Tuesday, June 30, 2009

US 2-3 Brazil In The Confederation Cup June 28, 2009

By Phil Dawkes on BBC Sport

Brazil denied the United States a shock victory by coming back from two goals down to win the Confederations Cup.

A Clint Dempsey flick and a Landon Donovan strike on the counter put the US into a surprise 2-0 half-time lead.

Luis Fabiano pulled one back for Brazil before Kaka was denied an equalizer when his header was wrongly judged not to have crossed the line.

Luis Fabiano's headed second leveled matters before, five minutes from time, Lucio nodded in a corner to win it.

After upsetting the odds so spectacularly with their 2-0 semi-final victory over Spain, the US almost tore up the script again, against opponents who had beaten them 3-0 in the group stage of the competition.

Predictably, favourites Brazil had the lion's share of possession, but the incisive football was played by the American underdogs throughout the first half.

Indeed, with their first attack the US scored.

Jonathan Spector launched a cross from deep at Dempsey, whose swinging volley made the faintest of touches to direct the ball past Julio Cesar.

Even at such an early stage, it was clear that Brazil were waiting for one of their leading lights to create something from nothing as opposed to taking collective responsibility.

Three times their star-turn Kaka created chances for others, firstly Robinho, then Felipe Melo and finally Maicon, but each time American goalkeeper Tim Howard was equal to the final shot.

After 25 minutes, Brazil were made to pay for their profligacy as the USA launched a superb counter-attack which resulted in a superb second goal.

Donovan found Charlie Davies on the left wing, whose incisive return pass found Donovan in space and bearing down on goal but still with plenty to do.

The striker's touch took him away from the covering Ramires and his next touch was a perfectly placed side-foot shot past Cesar.

With seconds remaining in the half Brazil almost clawed back what would have been a barely merited goal when Maicon got round the back of the American defense, but his cross was deflected away from the lurking Fabiano by Carlos Bocanegra.

Barely a minute into the second half, the dynamic of the game changed as Felipe Melo fed Luis Fabiano, who swiveled sharply and shot past Howard.

With the momentum now in their favor, Brazil attacked with regularity and were mistakenly denied parity on the hour as Kaka's far post header from an Andre Santos cross was pushed clear by Howard, but replays showed that the ball had crossed the line.

Luis Fabiano had a chance to equalize when he was played in on goal by substitute Elano - and played onside by Oguchi Onyewu - but Howard was quick off his line to smother the ball before the striker could shoot.

With 15 minutes to go Luis Fabiano did pull his side level.

Kaka drove in from the left and crossed for Robinho whose shot hit the underside of the bar but bounced nicely for Luis Fabiano who made no mistake in nodding the ball past the diving Howard.

With Brazil now in the ascendancy, the US were unable to hold out, and five minutes from time the turnaround was complete.

Elano's outswinging corner was met by the unmarked Lucio and his powerful header struck the inside of Howard's right-hand post on its way in to break American hearts.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Pictures Website.

Now has video. I added a video compilation from Wicksteed Park and a short clip of Dharmesh and Reena's reception hall.

Dharmesh & Reena's Wedding : June 27, 2009

Well, technically we didn't make it to the wedding. Due to some unforeseen circumstances at home, we did not want to be gone most of the day, so we missed the Jaan Prayan and Hasta Melap in the morning. I talked to friends that went, and they were there from about 10:30am until about 2:45pm, and the wedding would've continued on until around 5. The reception was set to start at 7:30, and that's when our taxi picked us up. It wasn't terribly far from the house, but a little bit too far to walk in high heels.

When we got their our friends were already there, and the guys went off to get drinks, so us girls sat around and talked. They told me about the wedding, and we talked about my interview I have coming up. I feel a bit better about that having talked to them. When the guys came back, Nid and I had to go sit at our assigned table, which was adjacent to theirs. Our table only had six of us, I guess six people did not show up... . Next to me was Dharmesh and Reena's neighbor, and next to Nid were other friends of Dharmesh. We chatted a bit and the people next to Nid moved to another table where their friends were, so it was just the four of us. I got a bit of grief about not being able to eat the spicy food, but it was good natured, and the woman admitted it was quite hot to her as well. There were some peanuts and papadums and pooris which were all quite nice and BLAND as well as some plain white rice. They brought each platter of food out separately and we could take what we wanted. Since there were only the four of us at that point, some of our friends came and sat and ate a bit as well. Their table was a little short on food.

