Our Anniversary

Monday, February 26, 2007

Today is me & Wayne's wedding anniversary.  Two years ago today we were in Jamaica exchanging our vows (oh how I wish I was there today).  To celebrate, we're going to London this weekend for dinner & a play and we'll most likely splurge on a posh hotel for a romantic night out. 
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Our gift to each other is a painting we saw in a shop on the harbour.  The best part is that we saw the painting on separate occasions and both thought about getting it for each other for our anniversary.  I saw it a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with it.  It's of a couple kissing on a park bench.  The rest of the painting is blurred and faded.  To me, the simplicity of the the painting speaks volumes on what it's like when you're in love with someone and how sometimes, it feels like there's nothing else in the world but the two of you. 
Wayne saw it last week and over the weekend, told me about it to be safe before buying it.  It really struck me that he felt the same immediate reaction to it as I did.  We're really different when it comes to art so, I find it incredibly romantic that we both love the painting so much.  We're going to walk over and buy it tonight and I can't wait to hang it in our living room!
By the way - Happy Anniversary to our friends Aniela & Herman who were married on the very same day as Wayne and I!



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Out in the world again...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It felt like forever since I left the house! With the bridge on the harbour closed for repairs this week (and the walk around too long to do by foot - in the winter months anyway) I didn't leave the house for a week and was starting to feel like a recluse!
Yesterday, we ran some errands (I have to wait until the weekend to run a lot of errands since I don't drive) and then went into town to look around in the shops. I didn't need to buy anything, but was glad to be amongst the living!
Last night we walked to the harbour (a few minute walk from our house) to try a new Italian restaurant and have a few drinks at the pub. I needed a night out and really enjoyed it. Dinner was excellent and I couldn't believe how reasonable - 40 pounds for dinner with starters, a bottle of wine, coffee and desert! Where in England can you do that?? The service was good to except, the waitress was checking out my husband all night. It's shocking how often woman openly do that sort of thing in this country - regardless of the woman sitting with him wearing the ring! I try not to let it bother me - I mean I find him attractive too, but do they have to be so blatant about it?
After dinner, we went upstairs to the pub for some drinks and ended up playing one of the casino type games they have in pubs here (some are slot machines & others are trivia type games that you can win money on). We spent about 10 pounds won 10 but put 5 back in before leaving. We had a really good time, but I could see my husbands competitive nature would not get us out of a casino easily!
We called a taxi to go into town and do the usual people watching we do when we go out drinking, but our taxi took forever and we ended up just coming home to entertain ourselves. I'm glad we did because I hate a hangover on a Sunday. We always end up spending the day suffering, getting nothing done and wasting one of the only days we get to just hang out together.
While standing outside waiting for the taxi, we watched all the drunken people shuffle past us (after all drinking is the national past time in this country) and I was reminded of an experience I forgot to blog about the last time we went out (one of the other down sides to a hangover the next day). One of the pub/clubs we go to in town, has a unisex bathroom. I think this is a crazy notion for a place that's main business is done with providing large amounts of alcohol to people! It just doesn't seem like a safe thing to do - case in point - While out with the guys one night (it's always me and the guys), I ventured off on my own to use the bathroom. It's setup that the men and woman share the sinks, but the stalls are separated on each side of the sinks (but easily accessible to any sex). I was washing my hands in the empty bathroom, when a very intoxicated man staggered in. He stopped about 20 feet from me, swayed from side to side, took his penis out of his pants and said, 'I'm pissed as a fart' (for all you Americans this translates into: I'm stupid drunk) and then stood there as if I was supposed to respond with something like - Wow, that was the best pickup like I've heard in a while, take me now! I calmly looked for an escape route, said 'apparently so' and promptly left the deserted bathroom leaving the drunken man holding his penis alone.
Slightly shaken by my experience, I went to my husband and friends to tell them what happened. Dan & Doug were angered and probably would have pummelled him if I was their wife, but my husband laughed. He finds drunken behaviour moronically entertaining. He hugged me and said the guy probably didn't even know he had it out. That's when drunken penis man walked up to us starring at me just as he did in the bathroom. The fact that I was standing in the arms of another man seemed to have no effect on this guy. I looked at him, pointed to Wayne and said, 'This is my husband' It took about 30 second for him to register what I said and then he looked at Wayne with surprise as if he didn't see him standing there when he arrived. Wayne gave him a push in the other direction and he stumbled off and didn't bother me again. Looking back, I can finally find humor in what happened, but I still think it's a really bad idea to have unisex bathrooms in any public place.



