One week to go

Thursday, December 7, 2006

What a trying few weeks it's been for me. I've been really busy with my beauty business which is good, but not great for my web design training because I just don't have the time to dedicate to it that I'd like to. Not to mention the fact that I've had some issues with my latest web project that I've been unable to resolve and it's done a number on my confidence. I'm really starting to feel like I have no right trying to do it professionally. I must admit I've avoided going back to that project for at least a week. I have an ad in the yellow pages that's supposed to come out next month, I think it's too late to pull it and I really think I've bitten off more than I can chew...
On top of that - I've had some family issues that have been really draining for me. I've taken a stand of sorts with my family that has taken more strength than I thought it would and although I'm really proud of myself for doing it - it's been a real feat to remain strong through it. The pressure has been immense, but I hope that in the end it will be worth it and we'll all be better off for it. The last few days in particular, have been arduous and I'm absolutely exhausted. This time next week, we

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Home for three weeks!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Well, our trip home for Christmas is all set and paid for. The best part is that I paid for the entire trip with MY money that I earned with my new business!! Our 2 week trip that was costing a small fortune, is now a 3 week trip that ended up cheaper than it was before (it's still cost several thousand but every bit saved is a bonus)! Because it's cheaper to fly on dates that aren't so close to the holidays, I've saved quite a bit of money.
I used Priceline.com to pay for the hotel again. It's such a great service that I use when ever I can. Although, there are some downsides to it. This is how it works - you choose the area and the rating of the hotel you want to stay in and then make a bid of how much you want to pay. They search for hotels that are willing to accept your offer and either accept or deny it. I always start dirt cheap and work my way up slowly until I reach my max budget. The good news is that I got a 3-star hotel suite (complete with kitchen and living area) for 3 weeks at the price of $55.00 a night! The bad news is that although it's close to my Dad, it's an hour from the rest of my friends and family and it's literally around the corner from my ex-husband's house (the same house we lived in together)! YIKES!
Despite this little hiccup in my plans, I'm really happy to be going home for 3 weeks. It's been a nearly year and a half since I've been home and an extended trip is really wonderful. We leave in less than a month and I can't wait to get there!



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Gray’s Anatomy

Thursday, November 23, 2006
I just finished watching Gray’s Anatomy (we’re on the second season here – no spoilers please!) and once again, I sat on the edge of my seat watching it. What a great show. It’s strange how many storylines on the show, shadow similar things that have happened to me (although I’m not, nor will I ever be a doctor or work in a hospital) – some of the family issues, the close friend that confesses his undying love (although I lost the friend and didn’t end up in bed with him), the dreamy ex with the wife that has the look of love in his eyes every time he’s near – that look that makes me want to yell at the screen: Stop looking at her like that! You lost the right to look at her like that! While another part of me is hoping he’ll just kiss her and get it over with so that she’ll get the guy. If she marries a man she’s not in love with, rebounds to an abusive alcoholic and then finds love and a happy ending with a European man – I’ll start to worry. I guess that’s what makes the show so good – it reflects real life situations that can happen to anyone -either that or I should write a book because my life is a lot more interesting than I thought and maybe worth a bit of money. I’d write more, but I’m late for the gym but I just didn’t want to go another day without making an entry…


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I can see clearly now

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
It’s funny what inspires – for me, more than anything, its music. I’ve had nothing to say for weeks (probably because I’ve had so much on my mind, it’s difficult to find the words to say what it is I’m going through), but I hear a song and suddenly I’m compelled to write…
I can see clearly now by Jonny Nash was just played on my NY radio station (they sure do play some cheesy music). From the first line of the song, I was struck by a memory that I had long forgotten. When I was 17, I met my first love (it feels like a lifetime ago and yet some things I can still remember like it was yesterday). We met in early summer and I was immediately swept off my feet by this larger than life, blue eyed boy that made you smile just being near him. Looking back, I think it’s what drew me to him. It wasn’t his charm (sure it helped), it wasn’t his looks (although he was easy on the eyes) – it was his presence. He had a way about him that just made you smile. He was always smiling and it was contagious. It made you happy just to be near him.
One rainy morning, we spent hours on the phone waiting for the rain to stop. I remember he woke me up with some wonderful words when I answered the phone and I thought it was the best way a girl could be woken up (ahh, youth). After hours of conversation, he said – I think the rain stopped. Hold on and I’ll check. I heard him put down the phone (it was the days before cordless phones!) and as he came back to pick it back up, he was singing loudly and beautifully – I can see clearly now the rain has gone… When hearing that song today, I could almost feel enthralment and youthful optimism you can only have the first time you fall in love.
Looking back to when Wayne and I first fell in love, I can’t help but feel sorry that it had to be so filled with fear (on both out parts) instead of the blissful experience you get with your first love. When you’ve been hurt, it’s so hard to just let yourself go and fall in love again (not that it stopped us). I remember being terrified when I realized my feelings for him and crying uncontrollably because the thought of letting it happen and being hurt again was almost too much to bear (hell, I still get scared sometimes). What courage it takes to take the leap (and what a leap it was). Luckily, it paid off, but I can’t help but be sorry it wasn’t a bit easier getting there.

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Home for Christmas

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm booking the flight home for Christmas today. It's costing over

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A comedy of errors

Monday, November 13, 2006

Considering that nothing went as planned

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How To Make An American Quiet

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

I have a business function in London on Friday. I

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How To Make An American Quiet

I have a business function in London on Friday. I

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Bonfire Night

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Tonight is Bonfire Night (aka Guy Fawkes Night). Bonfire Night is a holiday (that's a bit sick and twisted) celebrated in England. It is a celebration of the capture of Guy Fawkes and stopping his plot (known today as the Gunpowder plot) to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it, was caught, tortured, hung and quartered. The tradition of Guy Fawkes-related bonfires began that very same year (400 years ago). Londoners who knew little more than that their King had been saved, lit bonfires in celebration.


As years progressed, the ritual became more elaborate. Soon, people began placing dummies of Guy Fawkes and sometimes those of the Pope onto bonfires, and fireworks were added to the celebrations. Still today, some communities throw dummies of both Guy Fawkes and the Pope on the bonfire (and even those of a contemporary politician or two), although they say the gesture is seen by most as a quirky tradition, rather than an expression of hostility towards the Pope.


Preparations for Bonfire Night celebrations for children include making a dummy of Guy Fawkes, which is called "the Guy". Some children even keep up an old tradition of walking in the streets, carrying "the Guy" they have just made, and beg passers-by for "a penny for the Guy." The kids use the money to buy fireworks for the evening festivities. They have competitions as well where the children compete against each other to create the best 'Guy'. The winner gets to have theirs at the top of that town's bonfire and the other children throw theirs into the blaze after it's set (this to me is twisted, and I have informed my husband that no child of mine will ever participate in such activities).


On the night itself (Nov. 5th) and for weeks following, main towns and cities have huge celebrations every year where 1000s gather. There are torch lit processionals where hundreds of people walk through the streets wearing costumes, playing drums with blackened faces. The processional leads to where the bonfire is lit. Guy is placed on top of the bonfire, which is then set alight; and fireworks displays fill the sky.



