Sunday, March 27, 2011

Questions & Answers...With Photos!!!

So, since I've been here friends and family have been asking me specific questions about an assortment of topics. So I thought that today I would post some photos and try and answer as many of them as possible. If I've missed anything you want answered- just leave a comment and I'll try and get a few shots of whatever it is you want to know about. I'm having a BLAST here, and there's so much that is totally fascinating that I can't decide what to show y'all first! If I remember who specifically asked me about a certain thing- I'll post it- if I can't remember then I'll just give y'all a general description of who-what-when-where.....okay??

So Here we go!!!

Today Glenn and Joan took us on a little excursion to the sort-of local antiques mall. To be honest it was more of a huge indoor flea-market type thing with a lovely mixture of both antiques and odd items from more recent times. I LOVED it and could have spent the entire day there just browsing around. When we came out- this vehicle was parked directly in front of the building and I couldn't resist taking a couple of snapshots of it once I had realized what it actually was!!!

When I saw this car yesterday in the car-park in St. Helen, I immediately thought of Rhonda and Karen...I wonder WHY???!!! ;-) Yes those ARE eyelashes on a VW BUG!!!!

This is one of the entrances to a residence Paul and I walk past every day when we go on our daily walks!!!Isn't it Picturesque????

This is another little pub we passed in St.Helen. There are about 25 or 30 of them in that little area.

Okay, Mom...Here are Joan's Kitchen Curtains. Aren't they adorable???.... reminds me a lot of your kitchen curtains and also the curtains Nina gave me for our kitchen in the house we just moved out of..... In case you cant tell, they are white Irish-type lace with yellow and white daisies in a line on them. Remember the white Poinsettia valances I used to have up in my kitchen in Kay Acres? Same kind of lacy pattern but daisies instead. VERY pretty!!!

This is a picture of one their doggies, Barney, in his natural habitat....his bed. He assumes if he goes and lies in his bed- he'll get a dog treat. Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't.

This is a photo of another bit of architecture in the town of St. Helen. There's SOOOO much stuff like that I could fill a BOOK about them all!!!

This is Town Hall. Isn't it beautiful? Notice the two Red British Phone Boxes on each side of the steps!!! CLASSIC!!!!

This is a fountain I thought my mom or Cece might like to try and duplicate in their garden/yard at home. It was outside the pub we stopped and had dinner at on our way home this afternoon from "Antique-ing". The place was called The Farmers Arms. Exactly what you think an English Pub would be like...smallish, decorated with white walls, dark floors and accessories, a beautiful polished wooden bar and filled with smiling friendly people just chatting away with each other!!! Dinner consisted of an appetizer of Cream of Chicken soup and a roll... (The cream of chicken soup we get in the supermarket doesn't even BEGIN to compare with the soup at that pub!! I could make a meal of it alone!!!) Main course was Roast lamb, Roast and new potatoes, Carrots, cabbage and green beans with gravy over it all. And dessert was an Apple Crumble in a vanilla custard cream sauce. Absolute BLISS!!!! As a side note- I've had quite a few types of wine- mostly red because I LOVE red wine- and a proper pub drink with a couple tastes of whatever Paul was having as well just to see what it was like. My absolute favorite drink so far is a half-pint lager with lime. I know it sounds nasty- but believe me- it is wonderful- doesn't even really taste like an alcoholic drink!

This is one of our neighbors front lawns...or "Gardens" as they call them. Paul laughs at me because we'll be walking along on one of our daily "constitutionals" and I'll see something really pretty like this and just whip out my phone and start taking pictures of them. Paul says they have a thing like a "Neighborhood Crime-Watch" in our area and he's just waiting for the day that someone calls the coppers on me or comes charging out demanding to know who I am and what's occurring? I just laugh and tell him he worries too much-....once I open my mouth and speak, they will totally understand...and probably invite us in for a cup of tea so they can hear more of my southern drawl!!!! :-) Yeah- I CAN use that accent to my advantage when it suits me!! Hahahaahahah!!!

This is the front of our house...or Joan and Glenn's house. :-) I'm not gonna be a Stacy and say it's not MY home- because in all honesty- Joan and Glenn (AND the rest of the family too) have made me feel so comfortable I'm beginning to feel at home here. I DO have my moments I feel a bit homesick...but with SKYPE and my phone, I don't feel SO VERY FAR away from my family and friends. I feel as tho I'm adding TO my circle of Family and Friends. And that truly is a blessing to me!!!

This last one- again is specially for my mom....This is a pic of Joans living room curtains...altho it isnt a very good photo at all....They are dark burgundy all over with a floral pattern woven into them.

I still need a translator for some people around town. I still haven't driven an auto. I still cant get a job til I get an NIN which is equal to our SS#.

Questions???? Requests?????
Fire away!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Day In My Life Here........

Well, we seem to be settling in nicely here. Somewhat developing a bit of a routine.

