26 May 2012

More Liverpool fashion for Beth...

I wish my camera could have caught how *shiny* both these outfits were.    I suppose at the end of the day though, if I had the figure these girls had I wouldn't give a toss what I threw on top of it either.

24 May 2012


So after suffering through the wet and cold weather of April and May, it has finally turned nice again. Like, I can wear shorts and hang said shorts on the wash line outside after I’ve spent the day sweating through them. I would have washed the shorts in that scenario for clarification sake. So yes! The weather has been fantastic and knowing this is England and good weather never sticks around for long in England, I’ve been trying my best to take advantage of it. It isn’t quite the weekend yet so I’m pretty much left to my own devices in regards to what I want to do (read: what I think Henry will enjoy and\or will tolerate) and in the fact that I have to use my own legs and public transport to get around.

Like many people who have lain dormant for the better part of 7 months under wooly sweaters and electric blankets (just saying ‘wooly sweaters’ is making my forehead perspire, it’s that warm right now), the minute the sun starts shining my bare “Oh my god, has she been using Colgate White Strips on her legs?” gams come out and my brain turns to mush. I don’t have much more to say about my legs save the fact that polar bears see them and think its still winter. It’s the brain thing that matters. When you are transporting around a small child to an unknown place, it’s best to know as much as you can about the place you are going to as well as how the fuck to get there. While I am fully aware of that fact, my brain is full of sunshine and looking up train schedules and bus lines and bathroom facilities at certain destinations doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.

Yesterday I got it in my head to take Henry to a farm. There are a few urban farms in the Liverpool area but after doing some research on navigating my way to them, they seemed a bit far…like walking far, not distance to my house far. Basically, if Google tells me I’m going to be walking for more than 20 minutes in that single direction, I know that it will actually be 35 minutes (I walk slow and I have a kid who’s nose always needs wiping) not to mention that it’s hot and Henry will get crabby sitting in his stroller for that long, blah blah blah. I didn’t bother. I did however find some internet listing for this small farm down in Halewood which would only include a 9 minute (read: 15 minute) walk from where the train would drop us off. Yay.

To make a long story still a bit long, I walked all the way to our local train station only to find out that the train wouldn’t be leaving for another 45 minutes. So I decided to take the bus whose stop was on the other side of my town from where I was. I get to the bus stop, see a bus, and yell at it to stop for me only to finally realize it’s the wrong fucking bus. Being a brave sort, I go with it, as it’s heading in kind of general direction I want to go.

Once in Halewood, we start hoofing our way to the farm (which is now a 25 minute walk away (actual)). This is when the kid decides to shit his pants. “No problem,” I say, “there is a lovely pub right there that states it serves food which means its family friendly which means that they will have a big ass toilet to clean my son’s ass off in.”

Fucking pub was boarded shut. “We don’t take to no family friendly pubs down here in Halewood, boy howdy.” There was nothing else but a newsagent and a hairdresser, so we keep going.

When we did make it to the farm, it was certainly not the type of farm I had going in my mind. It was quite clearly a small working farm (fine) that decided to open itself up to visitors by having a small produce shop that also sold fancy jams. When I asked the owner lady (who I must admit was very nice and accommodating) where the toilets were and were there any animals there to see, she first gave me a bit of a pity look and apologized.

“Well, the toilet is over there under that shanty roof – you have to pull the cord at the top for the light. Um, we have a couple donkeys and goats but I think they are in the shade because it’s hot. The same with the chickens, they are probably in their house because of the heat. Sorry, we are thinking about adding on a little café sometime in the future.”

I bought some jam and the world’s most phallic cucumber because I felt bad.


This next bit is for Beth as it’s just another little quirky thing about England that she might find funny.

While I don’t want to get into how lost I’ve made myself in the last few days trying to navigate around a city I’m still trying to get to know, the one thing that has made my life just a little more difficult are the street signs in this country.

Most of us are familiar with what American road signs look like:

I so wish that said "Hardon" instead.

We sometimes even illuminate our signs!  What a concept!

The signs are either directly above the road at a major intersection or tacked on a pole on the corner so you almost always know where to look when you want to find out where the fuck you are.

In England….OK, listen. England is old. They have things that are still standing from the barely A.D. age. Many (and I mean MANY) of their street signs are old and quaint (read: impossible to see or locate). If the street has one of these older signs, the sign will be on a small plaque – usually located on the second story of a building AT LEAST 40 feet from the corner of said street. Now wait. If the street sign has since been replaced, the sign will almost always be located ON THE GROUND, usually around the corner so you don’t know the street name until you passed it. If you see it at all. With the combination of little plaques high up on the second story of building and normal sized signs that only are as high as my waist; you tend to look like a bobble head doll trying to sort out what street you might actually be on*. I seriously believe that’s why England invaded India. They all got lost on their way to the new pub on New Quay Road and just ended up there.

Old timey signs

A newer sign.  Tell me, can YOU see the corner anywhere near this sign?

*I’m going to have to exclude London when I say this as London is full of foreigners (like me) who get lost easily so they do their signage pretty consistently. Fucking London.

19 May 2012

Happy Sadness

Our friends back in California posted this on Facebook earlier today:

Andy's first comment was, "who drank half my beer?!"  

My first thought was, "There is no way both our fat asses would fit in that single chair."

Thanks for still thinking of us you guys.  You seriously made our day.