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Drama Queen

Friday, October 20, 2006

There's a segment on the radio station I listen to (BBC Radio One) that's called Laura's diary, where the sister of one of the girls on the show calls in and reads her diary from when she was a young girl (high school/university age). This morning's entry was really funny. It was as if someone was reading out of my diary from that time in my life - it was ever so dramatic (but at that age isn't everything?) - Ben (her first boyfriend/serious relationship) decided he wanted to go back to school as a single guy when he went off to university and she stayed with him the rest of the summer (the stupid, stupid girl)...
When I was around that age, my childhood sweetheart (we'll call him Jonny

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Blogger's Block

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I haven

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In a funk

Monday, October 9, 2006

I've been in such a funk for the last few weeks and I just can't seem to pull myself out of it. I don

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In a funk

I've been in such a funk for the last few weeks and I just can't seem to pull myself out of it. I don

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The Star Spangled Banner

Friday, October 6, 2006
The following is an excerpt from the book I'm writing.  It's the first genuinely fictional part that I've written.  I need feedback so please feel free to comment.  Is the writing clear?  Is the scene set well, does the dialogue work? 
The only background I'll give is that the characters are teenagers.  I should also say that it contains adult themes so if you are under age or offended by such things, you should stop here...
After it got dark, the boys lit a fire on the beach and we sat around it.  Noelle and Scott sat close on a piece of driftwood, Tyler sat in the sand looking bored and started digging with a plastic cup. I sat on a blanket between Ashley’s legs, laying my back against his chest and my head on his shoulder.  He wrapped his arms around me and put his face close to mine.  With the fire burning and not a care in the world, I couldn’t remember feeling more at ease.
Sloan walked up and the atmosphere changed.  Tyler tensed.  He stood up, announced he was going to the 7-Eleven to buy a pack of smokes and walked off in a huff.  Sloan sat with Scott and Noelle.
 I asked her, ‘What happened with you guys? You used to be all about the sexual tension and now, you’re just about the tension.’
‘You don’t want to know’ Sloan replied in an exasperated way.
Scott chimed in, ‘Yes, we do! Tell us before he gets back’
‘We fucked.’
Sloan was one of those girls who had no qualms with liking sex and never hid the fact that she was happily active.
Ashley protested saying, ‘No you didn’t! He’s wanted you forever! He would have told me!’
I shot him a look letting him know we’ll be talking later.
‘I’m sure he didn’t tell you.  He probably wants to forget it ever happened.’
‘Why?? What happened?’ I asked with my interest piqued.
‘Tell us!’ We all said in unison. 
‘Fine!’ she said and began her story.
‘Tyler is hot, I mean you’ve seen that body! He’s super hot.  I wanted him for so long. So one night after a party, we were alone in my room and I made my move.  I just straddled him on the bed and kissed him.  He kissed me back with such intensity, we couldn’t get our clothes off fast enough!  We just went at it and it was hot.  There were hands and mouths everywhere!’
Ashley started lightly stroking my arm and I suddenly became aware that I was doing the same to his hand. 
Sloan continued, ‘I’m telling you when we finally started to fuck, it was the best sex I ever had!’
Scott chimed in with a smile, ‘And that’s saying a lot!’ 
‘Fuck you, Scott’ she laughed and gave him a smack on the arm. ‘Really though, it was great sex.  I was really into it and started calling out, “Yes! Yes!” as we went at it hard and fast’
I swallowed hard and felt Ashley’s arms around me tighten and I clutched his hand. 
‘I was so close! And that’s when it happened’ she began to sing at the top of her lungs (shocking us out of the sexual tension), ‘Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave - the land of the free and the home of the brave!’
We all  looked at her confused and shocked.
Sloan explained, ‘You know how some guys need to think about something other than what their doing to keep from getting off?’
‘Like baseball’ I said as Ashley shot me a look.
‘Yes, like baseball’ Sloan said.  ‘Well Tyler apparently thinks about the fucking star spangled banner! I don’t think he meant to sing it out loud! I think it just happened!  Hell, I’m just as patriotic as the next girl, but let’s just say it was a mood killer!  He hasn’t been able to look at me since!’
Ashley fell back in the sand laughing hysterically and the rest of us joined in laughing until we had tears streaming down our faces. 
A few minutes later, Tyler walked up and asked what was so funny and we all just laughed harder. 
 



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The Party

Thursday, October 5, 2006
The following short story is fiction, but based on actual events.  The names have been changed or omitted to protect the guilty...
The air was thick with smoke. The place smelled of cigarettes, stale beer, and a hint of pot.  I wondered to myself if this was what all parties were like after high school.  The apartment was tiny and it seemed impossible to have so many people in it.  I worked my way through the crowd and started to wonder how Tyler talked me into this. What if he’s not happy to see me?  What if he’s not here?  How will I get home?  I don’t even know where I am!
And then I saw him.  He was standing tucked in the corner with a pretty blond girl.  The sight of their close proximity made my heart drop.  Is this what Tyler had in mind when he dropped me off?  I wanted to step between them and state my claim, but I couldn’t move.  My feet stayed rooted to the spot and all I could do was stand there and watch.  He put his face close to hers and for an instant, I thought he’d kiss her, but instead he leaned in to say something over the music.  She laughed and I could see he was pleased with himself.  She flicked her hair and I couldn’t help rolling my eyes.  She leaned into him and responded.  He smiled that familiar smile and I could feel the tears start to sting my eyes.  I did my best to blink them away.  I told myself not to cry.  He was looking at her in a way I’d never seen.  I wondered for a second who he was.  I thought, ‘Do I even know you?  Please look this way.  See me and end this moment.  Please, look this way.’
She leaned in to say something else and touched the hair on the back of his neck as she did.  He looked at her, smiled, and slightly licked his lips.  It was an unconscious kind of action and it made me feel a bit sick because he’d done that with me.  He leaned in and responded and all I could think was, ‘Please don’t kiss her; please look this way.  See me and end this moment.’  She laughed again. He kept his face close to her’s as they spoke. She smiled and laughed and flicked her hair again. She touched his hand as she spoke to him and then he brushed her hair from her face and tucked it behind her ear.  He was gentle when he did it.  They were eye to eye he kept his hand to her face.  ‘Please don’t kiss her.  Look this way.’  He bit his lip – another action I’d seen before.  I tried searching his face for something that told me it wasn’t as it seemed.  Is this always the way it was when he was away?  Has he never been mine?  
And that’s when I realized there was something missing in this whole exchange.  When he was with me he was different.  There was a look in his eyes when he was with me that wasn’t there as he spoke to her.  What’s missing?  Is it tenderness?  Maybe.  Is it love?  Yes, but there was something else. I watched him with her and tried find what was different.  He was so confident so… smooth.  And that’s when it hit me.  It was fear that was missing.  When he looked at me I saw love, I saw tenderness and I saw a little bit of fear that was just beneath the surface.  He always looked slightly scared of me or us or what we had.  When I watched him with her there was no love or tenderness and absolutely no fear.  I wanted to scream for him to see me.  Don’t do this to me.  Don’t do this to us.  I know you love me.  You may be there with her, but it’s me you love!  My feet became free and when I started to move, I found myself walking toward the door.  Away from him and away from that party.  No-one would have to know.  I’ll tell Tyler he wasn’t there.  I’ll find a way home.



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Expat section changes...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

As a part of my web design training, Pond-Hopper.com is going to go through a bit of a re-vamping. As a party of this, there will be a couple of things added to the expat section like a US to UK English translation guide (just for fun) and a general information section for Americans living in the UK ie- finding your comforts from home (like mastering cooking in the UK and making the most of the TV guide so you don't miss any of your favorite American TV shows).
I'd like to expand the expats section to eventually be a resource for Americans moving to or living in the UK, so if you're a fellow expat and have an idea of some things to include please let me know - I'd love to hear from you. Also, please keep in mind that these changes will be very slow moving as I'll be doing it in my free time or as I move into new material in my web training.



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The soundtrack of our lives...

