30 December 2011

I forgot to mention...

...I recently got photo bombed by a manta ray.

Out with the Christmas, in with the New Year

Like most bloggers, I've decided to take the holidays off from blogging.  This of course hasn't stopped me from checking into my blog daily and cursing the Christmas wallpaper every day since we put the paper hats away.  So here's a bullshit post about nothing in particular.   No, I'll give you a couple Christmas pictures.  There isn't much to tell about Christmas itself.  It came, it went.  I ate (and ate and ate), watched 'Christmas telly', opened a couple 'prezzies', avoided brussel sprouts like the plague and polished off a half bottle of Jamesons.   You know, it was your typical English Christmas.

Henry's very first Christmas present.  Like most babies, he was more intrigued by the ribbons then the present itself.

The tree over at my mother-in-law's.

 A little nap before dinner.

I'm a bad mother as I made Henry eat all the things I refused to, like turnips and sprouts.

One could hardly contain the excitement that evening.

I had my paper hat so I was pleased.  I'm easily amused though.

I was disappointed to know that the ball pit was for Henry and not me.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and hope you have a New Year's that would shame your mother**.
**BTW, here is a formal apology to all those that I drunk texted on Boxing Day.  There were a few of you apparently.

18 December 2011

7 more days to get your Christmas Dachshund!

So you might have guessed from my last non-post that I’ve been a bit ill this week. That basically means I haven’t done anything but moan, blow my nose and make tea for 5 days. We even had to call in reinforcements by the way of my mother in law to watch after the Henbot as moaning, blowing my nose and making tea is apparently exhausting. As the Brits say, I’m on the mend now so I thought I would clobber together some sort of update for you.

The biggest news of the week is that Andy got me a tumble dryer for Christmas. Well, technically he convinced the landlord to put one in and he made this request almost 6 months ago but it’s here now and it’s Christmas time and dammit, it’s the best damn present a girl with a love of laundry could ask for. The complainy side of me could mention that this tumble dryer takes up quite a bit of the dining room and that it takes about 2 ½ hours to dry a single load but I’m going to tell my complainy side to fuck right off as I snuggle my face into a soft warm bath towel. After a bit of a discussion on dryer running costs, Andy and I agreed that the dryer will only be used for the big stuff that takes 3-5 days to air dry (jeans, sweatshirts, fuzzy bath towels, etc) as the radiators work fine for the little stuff like socks and Henry’s clothes (which surprisingly is what I mainly wash). I’m a bit embarrassed to say that yesterday, after running my first dryer load, that I failed to sort the clothes. Having not used a dryer in almost a year I completely forgot to check if there were any sweaters or woolen socks. From what I can tell I didn’t do too much damage but if Andy suddenly thinks his feet went through a growth spurt then oops.

I'm inviting people around to hug my new tumble dryer.  Let me know if you want to come.

The lesser news of the week is that Christmas has finally arrived in our household. We ordered a tree off of Amazon – fake of course, you know, to protect the environment (ha! I’m not the best at remembering to water real ones) – and some lights. There was some fuck up with the first string of lights I ordered so I had to order another set which took fucking forever to get here. The new lights finally arrived this week so the tree finally went up – a mere week before it becomes redundant. To make this blog post longer and because I know how much you like pretty pictures, here’s some:

I love the smell of green plastic.  It's just so Christmassy.

These next two are proof that I lived in California too long:

 Ride'em Santa!

Nothing says Christmas like coconuts as big as your head.

And finally, the Christmas Dachshund. If you do not have a Christmas Dachshund on your tree then you are not properly celebrating Christmas. Of course, if you are Jewish you wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas, but I think a Hanukkah Dachshund would be fine if you would like to participate. I don’t know where you’d pick one up though – maybe Amazon, they have everything.

Because I know you are curious, I wanted to give you a Christmas card update. As it stands today, we have received 4 cards. One from my mom, one from my mother in law, one from the fabulous Almost American who pointedly did not sign the card with any X’s, and one from Yorkshire Tea. Yes, Yorkshire Tea. We don’t actually drink Yorkshire Tea (it’s a PG Tips household) but I once signed up for a free sample and now they send me shit all the time. Not actual shit, just tea samples, which depending on your opinion could be shit. Anyways, they sent me a card and I hung it up on principle.

So that’s all I have for you this week. I’ll be in the kitchen this upcoming week making cookies and breads and a monster trifle to show my love to my in laws by making them fat. It’s the American way.

