Today is the first day we experienced the wet, dark, cloudy and gloomy weather England is known for after having sunshine three days straight. It has rained on and off all day and temp is 16 C which is 61 F for the American crowd. Still warm so no complaining from me.
No pics today so I will just touch on American football, food, television, our school stops and curbing.
Besides friends/family I am not sure if I am going to miss football or Mountain Dew more. Probably football. I did see the scores online though. Sorry Kevin and Owen/Karl/Vetter, tough start for the 0-2 Colts and Vikes (thanks for taking McNabb though Owen). Hot Rod's Rams and Marky's Brownies are at even keel while my Skins are an ugly 2-0. Jeff's Pack is 2-0 even though there isn't a D in Packers. 419 for Brees, 432 for Newton, is 450 next for Cutler? And the roaring Lions are looking good at 2-0, early season congrats to Soupy, Hef, Rog, Big Dummy, Dino, Hardcore Dan, Skinny and the rest of the Lion faithful. We'll see how they do once Stafford breaks another bone in a few more games. Fortunately I have a few Sundays left to enjoy the games before we all move over.
Birds Confections is AWESOME! Airy dough, thick but not gaggy chocolate and/or cream fillings, and a broad selection of pastries. I even like the fruity treats. Yum yum yum. Eclairs, layered cake slices, bismark like creations, so so good. Definetely a place to take the kids when we all come over. Root beer does not exist over here. It really interests some people, Lori and I would like to bring some over to give to one of the front desk people here.
Do you ever have those A-Ha moments? Well I did earlier this week. I figured out why they call Canadian Bacon Canadian Bacon instead of ham. It is because Brits call ham bacon! HEY CANADA - that is really ham not bacon; or at least call it "What England calls bacon". Don't steal it and try to claim it like you started it. (Just kidding Dana - you can call it whatever you want.) Apparently what Americans call bacon exists here as streaky bacon (thanks Becky L.) so now I have something to find in the grocery store.
My biggest excitement yesterday was learning that England's nut warning on labeling actually means something. For those not in the know I am allergic to tree nuts. I can eat candy bars that say "may have been produced on machines that also process tree nuts..." in the US. So yesterday we were at an ice cream stand in the mall and I asked the lady if there was nuts in the Chocolate Champagne ice cream. She didn't know so she read the ingredients. England's nut warning says something to the effect that processing methods may contain traces of other nuts blah blah blah. So I am thinking that I will be fine since the warning is similar and have the ice cream (which was soft, airy, a little bit liqueurish, and very very good). By the time we walk back to the hotel I am having a mild allergic reaction. Nothing serious that required medicine, definetely not like when Lori tried collecting on my life insurance in Chicago with Ronny & Donna. But that is a different story. And I know not to have anything that contains that warning which I am guessing will be ninety percent of chocolate treats over here. No Mountain Dew, no chocolate... my diet is shaping up already.
TV is very different. After 9 o'clock nothing is censored. Nothing. A show on medical conditions showed more than was stomachable for us. Waaaaaaaaaay more. We also checked out Big Brother since Lori and the kids were watching US Big Brother this year. I quit counting the F word after 5 minutes. No TV after 9 for the kids over here.
Looking into schools for the kids was a little disappointing. We checked out two for Kalle and one for Karl. None of them really excited us so we are trying to schedule more visits for Thursday so we shall see. At home if you move into a school district the school will find a space in one of the district schools for your children. Over here the school districts are called catchments (probably spelling it wrong) but moving into a catchment does not guarentee placement in the school. The schools are also not all connected like in districts at home. Some primary schools (US elementary) partner with secondary (US middle and high schools) but most are not partnered. Schools also end at 16 here so at 17 the child can either go to university or start working for pay. Some schools are adding an additional year so students can go to school at 17 instead of university but it is still rare to see. Schools will also not start any of the registration process until we have a local address so no guarentee that any of the schools we see on the trip will accept them when we do move over. School will be very different for us and the kids. Not bad, just different.
And finally, I drove today! We had dinner at Ed and Becky's tonight (thanks guys it was really good) and one of the things we discussed was a second car. They chose not to get a second car for a variety of reasons but on one of their trips she drove in the parking lot so that she could say she drove over here. So I thought, BAM! I need to drive while I am here. Lori rented the car and has done all of the driving this week so my oppertunity window was closing (and I do not want to drive in the city until I have to). So we do the Chinese fire drill outside Ed & Becky's driveway and I drive for 30 feet. I shifted fine and kept it on my side of the street but I did hit the curb. I am not sure if it was the poor lighting, narrow roads, new country, different time zone, nervous navigator (she actually yelled as I hit the curb at a brisk 15 mph), moon in my eyes, or not adjusting the seat after she drove but I am sure it wasn't my fault. At least that's my story.
Thanks for listening,