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm listening to my radio station from back home (as I do in the morning before either starting my work for the day or going to the gym). Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield just came on and I instantly blasted it (I know that makes me a geek, but I never claimed to be cool). Now that's a song I KNOW I wouldn't hear on BBC Radio One and that's why I keep coming back to this station. I hear this song and it makes me think of any number of things - dancing and singing into my hairbrush as a child, laughing with my first love as we admitted to each other we both loved it and singing along with my friends as it played at my favorite bar when I got older... It's a song that is just a part of my life's history and has to be played loud :-)
Music can invoke feelings that nothing else can. It can actually transport you back in time to a place that was long forgotten before you heard that song. It can give you happy memories that can actually make you laugh out loud or bring you to tears remembering something that was painful. What ever the case, music really is the soundtrack of our lives and that's why I listen to this station - it gives me the comfort of familiarity I don't get living in a foreign country.
Right now they are playing a song called 'One Thing' by Finger Eleven and again, I'm taken back in time to the months before making this move. I don't know what the song is really about, but to me it was about the risk I was taking moving here to England to be with Wayne. Some lyrics are 'If I traded it all, if I gave it all away for one thing - just for one thing - wouldn't that be something...' I'd hear the song, turn it all the way up and instantly tear up, overwhelmed with emotion - feeling scared, excited, happy and sad all at once. Listening to it now has made me tear up again just remembering how it felt.
I'm choosing this song as my song of the week because it has touched me in such a way and in the end, helped me stay strong and focused. If you've ever had to sacrifice anything to find happiness - this song will touch you too...
Listen to this week's song



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The soundtrack of our lives...

I'm listening to my radio station from back home (as I do in the morning before either starting my work for the day or going to the gym). Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield just came on and I instantly blasted it (I know that makes me a geek, but I never claimed to be cool). Now that's a song I KNOW I wouldn't hear on BBC Radio One and that's why I keep coming back to this station. I hear this song and it makes me think of any number of things - dancing and singing into my hairbrush as a child, laughing with my first love as we admitted to each other we both loved it and singing along with my friends as it played at my favorite bar when I got older... It's a song that is just a part of my life's history and has to be played loud :-)
Music can invoke feelings that nothing else can. It can actually transport you back in time to a place that was long forgotten before you heard that song. It can give you happy memories that can actually make you laugh out loud or bring you to tears remembering something that was painful. What ever the case, music really is the soundtrack of our lives and that's why I listen to this station - it gives me the comfort of familiarity I don't get living in a foreign country.
Right now they are playing a song called 'One Thing' by Finger Eleven and again, I'm taken back in time to the months before making this move. I don't know what the song is really about, but to me it was about the risk I was taking moving here to England to be with Wayne. Some lyrics are 'If I traded it all, if I gave it all away for one thing - just for one thing - wouldn't that be something...' I'd hear the song, turn it all the way up and instantly tear up, overwhelmed with emotion - feeling scared, excited, happy and sad all at once. Listening to it now has made me tear up again just remembering how it felt.
I'm choosing this song as my song of the week because it has touched me in such a way and in the end, helped me stay strong and focused. If you've ever had to sacrifice anything to find happiness - this song will touch you too...
Listen to this week's song



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Random Thoughts

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's been a hot September. I don't remember the summer lasting this long last year. It's supposed to go up to 80 degrees (27 celcius) today. It's hot already and again, I'm wishing I had air conditioning. I laugh to myself every time I have to move the fan over by my desk just to try to stay cool while sitting here (as if I've moved to some antiquated country). Unfortunately, the fan doesn't help much in the rest of the house. I've learned to do my laundry early in the day (that damn machine lets off a lot of heat), take cool showers and to cook later in the day (although that kitchen is always like a sauna).
Wayne built a contraption using some copper wire along the top of the fence in the back yard that's supposed to keep the cats from being able to get over it (Luka learned how to a few weeks ago) so I can keep the door open during the day and open some windows. His contraption was unsuccessful because earlier this week, I had to watch with baited breath as Luka attempted to get himself through it while jumping the fence. He's not a graceful cat on the ground never mind on the fence topped with wiring. I envisioned watching helplessly while he hung himself in front of me, but he made it over and back again. Luckily, the experience was enough to keep him on our side of the fence for the time being.
Some mornings while I'm drinking my coffee and settling in for the day, I listen online to my old radio station from back home. It's such a comfort to hear music from home and to hear American voices in the room. 'What it takes' by Aerosmith is playing and although this song reminds me of a painful break-up, I feel more at home just hearing music that can take me back to a time and place I feel familiar with. When the morning crew come in, I'll switch back to Jo Whiley on Radio One here in the UK and I'll be swept back to reality and this place I'm still trying to make my home.
I know I'm writing about a bunch of nothing today, but I needed to write something to try to get myself back to it before too much time went by. This blog really helps to get my thoughts straight when I'm feeling out of sorts and today, I'm out of sorts (although I can't really put my finger on why)...
Something noteworthy - The other day, I was finally able to open a bank account with a checkbook and a debit card! I'm nearly a grown up again :-)



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Random Thoughts

It's been a hot September. I don't remember the summer lasting this long last year. It's supposed to go up to 80 degrees (27 celcius) today. It's hot already and again, I'm wishing I had air conditioning. I laugh to myself every time I have to move the fan over by my desk just to try to stay cool while sitting here (as if I've moved to some antiquated country). Unfortunately, the fan doesn't help much in the rest of the house. I've learned to do my laundry early in the day (that damn machine lets off a lot of heat), take cool showers and to cook later in the day (although that kitchen is always like a sauna).
Wayne built a contraption using some copper wire along the top of the fence in the back yard that's supposed to keep the cats from being able to get over it (Luka learned how to a few weeks ago) so I can keep the door open during the day and open some windows. His contraption was unsuccessful because earlier this week, I had to watch with baited breath as Luka attempted to get himself through it while jumping the fence. He's not a graceful cat on the ground never mind on the fence topped with wiring. I envisioned watching helplessly while he hung himself in front of me, but he made it over and back again. Luckily, the experience was enough to keep him on our side of the fence for the time being.
Some mornings while I'm drinking my coffee and settling in for the day, I listen online to my old radio station from back home. It's such a comfort to hear music from home and to hear American voices in the room. 'What it takes' by Aerosmith is playing and although this song reminds me of a painful break-up, I feel more at home just hearing music that can take me back to a time and place I feel familiar with. When the morning crew come in, I'll switch back to Jo Whiley on Radio One here in the UK and I'll be swept back to reality and this place I'm still trying to make my home.
I know I'm writing about a bunch of nothing today, but I needed to write something to try to get myself back to it before too much time went by. This blog really helps to get my thoughts straight when I'm feeling out of sorts and today, I'm out of sorts (although I can't really put my finger on why)...
Something noteworthy - The other day, I was finally able to open a bank account with a checkbook and a debit card! I'm nearly a grown up again :-)



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In case I go quiet...

Monday, September 18, 2006

I had an argument with my brother yesterday. I called to say hi and ended up getting an angry lecture on how much I've disappointed the family by moving to England. He said I 'fucked' the family by leaving. The only thing he repressed was how wrong I was for marrying a British man apposed to someone American (which he alluded to). He ended up hanging up on me. It was an unprovoked attack brought on by my saying no to his suggestion of going back to visit without my husband (anyone who knows me knows that a visit without Wayne would be like throwing myself to the wolves without any protection).
I've been quietly sick to my stomach since he hung up. I have so much I can say about it and how horribly disappointed I am by my family since I left and how let down I've always been by them. I know they all share in his sentiment - he's just the only one who has said it out loud (although my mother has come close). The thing is that he acts as if they have always been one of those families that rallies around you in your time of need and by leaving, I have somehow betrayed all they have done for me. This couldn't have been farther from the truth. They have never been there for me. I have always been left on my own in the hard times and it has always been my friends that have rallied around me to help in any way they could. I have had sisters in my friends Nicole & Anne and a brother in my friend Kenny. It has been them that have seen me through and acted as my family. It's been them that have supported me through this move that took more strength than I thought I had and it's now Wayne that has picked up where they left off. I resent the heartache that my family has given since I left (not to mention throughout my life) and it leaves me to wonder why it is I so badly want to go back.
I

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On Casual sex...

