Oh, Great Pumpkin, where are you?

Since this country doesn’t make as big of a deal out of Halloween as we do back in the states, we’ve been doing our best to keep the holiday festive. I can proudly report that I have received my weight in candy corn, thank you to everyone back at home who heard my plea.

Andrew and I have been carving pumpkins since we first started dating 100 8 years ago. I asked for something “British,” like the Union Jack flag. Seeing that the pumpkin was kind of tiny, we decided to monogram an M for our surname. Instead, I think we ended up supporting the Wolverines.

We had our fabulous London mates in town for the weekend. My back is killing me and I have rug-burn on my arm, safe to say it looks like we had an epic weekend. There was climbing and pubbing, OK maybe there was more pubbing. The best way to remember a weekend? Pictures. Making memories!



I’ve spent all morning looking for “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and I think I finally found it. Since we don’t get Hulu or other sites over here, I had to get creative. But you can’t have Halloween without the Charlie Brown special!

Cannot wait to tell you about the random holiday celebration going on this weekend. It’s ridiculous, and involves fireworks.

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Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial?

I love the Nestlé NESQUIK chocolate bunny as much as the next person, but when I need a healthy alternative I really like Ovaltine. Call me an old woman, but Ovaltine is much kinder on my figure. Fewer cals, just as good of taste as chocolate milk. Ovaltine is actually the perfect post workout recovery drink, and since we are trying to abstain from debauchery during the week it makes a lovely evening treat.

When we went to the store a few weeks back I asked Andrew to grab some Ovaltine. He spent like nine hours in the cocoa aisle like he had never seen it before and comes back with this:

1. Unless it’s McMoon or a product for infants I want nothing to do with a moon on my product. 2. Horlicks, um did they run out of words and invent one that would surely turn people away? It makes the name “Ovaltine” sound like marketing gold. 3. Where the frack was the Ovaltine?

Horlicks light Malt Chocolate is said to be, “the traditional malty hot drink to help you sleep.” Watching a grown man heat up milk on the stove, pour it into a thick powdery substance is an awful experience. And to top it off, it tastes like the milk you get after a big bowl of sugary cereal. Moo moo juice fail.

Last night, I watched this Horlick preparation for the last time. I was so ticked that this island has no Ovaltine, I even Tweeted about it. I told Andrew about my Twitter conversation with the people at Ovaltine, assuring me it’s here. To which he replied, “Yea, it was next to the Horlicks.” Pause. Recover. You fathead. I almost sent him back out right then.

The following events occured between the hours of 23:00 and 24:00 on Thursday, Oct 27 —
Me: Horlicks the horrible.
Andrew: Could they not think of a more worse name than Horlicks?
Me: Horriblelicks. But it obviously wasn’t a bad enough name to stop you from buying it.
Andrew: There was no malt. I knew I was screwed when the package said, “Step 1: heat milk.”
Me: Horliffick.
Andrew: It looked good. They said malty.
Me: It looked like it is for babies. And it’s not like it wasn’t RIGHT next to the Ovaltine.

I was crying I was laughing so hard.

So, what did you do last night? I anticipate a marketing letter from Horlicks, so to save the trouble: It wasn’t that bad. I am just an Ovaltine, easy to make, tastes great, kind of gal.

An Open Letter to Dr Indiana Jones


Dr Indiana Jones, our pup, is currently back home under the watchful eye of the grandparents. And for those that live under a rock, he’s deaf.

Dr Jones,

Our son. Who is short, hairy, and is a bit hard of hearing. I wanted to write and tell you how much we miss you and are thinking about you. Today is one of the first days since we’ve moved here where it’s been raining all morning. Wish you were here to pile up with me and keep my feet warm whilst I work. Good thing I still find your hairs, we’ve dropped you in the park, on a mountain, in a pub, etc.

I hear you are getting loads of exercise and GG is finally learning to love you. I know Andy got to see you not too long ago, I was really jealous.

Are Norak and Michael slipping you peanut butter on a spoon every now and then? Maybe dropping a candy corn or two on “accident?” If not, I’ll drop a hint.

We’ll have plenty of places and puppies for you to see here. There are tons of sheep for you to chase with me. Like giant cotton balls! Can’t wait to see you in a couple of months.

With only a few more weeks with the grandparents, remember:

– The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.

– Sleep hotdog style, not hamburger. They can’t get anything bigger than a king sized bed.

– There is nothing magical, edible or exciting in the lower kitchen cupboards.

– Kiss people first, then other dogs.

– When you see a car driving down the street, they don’t need your permission to be there. It’s OK. They are not coming to hurt you.

Behave.

:0 xx

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Yep, I said it. Christmas in England has been sneaking up for the past few weeks. I know back in the states stores aren’t afraid of putting out the good cheer around this time, but it’s getting out of control over here.

First, Christmas candy at the grocery store; second, holiday lights going up in town; third, I have listened to Mariah, Bieber and Wham Christmas songs sprinkled in normal rotation on the radio. Fourth, and most alarming, I saw my first Christmas news blip on BBC this morning.

The anchor was at some “Dream Toy” shop showcasing what are to be this year’s big Christmas gifts, “Predictions for top Christmas toys according to retailers.”

I have an obsession with listening to Christmas music year-round when stressed, and I am addicted to Christmas lights — this early seasonal cheer is not an unwelcomed surprise. However, I think I figured out why Christmas has popped up. Halloween is not as huge in the UK as it is in the US, we don’t get Thanksgiving, so what’s stopping retailers people from saying we need a little Christmas right this very instant?

