25 April 2012

The Queen is into bondage?! What?!

So last week I left the house a few times and it wasn’t just to go to playgroup or the damn grocery store. I went into town! Twice!

For reference sake, “town” is downtown Liverpool. I’ve come to realize that the word ‘downtown’ is completely American. If you are to go downtown here, you’re either going to ‘town’ or to ‘city centre’. This confused me to no end at first since I always call the little shopping center\street close to our home as ‘town’ and Liverpool proper as ‘downtown’. I’ve been informed many times (thanks Andy) that what I consider ‘town’ is actually called the ‘high street’. While I’ve managed to adjust my phrasing to have ‘town’ mean downtown, I can’t get the hang of ‘high street’. I always just say I’m going to the shops at the end of the road. Confused yet? Welcome to my world.

So yes! I went to town (twice!). Strangely enough, I went into town (twice!) for the same damn reason both times. This past weekend, the Sea Odyssey came to Liverpool. I actually first heard about the gigantic puppets from reading Whoopee, who has a great post on the event (which was a different story technically, but they used the same girl puppet) and which I think you should read. I think you should read it because my efforts to see gigantic puppets ran amok and you should have the satisfaction of reading about giant puppets by someone who actually managed to see them.

The first day I tried to see the giant puppets, I took Henry with me. It was jam packed in town and our timing was off and by the time we should have been able to see giant puppets (on the move, which is the important bit), Henry started screaming for his supper. This was as close as I got to one of the giant puppets before I had to run (literally, which I don’t do normally since running sucks) 9 blocks (uphill) to find a bus to take us back:

Do you see him there?  Just - right - yeah, right there.  He's sleeping.   BOoO-ring.

The day wasn’t a complete bust though as I managed to capture a photo of this wonderful piece of British consumerism. Seriously, who knew the Queen was into bondage? You know, if you are a high profile head of state, it’s always a good idea to keep your kinks patriotic.

Well, HELLO Queeny.

The very next day we tried again. This time we dropped Henry off at his nan’s so that there was no way that his dinner plans interrupted our (mine, really) pursuits to see giant fuck off puppets. Sadly, we (I) failed to check the times when the puppets were on the move so by the time we managed to get to town, the puppets were already on a boat sailing away. Damn puppets!

Me: Is that them?  Andy: I don't know.  Me: Do you know now?  How about now?

It was as exciting as this picture makes it looks, which is, like, not at all.  Damn puppets.

But this little girl was excited...and sad.  She just waved good-bye over and over again.

Feeling quite defeated, we headed to the first pub we stumbled upon and had ourselves a pint. Quite by chance, we ended up sitting next to a table where a nice British couple was hosting an American guest. Feeling somewhat brave, I thought to myself, “right, I’ll wait until a good break in their conversation and then I’m going to introduce myself – using my first name!” Being polite and all, I sipped my pint and eavesdropped into their conversation waiting for my chance. By the time I was half way through my pint, I found that this American man was from Nebraska originally, but was now living in Texas. He also thought Barcelona was awesome and the cruise ship that he used to get there was fantastic. And lastly, he really enjoyed going hunting. I finished my pint, looked at Andy and said, “Let’s go.”

 All was not lost though.  Liverpool's finest were giving free non-helmeted motorcycle rides to all the kids.  Always entertaining!

19 April 2012


So, when you have a kid it is proper parent responsibility to teach that kid to say ‘thank you’.  It occurred to me while at playgroup this week that almost every single parent was teaching their kid to say, ‘ta’.   ‘Ta’, of course, is ‘thank you’ abbreviated – something the Brits just love to do.   I’ve asked Andy about this on a few occasions (most likely when someone has said ‘arvo’ instead of ‘afternoon’ or when Andy’s sister refers to him as ‘And’) and he explains it as why bothering to say the whole word if a portion of it will suffice?  Actually, I can’t remember the exact reason he gave me – probably because he was saying it in a boasting manner and I tend to tune him out when he starts puffing out the feathers (as it were) – but it was along those lines.

After a year of being in England, I think I have a fair chunk of the lingo down pat.  There are still things that throw me off and things that still make me giggle, but on the whole I’m used to it and as many of my friends back home can attest, a lot of the lingo has slipped into my own vocabulary.   But really, what fun is a blog post of someone getting used to something?  I decided last week to start taking photos of things that still make me laugh living here.  I don’t have as much as I’d like, but that’s only because I chickened out at Tesco after one photo when a Tesco employee caught me taking a shot of the hot dog selection.   I’ll try to be braver next time.

 Here's the one shitty shot I captured at Tesco before getting all 12-year old girly, "Oh, I don't think I should be doing this...oooh."

I would like to mention that I did spend a good 15 minutes (much to the disgust of Henry) reading the ingredients of these different types of hot dogs.  It appears that all of them are made with some bit of pork but more often than not, it's chicken that makes up 60% of the dog.  There wasn't a single brand that had beef in it, which is a shame since the All Beef Oscar Meyer dogs are the ones I really really like.   I did end up buying the 'Bockwurst' style ones...the ones for 99p (not pictured)... and while I didn't care for them all that much, Henry thought they were the dog's bollocks (ha!)

The next picture is something I've been looking at for a long time since it's up in Henry's playroom.   This product is made in the EU (not China) so I'm thinking that whatever country this was made in, they must have had one single English speaking person on staff who could come up with a better description for this box than 'nice'.  It's basically saying, "well, it's OK I guess...it's 'nice'...I've seen better though."