Friday, September 15, 2006

I know I've been quiet for a while, so I thought I'd give you some interesting reading...
I found out the other day that there is a rumor about me & Wayne

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What do I miss most?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Since moving here, the one question I get asked really often is 'What do you miss most?' I think a lot of people think this is a fun and safe question and they are probably hoping to hear something about what it's like to live in America. With this in mind, I usually give them an answer about missing my favorite foods and tell stories about my fist visits to the Supermarkets in England and how strange it was to recognize almost nothing on the shelves..
Although I do miss my favorite foods and would love to get a care package filled with all the goodies I can't get here (it's such a shame the shipping costs so damned much), it's not at all the honest answer.
What do I miss most? That's a really hard question to answer...
milo2.jpgI miss my dog. I still find it hard to hold back the tears when ever I see a Jack Russell Terrier and it's just my luck that I moved to the country that the little dogs come from! He's a special little dog and even though I know he's loved by my friend who has him, it's still hard not having him with me. I figure it will take becoming a mother to really get over the loss of my little Milo. Sadly, that's what happens when you're a woman that's over 30 with no Children - your pets become your kids.
I miss the comfort of familiarity. It's really hard to explain, but I miss feeling at home and how comforting it is to drive down a street you know so well you could drive it with your eyes closed. And speaking of driving - I really miss driving. I miss the freedom of jumping in the car and going where I please when I please without having to depend on anyone. It's been almost a year since I've been behind the wheel and I really can't wait to go back for a visit just to feel like a grown-up again! It's a pity I have to live like a 16 year old without the perk of having the body of one!
I miss being around people who really know me. I miss how good it feels to just sit across from someone (someone I'm not married to anyway) who really cares about what I have to say and who's interested. I miss my dear friends and being able to talk to them whenever the feeling strikes (instead of battling the time difference). I miss my family (even though most of them drive me to drink when I'm around them for too long). I miss seeing the kids I love grow up.
I really miss all of those things, but to answer the question with complete honesty - I have to say what I miss most is my best friend, Nicole (I can't beileve how fat I was in that picture!). Nic and I have been best friends for 20 years. She has been my rock in life and if we have non-romantic soul mates - Nic would be mine. She has always been there through it all - through the laughter, the tears, the good times and bad - she has gone through my life with me and I find it so hard living without her for the first time in my adult life. I joke that one day I'll move back and we'll move into the house next door to her so that I can grow old with the two people I love most in the world. Since I'm being honest here - I'm really only half-kidding because it would be really nice...



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A blast from the past...

Saturday, August 26, 2006
I got the most bazaar email today from my ex-husband confessing his undying love for me. We had a strange relationship. We were together for nearly 10 years. When we met, I was in love with someone else (someone who was no longer an active participant in my life, but I still loved all the same) and was very honest about that fact. When we moved in together that fact still hadn't changed and when we married years later, I was still in love with someone else. He knew it, I knew it and yet we got married anyway. I think we both thought it was just a part of who I was. It was just one of those things - my favorite color was purple, I loved photography, was a really good cook and I just happened to be in love with someone else.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't love my ex-husband. I did, but we were really more like great friends than anything else, so I forgave him when he cheated and he forgave me for loving someone else for as long as we were together. We were never the kind of couple who appeared to be hopelessly in love, but we were good together and I think I told myself that romance wasn't everything and that all that mattered was that we were such great friends and he'd make a really good father. After nearly a decade together, I left him. I decided that maybe romance did matter and realized when I did have a family, I wanted it to be with the love of my life not my friend.
Six years on, and I've been through so much since leaving him that I never really looked back at him or the years we spent together. I'm now married to a man I'm hopelessly in love with and for the first time in all of my adult life, although I'll probably always love the man I spent all those years in love with - I'm only 'in love' with Wayne and my life is finally as it should be.
So, when I got the email from my ex today, I was shocked to find he claimed to still love me and that he wasn't happy because he constantly finds himself comparing every woman he meets to me. I find this bizarre because he never seemed to ever really be in love with me. Before we were married, he actually admitted he wasn't, but now he claims to be and I can't wrap my head around it. I'm kind of in shock and I don't know how to respond to him. I don't know if I even should. I feel like I never really knew him and I spent more than half my adult life with him. I thought by now, he would have realized that we should never have been together never mind for as long as we were.

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Bank Holiday Weekend

Friday, August 25, 2006

This weekend is a long holiday weekend here in the UK. Don't ask me what the holiday is because nobody seems to ever know what holiday their celebrating. They just refer to it as 'Bank Holiday Monday'. Wayne's sister and family will be coming for the weekend. I'm honestly not looking to forward to it. It's not like I don't like them, but this house is way too small for six people and two cats. Last time they came, it took me days to recover! Nancy, Wayne's niece (and I guess mine too) who's turning 6 next month, LOVES me. When ever she's around she doesn't leave my side for even a second. The child even follows me to the bathroom. Not a mother myself, using the bathroom in front of a small child is a bit unnerving for me, so I've had to find creative ways to distract her so I can sneak away for a bit of privacy. I've bought some arts and crafts projects for us to do together so I don't spend the entire time drawing pictures that turn out looking like she's the one that drew them (I've never been a very strong artist). I don't think I've ever had a conversation with my sister-in-law because as soon as I walk in the door, her daughter steals me away and there's not a bit of adult conversation for the rest of the day. I tell myself this is just a bit of training for motherhood.
Anyway, I'm meant to be cleaning today in preparation for their visit, but can't seem to bring myself to start. I took a walk to the shops, ran some errands and went to the gym, but haven't started the housework yet. Well, that's not exactly true - I took the curtains in one of the spare rooms down to wash them and when I took them out of the machine, they were so wrinkled that I put them back in (thinking I left them too long). I put them through a quick cycle, took them out and they were no better. I asked Wayne - Can't we just throw them away and buy some new ones?? I'm supposed to be ironing them today. I've started and stopped twice. What a job it's been! Laundry in this country, seems to be an art I will never master! I wasn't meant to be a housewife! Don't get me wrong - I keep a clean house and I cook really good, but honestly, I'm a shit housewife and I miss the days of tumble dryers that didn't wrinkle your cloths so they didn't require ironing. It's nearly 3:00 - if I start now, maybe by the time Wayne gets home (at 5:00) I'll have it done...



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His old T-shirt

Thursday, August 24, 2006

This morning when my husband woke me up to kiss me good-bye, he was wearing a T-shirt that he used to wear when we first got together - a shirt that I ended up wearing a lot too. Every time I see it, it reminds me of when we first got together and those first weeks when we fell in love. I told him, you can

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Bring it...

Monday, August 21, 2006
While on the treadmill today, there she was again walking toward me - Ms Perfect - The blond with the flowing hair and full face of make-up. She got on the treadmill next to me (as she often does) and I thought 'Damn you, go away' I had already done my weight training for over an hour and had been doing cardio for about 15 minutes when she walked up in her bright pink fitness outfit that just screamed - look at me. As she started walking, I raised the level on my treadmill so not to be out done. She looked at me and raised hers and she started jogging slowly. I thought, ok- 'bring it' and I too started jogging. Every few minutes, she'd raise her speed and I'd raise mine and within 10 minutes I was sorry I ever started it. The difference between me and her is (besides her rock hard abs, long legs and tiny hips) is that she's about 20 years old and in perfect condition and I'm thirty-something, just started my fitness program in April and although I'm in the best shape of my life - I'm far from in her league... So there I was thinking 'You can do it Er - just keep up a little while longer (trying not to think about how much easier the speed probably is for her stupid long legs).' I was soaked with sweat and running out of steam. I looked at my time and saw I kept up for 20 minutes, took stock of the situation and hit the cool down button in defeat of the leggy blond.
After my cool down, I slinked away to lick my wounds and towel off in the locker room. When I looked in the mirror and saw the state I was in, I couldn't help but laugh to myself. I toweled off, gathered my things and started for the exit. As I passed her (still running on the treadmill), we both smiled, I waved and told her I'd see her next time... One of these days, I'm hoping to at least last as long as she does, but for now I'm just glad she chooses me to challenge every week. Nothing like a leggy blond with a perfect body to keep you on your toes!

