer

I was lied to. I was told that children do not develop an ‘internal dialogue’ until six or seven. You should expect non-stop-sharing of every passing thought until they grow up a bit. I did that. I listened to every thought that they have ever had for almost nine years.

My ears are tired.

My oldest, Little Stormbringer, never stops talking to me. I am sure she does sometimes, like when she is sleeping, but it seems like she has been talking to me for past four weeks non-stop.

I have begged. I often bribe them. ‘Anyone who can stop talking to me for 5 minutes will get a treat at the shop!’ I have bought craft stuff and toys. I have rented movies. I have got new games. I have taken them to parks. Yet…They NEVER STOP TALKING TO ME!

MOM! Mum! Mummy! Knock knock! MUM! blah blah……

Seriously? I spend most of my time trying to get people to leave me alone. I have never needed non-stop attention. My oldest just wants to feed off of my very life-force every got’damn minute that she is awake.

As I said in this post:

“She needs to possess my soul, squeeze out it’s meaty juices and devour them with her never-satiated heart-hole. It’s excruciating.”

My mother used to spend an hour every night playing with me. And then she would read me a book at bedtime. The rest of the time I fucked-the-fuck-off and played with toys and shit.

The thing is, my kids almost never have anything interesting to say. None of it matters. It is all just made of crazy. The greeting that I got this morning, before coffee happened, was: ‘Do baby owls like muffins?’ OMFG. I only have like 7 brain cells left. You are taxing my wee head. It is now late afternoon. I have completely lost my shit. I gave Little Stormbringer to Manboy and said ‘she is yours for an hour.’ and to the blabbermouth; ‘this is your grown-up for the next hour. Do not come near me.’

This kid is nine years old on Monday. She should be able to… I dunno…do something for half an hour without talking to me??? No?

I have never loved anything as much as I love her, but the sound of her voice is making me come unglued. This precious hour is going to be great. I am willing to bet that Manboy will be a mess at the end of it though. BLAH BLAH BLAH question question question. LORD, that child is tie’some! Deliver me!

I know hope that I am not the only one. Do you have any strategies that work, or are you as brain-sad as me? Comment as loud as you want. I can take it.

Do you have gravy on your boobs? I am glad I live in the UK instead of the US

I know that I sometimes have a hard time adjusting to life in my new country, but it is a really super place to live. This week I have been hearing stories about how my fellow parents in the USA are getting ready for school by buying tones of specific supplies and trying to get new clothes for the fall. I do not have any of that to deal with. Here is my back-to-school shopping list:

1) pencils (optional)

2) school uniform

That is it.

Read it and weep Americans!

I must get to the gravy bit. This is only for women of a certain size. Size of boob or of body.

I need to know: Can You Eat And Not Get The Food On Your Boobs Or In Your Bra?

I mentioned in one of my earlier laundry posts that My shirts are considered clean if they do not have gravy on them. I mean this. I am unable to eat food and only hit my mouth with it. Almost every meal that I have, some of it will end up on my shirt, on one or the other boob, or IN MY ACTUAL BRA.

I found a baked bean in my bra last week. This was a refreshing treat from the crumbs. A family of ducks could feed from my bra-crumbs some days. WHY? What is wrong with me?

So hot.

Tell me that I am not alone!

In America, all I would get to do is argue. No matter what side I was on. I find this tiresome. Also, Boris Johnson is hot.

In America I would be dying of heat, but buying snow boots for the 3 feet of snow A DAY that was coming. Here? It is almost always Just Fine. 65 degrees damn-near-year-round Baby! Suck it Michigan!

In America I would be worried about my daughter who needs medicine. I do not care what you think. I get great care here in socialized-nazi-care-land.

Please tell me what you are thankful for in your country. And for the love-of-all-that-is holy…

Tell me if you  have gravy on your boobs!

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)

My Snail Tried To Run Away, I Am That Embarrassing

I did not think this was a funny story until I told it to someone and they tried to choke to death. I do not think my life is funny, but enjoy the tragedy. Ahem.

So the other day…wait, you will have to understand who Sir Humphrey is and why he is called that. It is important. You can click those links now, or, conversely, wait until you are confused and then come back and click them. Up to you. Not Judging.

So my snail tried to run away. I have a pampered Giant African Land Snail and he tried to go on an adventure. Or something. Manboy had one of our good friends over ‘of an evening’ and I wanted to show Sir Humphry off. “My gosh, have I showed you how BIG he is these days?” I go and get the cage and...no snail.

Now, I do not keep a lid upon my snail because he is an emancipated snail and everything, and he never tries to get out. He just has his cucumber and his fruit and his drinks, and maybe a wee dram of beer on holidays…he has no reason or desire to go anywhere else. He never has. Until he did. And then PANIC. I realize that he is named after the “Sir Humphrey, master of obfuscation and manipulation”, but still.

OMG MANBOY MY SNAIL! (I think i squeed) IS IT IN THERE? WHERE is Sir Humphrey? I was totally calm. I started looking behind all of the furniture. Where does a snail go when it goes? I had no idea. I saw something behind the chest where the  water snails live.

MANBOY!

what?

IS THAT A DOUGH-NUT OR A SNAIL?

I… I am not sure. It could be a doughnut.

WELL I NEED TO KNOW. MY BABY IS MISSING.

OK, well…if you can just move this table…

DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING! MY SNAIL! 

I think maybe if I just look over here…gently….

YOU DIDN’T FUCKING EAT IT DID YOU?

Wha? no hunny. Just let me have a look…

I SWEAR YOU ARE GOING TO FIND MY SNAIL

Yes bunny, could you please have a seat?  \_

It was at this point that I realized that we had guests and that I was still acting as Hostess. And then I gave up. “would you care for another coffee?” just didn’t seem like the thing to say.

So when the furniture was lifted up, Our Guest announced: I see a doughnut and a snail! Huzza!

Huzza indeed. I am now the proud owner of a runaway snail, and the kind of house-keeper that does not know if there are doughnuts behind her furniture. Beautiful.

Please go give some loves to our singers of the high seas, Tricorn Shonkey! Woooo! Tell them that the snail sent you. I hear they give discounts for that sort of thing. (really, not really, but totally maybe.)