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Showing posts from January, 2011

I met an American in my town!

Yesterday, I took my son to the doctor (he has pink eye the poor thing). While sitting in the waiting room I was approached by a woman (close to my age) who asked if I was American. I said yes and she said she was from Ohio. We talked briefly about how long we've been living here and the trials of having to register a child as an American (a full day's affair in London). With every name that was called, we knew our time was limited and I think we both didn't want to let the opportunity go (knowing full well how rare it is to come across another American in this area). We quickly exchanged cell phone numbers and said we'd meet for lunch sometime soon.
She txt me later in the day and invited me to meet for coffee. I am so excited and hopeful that we'll hit it off. I can't say enough how wonderful it would be to have an American friend so close by. I have one American friend that is here in England but she lives so far from me, we never get to meet up. I j…

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel - 4 Stars

Synopsis: The Story of Pi - a boy brought up on a zoo in India. Pi’s father decides to move the family to live in Canada and sell the animals to the great zoos of America. The ship taking them across the Pacific sinks and Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg and a Bengal tiger called.
My husband bought me this for Christmas. I started it and gave up a few weeks ago. I was just bored by the first part of the book (before the ship sinks). I am so glad I went back to it because it was definitely worth reading. I've been thinking about it since I finished it. There was a twist at the end that made a good (albeit grim) book into a great book. I may go back and read it again now that I know the full story.
The back cover has a blurb that describes the story as 'uplifting'. I didn't find anything about this book uplifting. This book is not for the fainthearted. It's disturbing and at times, gruesome, but if you'…

In a funk...

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. For weeks, the only thing I've been doing with every free moment is read. I've finished 3 books this week. It's escapism. I've just been so down since coming back from the US. I just can't readjust to such drastic differences in life. Spending a month there just opened my eyes to how it could be if we moved back and now I just can't adjust to the life of isolation we have here.
My husband got a call to interview for a job in North Carolina. My family says jump on it, but I feel like I'd be going from being trapped in a country I don't want to live in to being trapped in a state I don't want to live in. I know it's a step in the right direction, but it's not sitting well with me. I told him to peruse it, but I'm not sold on the idea. If he gets it, we'll see...

One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner - 4 Starts

Synopsis: The Brighton to London line. The 07:44 train. Carriages packed with commuters. A woman applies her make-up. Another occupies her time observing the people around her. A husband and wife share an affectionate gesture. Further along, a woman flicks through a glossy magazine. Then, abruptly, everything changes: a man has a heart attack, and can't be resuscitated; the train is stopped, an ambulance called. For at least three passengers on the 07:44 on that particular morning, life will never be the same again. Lou witnesses the man's final moments. Anna and Lou share a cab when they realise the train is going nowhere fast. Anna is Karen's best friend. And Karen? Karen's husband is the man who dies. Telling the story of the week following that fateful train journey, "One Moment, One Morning" is a stunning novel about love and loss, about family and - above all - friendship. A stark reminder that, sometimes, one moment is all it takes, it also reminds us…

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah - 3.5 Stars

I really liked this book. It was a story of a life long friendship between two women who meet as children and follows their lives until middle age. It's a long book. Part of me thought it may have been a bit too long than it needed to be, but the other part of me wonders if not for the length of the book, would the ending have such an impact? I'm undecided. That aside, it was a touching story (that made me write an emotional email to my best friend of 20+ years when I was done). It reminded me of the movie 'Beaches' in some respects, but had no impact on how enjoyable the book was. If you do read it, keep the tissues handy at the end - you'll need them!
Get your copy at Amazon.com by clicking the book above or in the UK, Click Here

Dear Baby Weight,

By the time you read this, I'll be gone. I'm sorry it has to be this way, but you were just no good for me and it was time I made a clean break.
I didn't like the way you made me feel and I haven't been happy with you for a very long time (let's face it we weren't supposed to last this long long). Sure, at first I needed you and you were good for me, but you became cumbersome and overbearing. You changed me and before long, I didn't recognize myself anymore. The healthy glow you gave me in the beginning, diminished and I didn't feel good about myself when you were around. Our relationship became unhealthy.
The truth is, I've been flirting with my 'I'm not 25 anymore' weight for a while now and we've run away together. Sure being back together makes me feel younger and sexier, but if it's any consolation, it won't last long because it's made me realize how much I miss my first love - 'I'm 20-something and hot w…

readjusting...

I've been back from my trip home to the US for almost a month now (my first trip home in 2 years)and I've been in such a funk ever since. I was home for a month. I always get like this when I get back. Life here is so much different - I have one friend, I don't drive in the UK and I don't have a babysitter. Those 3 things combined make my life a very isolated one, but when I was home it was completely different. I had friends galore, I drive in the US (although didn't always have access to a car) and had my pick of babysitters so I could get out and feel apart of the human race on a daily basis or go out with my husband so we can have some time alone.
It's two different worlds for me. I love having a social life. After two years of being here with no visits back, I can't explain how wonderful it was when I had my first night out with friends. My best friend had a get together for me at a local bar and being there surrounded by people who know and lik…

What a difference a few hours can make...