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My big night out

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It's 8:30 in the morning, I think I'm still partially drunk from last night and couldn't sleep. It was my big night out last night. My first night since moving to this country that I was invited out by people I met on my own and didn't know my husband.
Getting ready, I was really nervous. When I get nervous, my body temperature must rise at a dramatic rate, because I perspire and then become agitated (which just makes my nerves worse). Sorting through my cloths, I picked just the right outfit - Sexy, but not over the top (I'm usually an understated kind of girl) and began sorting through all of my shoes and thinking they were all horrible. I consulted Wayne and even he asked, 'don't you have any others?' Panicked, I went to the closet and pulled out my 4 inch stilettos that had been retired to the land of 'I'm to old for this shit' and put them on to see if I could still walk in them. I went to the mirror, saw they looked good with my jeans and figured I'd live and wore them despite how horribly uncomfortable they were...
We met some of the party at the gym. On our way there, I asked Wayne if it was horrible of me to be worried no-one would be there. He assured me they would be and they were. We shared a ride to the bar/club/restaurant where we were meeting the rest of the group (there were to be 20 in all). When we arrived, I instantly felt out of place and wanted to chicken out, but went in anyway. A group of girls I know that were already there, made me feel immediately at ease and I began to think it would end up being a really good time.
I soon realized that almost everyone was going to be having dinner there. No-one told me we were going out for dinner so Wayne and I already ate before we left and we stayed behind while most of the group went upstairs for their meal. I walked up to the remaining group to try and include myself (I knew most of them from the gym) and one of the girls who for some unknown reason was not happy with me, put her arm out in front of my chest and literary pushed me aside so she could talk to the person behind me. I swung my head around to look at Wayne to see if he caught what she'd done, he had and instead of getting in her face, Wayne and I laughed and sat aside from the group while waiting for the rest to come back from dinner.
It was fine for most of the night with it just being Wayne and I. We always have a good time together so I wasn't too fazed by feeling shunned by the remaining group. We sat and drank by ourselves cracking jokes and laughing on our own for a good few hours. I tried to interact with people a couple of times while going up for drinks, but for the most part they were happy on their own.
For a very brief time, I felt sorry for myself and began to tear up watching the group of friends and co-workers laugh and have a good time together. I wondered - Is this the way it's always going to feel? Will I always feel like I don't belong? Will it always feel like a club I just can't get into? The same girl who pushed me aside stumbled drunk toward the dance floor and I suddenly realized that maybe this club wasn't one I wanted to be in anyway.
Soon after, the rest of the group came back from dinner. We interacted with them and began to have a better time. We left and went to another pub where Dan (my trainer) was working as the DJ. He was just getting off for the night so Wayne and I sat and joked with him while the rest of the group happily sat together away from where we were. I decided it was a good time to leave and that's when Dan grabbed us to leave with him. He said he'd come with us to grab a taxi. A few blocks away, we met up with his girlfriend who'd been out with her friends, and headed for the taxi office.
We had more fun outside that taxi office laughing and joking with Dan and his GF, than we had all night with anyone else. We stood there for about an hour before we left (having to order another taxi because we forgot about the first one we ordered) and in the end, I went home happy. I realized I don't need to be accepted by a group. I just want to be around people that I know like me and enjoy my company. I realize now that I've been spending all this time wishing I had a friend when all along, I already had one in Dan.



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Photos for the non-flash users

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My photo albums on this site are all flash albums. At the request of my friends that can't download the flash application at work and don't have PCs at home, I am adding a few recent pics. Sorry guys, I shouldn't assume everyone has access to the latest technology (it's a good lesson so thanks for letting me know)...

The photos I'm wearing red, were taken on July 12th & the one of Wayne & I was taken in Ireland. - Sorry Wayne has requested I take the one of him off :-(



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Summertime

Summertime is a strange and nostalgic time for me. Important things happened to me in the summertime. I met two very significant people on the very same summer day a really long time ago. One of them was my very first love and the other became one of the very best friends I have ever had. Three years later (also in the summertime), it was over between my love and I (the relationship anyway) and we were burying our friend. Every year since, when the anniversary of his death comes nearer, I am sucked back to those years when we were all together and then reminded of having to say good-bye.
Just last night, I sat up with my husband talking about it all. I laughed & cried and told my stories (probably the same stories I tell every summer). Each year, he always listens patiently as I try to make sense of it. Each year, I remember less of my dear friend's face and voice and I struggle with the guilt of it; and then there are the years & years of my old love and I and what went wrong. When did it go so wrong and why am I still so haunted by it? (As Whitney Huston comes on the TV behind me singing I will always love you sending me straight back to that time – how eerie is that?)
This morning, before Wayne left for work, I thanked him for listening. I explained (as I do every year) why I get this way each summer and told him about the dreams I end up having and the memories that come flooding back.
I told him – I think I know what I did to change things between my old love and I. I told him something I said once years ago and didn’t mean. I told him how awful it was. I told him it was the only time I have ever chosen words to intentionally hurt someone. I said the most horrible thing and I didn’t mean it for even a second. I was just so hurt… Wayne asked - why don’t you write to him to say your sorry? I told him I’ve written a few times in recent months with no reply (not about that per se, but still with no reply). So, I guess this is as close as I’ll get for now because I don’t know if he even remembers what I said, but I do and I’m so very sorry.
This blog is my outlet for those things that float around in my head that I can’t do anything about. Someone asked me recently ‘Why do you write about such things? What makes you think people care about any of it?’ I said I don’t care if other people are interested or not. This blog is for me. It’s my memoirs – my history – my thoughts and ramblings – that just happen to be public. I used to write letters I didn’t send. I guess this blog is my way of sending them.

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Change is good(?)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Yesterday's entry made me realize how much I've changed in the last few years. Some years back, I was going through self analyzation faze. I wanted to figure out what it was about me that I might need to change in order to be a better person and to have a happier life. I knew I need to consult someone who really knew me, but wouldn't be afraid to be honest with me. I decided to consult the one person that has not only seem me at my very best, but at my very worst and somehow, always loved me anyway. So, I went to my PC and sent him an instant message asking if he'd be willing to talk for a minute. He agreed, and I got straight to the point and asked him what my biggest flaw was. He didn't have to think about it. I saw on the bottom of the screen that he was typing a message and I tried to prepare myself for his answer. A million things went through my head - you're too sensitive, you're too sarcastic, you're too quick tempered, you're a drama queen (would he dare??)... I tried to be ready for any answer he could have and this is what he said - 'Your biggest flaw is also your greatest attribute: You truly believe there is good in everyone and as wonderful as that is, it's also very dangerous.' I was stunned by his answer. He knew me so well and leave it to him to point out my biggest flaw and still make me feel special. Touched by his answer and startled by how right he was - I sat for a moment to collect myself. I think he thought he hurt me with his answer and probably sat in dread for a moment before I said anything. Through my tears, I thanked him and we said our good-byes soon after.
These days, his answer would not reflect the person I am. These days, I'm a jaded cynic. I don't know when or how it's changed, but I know it's not who I am anymore. Maybe I've been hurt or disappointed one too many times. Maybe it's being exposed to the world and finally seeing it for what it really is. Maybe I've seen people lie and be disloyal to each other one too many times. I don't know what changed me, but I do know that what once defined me is no longer who I am. I wonder if he knew this if he'd be glad to see I've finally grown up or if he'd somehow, be disappointed by it. I guess the bigger question should be - If it's no longer who I am then what would the answer be today and was I better off before I became so jaded?