Right before the food came the beautiful couple came in. They cut the cake and danced and then there were some performers, two young girls dancing, and then someone playing a sitar, which really was not my cup of tea. Then the loud music started. It was... loud. If it wasn't so loud, I don't think it would've been so bad, but I had to yell to Nid sitting right next to me. Plus, none of it was in English, so I didn't even know what the songs were about. So anyway, there was a bar upstairs, but downstairs there was wine and sodas and water on the tables, and you could go get liquor from a table in the back. I had a little bit of several things, and it was quite a nice evening. Except for the heat. It was sooo hot in that room. Everyone was "glistening" and fanning themselves and blotting their foreheads. But it's always good to know it's not just you!

We left around 11:30... exactly when the first song in English came on... Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. Really?! Okay, so maybe it's something they do, end the night with American pop music... but then the DJ went on the say something about will be missed, rest in peace, something or other. You know what, 20 years ago I'd have been sad too. Now I just don't care. So we said goodbye, took a few photos, and headed downstairs. We finally got some fresh air as we waited for the taxi to come pick us up.
Full photo album can be found here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

USA Soccer Team Headed To The Confederations Cup.

The United States caused one of the biggest upsets in world football by beating European champions Spain in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

The US team had already done well, winning 3-0 against Egypt on Sunday the 21st. This was an upset, and because Brazil beat Italy 3-0 in their match, the US was sent forward to the Semi-Finals where they won yesterday, 2-0 against Spain.

The news here in the United Kingdom is not about how great the US team did, but what went wrong for Spain. The defeat ended Spain's world record of 15 straight wins and their 35-match unbeaten run. This is a great day for American Soccer.

Additional information about the Confederations Cup can be found here. It is of course, not expected that the US will beat Brazil on Sunday, June 28th, but it was not expected that they get this far either, so we will just have to see.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Tuesday the 23rd of June, our friends Matt and Jacqui picked us up in their car for a trip to IKEA! The closest is in Nottingham (of Sherwood Forrest fame) about 40 miles away. We got there just in time for dinner and went to the restaurant for meatballs, which came with gravy and cranberry sauce and fries (shoestring, not chips!) and was amazing! I could eat them a few times I week, I tell ya!

Anyway, I'd been studying the catalog for months now, planning what I wanted to get if we ever got there. We walked the "yellow brick road" around all the departments, and we got everything we wanted. It was such a good night. Nid and I both got bedside tables, and matching bedside lamps (he had one, but I didn't). I got a shelving unit for my closet, which had been just one shelf, and out of control stacked so high with clothes, now they can be separated into categories. We got Cale a dresser, because when we moved the extra computer out of our bedroom into his, we put it in his wardrobe, leaving nowhere for his clothes. I got a clothes drying rack, because I'm on a mission not to use the drier unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. So far, I'm saving anywhere from £7-£10 per week by not using it and using the line outside, but it's not always possible to do that... What else? Oh, Nid got a new 5 quart casserole dish with lid, which he's been talking about FOREVER! I think that was it... Nope... I also got a laptop pad thing for my lap, so I can use my computer and mouse in bed or on the sofa. Usually it's set up on the dining table, but that's not always where I want to use it. So this was a good option.

We got home about 9:30 and I immediately set to putting stuff together. I did the bed tables and lamps, and left the dresser for the next day. Inevitably some of the screw things didn't want to go in, and I got a strain in my thumb from the wrench I used to put it together. But other than that, there are only happy memories. I told Nid that it was certainly a power shopping trip. That back home, it's a several hour drive to Ikea, and mom and I would spend 3+ hours there, looking at every last thing! And of course, buying stuff that we didn't necessarily need. I saw lots of stuff like that this time, but didn't have the ability to get those things this go around.

