Monday, 26 February 2007

The Washer Disaster

So I knew that the British electricity was slightly different, but I had no idea that it was so different that it would take me an hour and a half to get the washing machine working. When we finally got one load to wash it came out perfectly dry...I was so excited, but when I went to put more soap in for the next load I discovered that the soap had never been used. An hour and half and I didn't even clean the load. Three tries later and I had a clean load albeit a half wet load, but a clean load nonetheless. Now it has taken me almost a week to clean the two weeks worth of dirty clothes that piled up while we were in the hotel. The washer and dryer are combined into the same machine. It takes about 4-5 hours for one load to complete the cycle. Even after that it comes out of the machine slightly wet and wrinkled. So last night I DID THE IRONING. Like a 50s housewife. Today, I was an excited girl as I put in my last load of delicates. It was my first load without selecting the dry cycle (which doesn't tumble dry by the way, it sucks the water out) and when I opened up the washer all the water from the cycle poured out onto the floor. Apparently I must select even the most minimal of drying cycles for every load. Oh yeah and the first night we were here we bought stuff to make pasta, we ended up ordering pizza since we couldnt get the stove to work. So maybe two months from now I will have a handle on the British appliances.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007


Here I am at Stonehenge and let me tell you this audio commentary is fascinating! The woman is currently telling me for the thousandth time that they have no idea how the people of this day got the stones there. They speculate many times, but then in the extras section they tell us that the stories they know about the stones are really myths and legends. So how did they get the stones there? We will never know, but hey it's cool nonetheless.

Josh and I took our first venture out to the English country side this past weekend. We started in a town called Salisbury which is about 20 minutes outside of Stonehenge. We wandered around the market place which was much like a flea market and surprises of all surprises we left with 5 new books. Well previously loved new books. : ) We found the busiest bakery in town and figured since the line was out the door that was where we needed to be for lunch. It was so good!!! It was well worth the wait.

Later we headed to Amesbury where our hotel was located to hang out for the night. Little did we know it was the smallest town ever and had nothing to do, except of course go to the local pub. So we did. That was fun, I ordered a Jamison and ginger ale and the bartender laughed and told me not to let Mary see me with my drink. Then he leaned over and told Mary about my drink while they gave me the crazy death look for daring to mix my whiskey. Thank goodness Josh followed with a nice big pint of Guiness to make me look better. It was kind of scary. Not anything like the American friendly pubs in London.

We then went on to find some great Indian food and crashed out for the night. The next morning we walked 2.5 miles to Stonehenge through the gorgeous rolling country side. It was interesting walking up to the stones with people taking their morning jog passed the stones like it's no big deal. They were truly impressive. It was actually cool to see them in person. But I must say they look exactly like the pictures I have seen all my life. Just bigger really. : )

Anyway, off to a safe pub for lunch.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Smells like Teen Spirit?

Check out Josh in Kurt Cobain's glasses. Yes they are the actual glasses in this picture I found of Kurt Cobain. Despite some reservations we decided to go eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. Turns out there was loads more history there than I first had thought. It is the first Hard Rock Cafe ever and was created by two American guys who decided to give a go of making a cafe in London, bringing American food to the British. One of their patrons was
Eric Clapton, who loved his food away from home. One day Clapton decided that he should have a table reserved for him and suggested such to the owners. They asked him jokingly for a guitar to put up by his table, for which he obliged. They put it up and that was that. Until they received a package from Pete Townshend with a guitar of his saying, "Mine's as good as his! Love, Pete." And thus began what we know today as the Hard Rock Cafe. We were passing by and decided to get some food. I saw the greatest guitar on the wall. It was made for the amazing Steve Vai. I asked the waitress if I could take a picture, (because Josh was so paranoid we'd get thrown out) and she said of course and gave us tickets to the tour of the vault. I thought hey, let's go check it out, why not. So we went and let me tell you it was so cool!!! Not only were we allowed to take pictures, but we were allowed to hold the guitars, play them, wear Elvis' sash, hold Miles Davis' trumpet. The only thing we couldn't hold was Stevie Ray Vaughn's because it is autographed and has since been rubbed quite a bit, so they discontinued that. Anyway, check out the pictures of us in the vault below. It turned out to be quite and experience. Stevie Ray Vaughan is directly below. The Joe Satriani is for Christopher. There are two pictures of me. The one on the left I am holding a Jimi Hendrix guitar while sitting on a bench from his apartment. The one on the right is Ritchie Valens guitar. Lastly, for you Beatles fans, and I know there are a few left. That is the army shirt worn by him given to him by a man in the army in the airport. The paper behind it is the original Imagine notes that he took into the studio with him.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Yet another reason Cochlear Implants should not be used!

I read several deaf blogs and todays article really caught my eye. Why are we forcing CIs on children when they will have trouble with the simplest things in life? Children with CIs are not able to touch those electric lights the gives little currents and the light follows your hands. They are told to be careful near televisions. I mean come on, televisions. How can you tell a child to keep away from the TV because it may destroy their limited hearing or worse. Now they are not supposed to be in hybrid cars? The article is very informative. Check out the quote below. Also here is the link to the site where I read it.

"Hybrid cars are pretty new, they’re pretty expensive but they’re great for the environment and maybe later in the future they will become more popular and less expensive. However, people with pacemakers cannot ride these cars. Now, people with CIs are warned to not ride in these cars."

Shouldn't we find a safer alternative BEFORE we put them in our 6 month old babies?

Wicked Awesome!