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The cynic I've become...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a girl's house I know from the gym to do a cosmetics party (I have a small side business where I do wedding make-up and sell cosmetics). The next day, I realized my daily planner was missing. The planner was a gift my husband bought me for starting my business. I always wanted a really good one. It's a pink, designer make, high quality leather with all the organizer bits you can need. I loved it and even have a special pen for it that has rhinestones down the clip. When I realized it was missing, I was just heartbroken. I called the girl and asked her to look for it. She did, but to no avail - it was gone and considering it's an expensive planner, I was sure it was stolen.
Every time I went to the gym and saw any of the girls that were there that night - I sized them up wondering if it was them who stole it. It really bothered me and I'm not really sure why because Wayne promised if it didn't show up, he'd buy me a new one, but somehow it didn't help.
Last week, one of the girls that was at the party was working out at the same time I was working out with my trainer. He kept joking - Is there something pink in her pocket?? When we passed each other, we said hello and she smiled. A part of me felt kinda guilty for thinking she might be the one who stole form me, but I still couldn't help but wonder. Later, she came up to me and asked. 'Are you coming out with us next weekend?' I was confused. No-one has asked me to go out with them since I moved here. She explained a bunch of people from the gym were taking one of the employees out for a going away party and asked me if I wanted to come. I felt like I was just asked to sit at the 'cool table' in the cafeteria at school. I accepted the invitation and thanked her for the invite and have to admit that I was in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Two nights ago, I did a cosmetics event at the gym. It was the first time I had my kit out since the night my planner disappeared. While unpacking my things, tucked away in a hidden pocket of a bag, I found my planner. It was there all along. No-one had stole from me and the last weeks of suspicion were for nothing. The girls who had always been nice to me had no reason to judged so harshly because they had done nothing wrong.
I wasn't always this way. I didn't always think the worst of people and I really can't believe how cynical I've become...



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Chasing Cars

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

While in Ireland, my husband and I were relaxing in our room listening to the new Snow Patrol CD when the song 'Chasing Cars' came on. He told me that a friend said it was the best song ever written. I thought, that's quite a statement - 'The best song ever written'. There are a lot of great songs. I don't think I could ever pick just one, so it made me want to listen to the song more closely. I listened to it and it's an absolutely beautiful song and I can find parts of it that I can relate to on so many levels not only now with my husband, but with other times of my life as well. It's a touching powerful song about being in love, but the person who said it was the best song ever written, to my knowledge, has never been really been in love or in any meaningful relationship. When I listen to this song, I can't help to wonder what it makes him think of to warrant being the best song ever written. I wonder if there is a part of him that we don't know - a part of him he keeps hidden because a song like that would have to remind him of something beautiful to mean that much to him. Or could it be that the song reminds him of what he wants, but has never had?
Just the thought of that being the case, makes me sad when I hear it knowing that he has never known love, but it also reminds me of how lucky I am to know the meaning of such lyrics. Some people wait their whole lives for something that can bring meaning to Chasing Cars. How did I get so lucky to not only have it now, but to have had it once before? Maybe that's why I can't look back on past love of as a bad thing just because it ended. I have to look back on it as a fortuitous and precious thing because there are so many people out there waiting for it to happen to them.
It's because of all this that I've chosen to update my song of the week section (more like song of the month these days) click the link above to listen to Chasing Cars...



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The state of the world

Friday, August 11, 2006

When I heard about what happened yesterday with the terrorists being caught, I have to admit I avoided watching the news until this morning when I watched NBC Nightly News (I record it every night and watch it in the morning with my breakfast) and although, I had already heard most of the details, I have to admit that I was shaken by what I heard. The flights they planned to target were all flights to the US from here. It doesnt exactly give me a feeling a well being for my next flight home (albeit they caught them before they could carry out their plans).
I'm saddened by the state of the world. I'm saddened by the war, the hatred and the suffering. I'm convinced that is there is a God, the world is going to hell in a hand basket. I liked it so much better when I knew little about what goes on in this world. My little bubble was safe and as ignorant as it was - it was comfortable. Now that I see what goes on, I almost wish I could go back to my ignorant little bubble because I hate what's become of humanity. Wayne says it's always been this way and it's not likely to change. I know he's right, but so wish he wasn't.



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Ireland - Day 3 - Dingle Peninsula

Thursday, August 10, 2006

On our third day in Ireland we went on a scenic drive of the Dingle Peninsula which takes at least a half day to drive and took us even longer because we stopped at so many places. Dingle was by far my favorite place in Ireland. It was the most beautiful place I've ever been to. There were many stops along the way to stop and take photographs. To the north is the towering Brandon Mountain, while the west cost has spectacular seascapes. The drive also had many historical sites like huts, cemeteries and a church that dates back to the 6th century.
We stopped at every site the guide pointed to as areas of interest. We stopped at one of the cliff heads for about 3 hours where we had a picnic (from a picnic basket the hotel packed for us) and after, we hiked and climbed to the top. As tiring as it was - it was by far the best views we had all day and well worth it.
On the way back, we saw in the distance what looked like a ruin of a castle or a watch tower. It was in the middle of nowhere overlooking the ocean, so we made it our mission to find it and take some photos. We had already spent the entire day hiking and and climbing through Dingle, but were undeterred when we realized we had to walk about a half of a mile to get to it once we found it. It was beautiful and peaceful standing there alone in the countryside overlooking the water and I was really glad we made the detour.
I'll be adding a photo album of our trip as soon as I have some time, but for now, I've added a few of dingle below. The crucifixion scene was one of the most interesting things we saw because it was in the middle of no-where on a very curvy roadside stuck onto the side of the mountain.



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An American Style Fridge

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Over the weekend we got a new refrigerator. We got an 'American Style' fridge it's a whirlpool side by side fridge freezer with water and ice maker and it's lovely! Americans might wonder why this is such exciting news for me. It's because here in the UK everything is small and the fridge we've been living with was the size that belonged in an American dorm room not a house with two adults living in it! It wasn't even frost free so if you put anything too close to the back of it they would freeze and the stuff on the door never got cold enough. Being a person who cooks meals from scratch with all fresh ingredients, we never had enough space in the fridge for all the food after shopping. We have a vegetable cart that sat next to it and on hot days, the veg actually partially cooked sitting in the hot kitchen and would go bad a day after buying it. Last week - I finally had enough and we went out and got our MASSIVE 'American style' fridge.
I never thought I'd be excited about buying a household appliance, but I have to admit I find myself wiping the fingerprints from it every time I go into the kitchen, shining it like a new car (it's black and shows every little mark). Now that we have it I can only dream of the day I can have air conditioning or a full size washer and dryer rather than the all in one tiny thing we have now. I still can't get over doing the laundry in the kitchen...



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Ireland - Day 2 - The Lakes of Killnary

Saturday, August 5, 2006

On our first full day in Ireland, we decided to stay local and explore Killnary (the city our hotel was in). In our guide book, there was a whole section on the Lakes of Killnary and since the pictures looked beautiful, we started there. We spent the entire day walking through nature trails exploring the different lakes and wooded areas.
In the morning it was quite overcast so I started with black in white film knowing that the color film would end up grainy and grey, but I wasn't happy with the results I got with the black and white either. The photos don't do the area justice at all. The clouds hung over the mountains like a low deep fog and the sun made the sky glow behind the clouds.
Later in the afternoon, the sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful day. We found different places in the guide book to visit and spent the day wondering around woods and the the nature trails of national parks trying to find the spots in the book. We walked miles upon miles and much to my surprise, I really enjoyed it. I never thought I'd enjoy vacations that involved so little relaxation, but in an odd way, it was relaxing and peaceful and I always enjoy exploring new places with Wayne. We're so lucky we enjoy each other like we do. I couldn't imagine taking separate vacations like so many couples seem to do.