It wouldn’t be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they – HOTTER than they are.

Public Radio Killed The Radio Star

My take on British radio might be rubbish, but it’s my opinion – so there.

There are four radio stations, OK there are probably more, but I have only located and listened to four. BBC 1, BBC2, BBC4 and I forget the other. The perk of BBC Radio, public funded so no commercials – loads of DJs talking, but no adverts. Kind of bizarre, yea? If I’m lying…

BBC Radio 1 is what I listen to throughout the day, I don’t mind the DJs and the music is probably something like the Q100 or 95.5’s back home. Andrew listens more to BBC4, a mix of all music new and old.

Now that I have educated you on the radio in these parts, I have to share this web nugget that they played this weekend. Andrew and I bout wet our pants.

Beyonce came over to London for a concert and, well just watch the video.

They had the poor cow girl on the radio and she told the story of what happened and it was hilarious.

On that note, enjoy your country music and mulitudes of channels back home.

Take A Hike

No really, I encourage you all to get moving. We went hiking, again, but this time I picked the destination. Thoroughly Googled before we went. The Stiperstones is on our doorstep and it felt like a big outdoor playground. The weather was beautiful but insanely windy.

We crawled over and squeezed through the rocks. The main trail was also bumpy, but it kept things interesting.

The reward for the long hike? A stop at a local pub. I’ve talked about Three Tuns, well The Bridges Country Pub is its sister. It was the perfect day for a cozy pub.

Sunday Funday included a picnic at our local park. Kept it low key.

Looking forward to the week and Halloween weekend, as we have dear friends from London coming to the country for a visit. Yee haw, y’all!

How is it already Monday?! Seriously.

The question isn’t “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren’t we going to do?”

The hus was away this week and I enjoyed singledom, mwahaha. How does a single girl get by?

In Andrew’s absence I…

  • Became a total gym rat. I have officially tried every class, except water aerobics. If my old people pilates class was any inclining, I was steering clear of the pool.
  • Stayed up late and watched reruns of Sex & The City, and Kim Kardashians stupid wedding. Let me save you the suffering, surprise ending the husband is a big fat d-bag. Huge.
  • Danced to MTV music videos while cooking dinner. Oh, Beyonce I know who runs the world. (Yes, there is a actually a MTV channel that plays nothing but music.)
  • Took a mate to dinner and movie. He treated me to ice cream. My dream date, he buys me dessert. (Yes, the movie theater had a Ben & Jerry’s in the lobby. Brilliant.)
  • Cried – Niagra Falls Frankie – when I opened my brother and sis-in-law2b’s care package. I officially have candy corn coming out my ears, and that is not a complaint. I get to introduce others to the joys of Blow Pops as well. I am thinking of opening a black market candy shop.
  • Woke up at 5 AM to crawl downstairs, watch TV and go back to sleep again on the couch.
  • Had cereal for dinner. Twice.

Who am I kidding? I acted like a 16 year old with their parents out of town. With this good of a week, I don’t need to look forward to the weekend.

I dream of Gypsys with the light brown caravan

Whilst my friends and fam back home are consumed with lions, tigers and other jungle animals escaping, we are having our own media circus. Enter the gyspy travellers.

What is a gypsy? According to Google:
1. A member of a people that arrived in Europe in migrations from northern India around the 14th century, now also living in North America and Australia. Many Gypsy groups have preserved elements of their traditional culture, including an itinerant existence and the Romany language.
2. One inclined to a nomadic, unconventional way of life.
3. A person who moves from place to place as required for employment, especially, a part-time or temporary member of a college faculty or a member of the chorus line in a theater production.

These people definiately aren’t putting on a road show of The Sound of Music. Police have moved in to begin removing homes from the UK’s largest illegal travellers’ site, Dale Farm in Essex. I couldn’t get over the images in the news. In short, these gypsys were putting up a fight after they were refused permission to appeal against a ruling demanding they to clear the site.

You have the Wall Street protests, we have gypsy rioters. Not to be confused with homeless people, these gypsys are serious. I am starting to learn about the rights these travellers were fighting for, but at the end of the day to me they seem like glorified squatters. Officially culture shocked.

I’m Walking, Yes Indeed

We are a one car household now. Back in Atlanta, never would have worked. Here I am minutes from a train and bus stop, which will take me all over this island.
Andrew is carpooling with mates to work, which is amazing, and even on the days that I have the car it typically doesn’t move. And it’s not because I can’t drive, promise. I’ve definitely mastered a manual and the roads. We are close enough to town that it would take longer to try and find parking than walk. The grocery store is a 5 minute walk.

The weather has been cooperating and I might sing a different tune when we get into rainy season, but for now I absolutely prefer to walk about. Love this town.

This country also loves them some walking. The National Trust is launching its first Walking Festival, 30 – 22 of October. There are dozens of walks to trek, including some more hiking. Time for tea and a trot.

Never did I think I would actually be excited about a walking festival. Shove me on top of a mountain, that will change my mood.

Stateside

Here’s the latest update from back in the U.S.

Mikey doesn’t waste anytime getting into the Halloween festivities. His house was decorated properly before October. Every year he carves the best pumpkins. His patience with these big round orange masses goes unrivaled. Only an artist….

Andrew was on top of a mountain in Wales three days ago and now he has made an unscheduled stop in Atlanta. Missed a connecting flight, but the plus was he got to see family, friends and DR INDIANA JONES! This makes me sooo jealous.

Counting down to Christmas!