Friday, March 31, 2006

Magic Suitcase

Arrived in London this afternoon after a v. crowded trip home. I was on the 11:30pm flight from JFK to LHR, but the 7:30 was 2 hours late and they'd cancelled the 9:30. The spillover made OUR plane full, but miraculously, we left on time. There were huge lines to check in at JFK and to get through Immigration in London, but everything else was really smooth.

My dad managed to get two bridal showers' worth of stuff into my suitcase, which weighed 85 pounds when he was done with it. I felt like Mary Poppins in our flat- John couldn't believe the amount of stuff. Our kitchen is fairly bursting at the seams...we can't wait to get cooking!

Going to have a quiet weekend with John- it's his parents' 50th anniversary this week, so we're going to have them over for dinner. In 50 years, I will be 74 and John will be 87. Teehee.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Very weddingy few days

The second shower was as much fun as the first, although COMPLETELY different. Ginny (the host) asked all the neighborhood ladies to write their advice for a long and happy marriage on a card, and then I read them all aloud and guessed whose was whose. There was definitely a common theme: that John and I should spend most of our time laughing and that we should have our own friends and interests. I think that's do-able. :)

Spent today doing errands and hanging with Emily and Sean, who brought us Fribbles while we were sitting on Em's stoop. It was fab.

Then I zipped home to meet Mom...the photographer for the wedding was coming over to case the joint. She's highly recommended by one of my mom's colleagues, and she seems to have a great sense of composition and an ability to capture emotion. She's also 24 and graduated from Boston College in '03, so of course we know a zillion people in common. Aah...the small world of New England Liberal Arts Grads.

Tomorrow: in to the city to get some more wedding mom wants a big white bow for the car (for when my brother drives the newly married Herds from the church to the Shore Club). Any suggestions for where to procure such a thing would be appreciated.

For those of you who follow this sort of thing, the UK (and Europe) had their daylight savings time LAST weekend, and the US changes THIS weekend. So we are in that one fantastic week of the year when the UK is 6 hours ahead of NY, instead of 5. They've managed to agree that the last Sunday in October is good for both sides of the Atlantic...why the March/April discrepancy, I don't know. The last time I was in Europe for 'spring forward,' it was on our high school French trip and we were an hour late all day and had no clue why. Oops. Anyway, I'm exhausted today and blaming it on the fact that my body has subconsciously sprung forward with the Brits. Either that, or my 8:30am dermatologist appt after a completely zany weekend. I'm going with the subconscious springing.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Crispy Shrimpy and Blindfolds

Back in New Ro for a few days for wedding showers and stuff.

We've been doing lots of wedding-related errands, like trying to get fabric samples from my dress ("But it's just IVORY...just tell the florist it's ivory and she'll be fine," according to the store....that's like saying it's BLUE). And who knew that you didn't need to have a blood test to get a marriage license? Apparently all we need is proof of ID and proof that we're both over 16. I think we can manage that. And there's only a 24 hour waiting period, so we'll be fine taking care of it when John and I are both here in May.

Had the first shower at Liz's house yesterday- it was SO much fun. It was great to see everyone and Liz and Andrea and Lizzie had put together lots of games and great food. There was a word scramble about "my life" which was REALLY cousin Katie left us all trailing in the dust. Try unscrambling "Stowmarket" or "Larchmont". And Kim cleaned up at Bridal Shower Bingo- everyone had to guess which presents I was going to open and put them on a bingo card...the amount of cheering I got when I opened the dishtowels was somewhat more than you would expect (although they are very nice dishtowels...) Got some relatively racy lingerie and some other 'entertainment' from Church Susan ("What kind of church is this?" asked Mom), which led to a marathon blushing session on my part and lots of giggles from the assembled audience. Can't have a bridal shower without a blindfold and some dirty dice, I say.

Julia came down from Boston for the weekend to come to the shower(yay!!), and so she and Andrea and I went to Yama, which Andrea discovered (and can quote the addresses of all 3 restaurants in the chain). We introduced Julia to the joys of Crispy Shrimpy with spicy sauce- it's a roll with tuna and tempura flakes on the inside, roe on the outside, and shrimp on the top. The spicy sauce is a kind of spicy mayo which only makes the Crispy Shrimpy more awesome.

Another shower today (neighbors, this time) and then back to more errands and city trips before I head home on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Small World (& Small Library)

Was at the Stowmarket library this morning stocking up on books for the plane ride tomorrow, and as I was ambling through, one of the "highlighted" books caught my eye.

The book was She's Not There, by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Boylan is a professor at Colby (I was never her student but we sat on a committee together), and she's a fantastic writer with a really interesting story. Read it.

But anyway, there it was, sitting in the Stowmarket library. A place that tends NOT to have whatever book you're looking's pretty low on the who-gets-what totem pole of Suffolk Libraries.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mercury Retrograde Is Not My Friend

My computer is back from Brew and Fiona's house, and is not a happy camper. We're going to have one more shot at salvaging some data, but it looks like it's mostly gone. According to Michelle, Mercury (the planet) is in retrograde at the moment and it's F*$%ing up communications around the globe. I was sending my mom a message on Gmail the other day and Google's servers crashed and lost the email. Yes, you heard me...Google's servers crashed. Lucky me. The picture posted is one of the few of John and me that I had saved somewhere else (this one was on Friendster).