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Back From Ireland

Sunday, July 30, 2006


We've been back from Ireland since very late Tuesday night. Wednesday, I thought it would be a good idea to get right back to the gym and met with my trainer for a full workout. Thursday, I spent the day recovreing on the couch watching movies and catching up on TiVo (too tired to do much else because we spent most of our vacation hiking and climbing through the woods, hills and cliffs of Ireland so it wasn't a very 'relaxing' holiday). Friday morning, I met with Dan (my trainer) again and had a job booked for that night and worked until quite late. We've been spending our weekend relaxing alone together and staying out of the heat.
I have a bunch of photos to upload from our trip (one of them is above). I'm not quite the photographer I dream of being, but it doesn't ever stop me from taking roll after roll of pictures when ever we travel. I'm passionate about photography, but always end up disappointed when we get the pictures back because they're never quite as good as I expected them to be. Regardless, I enjoyed every minute of exploring Ireland and taking the photos - 11 rolls of film in 5 days.
I have to say that Ireland was probably the most beautiful place I've ever seen (I didn't think Wales could be topped). We travelled around the counties of Kerry and Cork (mostly Kerry) and stayed in a stunning Hotel in Killarney. It was a wonderful, much needed trip out of England. In the following days, I'll be giving a more detailed account of our trip along with some photos and adding new albums to my photo gallery so be sure to check back to hear all about it.



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Elizabethtown

Thursday, July 20, 2006

elizabethtown.jpg
Today was one of those days for me. One of those days I can only describe as a 'female' day. A day I felt down in the dumps and horribly depressed for no real reason (besides the obvious). I've been just laying on the couch hiding from the world. No work today, no sunbed like I'd planned to do after my workout that never happened. I just laid on the couch feeling depressed. I caught up on TiVo until there were no shows left to watch and then I popped in my Elizabethtown rental that's been sitting on top of our DVD player for weeks now.
I almost sent it back without watching it because it's gotten such bad reviews and it's rare I see a movie I like these days. I loved it. It's been a really long time since I've gotten really sucked into a movie. I've worried as of late that I've become too cynical to watch movies in that kind of way, but it happened today. I got sucked into this make believe world of some fictional character and I got to watch them take their little journey through a portion of their life and it reminded me that I'm on a journey too and it inspired me - It inspired me to try and make the most of it (even though it's not always easy.
I used to have a list of things I've always wanted to do, but never have. I made the list before I met my husband and was hopeful about the road ahead. Since then, I've done some things on that list and I'm thinking maybe it's time I pick my head up and do some more of them. Tomorrow, we're leaving for Ireland. I'm going to see a new country. I'm getting a new stamp in my passport. One of those things on my list was to get a passport and go somewhere that will get me a stamp - who knew I'd have so many by now? I've never seen the sunrise. maybe if the sun comes out for our trip, I can check that box too.
So we're off tomorrow for 5 days and my plan is to make sure I enjoy it - no matter what the weather!



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Off to Ireland

We're leaving tomorrow. I checked the forecast again and it's still showing rain, but now it shows one good day of sun. I'm hoping for the rain to keep pushing back, but it's doubtful. Although, our tickets still haven't arrived from the travel agent so who knows...
It's 8:00 in the morning and it's already over 70 degrees. Looks like it will be another hot one today. I'm actually looking forward to escaping the English weather for some of the Irish cooler summer weather. Who would have thought I'd want to leave somewhere warm for somewhere cooler? It seems like a silly thing to do for a trip away, but I'm suffering through the heatwave with no escape. Come winter, I'll be complaining about the long dark winter as well. I wonder if I'll ever get used to life in England.



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Summer Weather

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

God, it's hot. It's 10 in the morning and I already feel like I need a another shower from sweating so much! Living without air conditioning really takes some getting used to (spoken like a spoiled American). This is England; I was told that English summers aren't hot, but this is my second really hot summer and tomorrow, it's going to get even hotter. It should reach over 100 and with no air conditioning or screens in my windows it looks like me and the cats will have to start to get creative with keeping cool. How do you have indoor cats with no window screens? It's no wonder they let their cats roam about in this country. With no window screens it's pretty difficult to keep them from just jumping right out. I suspect they'll spend the day out in the back yard for the next few days because there's just no other way around it the windows and back door need to stay opened. Good thing we have a fence out there!
I checked the weather for our trip this week and it's supposed to be no higher than 60 degrees in Ireland the whole time we're there; which at this rate wouldn't be bad if it wasn't supposed to rain the whole time too! What do you do in the middle of the countryside in the rain? I can think of a few things, but the hotel will have to do considering getting arrested wouldn't be much fun. 5 days of rain. I really can't believe it. Maybe the forecast will change...



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Feeling kinda guilty...

Monday, July 17, 2006

On the 8th, I wrote a bitter entry about an interview I saw on TV during which there were some 'unfriendly' remarks about Americans. I got quite a few emails and comments on this entry and I'm feeling kinda guilty about ever writing it for more than one reason...
Firstly, it makes my husband seem like a bit of a jerk which he's not. Far from it or I wouldn't have moved 5000 miles away from my friends and family to live here with him (nor would I have married him). Sure he laughs at the odd American joke (as do most British people), but he's a wonderful man and I'm crazy about him. I also have to give him credit where credit is due because the poor man has had to take the brunt of my emotions on more than one occasion (to no fault of his own)! Too many times he's been guilty by nationality and he's taken it really well every time. I wouldn't want anyone to think anything different.
Second - I know there are people who visit this blog who are either new to the UK or soon to be moving here. I don't want to put people off or give them any preconceived ideas about life in this country. This blog is about my experiences only and I'm in no way saying that it's the way it is for all Americans living in the UK. I've been here over a year and a half and expected to have more of a normal life by now. With no friends here to speak of I get lonely and feel alienated, so maybe I'm a bit more sensitive to things than others might be. I hear from a lot of people who love living in England, have a load of friends and would never think of moving back. Different people have different experiences and just because at times it's been difficult for me doesn't mean that it's the same for everyone. Please keep that in mind as you read this blog.
That being said - if there are people that visit this blog that have some positive feedback to add for those who are faced with moving here or have recently done so - I'd love for you to share your experiences with me and the visitors to this blog...
Thanks so much!



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Why the world needs Superman

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Last night, I saw Superman Returns. The movie was good, but as always with movies these days, was a bit too long and the plot needed a little help. Although I wonder if it was the first Superman Movie I've ever seen, if I'd have the same issues with it. Either way, it's not as if I walked out thinking it was a waste of time or money because at the end of the day, I liked the movie.
2006-6-17-superman_returns.jpgThere was a little girl sitting in front of me about the same age I was when I saw Superman for the first time and I wondered if she was sitting there falling in love with him the way I fell for Christopher Reeves. It was good to watch a superhero in action. A superhero I grew up with and saw on the big screen when I was a child. Superman represents something to me that Batman, Spiderman and the others don't because I was already grown by the time the movies came out. Superman, in my eyes is the real superhero. Throughout the movie, I found myself thinking things like, 'Hurry Superman! Hurry!' As if he was really going to save the day. Wouldn't it be nice if there was someone who could actually swoop in and save the day - stop the bomb from going off, catch the missile before it hits and go up against the evil villains? Wouldn't it be nice if there was such a man? I wish that there was because right now, the world needs a Superman. Right now, the world needs something good we can believe in. Wouldn't it be nice?
Maybe that's why the world needs Superman because even though there really isn't someone who can save the day, it really felt good to sit there and believe it for a little while.