16 May 2012

The Terrible Tour Guide

So my dad and my step mom came to visit us for ten days and it was awesome. Not only because of the free baby sitting they did (which was really awesome) but more of just having that little piece of home right here in the heart of Liverpool. Over the ten days I did determine that I am a really shit tour guide but thankfully they both like to drink so that made it somewhat easier.

Here is the run down of what I would apparently show you if you came to visit me. I will assume that you like drinking because there are precious few people that I associate with that don’t. Also, this list would be somewhat longer if you enjoyed museums – which my parents didn’t – and would therefore give me some more opportunities to say, “Well, here it is. I haven’t really been in here but it always looked pretty nice from the outside.”

Moe is a Shit Tour Guide for Liverpool, Item 1: Tesco’s.

This will always be the first stop because my guests will require booze. I will not know what booze they prefer so they can pick that shit out for themselves. Actually, I always have a 6 pack of something in the fridge but we all know that won’t last. Also, I get no greater thrill than cruising around a grocery store in a foreign country. I assume that everyone is the same.

Moe is a Shit Tour Guide for Liverpool, Item 2: Southport

Southport is ironically north of Liverpool. There are some shops there and a long pier with a penny arcade at the end of it. I will assume that you are as thrilled with the penny arcade as I am, and leave you to your own devices while I rack up gigantic pennies playing a 1920’s slot machine. You’re welcome. There is also a café\bar place at the start of the pier that always has some sort of karaoke\Elvis impersonator going on. We will have a drink there and you will marvel at all the English folks who will happily sit outside in shorts and a t-shirt when it is barely 50 degrees with a freezing wind from the sea blowing in.

 He's still in disbelief.

Moe is a Shit Tour Guide for Liverpool, Item 3: Albert Dock and assorted Beatles shit

A walk to Penny Lane, check. A stop at John Lennon’s old school(s): check. A pee break at the Cavern Club: check. Quick stop at the Beatles section at the Liverpool Museum (for even non-museum types): check. HERE’S THE ALBERT DOCK! Yes, it’s pretty. Yep, full of museums. Here’s a souvenir shop – buy something! Here’s the Beatles Experience but we won’t go in because they rape you at 15 pounds per person. Want a drink? Me too! There’s the Baltic Fleet!

Let us not forget the Superlambananas!

Moe is a Shit Tour Guide for Liverpool, Item 4: Chester

How many times do I have to tell you? They have a WALL.

 My dad is looking up to see if it's still raining...as he got a massive raindrop in his eye.  Ah, England.

Moe is a Shit Tour Guide for Liverpool, Item 5: The Cathedrals, Cain’s Brewery, Chinatown and the Philharmonic Pub.

Parental Feedback: The Cathedrals – “No, yeah, that’s really pretty. The other one though, is Paddy’s Wigwam the actual name?”

Parental Feedback: Cain’s Brewery – “The raisin beer is awful. Also, the men’s toilet was broken so when I took a shit it wouldn’t flush. I had to take off the lid and fix it myself.”

It's never too early to get some training in.

Parental Feedback: Chinatown – “This is really Europe’s biggest Chinatown? This is just a street. That arch thing is nice though.”

I actually love this picture.

Parental Feedback: Philharmonic Pub - *Silence in the way of happiness via an awesome pub with great beers* Also, we got in a conversation with a couple of local Liverpudlians with thick Scouse accents. My dad has a hearing problem in general and never does well with even the slightest accent. I enjoyed watching him nod and smile inappropriately while he pulled me aside and said, “You actually understand that?”

 Notice that my body is already turning towards the pub.

Moe is a Shit Tour Guide for Liverpool, Item 6: Asda

You know, because it’s like Wal-Mart, but different.

Moe is a Shit Tour Guide for Liverpool, Item 7: The Lake District

I honestly don’t know if I’d take most visitors here but my parents enjoy nature shit and they enjoy long walks so this was kind of Their Thing. My dad enjoyed asking a myriad of questions all week but its height was in the Lake District.

“How old are those stone walls?”
“What do the markings on those sheep mean?”
“How often to sheep get sheared?”
“What’s the difference in the wool in English sheep verses, let’s say Australian sheep?”
“What’s this lake called?”
“Can I use my Kindle’s wi-fi in the car and have it still connect to your computer connection at home?”
“Why do you never see English wool advertised in England?”
“Am I the only one who wants to add an ‘I’ in all those ‘To Let’ signs?”**

You know the best thing about this picture?  I didn't take it.  I was 2 miles away having a lovely cocktail with my husband.

 Best deal in town - a jug of Pimm's for 14 quid.

Even with my bad tour guiding skills, it really was a great visit and I miss them already. My step mom made chicken enchiladas one night (I made the enchilada sauce myself to help) and there were plenty of leftovers. I actually had the last one tonight. There are piles of Goldfish crackers in my cupboard, a horde of string cheese in the fridge and all the Q-tips a girl would ever need (for the next 4 months anyhow). I’m sure my Wisconsin accent is in full swing again being around them for 10 days as well. I was actually a bit jealous of them when they left as I suddenly had these beautiful thoughts of big highways and toilets that have lots of water in the bowl. Yeah, it was honestly those two things that I thought of first.

Come back soon please.

**Because we had to look most of this up, I’ll share: 1400’s to 1700’s, type of branding, once a year, we still don’t know, Windemere, we don’t have wi-fi in the car, because it would just be ‘wool’, and finally – no, if I had a Sharpie marker on me, most would be vandalized.

08 May 2012


I'm basically checking in to tell you that I won't be checking in for a week or so because my parental units have finally decided to grace us with their presence. 

Two words: Free babysitters!