Friday, July 31, 2009

Grocery Shopping.

BEN AND JERRY'S IS ON SALE! I didn't get it the last time it went on sale, and I kicked myself. Actually, I've been kicking myself for the last two months. But today, walking through Sainsbury's, guess what I saw!
So then of course I could not decide on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Brownie Fudge Whatever, so I got the one that has both in the same tub. Excellent!

Also, in case you pass this in the potato chip isle, be aware, these are not tennis balls:

That's all I've got for right now. I finished logging all of Nid's TV, DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes, and cassette tapes. I've got nearly a dozen spreadsheets with them all alphabetized and categorized. I NEED A JOB! Just kidding. I mean, I do need a job, but this is something that is good to have done too. The under stairs closet is a functioning room now, with hooks for each of our coats, a bin for shoes, and you can actually walk into it instead of hope when you open the door things don't fall back out at you. It's been a very productive week, I do have to say.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

League Football.

Today was the Nid's first game with his new team, Leicester Bharat. They are part of the Leicester Sunday Football League.

We started the morning running late. I hit snooze, but it didn't. Nid's phone didn't go off at all. Luckily I had packed most of my bag last night, so I didn't have much to do this morning. It was just under a 20 minute walk to the location, but it turns out that that wasn't where they were playing. We got a ride with Barnsey, who it turns out Nid has known for years from the neighborhood.

I waited while the team got changed, and watched some old folks playing tennis. They were all decked out, with actual little white skirts and polo shirts! It was quite windy, and I was glad for my jacket. When they were ready, we walked out to our pitch, and there was a little, well, shed, for lack of a better term where I could sit on a bench and be protected from the wind, which was nice. It looked like rain the whole time, but it held off until after we got home.

So, here are my observances for this, my first in person football game...

Less than five minutes in, even I got my foot on the ball. Happened three times actually. It was like a magnet drawn to me!

There were three young people there, drinking beer and smoking pot. They were with the other team. I was the only spectator for our team. It was 10:30 in the morning! On a Sunday! Apparently that is not uncommon for the Sunday leagues. I think next time I'll take my iPod because it really took away from the game for me to have to listen to their crap. Every other word was a curse word, and a good deal of their animosity was directed at MY HUSBAND! How DARE they?!?! But it was also confusing to me, because as they complimented him on some things, insulted him for other things, and spent half the game yelling obscenities at their own team.

Nid worked his butt off during this game, and while he was disappointed that he let several goals in, I can testify that he didn't "let" anything in. The verb "let" implies lack of trying, and he tried really hard to stop those goals. The team was missing 6 regular players, and several of the lads were hungover. One claimed only to have gotten home three hours prior to the game. The coach chastised them for this, as well he should have. It costs time and money to play these games, and if someone is just going to blow it off, they should not be allowed to play. It was also the first time many of this group of guys have played together, so I think they did quite well.

Lets see, I saw two naked butts. One of the drinking/smoking boys dropped his pants to moon someone, and took his time pulling his pants back up. Later, there was a streaker across the field. Nid says this was the first time he's experienced that. He ran from next to my shed to midfield, then down to their team's goal, where he put his shorts back on. As he walked by me back to his area, he did say "sorry you had to see that" to me. At least he was a gentleman about it? I dunno... I also learned that men don't seem to mind groping themselves when amongst a large group of other men. I somehow had not learned that fact until today.

Well, that's about it for now, I think. Barnsey gave us a ride back home, we only had to walk a few minutes across the park and up the street, which was nice. We hadn't been home for 5 minutes when it started to rain. I think it's about time for a nap!

Such a shame, that this is how the youth of today prefers to spend their time:

Friday, July 24, 2009


I learned today that my dear friend Ashley had to put her dog Roxy to sleep on Friday. This is heart breaking news for me. She'd been battling cancer for the last few months, and finally it got the best of her.

Roxy was the sweetest, craziest dog I think I've ever known. I'd known her her whole life, and she was always a bundle of energy. She never grew into her legs, and when she stood on her hind feet, she was easily as tall as me. Whenever I went to visit Ashley, I was greeted at the door with lunges and kisses. I found it easiest to just sit on the floor and take the "abuse" for a few minutes. I often ended up with a bruise or two, but it was because of her love for company, so it was easy to excuse the pure brute strength she put into each and every greeting. She will be missed.

This is a picture I took of Roxy (left) and Chandler on October 7, 2007.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our week.

