Monday, January 23, 2006

January 23, 2006 - Monday

Today I rode the 17 bus into town to go to the bank. Our 3 year old Kathryn and I rode on the top level of the double decker bus. The sister missionaries from our church came on the bus and we chatted a bit.

There's a large population of African immigrants in England and on the way back I heard some people conversing in the language that uses clicks. I've read about it and heard it on TV, but there they were, using this very foreign language. It was really fascinating.

I saw a hairstyling shop with a black-faced statue/manequin (sp?) sort of thing outside. Not politically correct! It reminded me of the toothpaste I bought in Thailand called Darkie Toothpaste and right there on the tube was a totally stereotypical picture of a black person--big red lips, the whole thing. Wierd.

Oh, there's also a butcher shop I'm dying to go to that has a statue/manequin (sp??) in front of a butcher in his apron and hat--I can't remember the name of the hat--straw with flat top, round rim, ribbon around the circumfrance of the crown. It was like a butcher version of Bob's Big Boy like on Austin Powers, only taller, leaner, and with a bloody apron and a straw hat.

There are a lot of Muslim grocery stores advertising Halal (?) meat and there are other ethnics stores.

I feel like I'm in the land of the little things...little houses, little cars, little trees, little roads. Even the street signs only go up to my waist.

We passed by a restaurant/inn place that had "EST. 1457" on the outside. Holy cow. And we Americans think things from the 1700s are old!

The Grand and Glorious British Adventure continues!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Confession

The other day when I should have been cleaning or sorting or folding something, I sat down and watched British TV for two hours. I caught a soap called "Neighbours" where a plane crash had left a devistated neighborhood of worried neighbors wondering if their neighbors (get the connection with the title?) had gone down in the horrible crash. And at the end, there were these young men who were deciding whether to let themselves be counted dead so they could escape some unnamed (at least on this episode) bad deeds they had done or let themselves be rescued and then it flashed to the neighbors crying for them, and well...you can see how psychologically damaging such a show could potentially be.

Then, I watched the news where a woman sat on what looked like a very modern living room couch and read the news. Then the camera would pan back and she would be chatting with other people on another space-aged looking couch who would talk about the weather and things.

On a side note, on a different day they did a news story about my favorite pet peeve--gum on the sidewalks. Everyone in city government is apparently up in arms over this "sticky" problem (their joke, not mine) because it costs 7 p for each blob of gum they remove. Lots of pounds spent removing yucky gum. I say ban gum. Sure, why not. I'm not familiar with any of the brands they sell, so no skin off my nose, right?

Parking spaces are at such a premium that there are information signs as you drive into town letting you know the status of The Oracle (big, big mall in the middle of town) parking garage (and that's GAR-age to you, you poor uneducated Americans). Like letting you know it's already full at 2 in the afternoon, like you really care because you didn't want to go shopping it their stupid old mall anyway.

Children are a good thing to have. I'm glad I have some now. Really glad. Really happy with that. Kids surprise you and when they like you, it's like God himself smiling upon you. I get greeted every morning by a little three-year-old coming upstairs and snuggling up next to me under the covers giggling and happy, wanting hugs and kisses. (Which I, of course, provide in great numbers.) How is anything better than that?? (Well, snuggling with her dad is pretty dang cool, too.)

Anyway, enough random thoughts for today. Hugs all around!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

P.S.

I'm supposed to be cleaning or updating my to-do list right now, but I need to write down a few things just to remind myself.

Those are really big beams.
Those are really big waves.
Those are really big trees.
Oh look! It's a bakery!
Chocolates and movies.
Yes, please. We do need to drive all the way to Fort Bragg for Fuller's Dill Blend for my mother.
SeaRanch Branch.

And, how useless was it to have a convertible during one of the rainiest periods of time in No Cal on record? But it still felt really good to say, "We have a convertible" and smile at each other.

January...um...17??, 2006

I am truly amazed that women get done what they get done. I feel like the hours pass so quickly that I get nothing done. I realize it's only day 2 of the Great and Grand England Adventure (well, day 2 of the "real" part of it) but I am already standing in awe of the women I know who juggle children, home and for some, careers and get it all done. If I had known the reality behind the facade, I would have been a little more sober about taking this all on. I guess this is one of those things that you can't know until you've experienced it.

I am really enjoying this, though. I love hanging out with our youngest, Kathryn for a few hours until I walk her to nursery every day. I'm enjoying getting to know the kids. I count it as a personal victory every time our oldest son Stephen smiles or laughs at something I say because it doesn't happen all that often...yet.

On a side note, the walk to and from school three times a day (one way up a fairly steep hill) totally exempts me from any other form of organized exercise. Just wanted you to know.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I'm here!

My first day in my new adopted homeland and...WHAT IS UP WITH THE SPITTING OUT OF GUM AND SPREADING IT ALL OVER THE SIDEWALK?? Public roads and sidewalks are splashed with gray and white flattened blotches of gum. Holy cow, people! Spit it into some paper! Spit it into a waste receptical! (oh, sorry...rubbish bin) Have some pride! Give the jaw a rest, will you??

Oh, and on a side note...it was fabulous getting here, very sad and emotional to say good bye to my family, but really great to see the kids again. We're unpacking my boxes and suitcases and I am comforted to see some of my familiar things emerge. I am happy to be here and am totally enjoying the kids. It's my first day. It's bound to feel great the first day, right?

Went "food shopping", not grocery. Waitrose. Great place. Great food. Fun shopping married and with kids.

Tomorrow is the wedding reception here and I'm going to try to squeeze my recently enlarged hips (via honeymoon eating) into this really cool dress my friend found for me. Yikes. I'll start gossip in the ward about pregnancy just because the dress will be stretched across my abdomen. Not a pretty site. It will all work out.

It's 2 am. Evidently the jet lag thing has kicked in because I'm wired and up and really should go to bed. We have a new bed. I like it.

I'll post again soon and read everyone's posts, too. Love to all. Even the people who don't know me. That's how I feel. Feel the love. Spread the love. Get the love. Love it, baby.