Weekdays I get up earlier than I have since my kids were in school. Quick shower, then I make a cup of coffee, make a slice of toast (sometimes even an egg), sometimes I vacuum a the living room rug and the entryway carpet, sometimes I don't. I read a bit- look at my blogs and of course the ever present Face-Book.

(Had a bit of a scare day before yesterday when I couldn't get B & N to download me any e-book purchases I was trying to make. Turns out I can't use B&N with my NOOK overseas unless I have a military account or a Govt account. But my hubby figured out how I could still use my NOOK. Thank God.)

Run a few errands, throw on a load of laundry if it needs doing, do a run to TESCO for the daily shopping. Come home, eat a bite of lunch (usually a half sammich or something light like a piece of fruit) and then watch a bit of telly until time to start dinner.

Have a bit of dinner, wash up dishes, watch a soap or two, then play a bit on the wii or watch a movie. maybe a bit more of a proper walk around the neighborhood, a bit of a chat with a few friends and family on either FB or SKYPE, and then head off to bed.

Weekends are a bit looser, a bit of a lie-in, a trip into the next town or just a lazy day catching up on chores or watching the telly. A bit of a competition on the wii or Xbox, maybe a meal out (or not), a walk about the neighborhood or a visit with relatives and friends who come by to visit.
a simpler life...a slower pace of living. I love it.

My next blog-post will be answering a few questions I've been asked since I moved here...more SPECIFIC things about the house we live in, the curtains, the car...etc....

I'm mapping it out now, so stay tuned...


Friday, March 18, 2011

The Adventure Continues.......

Today Paul took me on a shopping/sightseeing trip to St. Helen, a small town just the other side of Haydock. I requested a round trip bus trip so I could figure out the public transportation system. Greenville had one in the states- and Grandmother Miller and I rode on it into town when I would go and spend a week with her and Granddaddy Miller every summer. I ADORED those trips!!! And guess what???? I haven't changed!! I was tickled PINK to be riding a BUS!!!!!

It cost us two quid each to ride it into town center where we got off and walked from. I was excited the whole way, snapping a picture here and there.We arrived and got off the bus. Let me tell you a little secret...buses round the world have the same exhaust smell. :-)

First we went to Argos to pick up my new Nike+ sensor for my exercise/weight-loss program. He paid for it then went outside and let me collect it myself. We went to several shops in the town, basically making a big circle as we walked round. Again, I snapped a few pics of the more interesting buildings. I tried to get a pic of one of the taxis but they move so dang fast that to get one I would have to throw myself in front of one of them...or push Paul in front of one and I just can't see me doing that to myself or my sweetie. ;-)

I wanted especially to look for a pair of boots to wear. I have proper dress shoes, and I have a pair of trainers and a proper pair Nike+ walking/running shoes. But over here, if you go out to some places, you need a pair of casual dress shoes to go in. I figured a pair of boots would do the trick. Wear them with Jeans, or leggings and a long sweater or sweater dress. Even with a proper skirt. But it seems, they don't make boots for girls with .....ummmmm.....abundant curves. :-) Yes, they do make boots with wide tops...but they are only an inch or inch and a half wider than regular sizes- so why bother. I could fuss bout it being a British thing, but it was JUST as hard to find them in the USA too. When will clothes manufacturers get smart and start making clothes for curvy women as well as slim ones?
Anyway....I went to a half dozen shops and didn't find a THING that was even close..(except UGGs and I effing DETEST UGGS) so I'm still bootless. :-(

So....then we had a brunch of a Chicken Pastie.
A Pastie is .....hmmmm......Okay, think of a Toaster Strudel with a meat and veggie filling with no icing, instead of a fruit filling with icing. That's what pastie looks like. And a chicken pastie basically tastes like a Chicken dumplings filling in a pot pie crust. And it is GOOD!!!!!

So we had one of those for Brunch and then we got a Mother's Day Card for our Moms.
Mother's day over here is the First Sunday in April...Ours in the States is the Second Sunday in May, I think.... Joan, my Mother-in-law, Always got her Mother's Day card almost a Month late when we lived in the USA. After the first year when I LEARNED after-the-fact that Mother's Day was different than ours...I bought a half dozen of them so Joan could get hers on time from then on....and Then I couldn't find them......Finally I just gave up on the idea of getting them to her on time and just sent her an extra nice one when we finally got to buy one in the States. I can only hope it slightly made up for it being late every year!!!

So anyway. After doing all that- and visiting a few games/electronics shops Paul asked was I ready to go home......and imagine his chagrin when I asked him to take me round the entire circuit 3 MORE times so I could get a bit of a bearing on where things were before we left. Bless his Heart- he was SUCH a GOOD sport about it all.

Then we walked back to The bus Depot and caught the bus back to Haydock.

I have to say, the most un-nerving part of this entire move has been my loss of control.
I freely admit I am a "Control Freak" with a Capital *C* & *F* and have an unnatural fear of being dependent on anyone other than myself. I'm fully able to put myself in someones long as I have a contingency plan in place.
Yep- told you- Control Freak.