I've been bad and not posting. I apologize. I have been updating pictures on my picture site, though. That's something I guess. Anyway. Nid and I went to town yesterday. It was good to get out. We went to a museum, which had an actual fossil of a dinosaur that was found here in this county. That was cool. We also walked through Castle Gardens. We were going to go to the site of Leicester Castle, but it was gated off. It's a shame because I hear it's one heck of a mound of dirt. Yep, there is no castle anymore. If you click HERE you can see as close as we got to it. Just up that hill is the famous mound. Hopefully we'll get back there to see it at some point. We mostly walked around some places I hadn't been before. We spent some time wandering around Leicester Market and got a few things as the shops. Of course we had to have lunch at Burger King, which is always a nice little bit of America in the middle of Leicester. The weather was funny, though. It was lovely and cool, but it kept sprinkling. Every time it started to rain, Nid put his coat on. And within 30 seconds it stopped again. It was a really funny trend we had going there. Lets see... I can't think of anything else about yesterday right off. I took a bunch of pictures, and they are on my pictures site.

So, yesterday we got some DRAINO... well, in America we'd call it Draino. Here, they don't have drains. They have PLUGHOLES. This is what I got:

Is that not great? We were cleaning out the closet under the stairs today. I REALLY should've done a before and after of this project, but alas, I did not think of it till it was empty. Oh well. I found a cigarette box in the back and I thought I'd share the warning with everyone. I've seen this side at the store:

However, when I flipped it over, I saw this other label. I guess if the one doesn't work, maybe this one will?!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Photo Shoot and Good-byes.

The children came home from Nanna's (Nid's step-mom's) house yesterday. They'd been with her for a week. They came home with stories of a castle and shopping and visiting with their Grandad (Nid's dad) and Mo (Grandad's wife).

Today they left to go to their other grandparents (Grandma and Taid) house for the summer. But before they headed off, we took some family photos. It started out as a thank you for our friend Alicia, who sent us goodies last week, but it turned into just a fun morning. We'll definitely have to do it again sometime. The full photo album is at my photos site.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Seek the Peak fundraising page for Heather McManamay

Seek the Peak fundraising page for Heather McManamay

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Busy Few Days.

The last of the painting is done! I am glad to say that I finished the built in cabinet in the living room the other day. It's dry and photos are back on display. We got a compliment on those the other day. When Nid's step-mother came to pick up the children for a week with her, she said she'd never seen so many framed photos in the house. Ever. Two of them are thanks to her, or we'd have a sad little display.

I went to the library the other day and got some new books. I'd had a bad run with some books that were not worth finishing, so I thought I'd try some local interest books. I've only flipped through them so far, but they look like they have potential. If nothing else, I'll learn a little bit about the area I'm living in.

Yesterday we got a package in the mail from our friend Alicia in Wisconsin. She sent Nid a Cheesehead tshirt - can't wait to see him in it. There were lots of American sweets, some Dierks TV specials and Cds, Briony got some teen mags, Cale a CD, and I got grape jelly, Dayquil and Nyquil, and the cutest cow mug ever! We also got copies of the DB bumper stickers that Alicia and Nid designed and Alicia had made last week. We're sure to be the only folks in England with these! You can see some photos on my pictures site.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mattress Shopping.

This past week we went to two mattress stores that were within walking distance of the house. The first store had looked like a good one from the bus a few weeks ago. Lots of beds visible from the front window. However, when we got there, most of them were covered in plastic. So it was impossible to test them to see what they were like.
This is what that store looked like. The second store... wow. Well, it had lots of beds. And on the beds were mattresses (in plastic). But on top of the beds and mattresses were stacked other beds and mattresses. There were three that were propped up against the wall, representing the three different qualities that they had to offer. But the room was so crowded you couldn't have laid them down anywhere to try them out. So we were bust... UNTIL... !
Talk about a bed fit for a Princess!

That was right before the thunder and lightening storm.. Oh, don't forget the hail, which had us running through the street and taking shelter in a covered alleyway until it let up enough for us to get home. We were cold and SOAKED!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Yesterday I had more than one technical difficulty related to computers. I had my monitor problem, then my sister called and we tried to webcam, but ours wasn't working and then it crashed Skype. But FINALLY, last night (here) we both managed to get our cameras working at the same time. Really quite an accomplishment for us, as we have not had the best of luck in the regard.

I took this photo of my neice as she was getting ready to run off and play. She did talk to me a little bit. When Heather and I are on the phone, she has absolutely no interest in talking to me. But when she can see me, that holds her attention a little longer, so she will actually interact with me. Can't let her forget me! She has gotten so big already, and it has only been three months!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Computer Is Dying!

This past week, my laptop screen started showing weird colors. Whites were tinged with yellow at first. Then gray started to go. I Googled, but did not find much helpful that related directly to MY problem. Then for a few days it was fine. This morning, the whole screen is weird colors. I can see fine, but it's been really hard on my eyes. So I tested a regular monitor and it works fine. That means the good news is my computer is not getting ready to crash any minute. The bad news is that when the screen goes, it costs $250 plus $50 shipping to get a new one. The laptop is 8 years old now. I will not be repairing it at this point, and certainly cannot get a new one.