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Been qiuet - I know...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I know I've been really quiet since the 'American Special' aired. I guess it got me down and I've been withdrawn. I just can't help but take it personally. I think I've seen it as another rejection by this country. I know it would be so much different if I had a circle of friends here that have made me feel welcome and accepted, but I've been here 2 and a half years now and it never happened. What's really sad is that the only friend I do have here is someone I had to pay to get to know me. What I mean is that my personal trainer and I have become more friends than anything else (I stopped paying him 5 months ago). He's a big support in trying to stay healthy and strong with my medical condition. The days we meet at the gym, he's also my pseudo girlfriend and we talk about all the things I wish I could talk to my girlfriends about on a regular basis. 3 days a week for a couple of hours, I get to feel normal until Wayne gets home from work. The rest of the time, I honestly feel really lonely.
It's not as if I haven't had opportunity to meet people. With my business I have met so many women. At the end of an event, I usually find myself surrounded by them laughing and enjoying the time with me. I do great with sales and I've been welcomed into their homes, but it stops there. I have never had even one of them offer a hand in friendship (besides the group of 19 year-olds I last did an event for. They wanted to hang out with me and take me clubbing, but I can't start hanging out with teenagers). I guess at this age and time in life, a lot of people aren't looking to expand their well established circle of friends. There have been days that I left the gym locker room hiding tears after watching the groups of friends interacting and planning lunch after a workout together.
So, I've become withdrawn and have thrown myself into work and my web design training which I've really neglected since my business got busy in November. The footbridge to the marina is closed for repairs this week, so I haven't been to the gym since last Wednesday and I'm feeling a bit stir-crazy and isolated. I can't even take solace in the fact that we have plans to move back because in order to make the move, we're going to have to save about 30k. I fear that summertime as our target may be a bit too optimistic and we'll have to put it off until next spring (we need to make the move in the warmer months so that Wayne will have a full season to establish work on construction sites). This will mean another year here and possibly a pregnancy without my friends and family - Not exactly ideal.
I fear this entry has become too much of a woe is me type entry so, I'm going to stop here. I guess I just wanted to explain my absence...



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Top Gear's 'American Special'

Monday, February 12, 2007

Last night, the BBC's television programme, Top Gear aired their 'American special'. During the show the presenters went on a moronic road trip from Florida to New Orleans. Along the way, they found a way to insult the entire nation by blatantly saying that we're all fat and stupid. They then went on to depict us to be Red neck, bible banging, gun-toting murders.
On this road trip, they stopped in a small town in the deep-south and wrote (in very bright large lettering) inflammatory things on the each other's cars to see who can get the other 'shot' by the locals. The end result was getting chased away and pelted with stones by shirtless men driving in the back of a pickup - What happened may not have happened if not for the fact that they were foreigners clearly trying to upset the people who lived there by being as disrespectful as possible (click the link to see a clip of this on YouTube) . I may have tried to stone them too if I was there to witness such an act of racist contempt from visitors to our country.
The worst act of insolence was when they tried to depict themselves as being 'charitable' by donating a car to one of the victims of hurricane Katrina. Earlier in the show, they strapped the dead body of a large cow to the roof of the car (as a part of a challenge they had to perform). It was in very bad taste and horrible to watch. After they taped that part of the show, they had to remove the passenger seat of the car because of the odor from the carcass, which they referred to as 'cow juice'. I couldn't believe it when they donated that car to someone who lost everything in such a tragic disaster. It was deplorable.
I think what bothered me most about this hour long show, was the fact that it's not racism in this country to make a show like this about America. It's just funny to the British Public. It's funny because it's how they view us here so they all get the joke and the BBC can play this unbelievable racist programme without worrying about repercussion. Could they go into Ireland and make such a film? Could they do it in Scotland or make a film like that calling any other nationality 'stupid'? Probably not - But why not Americans? Why? Because the popular belief is that everything they showed is true to form in America.
They ended the show by saying -'Don't go to America' Wouldn't it be nice if they didn't either?



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Need a good workout?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Since the cold weather started, I've been struggling with working out. Because of the pain from my arthritis, I find it hard to workout without Dan (my trainer). I've put back on a lot of the weight I lost and it's been really difficult for me to get through a workout on my own.
I found a website (iamplify.com)that has audio workouts that you can download listen to while doing the bike, treadmill, cross trainer (aka Elliptical machine) etc etc... For the past two days, I've been using them. One for the bike and the other for the Elliptical machine. They've been really good. It just gives me that push I really need right now to get through the workout.
I just thought I'd share the site just in case anyone else might be going through the same kind of thing or is just looking for something different as a workout.



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Continuing with the theme...

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Continuing with the theme of embarrassing moments- From 3rd to 7th grade I had a massive crush on one of my brother's best friends, Bobby. I was infatuated with him. He was 3 years older than me and I was nothing more to him than Ray's little sister, but in my eyes -he was a star. When I was 12, my friends and I went to the movies with my brother and Bobby. I couldn't believe I got to hang out with him - It was a dream come true! My friends and I primped for hours before leaving -making sure we looked just right for the big day with Bobby.
I'll never forget it - we went to see Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton. At some point during the movie, my friends got up to go to the bathroom or the snack bar and while they were gone, Bobby sat in the seat next to me. I was in shock! He leaned over to talk to me and I didn't do much more than giggle. Then, just as I was taking a sip of my soda, he put his arm around me. The shock of it made me choke on my drink and I began to cough uncontrollably. He pat me on the back to try and help and that's' when it happened -I threw up! Bobby hurtled the seats in front of us for about 3 rows to get away and I ran for the ladies room in complete and utter humiliation!
For about an hour, my friends tried to get me to come out, but I wouldn't come out and face Bobby. I didn't plan on ever coming out. I just sat there on the bathroom counter crying. My friends got fed up with trying to coax me out and left me there and a few minutes later, in came Bobby. He walked right into the ladies room and sat on the counter with me. He was really sweet. He sat there and said he was sorry for running away, it could have happened to anyone and not to be upset. He said he couldn't blame me for being embarrassed, but if he could walk into the ladies room, the least I could do was walk out with him. He gave me a little hug, took my hand and said, 'Shall we?' and we walked out together.
I think that this story has to be my all time most embarrassing moment because when you're that young, a crush like that is a really big deal and what could be more embarrassing??



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