By noon today, the sun came out. Yes, that's right - THE SUN CAME OUT! my friend, Angela (my one and only friend in England - I don't know what I'd so without her) came over for our weekly play-date. We had two this week as we haven't seen each other since before xmas. When she arrived, I saw the sun was out and asked if she wanted to walk with me to pick up Ethan from school (about a 1/2 hour walk each way). She agreed and we went on our way. It was so good to get out and move while talking with a friend. I felt like I was a part of the human race again and it lifted my mood. She didn't get to stay long once we got back, but I was so grateful she came and motivated me to get out.

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood - 5 Stars

I LOVED this book. If you have seen the movie or the trailers to the movie, don't be fooled - I've been told it's only loosely based on the book (I don't know why movies can't stay true to the book). This was the first book in a long time that when it was over, I found myself sorry it ended. I wanted more. It was the story about the brothers I that I loved so much. It was just beautifully done. So well done that I thought the love story was almost unnecessary. I cried from start to finish and when I was done, I wanted to read it again.
Get your copy at Amazon.com by clicking the book above or in the UK, click here

A bit of whining...

God, I'm tired. I feel like my head is in a vice. I just can't sleep lately. I get like this when I am so isolated and bored. I think it's called cabin fever. I haven't left the house in 10 days (due to potty training more than anything else - not that I have anywhere to go). It's bitterly cold and rainy outside so a walk is definitely out of the question (not that I have the energy for it). Sometimes I feel like besides my little family, there's no-one else in the world.
I hate the weather in this country in the winter. It starts in November - it get's gray and you don't see the sun again until about April. It's f#cking depressing.
I was lucky enough to spend the month of November in NJ this year and although it was cold, I got to see the sun for a few more weeks than I normally do. What I wouldn't do for a sunny vacation where we could just sit on the beach...
I hate to complain. No-body likes a whiner. Although, I just started r…

Mission Impossible... (part 2)

As we walked in, my phone rang. It was my husband calling from England. When I told him where I was and who I was with, I was immediately grateful for the strong relationship we have because there are no secrets between us. I kept the call brief and sat down with my latte.
My high school sweetheart and I sat and talked for hours catching each other up on our lives. Looking at him close up, I couldn't help but notice the gray that's coming through his hair. Not much, but enough to notice and I found it hard to get used to because through the years, in my mind, he's always remained ageless. There were no lines on his face at all and besides the gray, he looked almost the same and I realized sitting there with him how much I still love him (in the way you love your best friend). We grew up together, dated for years and after we broke up, we've always stayed friends. We exchange emails, but don't get a chance to talk much (never mind see each other). We talk maybe …

Mission Impossible... (part 1)

Early this morning I woke to my son stirring. Exhausted, I tried to go back to sleep. Half asleep/half awake, the internal dialog began in my head. I started mapping out this morning's post...
I met my High School Sweetheart for lunch during my recent trip home. We spent that morning texting each other to plan it like two spies arranging a rondevu because his current girlfriend was not on the list of people who knew about our meeting. Not because our lunch wasn't completely innocent, but because she just wouldn't understand. Some people think ex's can't be friends and no matter what you say, they will never think anything different. So, our texts included phrases like 'Your mission, if you choose to accept it' and 'This message will self destruct in...' I soon came to realize a restaurant was not in his comfort zone for our meeting and we ended up at a Dunken Doughnuts (so much for lunch) in a town that was apparently off of his girlfriend'…

Why am I up??

I have been up since 5:30 this morning and it's now past midnight. I have to be up bright and early with a very rambunctious toddler. I am deliriously tired, but the perfectionist in me would not go to bed until I got the background picture on this site to be one that I took. I didn't want it to be stock photography when photography is one of the great loves of my life. All day, I tried and tried to make it work and finally - I did it! Now I can go to bed!

By the way - How's it look? Please be honest. Does it look grainy? Badly cropped? The wrong size? I can fix any of that, but I need feedback to know what to do. Thanks :-)

My old posts...

I decided to import the posts from my old blog that pertained to life as an American expat.  After all, it's what prompted  me to start the blog in the first place and I think it's important to be able to share my experiences with other expats.  If not for those entries, I would have made friends along the way with wonderful people like Aniela and Courtney (who have been expats themselves) who have been like lifelines at times through the years. thank you ladies for being there and sharing this journey with me :-)

Me Time

I woke up at 5:30 this morning.  I just couldn't get back to sleep.  At times like that, I always seem to have an internal dialog going (a result of keeping a diary and then a blog for many years) and I start laying out in my head what I would write as a new entry...
It's been years since I've kept a regular blog (unless you count my 'book talk entires' which speak for themselves.  Since becoming a mother, I just haven't had the time to blog.  My son is 2 1/2 now and I miss being able to write down my feelings and sending them out into cyberspace.  It's therapeutic to get your thoughts out and unload what ever is weighing you down. With that in mind, I decided to re-start my blog.  I'm debating on whether or not to include the posts from my old blog, but time will tell.
So this morning, I snuck out of the bedroom (leaving my husband and toddler asleep in the bed) to have a little 'me time'.  Coffee in silence is a rare occurrence when you have a…