So this is what my setup currently looks like:

Of course, it completely prevents us from using the dining room table for EATING, but you know, you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cars. And The Generosity Of Others.

I have been told by people, that they can't imagine not having a car so that I can jump in and go wherever I want whenever I want. And I sometimes wish that I could. I left my car behind when I moved, and I do miss the luxury and the freedom it provides. What I do not miss however, are the costs associated with having a car. Now, I do cringe when we have to take a taxi or the bus, and I am handing over cash left and right. But with a car, even if you do not drive anywhere, you still pay for it. Taxes, insurance, maintenance. And then when you do drive it, there's parking and gas. It never ends really. We've just been offered a car. For free even! A Fiat Punto. It's not a car I've ever heard of, but it seems to be a fairly nice car. We are extremely grateful for the friends who offered it to us (thanks John and Amanda!), but there is so much to think about. We've talked about it again today, and realized that it has a manual transmission, which I can't drive. That in addition to not having any extra funds at the moment does pose a serious issue. But it would be nice. It's a hard decision. And maybe it will still be available in the future when we can manage it.

My First Trip To Town Alone.

Yesterday I went to town for an interview. I had a few things to get as well, so I got on the bus and everything went smoothly. I didn't get car sick, I got off in the correct place. I was really early, and based on the map I had, close to where I needed to be for the interview. So I got a few things on my shopping list. My bag was heavier than I had anticipated, but I was set. Until I got lost. When I googled the store next to the bus stop, it told me it was further up the street than it really was. So I headed off in the wrong direction from the start. Then I could not find any of the streets on the map the job place sent me so I could not orient myself. And it was HOT! I was pouring sweat, and I felt gross! I finally found a street on the map and followed it. But the map said it was one way with the business at the end. Except it was one way, but the map had the one way going the wrong way. So so did I. I had to back track. By the time I got there, I was limping due to blisters so bad that they actually bled. Pretty picture, I know. I go in to the reception and she says I am at the wrong place. The letter they sent me said I had to go to Gray Friars. Which is a street I walked up, I did not realize it was a place as well. So I explained that the letter came with a map and instructions, and they led to where I was standing. She called the other place and they said that was where I needed to be. So I walked back the way I came. And then, the map was wrong AGAIN because it said the building I needed was on one side of the road, but there was a building on the other side that looked like it was were I needed to be. So I hobbled in and asked the security guard who led me to the right place. I go in, and ask if there is a restroom because I'd been lost and walking for nearly an hour. No, she says. So I sit, and thankfully I've got tissues with me so I could at least blot, if not cool off. And the place is not air conditioned I was just miserable.

The interview went okay I guess. I did not feel good coming out of it. They kept prompting me, was there anything else I would do in that circumstance and I just did not know. But I answered truthfully and did the best I could. I left there, and the guard that gave me directions was nice "are you American?" he says. At least he didn't say "are you Canadian?" I get that more often than not. I followed his directions, and then I detoured to go get a triple whopper for Nid as a surprise. He loves Burger King. I did that and then went looking for another store. But I couldn't find it. So I made my way back to the bus. On the way, though, I passed a cheap store that had tons of oscillating floor fans! The place I went first in my day had sold out of them yesterday within 10 minutes of opening, and I just didn't know who else sold them, so I was quite excited by this find. It was a pain carrying that big box along with my purse and the other shopping bags I had overflowing. I made it back to the bus, and had to tell the driver four times where I was going, to the point I was worried I'd said the wrong place, but finally he repeated back to me what I had been saying, and so I was set. The bus drops off pretty close to the house, but by the time I got home I was too tired to even get my keys out, so I just banged on the door and stumbled in. I was sooo hot and tired. I put the fan together and got straight in the tub with lots of cool water. I hate humidity soo much. And something about the weather here makes all my shoes fit different, so every pair I have hurts or gives me blisters, which they did not do in the States. Even my old sneakers do. It's very bizarre and quite frustrating.

So, that was my day yesterday. Today I woke up to my phone ringing. It was the lady from the interview. I passed the written test and the interview, and came in second, I guess is the best way to put it. One other person did better in the interview, but I did okay. My shortcomings they feel were based on my being new to the country, and thus not completely having the answers they were looking for to certain questions. They will keep my application on hold, and if there is an opening in the next six months, they will offer the position to me. I will not have to test or do the interview again. They were quite nice there, and the office seemed like a nice place to work, so I guess we'll see. I just put my application in for another job at the University, but it's open until July 22nd, so I won't hear anything from them for ages if ever.