Archive for March, 2008

We are having the perfect Sunday. We have High School Musical on so K is very content. T is playing on the floor with is cars and trains with S. All is quiet. All is peaceful. This is what its all about.


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Someone, somewhere, once said that their house brought them bad luck. I may have laughed it off a bit. I am not so sure now. I think we live in a bad luck house. I do believe in fung shui. At least the basics of it. Cluttered house brings clutter into your life. If you feel yucky in the house then your life can feel yucky. I have been thinking of this as our tiny little house gets more and more cluttered and bad luck seems to keep coming our way. No amount of positive thinking, getting excited about the future seems to help. Heck, even our front door opens on to a Door! How is good fortune supposed to get in?  The way our British Semi-detached is built you wouldn’t know where the front door is. If you stood outside and looked you would think it was one huge house and the neighbors door is the front. Ours is along side the house, looks like a side entrance. Not very inviting. Especially as the cars are parked in a line up the front door. So you step out into that.

We need to get our house up to snuff and get it on the market. The British home market is slowing down. Not a grinding halt yet, but a slowdown for sure. We have a mountain of yard work ahead of us. Two years of not being able to get out there. A good year of not giving a crap didn’t help  either. I just hope we have a nice Spring because if its like last year we are doomed.

There will be two of us at least selling in our little corner of the cul-de-sac. Our neighbors across the way are moving to New Zeland about the same time we want to move to the States. It will be a bit of a competition. Nervous about all this. Their front door opens to a hallway, not another door.

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What a way to start the day. I hadn’t even had a cup of coffee and Tesco delivered our groceries. What bliss. No crowed store for me. No having to fight crowds. No having to deal with stupid cashiers who take forever just to get you checked out. Nope. This is what I love. Yesterday, I put my order together. Pick a time slot. Today they show up with groceries in hand. What more can a person ask for? This is modern living the way it should be. I just hope this is an option in the states when we move back. At least there they will unload your cart, bag your groceries and take it to your car, then load it in your car. You dont even have to put the cart away and claim back your £ coin. Much harder to complain about shopping when you get that kind of service.

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Goodbye. I can’t say you will be missed, but your help has been more appreciated then you could ever know. Today was the day we said goodbye to my sons playpen. Yes, he was good for staying in it for so long. Over this last week he became aware that he could throw his leg over the side and just climb out. He could of done that a long time ago, but he didn’t know it.  So, I took it down, put it out back. Ready for the tip. Its pretty used. It is duct taped where T chewed the plastic sides. Two years of playing, standing, safety, and his one and only naughty spot.

I just have no idea what I will do for a naughty punishment. Our livingroom is to small for a spot away from the action. The stairs are in the middle. I think he will have to be facing a wall. I just don’t know how well that will go over.

I also worry now about leaving him alone whist I do something up stairs. This house is to small to be perfectly child proof. We have to the best of our abilities. The only way I would be satisfied with it being childproof is to have it just be a padded cell. No danger. Not practical.

So goodbye our friend. Life will never be the same without you.

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I have just started my 8th load of the day. I have been at it since I got up and found that T had wet through his nappy. So bedding was added to the list.

I think that if I was to list the reasons for wanting to move back to the states laundry would be close to the top of the list. Doing laundry in the UK is a nightmare. Each load takes forever. Quick, on our machine, is a least an hour and a half. I have only forgotten to hit the quick button once. Once was enough. 3 hours for one load. Geez, how dirty do they think we are to need to wash our clothes for 3 hours? In any given week I have one basket of towels. You know the size basket. The one you carry the stuff down from upstairs. This one basket must be done in two loads. One load is to much for the machine. Needless to say that I will put off washing something if I can at all help it.

The other thing that I cant stand is that the typical British house has the washing machine in the kitchen. What a nightmare. Most British households do not own a dryer either. We didn’t until I demanded one when we where expecting. The average British house has a line full of clothes hanging in the back garden. No matter what the weather. Clothes flapping in a hurricane. This last week I got up and looked out the back window and could see my neighbors clothes line. It was full of clothes. It was all of 40f outside , if that. The wind was howling. We had downpours of rain, hail, rain. A bit of sun. I still don’t get it. The clothes would be wet through again. I guess its better then the alternative. A house with wet clothes drying in every room. Every radiator has stuff hanging on them. Maidens in every room. No wonder there is mould in the houses here.

Like I said, we have a dryer. It sits next to the fridge that is made to fit under the counter, but we don’t have it under the counter. To use the dryer I have to pull it out and put the hose out the cat flap. This means that my kitchen is pretty much a no go zone on laundry day. There is no room. It makes me feel crazy at times.

So, now that I have done as much laundry as I will do for one day, more then most people probably do for lack of space to dry. I am spent. We have clean towels, clothes, bedding and all the blankets we huddle under in the livingroom are all clean. They all smell fresh. I am just looking forward to having a laundry room. A space out of the way to do how ever much I want. A machine big enough to do a proper load. But most important is Downey. How I miss the smell of Downey.

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I have been catching myself lately saying the one British phrase that drives me crazy. I have been ending a sentence with a question. ” They went to the store, didn’t they” ” I was up late, wasn’t I” “He is playing out side, isn’t he”. Even as it comes out of my mouth I cringe. Finishing a sentence like this, as well as the British answer to a statement “oh right” bugs me beyond belief. When did this start to become second nature to me? I also have times when I hear myself saying something the British way… Been. Not ben, the American sound, but Beeeeeeen, the British way. Bri-ish is another one. Even as it comes out of my mouth I am surprised to hear it. I guess after 5 years of being completely immersed into British culture and life some of it has worn off on me.

There are times when the British way makes life so much easier. I am terrible at remembering names. So “My Darling”, “My Love”, “Duck”, “Chuck” comes in very handy. Hello my Love, how are you? Makes my life so much easier and no one realizes that I haven’t a clue as to their name. I had a boss in the states who would of hated this. She would tolerate no endearments. She felt it would lower you in the eyes of the business world, but I don’t think so. Seems to me that it puts people at ease. Best not to call Alan Sugar My Darling, but the buyer at the end of the phone line likes it.

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What an afternoon we had. As it is Easter Friday in the UK , its a holiday. So we went to Matalan to get a few things, mainly a sleep outfit for K for her Easter pressie. She is to big for an egg really. I do feel bad for the kids in the UK for only getting a generic egg. They will never know the joy of getting up on Easter morning to find a large basket filled to the brim with goodies hand delivered from the Easter Bunny. The also don’t get the joy of an Easter egg hunt to find those eggs that they spent all the time coloring. The things I remember from my childhood in the US are so foreign to my husband who grew up here in the UK. He didn’t even have a BBQ in his childhood on Easter. (poor soul)

So after Matalan we went to Tesco. What a bleeding nightmare. The place was a madhouse. Chaos. The shelves where half empty. We couldn’t find all the veg we wanted. What a nightmare. The topper of it was checking out.  The geezer behind the till couldn’t of been any slower. I honestly do not know how a living being could move as slow as he did.  S and I just looked at each other in disbelief. It must of took a good 15 mins just to get through it all. S was snoring at one point. I truly believe that they teach them this at cashier school in the UK. To go as slow as possible. It is a theme that runs here. Lack of customer service still befuddles me.

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