I got this next one as kind of a gag gift for my sister, Maggie.   They were selling these at Tesco and I did a sort of half laugh thinking of someone wearing the Union Jack on their head while they showered.   With the Queen's Jubilee coming up soon and the Olympics being held in London this year, there really is no shortage of Union Jack trinkets you can get right now.

It actually wasn't until I flipped it over and read the back that I had a full on laugh and decided to send one to Maggie post-haste.

Some people call them 'sprinkles', some people call them 'jimmies'.  Here, they are simply 'strands'.

If there is a word that the Brits love as much as Americans love the word 'awesome', then that word is 'gorgeous'.   There is rarely a day that passes that I don't hear 'gorgeous' uttered from someone.   My son is gorgeous.  Those sausage rolls are gorgeous.  The top that Imogen was wearing last Tuesday was gorgeous.   The Lake District is gorgeous.   That terraced house is gorgeous.   Sometimes, even the value is gorgeous.

OK, to find the humor in this next one, you have to read the signs from Right to Left.   Andy stated that it would be even better if someone added a 'life' before 'changing' in the left hand sign.  If I ever remember my marker pen when I go to the Children's Center, I just might have to do some graffiti. 

09 April 2012

Sometime after the Quavers but before the Wotsits

So apparently, even with a supportive boost from the likes of Vegemite Wife, nobody else but myself tears up at the Sainbury’s commercial with the dad that steps up to the plate and shows his son an awesome day. Perhaps I am a Nancy (with a capital ‘N’ no less) after all. I did give this a bit of thought of WHY exactly that advert makes me tear up. Sadly, and this might actually put me in a worse light than just being a Nancy (with a capital ‘N’). I think that instead of seeing just a set of scenes with a dad that steps up to the plate and shows his son an awesome day, my mind immediately views it as a past tense sort of thing where the dad is dead from a tragic car accident and the son is reliving this awesome day that he had with his dad before his dad started drinking and hanging around hookers and kicking puppies and dying in a tragic car accident because his dad was drunk, getting a blow job from the hooker while driving and thinking about the next puppy he was going to kick. That fucking bastard! Thankfully the son can think back on that awesome day where they just cooked beer brats (the start of the dad’s drinking habit I’m sure!) and watched television (probably a porno) while their useless mom was out working at the Korean sweatshop for 56p an hour.

Seriously though, I can’t watch 'the Notebook’ without crying. Sometimes I purposefully watch 'the Notebook’ to cry. And I’m not talking a gentle tear down my cheek either; I’m talking the kind of sobs that give you a headache. I’m not proud of this, but I’m not about to hide it either. Perhaps I’m permanently on my period. I’m sure I have many ex-boyfriends who will claim that is true.

"Are you crying again?  Seriously?  You are such a NANCY."

ANYHOW, it is the last day of the Easter holiday weekend. Unlike the United States who go around claiming they are all Christian and all, the UK actually gives their peoples Good Friday and Easter Monday (it’s a real thing apparently) two proper days off where the good citizens of the United Kingdom can stay home from work and pray…or eat gigantic chocolate eggs…or panic shop on Saturday because the grocery stores will closed on Sunday…or sit around in your pajamas for 4 days drinking cheap vodka wondering if the “Crucifixion” on BBC1 is a new horror film by M. Night Shyamalan - your personal religious choice really.

Oh sure, we don’t get the 4th of July off but this year the summer bank holiday (basically Memorial Day) is joined up with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee! And extra day off of work just because some old biddy with the Great Crown of Rule isn’t dead yet! Hurray! (This would probably be more exciting if I actually worked in an office…but still)

Not dead yet.

While we didn’t do fuck-all for the Easter holiday break beside throw Henry a birthday party (which was fun but not for mentioning on this blog), we are trying to get away for the summer bank holiday\Queen Jubilee (if I was Queen, I’d have a public holiday every time I had a lovely bowel movement)(that’s how the Queen talks)(probably). If nothing else pans out we still hope to make to the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling event because really, a whole day centered around people injuring themselves for a gigantic wheel of cheese…awesome.

These men are after a wheel of cheese.  You know what?  I totally respect them for that.

I hope you all had a lovely Easter, whether you got a couple days off or not, and stuffed yourself with gigantic or tiny little chocolate eggs. I personally am working my way through all the crisps we got in the grocery delivery today and wondering if I should have a piece of leftover birthday cake…it’s my personal religious choice after all.

03 April 2012

It's about freakin' time.

The true symbol of Easter, the Easter Badger.

I expect the lot of you to send me one by Sunday.  Or just you, Andy, because you know where I live.

02 April 2012

Apparently this is about UK adverts...

So there's this commercial by Sainbury's (one of the bigger grocery chains in the UK) that's been playing this year. I love this commercial but hate it at the same time as it makes me cry EVERY SINGLE TIME (in that good way). I'm assuming this is because giving birth by proxy turns you into a complete emotional nancy.

Here, take a look and see if you can maintain stoic:

Now, if you are grabbing the tissues or have just wiped the snot on your sleeve, here's another advert that is stupid but that I've always found humorous. It might be the Scottish accent, I don't know.

Well, I wasn't planning on making a blog post about UK adverts but since that's what this is quickly coming into (as I think of more that amuse me), here's one of Andy's favorites:

This only makes the list as monkeys putting their feet in duck slippers is awesome.

For all the little Henry's out there:

You know, I like to claim that I never watch commercials since getting a DVR but it appears that isn't completely true. Anybody got any favorites out there that I've missed?

I'd like to note for the record that since I was out of the blogging loop for 2-3 weeks, it's apparently taking a while to "get back on that horse" so to speak. I'll find my voice (and hopefully my humor) again soon. I've got a box of inflatable chickens coming in next Thursday so that's bound to liven things up.