15 December 2011

08 December 2011


So I finally mailed out my last Christmas card yesterday. I know, I know, compared to years past I’m incredibly late this year. It doesn’t help that most of my cards were heading to the States so that by the time they arrive to their destination it will be Easter. My mother, who is very conscious of postal happenings, sent her Christmas card to us early so that it ended up arriving December 1. The arrival of my mother’s card got me all sorts of Christmas card giddy and I promptly went to Tesco to purchase a Christmas card display unit (fits up to 30 cards using a Velcro system!). Over a week later, my pathetic Christmas card display unit still only holds my mother’s card. It makes me sad looking at that card now – it practically wilts with broken dreams and thoughts of people who I thought loved us who obviously don’t.

In case you thought I was lying.

I inherited my mother’s penchant for guilt by the way.

Anyhow, this week as I was filling out all the Christmas cards to Andy’s family I was very conscious of the fact that I still refuse to ‘X’ my greeting - which brings us to yet another Britishism…the ‘X’.

When I was a kid, I learned that ‘O’ meant ‘hug’ and ‘X’ meant ‘kiss’. I also learned that S.W.A.K. meant ‘sealed with a kiss’ but that is so tremendously lame there is no wonder that any high school boyfriend who used such frivolities was not long for Dating Moe. When I was a kid, I used ‘O’ and ‘X’ greetings very sparingly. Truthfully, the only time I ever used ‘O’ and ‘X’ was filling out cheap Target Valentine’s Day cards to my class of 13 (well, 12 if you exclude me). I might have used ‘O’ to hug a friend (hi Beth!) and if I was feeling particularly daring, I might sign my name with an ‘X’ to a boy I liked. Honestly, I don’t think I was ever that daring. Basically, ‘X’ was off limits – until you had firmly secured a guy as a boyfriend. But then, ‘X’ away. I think I might still have a high school love letter where half a page of college ruled paper is filled with X’s.

With this understanding, you will know why I was a bit shocked when I received my first Christmas card from my first British friend and he had signed his name with an ‘X’. How cheeky! I wasn’t even romantically involved with this guy and he’s sending me kisses in the mail?! Wow!

This is the point where I inform my American readers who might not know, the British sign their name with an ‘X’ for EVERYTHING. Well, I suppose not in a business setting as that would be weird. “Hi Glen, Can you fax over those financial reports by the end of the day? x Steve.” I still didn’t know the extent of this ‘X’ phenomenon until I received not one but TWO texts from women in my playgroup who both signed their names with X’s. Honest to god, my first thought was, “Why do these women want to kiss me? They know I’m not gay, right?”

I obviously figured it out. I think it finally hit home when Andy’s mum asked him to sign some card thing to his male cousin in Australia and she chastised him for not signing his name with the ‘X’.

Now that I’m fully aware that all these random British people have no desire to grab me for a quick make out session in the wardrobe (I’d say ‘closet’ but there is no such thing here) I’m a bit more relax….no, no, it still fucking freaks me out. I know there no logic behind me being weird about it, it’s just there. Kind of like people who are afraid of birds because a goose nipped their finger once when they were three. To me, ‘X’ will always “I want to make out” and not “here’s a friendly kiss on your cheek, we’re practically French.”

Seriously, I don't think anyone really enjoys this practice.

Which brings me back to filling out Christmas cards to Andy’s relatives. Like I said, I refuse to sign my name with an ‘X’ but I was left with paranoia that Andy’s relatives will open their Christmas cards and think, “What an icy bitch! Look Nora, there’s no ‘X’. Where’s the love? Bloody Puritan colonist!” On reflection, this is probably why my Tesco Christmas card display is so empty. Damn you X!

Our Christmas Family Photo

On a side note to that one high school boyfriend (you know who you are); I know you were thinking you were being all sexy signing your card with an ‘X X X’ but really, all I thought was, “why is he sending me some moonshine?”

 Not that I'd mind...

01 December 2011


So, yes. Hello. It’s Thursday. It’s December. How the hell did that happen? As with any prolonged absence to this space, I’m trying to think of the best way to sum up the last couple of weeks without boring you (and myself) half to death. We started recycling – that’s an odd place to start, but there you go. Andy recently nicked one of the famous Liverpool blue recycle bins from the bin farm outside our gate (I’m completely convinced it was our bin to begin with but Andy was all paranoid giddy like a 5 year old that just pocketed his first Snickers from the gas station) and we’ve started putting things that are blue bin approved in it. Badgers strangely are not blue bin approved…they go in the green “nature shit” bin. Of the many countless things that I am completely uncouth about, add “I’m not a big fan of recycling” to the list. Well, I don’t think it’s a bad idea. Go Recycling! I’m just one of those lazy assholes that usually can’t be bothered. But now I have to be bothered because Andy yells at me anytime he finds a soda can in the regular trash and with the same amount of angry annoyance that he yells at me when I forget to turn off the switch to the cell phone cord thing when my phone is done charging.

