Monday, July 25, 2005

I had planned my next blog to be about our trip last week, but yesterday while uploading the photos, I received a few comments on my last blog that were not exactly positive. Out of frustration, I deleted them. Last night I vented to my husband that there were more anti-American type comments on my blog from people on this side of the world. He told me I shouldn't have deleted them and left it for other people to comment on (or at least leave them long enough for him to comment on).

Here's the thing - as an American living abroad, I am quite sensitive because I was not only ignorant to what countries made up the United Kingdom and Great Britain, but I was also ignorant to the fact that in other countries around the world, America is not well liked. Because I'm the type of person that doesn’t think negatively about other people until given a reason (the elevator doesn't count - celebrities put themselves out there for ridicule or praise), I didn't think that people would treat me different because I am American. This was quite naive of me. I have had people start-up conversations with me in clubs or pubs (loud types of places) that when they realized I was American, just walked away. I've had to endure rude comments & criticism and I hear anti-American propaganda on TV, the radio and in the media all of the time. Just the other day while online (queued) for an attraction at the safari park, a child behind me used an American expression they heard on television and her mother quickly corrected her by saying 'You watch too many American programs! That's rubbish - you're NOT American you're English!' All I could do was laugh because what I really wanted to do was turn to her and inform her that there was an American right next to her and she should be aware of her surroundings before she spoke such rubbish!

 Soapbox  If there was a black person standing next to me and I said to someone 'That's crap, you're not black, you're white' in the same tone she used, would it be acceptable? It's still a form of racism and what kind of message is she sending her child?? I do have to mention that her daughter did respond well by saying 'but I am American in her best Texas accent which was absolutely hysterical!

My husband thinks I am oversensitive about this issue. But when I see a documentary on television entitled 'Why Americans love their guns' that made it look like everyone in America owns a gun and is proud of it - I get pretty riled up because I can say with all honestly, that I have never known anyone who has ever owned a gun in America that wasn't a police officer or in the military and we do not all own a gun! There seems to be a popular belief that all Americans are fat, lazy, gun in one hand - bible in the other, obnoxious bigmouths! I'd love to debate this issue, but it would be futile.

The bottom line is - this blog was created to keep in touch with friends and family because with such a vast time difference, it's not always easy to call each other. It was not created so that people can leave me negative comments about being American or un-American for leaving the country (for you moronic Americans that have that mindset)!

I moved here not because I woke up one day and thought it would be cool to drive on the other side of the road or learn to speak English instead of American (two very different languages) - I moved here because I had the dumb luck of falling in love with an English man and living here is the best thing for our future together. I'd like it if people could try considering that living in a foreign country is not an easy venture and it's been quite a vexatious adjustment that after almost a year, I am still struggling with. I still don't have any friends and spend a great deal of time just trying not to feel out of place. This is my blog - my space and I don't want it to be a public forum for political debates or just plain negativity! I can handle playful banter, but lets play nice!


 Flag 2     Big Ben


PS - if you'd like to see the photos of the trip we took last week the albums are titled Lulworth Cove, Stonehenge, Monkey World and Longleat will be added sometime today.

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Dublin Trip Cancelled

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

For Wayne's Birthday on Friday, I bought him a surprise 5-day trip to Dublin. It's his 30th birthday so I wanted it to be special and he's always wanted to go to Ireland. I booked one of the best hotels in Dublin and have been doing research for weeks on what to do while we were there.
About a week ago, someone suggested that I look into whether I have the right visa to come & go in and out of the UK. To which I replied, "I thought Ireland was in the UK" - well, it's not. Northern Ireland is a part of the UK not Ireland as a whole and as it turns out, I can't go in and out of the UK as I please (well technically I can but last time I did, they threatened to send me back until I got a settlement visa). So, I had to cancel the trip for now. In September, we're going back to America to apply for my visa and until it's sorted out - No Dublin for me!
I'm embarrassed by my ignorance, but it's not like I was a big world traveller before Wayne came into my life and I guess I didn't pay attention in school the day they covered the UK and Great Britain.
I've been told by a few British people that they think the reason I didn't know that Ireland is not a part of the UK is because as Americans, we don't
pay attention to the rest of the world. Is this true?? Are we really that self-absorbed? Or is it that I really was more interested in the love affair
with my first love while in high school than I was Geography?