We went to see Wicked last night and I must say it was brilliant!! The costumes were so cool!! My favorite part was the Emerald City!! It was positively gorgeous! I wish we would have been able to take pictures during the show. It was such a cool story about how the Wicked Witch was really a misunderstood girl. It was very interesting how everything ended up answering how the tin man came about and the flying monkeys. We had a great little treat too! They surprised the cast after the show with awards from What's on Stage. It was fun. Josh splurged on great seats and I swear there wasn't a Londoner in sight. I felt like I was back in the states.

Holiday in Hogwarts!!

Thursday, 8 February 2007

A glimpse of our town.

This church is on the street
where our new flat will be. I trudged around
all morning in the snow trying to find the flat
where we will be living to take a picture, but
I couldn't find should have been near the
church. I guess I was too focused on keeping the
umbrella over my head and trying to stay dry.
When I mapquested it later I realized I don't think
I went far enough down Heathside Road. Oh well,
when we finally get the keys and move in then I will
take pictures.

This is the main street in my quaint little town of Woking. This is what I joke as being called American Way since there is a Subway, a Pizza Hut, a KFC and I think a McDonalds. It is the main street in town. Behind me is a mall and beyond this street on the end in front of me is the residential area. There is a train station to the right beyond the building. This is pretty much the extent of the town.

We are the most documented generation......

Anthropology takes on a new face. This video is quite inspiring and powerful. Check it out.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

The Woking Martian

So this is my protector! The Woking Martian. It is right in town centre. He keeps on eye on the enemy while Josh is at work. So no need to worry any longer. Say hi to Josh, that is his office in the background.

Hi Honey!

Shout out to my MacGyver Man!

My hard drive arrived today, so Josh came home for lunch to get me all set up. Of course we have nothing with us, however, to use to take the screws out. All the supplies are in the boxes that will take weeks to get here. So he searches our hotel room. He comes up with a butter knife, a hair clip and tweezers. Between the three he final got the hard drive out. The noises made me crazy though. I kept thinking he was going to screw up my computer. So I hid my head like the a scary scene in a horror flick. I turned slowly to ask if it was over yet. Finally!! (pah) Success!! A brand new shiny hard drive and the ability to actually use my computer to its full potential. Thanks MacGyver! Sorry for the diminutive faith in your skills.

The Take Away Fiasco

I don't know if people in this area generally do not deal with to go food, but last night we decided to go get a pizza to take back to the hotel. I was rushing to get home because it was 6:30 and my one tiny salvation in American TV, American Idol, was supposed to be on at 7. It's the only one of the shows I watch that I can actually get on basic cable. Unless I want to watch Everyone Hates Raymond, which seems to always be on. So we go to Pizza Hut. (Yeah I know, but you have to know there is so much American Food here!! There isn't anywhere else for pizza.) So we go in, and it is a nice place. There is a family eating at a table and they have cute little tea pots and there is a wine shelf behind the counter, just like a cute Italian eatery. There are two kids working behind the counter and we ask for the take away menu. The girl seems all flustered and hands us one of a stack of take away menus they have on the counter. So we decide what we want and place our order. Now we got the deal where you can get a medium and a starter for £9.99. Of course I pick the one starter that confuses the girl, even though it says salad on the list of things I can choose from. Finally she finds a salad bowl container. Then while we are waiting she brings us our drinks in glasses. Real glass, glasses. Josh asks for to go cups since they had given me a drink cup for my dressing, so he figured they had one. She brings us back a two liter bottle and says "Will this do?" At this point we are just thinking sure whatever. Then we asked for forks for the salad, she had to go and converse with her co-worker to see where they were. In the end, we ended up with the smallest medium pizza I've ever seen, a 2-liter of the wrong soda, and two very confused looking teenagers. Then when I got home and settled in, all ready to watch me some American Idol, I flip to the channel and it is not on. Turns out the hotel only gets iTV1 and American Idol is on iTV2. Go figure! Should have just gone to the pub.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Do we speak the same language?

It's funny how we are all speaking English and yet we can't understand each other. I met with a lady from the rental agency today and she took me around to show me properties in the area. The two of us were cracking up. She kept asking me what I call things.

Ella: "What do you call that?"
Me: "The parking lot?"
Ella: "Really?" with a giggle.
(They call it a bay here.)

A living room they call a reception, while reading the flyers I thought that meant the lobby area, like a hotel. They tell you to alight the train. Simply means exit. Even the floors at the theater are different, like the ground floor is called the Stalls. Everything is also shortened. So if I want a 1 bedroom apartment to rent I would say, "Have a 1 bed let?" I swear I need an interpreter just to understand English. Hopefully I'll soon learn the lingo, too bad I can't gracefully adopt the cool accent as well. I wouldn't want to risk sounding like Madonna.
: )

Monday, 5 February 2007

Tea overdose and tour bus nap

So here we are...I never thought this day would come, but we are in London. We live here now and it is so insane to say that out loud. It still doesn't feel real because we are in a hotel and let me tell you, it is tiny! I guess hotels don't really accommodate 3 stuffed suitcases. We got in Saturday afternoon and it took about three hours to get into Woking from the airport. We were so tired that we both fell asleep around 7 pm while trying to watch a movie. We woke up around 1 am. I was wide awake!! So we waited and waited and waited some more until 7:30, which is when breakfast is served. It was so weird walking out of there without putting a tip on the table, but it isn't their way. We went into London center and Josh gave me a little walking tour, which meant that we walked around in circles while he attempted to get his bearings back. About 4 cups of tea later, we decided to take a bus tour around the city, that way I could get a better feel for the lay of the land. It was so cold and I was so tired that most of the tour my head keep dropping as I fought off sleep. Once we started walking around again I was fine though. Today I think I am back to normal. Although my computer is not, my new hard drive comes on wednesday. So once we get it all fixed up I will have pictures to post. : )