So, yes! There have been quite a few things going on recently and starting from the beginning of it all was Andy’s 41st birthday. I can tell you that Andy turned 41 because he’s a guy and according to him, he doesn’t care about that shit (shit being “growing older and greyer and grumpier and no longer should be wearing skinny jeans”). Andy and I got the whole evening off and we spent it like we used to spend entire evenings off, which is to say that we went drinking. If you are friends with us on Facebook, you will have received all the numerous updates throughout the evening – unless of course you have blocked our updates and if that is the case, shame on you – including all our pub ‘check-ins’ and worry about being shot from a sniper sitting on top of the Echo Arena. If you are only friends with one of us on Facebook then I’m sure whose ever updates you were getting was like listening to one half of a conversation and you have probably blocked us – probably for the best really. If you are not friends with either of us on Facebook, then I can present you with this tidbit of the evening….this is Andy being so emotional about all the Facebook ‘Happy Birthdays’ he was getting that he could barely drink his vodka coke. Trust me, when you are half in the bag, this picture is HILARIOUS and must be shared with the world.

At Barcelona Bar of course.  We live here during our childless hours.

It is very possible that all my “friends” on Facebook have blocked my posts.

When we finally recovered from the haze of our hangover (I’m so out of practice from binge drinking that this actually took me two days) we had to begin cleaning. I might have mentioned awhile back that our house wasn’t going to be properly cleaned again until my sister came into town. Well, she came into town....and she brought along with her Dave, her originally from Liverpool boyfriend.

Maggie: "I hope the house is fucking clean.  I want to eat my Thanksgiving dinner on the toilet seat."

Seeing my sister again was pretty much awesome all around. She’s one of those types of people who love kids – all kids of all ages – and I pretty much had an unpaid but very willing nanny for the 3 days she was here. She changed one of Henry’s big shit bomb diapers! You seriously have to love kids to be willing to do that. I only do it because I haven’t managed to train the cat to do it for me yet. I suspect she’s just playing dumb. The cat that is, not my sister.

She played on the swings with him...

She fed him...

...they became BFFs

Thanksgiving also happened while my sister was in town. Even though my sister and I were both suffering from PMS, we managed to pull off a pretty successful UK Thanksgiving without any crescent roll tragedies. It was also quite interesting to celebrate Thanksgiving with two turkey day virgins (that being my mother and sister-in-law). I was a bit amused when my sister-in-law texted me earlier in the week to ask about protocol. Did she need to bring gifts? I happily informed her that Thanksgiving was simply about eating until you burst, drinking until you can’t drive home and watching some American football. I actually couldn’t believe that both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law sat through an entire 3 hour Packer vs. Lions game on a shitty internet stream without so much as a whiff of a complaint. They also contributed to the typical family “talking about poop, or pooping” story telling that seems to surround most our holidays.

Enjoy the food now folks...the talk of poop comes later.

Maggie (direct quote): I suppose that probably looks bad, huh?

The last night my sister, Maggie, was in town we surrendered the Henbot to his nan for yet another overnight stay and went out drinking on the town again. It was a good time but not Facebook update worthy, even though I balanced a bunch of glasses on my head.

Dave likes me.  Maybe.  Probably not.  People with half beards are hard to read.

Stopping at the chippy that made Maggie sick.  Yay chippy!

I don't know why we are all bending over.  Insert your own joke here.

I've got serious talents.

Alas, three days after Maggie arrived, she left. I was sad, Andy was sad, and the Henbot practically wept. Henry formed a serious aunt crush on Maggie and it took days for him to realize that nobody was going to coo at him anytime he farted. Having Maggie around was great, though it made me realize how much I miss home at times. It also seriously made me wish I had a part time nanny.

On a side note, I’d like to mention that I’ve started a new blog. The new blog is about Henry and being a parent and all that shit that I try to keep off of here. Basically, it’s not for everybody, but it’s there if you’re interested. I’ve only a few posts up at present but it should be updated as regularly as this one.