Anyway, instead of Ireland, we're going to explore more of England for a few days and making a long weekend of it. I'm looking forward to it - we always
have such a good time together.

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A 2 minute standstill around the world...

Friday, July 15, 2005
Yesterday, millions of people around the world joined in a two minute silence to pay tribute to the victims of the London bombings one week earlier.  All around the UK workers left their offices to stand in the street, taxis and buses pulled over and financial markets paused, trains stopped and planes stayed on the runway at Gatwick Airport in London.  All over great Britain traffic just stopped, people came to a halt and thousands stood in the streets side by side.  At the strike of 12:00 there was a hush and there was silence for 2 minutes.  The Queen joined, Tony Blair joined, schoolchildren, office workers, shopkeepers and construction workers alike - all were silent and still in memory of the victims of the attacks seven days before.

Around the world, countries joined in too - Spain, Italy, France, Brazil and in In Berlin, subway trains, trams and buses stopped for two minutes.   In Turkey, Indonesia, and Ireland (as well as others) people also fell silent and in America, the three locations struck on September 11, 2001 -- New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania -- also joined together to observe the silence.

I watched the footage later in the day and it was amazing to see.  It was touching and beautiful to see that the world is capable of joining together in peace.  It is something that I don't believe I will ever forget.

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Top 20 Lists

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Recently, a magazine here in the UK issued their list of their Top 100 women in show business. This sparked conversation between Wayne and I and one rainy weekend when we had nothing to do, we compiled our own Top 20 lists. The rules were we had to judge on looks alone (not their physique) and only one token model was allowed.

For fun, I thought I'd add our lists here for you to view and enjoy. Maybe it will even spark conversation between you and a friend or loved one.

Wayne and I actually had a really good time creating our lists together - judging each other's taste in the opposite sex and laughing over how long it took for us to prioritize our selections. We still change the order every time we look at it! (although our top five have remained the same)

Enjoy and feel free to comment!

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Another heat wave

Monday, July 11, 2005

Another heat wave has started. The last two weeks have been cool (60-70 tops), but today was 80+ and it should stay that way until at least Friday (I don't have an extended forecast). We're going to buy some fans tonight because it was brutal during the last heat wave trying to sleep with no air conditioning (silly country with no air conditioners or screens on their windows!)Hopefully the fans will be sufficient.

Wayne originally said we only get two or three weeks of hot weather all summer (Unlike back home in NJ where we'd have 3-4 good months!) I was starting to think I would not be able to use any of my summer cloths I bought during the last heat wave and that summer would not return!

Wayne now says that summer has officially started and to be completely honest - I'm just confused on what summers are like in England. Last year around this time, I was here for 2 weeks and it was 60 - 65 for the entire trip and I was wearing a jacket the whole time. This year it's either hot or cool- no in between!

English weather is very strange and will take some getting used to!

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Can't Sleep

Saturday, July 9, 2005


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Thank you!

Friday, July 8, 2005

I just want to say thank you to everyone that touched base when they heard of the attacks in London. It was heart warming to see that so many of you were so concerned for the safety and wellbeing of both Wayne and I. Although we are shocked and horrified by yesterdays events we are both fine and none of Wayne

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Congratulations Anne & Michael

I just want to say congratulations to Anne & Michael on the birth of their baby boy, Sean Michael.  He was born at 12 midnight on 7/6/05 weighing 8lbs 7oz.

I love you Anne!


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Kittens Update

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

I have spent most of my time since Sunday with my new kttens trying to help them adjust to their new home.

They have been really quite scared. One of them (Luca

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