Anyhow, that's my exciting news of the week. I did get a top and skirt on Monday, which I had to hem the shirt on because it was too long. But it's a good outfit, and I'll be able to mix and match the pieces and wear it to nice outings as well as work. A good buy. Then Wednesday I got a light weight jacket (I'd only brought my winter coat with me) which will work as a work coat, a dress coat, and a cool day coat. Now if only the temps would drop below 75 so I could try it out!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BBQ with Footy Friends and WAGS

Saturday (June 20th) Nid and I went to a BBQ with his football team Shall We Dance, and the WAGS (wives and girlfriends). We were picked up just before noon by Utpal and Sejal. They took us to Jayesh and Mini's house, where we waited for Seema and Mitul and Kav to arrive. Once they got there, we headed to Wicksteed Park in Kettering, just under an hours drive from Leicester. It's an amusement park, but it also has lots of open space for camping and cookouts, which is what we were there for. It was also cool because Nid lived in Kettering once and so he pointed out places that he knew when he lived there as we drove by.

Thanks to a very well organized supply list, we had an amazing lunch! We had paneer kebabs, lamb kebabs, chicken kebabs, onion bhajis, lamb and vegetarian samosas, chips and dips, sausages, salad, naan, and potato salad. A lot of it was too spicy for me, but they did bring some non spicy chicken for me. That was so incredibly thoughtful! For dessert we had both a strawberry and a mango cheesecake. We had taken three, so after Sunday dinner today, we get to have the blackcurrant one! And of course there was plenty of beer, soda, water, and whiskey.

The afternoon looked like we might have rain, but it held off, and there was a nice breeze, making football, cricket, and rounders games possible. There was some drama during the games, including Utpal rugby tackling his own wife! I had blisters on my heels due to some new shoes, so I didn't play the running games, but I did go up to bat once during cricket. Having only seen a brief clip on YouTube for each game, it was quite an experience to watch :) At around 6, we packed up and headed back to Jayesh and Mini's house. Food was re-heated, and more food was cooked. Nid had some spicy fish so hot his face changed color and stayed that way. More beverages were indulged on. At 11, we had to head out. That is our curfew when the children are at home. I was getting really tired about then as well. A day in the sun, good food and company, quite a few beers, and then white wine. I was ready for bed! When we got home, we put the food away, quickly glanced at the photos we had taken, then headed to bed. It was an amazing day!

Full photo album of the day will is located at my Picture's In England website

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Tuesday (June 16th) Nid and I went into town. It was the first time in over a month, and it felt really good to get out and about. My main goal of the day was to find something to wear to a wedding at the end of the month. That didn't happen. But we had a good time going in the shops and walking around. The weather was fantastic! I got a new handbag at Leicester Market as the purse and backpack I had brought with me were leaving me a bit unsatisfied. I have added a few things to my Pictures In England site, but a few needed addressing as well.

Look at this word. Think about it. How would you pronounce this word. Even knowing it wasn't in the U.S. you'd think that there are only so many ways you COULD pronounce this street. Well, would one of those ways be BEAVER? I certainly did not think that it would be.

So of course when I saw these two men playing music in front of this store, my first question was... "Well, how do pronounce THAT word?" BEAVER of course. Of course of course!

One more bit of comical British signage:
It's a relief to know they don't sell the non-intoxicating liquors there.

That evening we got a ride to Tesco. We order our groceries online from there every week, but I had not yet been in a store. This one was HUGE. The size of a Walmart back home, but two stories. We got there just after 7pm. I tried on some stuff, and had a few things I liked and wanted Nid's opinion on. Of course, then they announce they are closing. At 8pm. On a Tuesday. All the stores here close really early. Most between 5:30 and 6pm, earlier on Sundays. It's crazy and ridiculous. I felt bad that our ride went out of his way and upset that I didn't get to get anything. Friday we are going to go to another Tesco to see what they have. We still have to figure out which bus that is. Better get cracking.

