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Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

There is nothing more adorable to me then to see the kids heading off from school in their school uniforms. Especially the young kids. The uniforms look like something out of a movie or a childhood book. In the summer the girls are in a checked dress, boys in a shirt and trousers or occasionally short pants. Every person in Britain who has gone to school here has worn their uniform. Even my own 3 yr old son has a nursery school uniform. A little polo top with the school logo embroidered on it. They said that it was so that he gets used to a uniform and so none of the kids feel left out. Oh, and its so they don’t get their regular clothes dirty. He got one. I can buy more at £7-50 a piece… seven bleedin pound and 50p for a shirt to get dirty? I can get him a shirt at ASDA for as little as 75p.  Its a good thing that this ” uniform” isn’t mandatory. It will be when he is off to normal school. This is the first drawback on the uniform. The true uniform is expensive.

I have observed that the uniform sets up a mentality here in the UK. Its supposed to keep the kids from knowing who has more money. Its supposed to keep them on a level playing field. It doesn’t. They know. They know whose blazer is  second hand. They know who has the real uniform and who has a uniform from ASDA or Matilan. The teens all do their bit to keep some from of individuality one way or another. This is nothing compared to how we dressed in the states in high school. Jeans, T-shirts, and Birkenstocks. We wore what we wanted. We wore what was comfortable. Its no wonder I feel uncomfortable in a uniform.

This uniform mentality is set in them for life here in the UK. It sets them up for the working world. This is so true. Me, personally, I actually cringe at uniforms on adults in the work force. I only even had a uniform when I worked in fast food as a young adult. I hated it. Yes, offices had a dress code. Some more casual then others, but I never had a uniform outside of fast food. Here the uniform is in pretty much every workplace. The doctors surgery have a uniform, the nursery school teachers wear a uniform, pretty much every business that has a lot of women working there will have a uniform in place. I even had gone into a recruitment agency here. I noticed all the women had the same thing on: Black trouser or skirt, white blouse, black jacket. So I asked one of them if they had a uniform to wear and she said no, but they did. The mentality has become so ingrained they didn’t realize it. Without having to wear a uniform they wore one. I was the only one in the room in a suit that wasn’t black. This is a real difference in mindset for me to adjust to. The uniform. Everyone has their place. Everyone in their station in life. It does go against my American mindset of being who I am. Dressing for success doesn’t go hand in hand with a uniform in my mind. Ah well, when in Rome as they say.  I still think the kids look adorable in them.

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Now that we no longer have a cat we have taken to throwing stale bread and the crusts that my son wont eat to the birds in the back garden.  I have really enjoyed watching them have a nice winter meal of bread and sometimes a bit of Nutella on it. I have fallen in love with a little back bird with a white face. She struts around the garden, sometimes walking right past the bread, looking very sweet.

Sometimes the garden is full to the brim with these birds. I can see them sitting in the trees outside waiting. As soon as I throw out the bread they swarm like a shot. They must really be hungry. dscn2077

I was very upset the other morning to look out and see that there was a pile of feathers. Some horrid cat must of been lying in wait. There was nothing left of the poor bird. Feathers and bread. I feared it was my favorite little black bird. For about 4 days not a single bird landed in the garden. No birds in the trees either. Finally today they started coming back. I was relieved to see that the little black bird was amongst them.

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My nearly 3 yr old son is car mad.  For Christmas he got a bunch of the Characters from Cars, his favorite movie. He was so excited. Played all day.

So it came time for bed. We went through the nightly routine. We head upstairs for bed and I notice he has his hand on his tummy. No matter what he keeps his hand on his tummy. Hmmm. So I go in for a feel, it doesn’t feel like tummy. 😉  Cheeky little monkey was trying to sneak Lightning McQueen into bed with him. This is a first.  “You cant take a car to bed” I tell him. He has a look on his face like he is in trouble, hands the car to me. I then burst out laughing. He is so funny, and so car mad.

His new thing is to lay on his back under his tricycle like a mechanic fixing a car. He uses a laundry clip as a spanner. He will spend a half hour fixing his car… uh bike this way.

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Its Christmas eve here in the UK. Time, once again, to remind me just how bloody small the fridges are here. The fridge in the UK is about a quarter of the size of the fridges in the states. This is because A) people used to just shop daily for what they needed and B) They don’t have room in the kitchen for anything larger then a dishwasher for a fridge.

Our fridge/freezer combo is so small. The freezer has 3 tiny drawers that you heave, shoving and pushing as much stuff as you can. The fridge, well think of your dishwasher. Thats the size. Wait, scratch that. If anything is at the back of our fridge it freezes so subtract some space for that.

So here it is, Christmas eve. I have bought stuff to make salads, stuffing, meat. Christmas meals. But we don’t have room. So I am left feeling frustrated. Again.

They have come out with “American style” fridges. Most are still smaller then what I had in my condo in the states, and it wasn’t the biggest fridge going.  One day, we will have a huge fridge. Either here or in the states, we will have a big ass fridge with so much room that I never, ever have to worry about the mayo freezing because it got pushed to the back again.

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I have to admit that most of my adult life I have hated Christmas. It always felt like the world was rubbing my nose in the fact that I was single. I didn’t get married until I was I was 35, so I spent many years watching everyone else have “family fun” or telling me that I should be the one to work on Christmas eve  because they have family events and I don’t. So Christmas was never fun. It always felt to expensive. A bit depressing. In my entire adult life I only ever put up one tree, until I move to England.

Now my son is close to 3 and he has discovered Mimiss, that’s Christmas to the rest of us. He loves the Mimiss lights. He loves the Mimiss cards on the wall. He loves the Mimiss tree. The tree that I put whilst he was in nursery as fast as I could so he wouldn’t be into the ornaments. The tree that I threatened to take down if he so much touched, and he hasn’t touched it. He loves the tree. Wait until Christmas morning when he discovers presents. 🙂  Last year he just looked at us like we where crazy to destroy unwrap presents. He didn’t like it at all.

Okay, I get it now. I understand why everyone goes crazy over Christmas. To see it through your child’s eyes makes it fun.

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My heart goes out to those in Mumbai.

I just can not shake the hurt in my heart for the people who where caught up in that horrible terrorist attack in Mumbai. It has brought back that feeling I had after 9/11. That sadness that the world just sucks. I will never understand just how warped someone needs to be to think that killing people is right. It boggles the mind. So my heart and my prayers go out to Mumbai and all the people who have had this touch them. My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who where killed. My heart goes out to the children who so quickly lost their innocence. India, you are in my thoughts.

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I stayed up until 5:30am this morning. I just couldn’t sleep. I had to know. It was killing me. I paced most of the day. At 4 :02am GMT the announcement came in. Obama has one. Thank God. I burst into tears. I don’t think I have ever been so proud of my country.

It felt like we where standing at a fork in the road. One was the low road. The same direction that McCains campaign went.   Negative. Fearful. Hateful. Angry. Embarrassing. The whole show was so dirty. So low. So disgusting. It makes a person feel they need a shower. The other road was the high road. The road that was about cooperation. Positive outlook. Dignity. Pride. I am so proud that my country chose to take the high road. The last 8 yrs have been such a low. Its mind blowing anyone would want to stay on that low road to no where.

I cant really put into words what I feel. All I can say is Yep, we did it. As Maya Angelou said so wonderfully, America has grown up. I believe her. The future feels bright. I am very happy and more then a little tired.

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