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Ireland next week!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

kerry.jpg Next week, we leave for a five day holiday to Ireland. We're going to Kerry and I'm looking pretty forward to it considering I have no idea what's even there. Wayne picked it because he wanted to see the countryside and the trip is his birthday gift so he gets to go where ever he pleases. I've seen pictures of the countryside and it looks absolutely fabulous and I'm bound to take some beautiful pictures!
We were supposed to go on this trip last year, but it was before I got my visa and we had already left the country a few times and thought we should re-schedule rather than take the risk of being turned away when we got back to England. We haven't been away for any longer than a weekend (other than for a visit back home) since we got married so we're in need of some time away for a bit of a recharge. Maybe the time away will allow me to come back with some fresh eyes and I'll see things a bit different (fingers crossed). Either way, I'm looking really forward to going. It's always exciting to see a new country!



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My weekend

Monday, July 10, 2006

To update the entry below... The ride to the in-laws was not quite as bad as expected considering I had my little outburst before we even left and the result was a very quiet ride. Not a word was said the whole way up. I had 3+ hours to come to terms with the fact that although my husband could be a bit more sensitive to my feelings, he wasn't really responsible for my mood and as we got close to his parents house, I reached for his hand and we quietly held hands the rest of the way. I guess neither one of us felt much like apologising, but we never stay angry for very long.
The weekend went well. No big dramas and I'm glad to be home. I have an appt for my latest web project in about an hour and I'm still in my pajamas so I guess I should run...



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Friday Night with Jonathan Ross

Saturday, July 8, 2006

11197.jpg Did anyone see Friday Night with Johnathan Ross last night? (for those of you in the US - it's a British R-Rated, Jay Leno type show) Dominic Monaghan.jpg
He had on the actor Dominic Monaghan (who plays Charlie on Lost). While discussing the show, Dominic (who I really liked before last night) said the problem with the cast of Lost is that there are too many bloody Americans. To Which Jonathan Ross replied, 'Isn't that the problem with the world'? The audience roared with laughter and applauded (so did my husband as if he's not married to one of those bloody Americans and laying on the couch with her watching the damned show). It didn't stop there. they went on to talk about how much it annoys them that we destroy the language etc etc etc... It was yet again, another example that leads me to believe that this type of attitude is the general feeling that all people in this country seem to have. Wayne says I'm wrong, but I sometimes wonder if he too shares this opinion. Would it have been alright to say that the problem with this world is there are too many black people? Or too many Muslims or too many Jews? Why is it okay to say there are too many Americans? Why is it so damned funny?
I really try to be positive. I'm trying to adapt. I'm trying to fit in, but it always feels blaringly obvious that I don't. The longer I go without any friends, the more and more alienated I'm going to feel and I wonder if this place will ever feel like home.
I have to leave for my in-laws house in just a couple of hours. Last time I was there I had a horrible argument with Wayne's Cousin (and best friend in the world) about this very subject. I'm not looking forward to the visit and I'm not looking forward to the 3 hour car ride there because I know full well that my husband will get the brunt of my anger about the show last night because he laughed so very hard at the comment. There will no doubt be an argument. My feelings are hurt and when I'm hurt - I get angry and uncontrollably sarcastic. I'm guessing it will be a very long drive for both of us.



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A brief update...

Friday, July 7, 2006

I haven't blogged in a while. I've been so busy with my new business, web training and working on my current web job that I haven't had time for much else other than going to the gym. I haven't even had the time to keep in touch with the expats that have made contact within the last month or so and apologise for that, but after this weekend things will die down for a while because I haven't booked any new business until the end of the month (sadly).
Last week, it actually felt like I was working a full time job! I worked on my web job on my off time, and had appointments and functions for my new business 3 days last week. It didn't really drum up much new business, but it at least gave me the confidence to move forward with some leads I've been meaning to follow up on. With any luck, things will start to pick up.
My web job has been going really well. I'm still in the design fazes, but am enjoying it immensely and I'm learning a lot. It been a really good experience.
This weekend, we're going to the in-laws house (which is about a 3 hour drive) for a couple of days. I kinda dread going because they don't live close enough for me to know them really well and staying in their house always makes me feel uncomfortable, but it's just a couple of days - I'll survive.



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What's your story?

Monday, June 26, 2006

I just saw an advert for a theme park they have out here and was reminded of the following story - Have you ever had one of these sort of days?...


I once had a guy dump me on a roller coaster. I didn't see it coming - everything was fine all day and I thought we were having a great time together and then, while going up to a very large drop, he said, "I think we should break up. I can still almost hear the creaking of the wood panels and the cranking sound of the chain pulling system that brought the car to the top.  I was shocked; my head swung to my side to look at him in disbelief and all I could think to say was, 'What??', I probably would have cried or maybe even choked him, but just then, we started our plummet to the track below and all I could do was scream.

Who knows what caused him to choose that very moment to dump me (only to change his mind later). Maybe he thought I couldn't react too violently or badly while strapped into the the car of a roller coaster, maybe he wanted to make sure I would always think of him every time I visited an amusement park or maybe it just came out of his mouth without warning to even him because it had been on his mind for so long. I'll never really know, but what I do know is that it's a moment I will never forget.

Have you ever had an Ally McBeal like moment similar to this one? Or just a bad day that has a comical slant to it now that enough time has passed? What's your story? I'm always sharing my life with all of you and I'd love to hear some of your stories too.



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Crash!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

UPDATE - After a nearly a week working on it and trying a load of different software packages, I was able to recover all of my lost data (except my emal contacts and messages, but beggers can't be choosers)! Phew, I feel so much better!


My computer crashed for some unknown reason, so with everything backed-up to a secondary hard drive, I did a system restore. For some reason that I still don't know, the system formatted and did the the restore to the back-up drive and I ended up losing everything. Everything! I'm sick about it. Even now as I type I'm sick to my stomach when I think about all that I lost. Everything I've done for my web training (including all of my websites I've done) - gone! Every document, every email, every contact from my address book, every piece of music I've paid for and downloaded, every photograph and every file - Gone! I just got my first job doing a website for my personal trainer. I've already submitted the design to him and that too is gone. I'm going to have to start all over again. I cried for about a half hour when I realized what had happened. I'm just gutted. I'm not sure if non-computer type people really get it, but I'm a tech and a big portion of my world - just got wiped away. I'll guess be busy for a while re-building my computer.


BTW - if in the last 6 months you've started corresponding with me via email - please email me with your addresses. Thanks!



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When did I grow up?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Occasionally, I like to put on my favorite radio station from back home. It feels good to hear the familiar voices of the DJs and hear the music I used to listen to; although a lot of it seems pretty dodgy these days - my taste in music has changed considerably since I've moved here. It seems that every time I put on the station, they're playing Bruce Springsteen (typical of a NJ radio station I guess) and I almost immediately want to turn it off, but suffer through to see what else they'll play.
This morning they played a song that reminded me of a time that seems to be a lifetime ago and I'm suddenly realizing that I'm so much older than I feel and how long ago it was that I was a teenager experiencing things for the first time. It's funny how I'm still making some of the same mistakes now that I did then. I guess some lessons are never learned.
I just can't believe it's been nearly 20 years since I fell in love for the first time or that it's actually been 20 years that I've been friends with my best friend (or that I'm suddenly living with out her for the first time in all of these years). I know it's been forever, but I can still remember those times so clearly. Which is weird because some days, I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but I can still tell you exactly what my first Love's face looked like the first time I saw him and what we were both wearing (oh Lord, now I really feel old)!
I don't feel 30-something. I still feel 20-something and yet, I got my first gray hair before ever having my first child. How is it that I'm now using eye cream to desperately try and stop any wrinkles from forming and I'm at the gym every damned day (6 days a week) and still haven't lost any weight in months? How is it that I suddenly don't like music played too loud and I now consider teenagers obnoxious? Wasn't it just yesterday I was one? And how is it that when I see a kid with a cigarette, I suddenly want to ask them - does your mother know you smoke?' When did I grow up?



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