Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Have Internet, Will Blog

Yay! I'm back online, finally. My new hero, the cable guy from Virgin Media came yesterday and installed our phone/internet/cable package. So I have a land line now and cable television. Ahh, the telly. How I've missed your comforting glow and mindless entertainment. There are many American shows they play all day here in the UK. For example, you can't turn the damn thing on without seeing Friends (a given, really), The Wonder Years (yesss!), Cagney & Lacey (what? why?), Judge Judy (my own person crack), Grounded For Life (remember that one? Yeah, me neither), and some old classics like Dukes Of Hazzard, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Trek (niiiice). I'm happy.

I don't know if it's kosher to post your address online, but just in case you wanted to send us some late valentines cards or early birthday cards, our new one is:
7 Gaddesby Road
B14 7EX

We are settling into the new house nicely so far. We got our mattress up the stairs, no small feat. Our friends have given us a dining room table, chairs, telephone, futon for the spare room, kettle, fridge and a washing machine. Having a dryer is practically unheard of here. Everyone uses the radiators or a clothes lie outside, if it's sunny, to dry their clothes. Which is time consuming but keeps your clothes in good "nick" as they say. I am still going to make a movie of the house so I won't post many pictures just yet. But I figure I'll wait until the puppy is here so you can see her in all her puppy perfection. But just to get you through the next few days, here's a recent photo of the Beanster having a wittle nappy-poo (okay, I'll stop):

(Oh my gosh, she's so freaking cute I want to throw up!)

Here's a photo of our first dinner in the new house. We had no silverware, only a knife and plate, so what could be more perfect than pizza? We had no corkscrew either, but that's never stopped me from getting a glass of wine.

We took a quick trip to Tamworth-In-Arden the other day. It's a really nice little village just outside of the city. It's also where Nick Drake grew up and is buried. Here's his grave (it's hard to read, but I swear it says Nick Drake!) and the graveyard

We walked to a farm for some fresh eggs, and they had this amazing road that lead to the farm with all these trees planted along side it.

We passed these horses on our way there. I wanted to take a picture of them but the boy horse (this is disgusting, but I want to share it all with you guys) was a bit...shall we say "excited" about the girl horse so I had to put a tree between the camera and the "excited" part of the horse. You learn so much on a farm, things you never, ever wanted to know

Luckily on our way back, things had calmed down and the horses were ready to say hi

Here's a few more snaps from the trip

This is my first attempt at putting a movie on here so let me know if it doesn't work. But be warned: it's not for the easily queasy!

In other good news, I got the job! I'm actually really proud of myself, not only for nailing the job, but also for working with them to make it possible for me take the job. It was starting at six pounds an hour, but after talking to a few people and figuring out my cost of living and wage here vs. the states, I just didn't think that would be enough. Because after you take out taxes (which are very high in the UK, for the NHS) and bus fair (which is incredibly high just to piss me off, about $3 per ride with NO transfer ticket so if you get on another bus right away or ride again a little while later you pay the same fair all over again!! Crazy!) it wouldn't add up to much per week. So they bumped up the starting wage to 7.50. Awesome! And they promised a substantial wage increase after the three month probationary period. Fantastic! Also I told them I needed to wait a week or two after their projected start date in order to properly get my puppy potty trained and do some solid bonding. They said "Okay!" Terrific!

I'm so happy to be working for a company that understands that people have priorities beyond work and a company that is willing to hear me out and respect my needs. I got very spoiled at Coldstream, it's going to be hard to replace the kindness and respect I was shown there. But I also learned so much about my own worth as an employee and hope to bring in the same sort of ethics in the new job. But so far they have shown me that they listen, understand and can compromise. I feel like I'm off to a great start. Hopefully they see it that way to and don't think I'm a cranky, demanding yank. I'm shooting for a March 10th start date, but may move that to March 17th, depending on Bean, and how she's doing with her training. I can't wait to start making some money and some new friends! I know it will do wonders for my mental state.

That's all for now. I promise to get a video, or at least some pics, up of the house and pup this weekend. So do check back soon! I miss you all so much! More than I could ever say in words. But knowing that you keep up with the blog and reading your comments makes me feel so wonderfully connected to everyone. Thank you! (enough sap already, Sher!)

What Tickles My Pickle About England is cups of tea! One thing I've learned from living here is to offer anyone (and I mean anyone) who comes into the house a cup of tea straight away. It's considered rude to not offer tea, especially if you're American, you will get called out on it. So I gave the cable guy some tea, "Milk, one sugar, love." Awhile later the guy says "I have to use your loo, or I'll piss me pants." You gotta love the British sense of humor! I must say that I have become very dependent on my daily "cuppas" as well. When you come in from the cold how 'bout a cuppa!? When you sit down for some telly or a good read, cuppa! When you've been round at the pub, cuppa! Has it been 15 minutes since you last had a cup of tea, cuppa!

Personal Note To Ri-Ri: Ha! Thanks for the suggestions! Thundermuffin and Taxi being my personal favs. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you rock Ri. Give a kiss to Alex and Henri for me!


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy I found your blog! You are a really great writer, has anyone told you that? I'm laughing out loud at my desk!I am such an avid fan already, and can't wait for your upcoming posts! Yay! I'm so glad you got a job and a house and a PUPPY!!! I miss you! Update soon!
Love you,

Malia said...

Do you live near Butts? Butts seems like a good place to be, nice and cozy. Any crazy neighbors in Butts? :)

It's been great being able to read you blog and missin' you guys a ton! (PS. I'm using the plastic table Paul made for my new laptop [exciting!])

judy f. said...

congrats on your new job!!!
do they have a clue how lucky they are to have you??
movie took a long time to load, but finally got it. dang the streets are narrow over there! i'd have to be on quaaludes or something to navigate those streets in a car. yes, walking and biking seem like good options. beautiful countryside!!! i can easily see why you'd rather live there than here. i'm going to reincarnate as a european. get outta these slums.