Here- I feel like I'm a kindergartner again. I even ask Paul to hold my hand while we cross roads til I learn to remember to LOOK RIGHT before crossing the streets. I had him do all the money changing for the first few days so I could see how the system worked. I have to ask him to translate something that's being said despite the fact it's English. And believe me- there's a HUGE difference in Southern English and British English alone without the Local Slang thrown in the mix.

But you know what? It's exciting. It's fun. And it's keeping me on my toes.

The Adventure Continues.......

Sunday, March 13, 2011


So this afternoon while Paul's Mum was cooking Sunday Roast Dinner and his Dad was off playing golf, Paul took me for a walk-about round the Village. It was about a mile or so walk we took...just so I could get my bearings and have an idea of where everything was located.
I took a couple pictures- when I get a bit more used to the area I'll take a few more at a time. But for now this is it.

Okay so the first pic is of a gate entrance to one of the houses on the Main Street in Haydock. The second pic is of a row of the houses in our neighborhood. It's really different over here.....places aren't really ZONED like ours are, there's a row of houses and then a few small businesses, then a row of houses again. And this is like that thru the entire Village.

We did go to St Helen on Saturday to do a bit of shopping and have a look around- but I completely forgot the camera and didn't get to take any pictures, so I suppose I'll have to go back and take some because there was some lovely places I could have taken some great shots!!!

Poor me...having to go do more shopping in this lovely place. I'll make the supreme sacrifice and go back and do that shopping tho...just so y'all can see the places I'm seeing. Sigh......
I'm such a GIVING person.

Friday, March 11, 2011

We're Here!!!!

...We have arrived!!!
We got to Manchester England yesterday morning about 9:30 AM. It was an awesome flight.Even the food was good. The only complaint I have is that it was a bit cramped on both legs of the flight- but anyone who has flown before knows that's the norm.

The place we live in is called Haydock, a quaint little village just outside Manchester.
I haven't been out much to see what's about- but what i have seen of it on my short trip to Tesco today made a sweet impression.

My in-laws have been absolute dreams, making sure we both had everything we need to settle in and make the transition easier. They thoughtfully provided us with a gift basket with all the basic(and a few not so basic) items that we might not have been able to bring. That was a blessing since we were in such a tizzy we completely forgot to bring even our toothbrushes and toothpaste! My mum-in-law had even went out and bought Paul and I BOTH a new bathrobe!

After we arrived, Paul's dad, Glenn, made us a lovely English Breakfast(or in our case-Brunch). After we ate- I was shattered and decided to take a short nap, so Paul headed up to the Tesco with his parents to purchase us both a cellphone. We're now trying to figure out a plan so I can call my family when I want to talk with them since all my incoming calls are free for me but whoever is making them pays thru their carrier. So I basically have to wait for them to call me to get to talk with them more than a couple minutes. We're working on that- so soon as we figure it out- some of you'll be hearing from me in person.

Okay, so after I awoke and paul showed me his purchases, his family began arriving to welcome him home and me to the family. I have got to say that I was a bit nervous about that part of the move- but his family were very sweet and reminds me of my own family a lot. I wont name names, but there are such a thing as Doppelgangers because I've seen them!!!

We all had a lovely visit, then we turned in because it has been a WAY stressful couple of weeks for us all.

I, of course, woke up after 4 hours and just tossed and turned, so I finally got up and went downstairs and chatted with a few friends and family that were on FB at that time of night. I would say unGodly, but it was only 10Pm here.

So that was my time here so far...stay tuned...there will be more!!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Well....12 Hours and Counting Down.....

What an adventure......

We've spent the past couple of weeks furiously packing and sorting and cleaning. And now it's almost over. I'm absolutely exhausted. Completely spent. We've had the family dinner together, had a couple of friend farewell dinners, a couple of luncheons, went to the cemetery and am finishing up the last of the laundry and packing in just a few minutes.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be washing up the dishes, vacuuming the kitchen floor, and pulling the last of our possessions out of the storage room so Julie and Eddie can take load it all up and take it to the Flea market to sell this coming weekend.

Tomorrow morning I'll be sitting here, drinking a cup of, hot cocoa, soda, water, wine, vodka............I'm not sure exactly what but something... and I'll look around for the last time for a long time on the place I grew up. The place I have come back to again and again and again for my entire life.

Who says you can never go home again? Not me.

Hopefully I'll love it in England and grow to love it there as much as I do here in South Carolina.

Paul asked me "Besides Family and Friends(obviously) what will you miss most about here?"

Here's my answer...
*Listening to the trains go by
*The Carolina Blue sky
*Good Southern Cooking
*Seeing the wildlife when I look out my window
*Knowing exactly where everything is or how to go about obtaining some obscure item
*Country music
*Our little spontaneous middle of the night trips
*Free refills on drinks when we go out to eat

I'll revise this list when I've been there for a month or so...Then we'll find out what I really miss(other than family and friends- that's a given and at the top of the list no matter when it's made)!

Wish me luck & Keep us in your prayers!