Wednesday we went to Asda. I did not find anything. For a store with dozens of dresses online, you would think they would have more than three dresses in store. They didn't! We did get more socks for Nid, though. They are great socks. Color coordinated. Makes my life soooo much easier. My socks don't look like anyone else's, but the kids socks? I make them sort them after washing because I have no idea. And now with Nid's color coordinated ones, they don't get mixed up in the pile. And it is a pile! I wear seven pair of socks a week if I actually wear socks on each day. Today, it had been five days since I did laundry last. And there were 22 pairs socks for the three of them. That's 44 socks. 35 of them belonged to the children. And I didn't even wash MY laundry. Anyway, thankfully we've had another day of good weather, so I had them on line to dry.

Anyway, back to Asda... I have finally found chocolate covered peanuts! Actually, I had given up, but Nid kept looking and found them for me. And they were on sale. Of course, they are only at the store that is a 2.10 bus trip. Each way. But that gives me hope :)

On the ride home, two guys got on with a pit bull. Let me draw you a picture. He was drinking beer out of an open beer can. His dog was not neutered. Turns out he's a back yard breeder. Lives in a two bedroom flat with his wife, FIVE children, and a pair of breeding dogs. The female just had eight pups the day before, and the last litter she had she had 14. This dog was the father of both litters, and he was only 10 months old. He was tiny, too, compared to our American Staffordshire Terriers. About the size of a four to five month old pup that I'd be use to. But thankfully, he was a GOOD dog! Very friendly. He was licking and trying to get in my lap. He sat next to me for most of the ride, while his owner was a few seats up.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Too Good To Be True...

So, Windows Live Writer. What I spent a good portion of yesterday learning how to use... totally hacked my computer and was making my life miserable. It decided to install some Child Safety program which would not let me check my email or go to certain websites. Even after I changed the settings to not block anything, and then deleted the online account. It disabled the program, but it still worked, so I uninstalled. Twice. Four re-boots later, I still have a weird file folder opening on start up, with no explanation, but I am finally at least allowed to check my own email. Sheesh, what a disappointment! Guess it's back to the basics for me. Lesson learned. Should have learned it years ago. When something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Oh well.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Windows Live Writer.

This post has been edited (17th of June) to move photos to new site.

This is the new program with which I have spent the majority of my day playing with. So I decided to play around with some photos that I took the other day on the way to the doctor’s office.

This is one of my all time favorite signs. There is just so much going on here… Give Way: This reminds me of the Way Out signs that they have instead of Exit signs. Every time I read one I think Way Out, Far Out, Dude… Anyway, apparently Give Way reminds me of Way Out and I just laugh. Then there are the Round-A-Bouts. This country loves them. Who needs stoplights when you can just let people fight it out in a circle?! And of course, the classic Speed Humps. Nuff said.

This car obviously did not know how to read the signs. Or know which side of the road to drive on. Also, she apparently did not know not to drive on the sidewalk. What’s up with that?!


Blog Layout.

Some of you may have noticed that there have been some changes to my blog in the last few days. I've been trying out some new things, some which have made it better, and some which were just crap. It has been keeping me quite busy, which is good for me personally. :)

****edited**** to say that I have just discovered a brand new blog creation device, which will allow me to put maps up, as well as do more with my photos. I have been working on my test post for about 3 hours now, but it finally uploaded!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I almost forgot to talk about the weather today. It was 75F at noon, and we packed a picnic lunch and went to the park. It was sooo nice! There was a gentle breeze, and it was sunny. I am really enjoying this weather. I've been putting the washing out on the clothes line instead of running the dryer. We get sun to the back patio almost all day, which really helps, and the buildings keep down the breeze mostly, so things don't fall off the line. Anyway. I'm being such a homemaker lately, I just wanted to share!

My Second Cooking Venture.

So, today was the second, and more healthy of my two meals I know how to cook. It went over just as well as the first one with the children. I think I may expand my menu to cover some side dishes. But I have to look some stuff up first. And there are other recipes that I know and love, but I just can't get a hold of the ingredients here on this side of the pond. It's so frustrating! It's the 21st Century people, why does do you not have refrigerated Pillsbury Crescent Rolls? I mean REALLY people, what's up with that!!! Anyway. That's all for now!