If you're reading this and your pictures/docs/whatever else are not backed up, stop reading and go do it. Come back when you're done. I have no idea how much longer before Mercury sorts itself out and goes in the right direction again, but I'm not taking any chances.

I was chatting with Tibor (Sandra's husband) after the concert, and it turns out that he's in a group of people who play badminton on Friday nights in Bury. As some of you know, I was a die-hard member of Colby Badminton (really old old roomie Rob Painter's still on it and he graduated in '01). Looks like John's going to come along as well. YEE HAW!!!

Gearing up for a week-long NY trip...going down to London tomorrow and then flying out on Wednesday. If you're in NY, call me (on my normal US cell phone).

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bury Bach Choir review

Bury Bach Choir concert was last went really well. It was FREEZING in the Cathedral, though. (Mom, Dad and Edward: remember those December concerts at Kirkstone House? Like that.)

Sandra (my Horringer Mom) invited John and me back to her house after the concert for a glass of champagne, which was really fun. She and her husband, Tibor, are both in the choir and are American. Everyone in the choir has been SO friendly- Enid (who has the EXACT same accent as Wallace (of Wallace and Gromit) has appointed herself my Choir Mom. Apparently Sandra, Enid, and a whole bunch of other people were v. concerned when I didn't show up for 2 weeks (I was in NY, and had told the attendance-taker). I've made sure to tell ALL of them that I'm not going to be there for the next two weeks (going to NYC again for the wedding shower and other stuff). Feelin' the love.

The concert was really fun, though. The choir was mostly together and singing in a cathedral is like singing in a just sound way better than normal.

Off to London on Tuesday evening and then to NYC on Wednesday...woohoo!!

Sunday, March 12, 2006


When I was home a few weeks ago, I emailed my friend from Lochearn, Leanne, who I'd remembered lived somewhere in England. When I emailed her, she wrote right back, and it turned out that she lives in Felixtowe (about half an hour from Stowmarket). I hadn't seen her since I visited London from France in the fall of 2001, and we'd completely lost touch.

Both v. excited that the other one was so close by, we made plans for her to come over today. John and James and I made lunch (James chopped the leeks), and we all hung out for the afternoon and went for a walk around Stowmarket on the "Historic Town Trail," which was dreamed up by some marketing guru in a fit of enthusiasm. It's really funny...they send you on random jaunts past the traffic cone-filled river and vacant lots...but we enjoyed ourselves (and modified the trail so we ended up at the park, which was fab).

It was SO good to see her, and I was really glad that she and John and James all hit it off. Granted, they're pretty easygoing guys.

Leanne takes fantastic pictures and I'm trying to convince her to start a photo blog. I'll check with her and see if she minds if I post the link to her pictures on here...more updates soon!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Little Charlie Chipmunk Lost a Tooth

Having a James weekend...he definitely got out of bed on the talky side of bed this morning. At 8:30 on the dot (the negotiated time for him to wake us up), John and I woke up to,

"Daddy? It's 8:30 and I think you and Kate should get up now because I'm hungry and it's already 8:30 and what are we going to do today and what's the weather going to be and can I play with the Lego Mindstorms and my tooth is still wobbly and do you want to see the picture I drew?"

James is a FANTASTIC kid, but you just know that when he starts a morning with that, it's going to be quite a day.

While we were eating breakfast (well, John and I were eating, James was talking about YuGiOh cards), I mentioned a poem that my mom used to say to me when I was monologuing...

Little Charlie Chipmunk was a talker. Mercy Me!
He chattered after breakfast and he chattered after tea!
He chattered to his father and he chattered to his mother!
He chattered to his sister and he chattered to his brother!
He chattered till his family was almost driven wild.
Oh, little Charlie Chipmunk was a very tiresome child!


Then we were in the B&Q (like Home Depot) parking lot, and suddenly the stream of conversation was interrupted with, "Daddy? I've lost my tooth!" John and I both went, "Uh-huh, good," and went on looking for a parking spot. It was only when James said, "KATE! DADDY! MY TOOTH FELL OUT!" that I said "OH! His TOOTH fell out!" and John said, "HUH?"

Once we'd parked the car, we wrapped his tooth in a tissue and gave him some water...he was v. proud of himself as the tooth had been wobbling for weeks. The tooth fairy will be in Stowmarket tonight!

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Sad Powerbook

Blogging from work because my mac is v. sad and won't turn on. John and Pete (who both work with computers, and Pete with Macs) have tried to make it go, but it just sits there and gurgles. We tried to run a diagnostic test on it, which it decided it didn't like and told us it was having a "kernel panic." It sounds crap and is apparently worse than it sounds.

I'm annoyed at myself because I haven't backed it up (pictures, documents, etc.) and annoyed at Apple because it was a REALLY expensive computer and it's only about 18 months old. Not ok, guys. And I've been v. nice to it, so there's really no reason for it to freak out.


UPDATE: My colleague's fiance has offered to fix it so I'm bringing it to work tomorrow. John got it to boot to an initial screen and ran a disk check, at which point it told him that the hard disk had failed. And in RED text, to make it more alarming.

Hopefully Brew can rescue at least some of the data before I have to buy a new hard disk and throw the old one in the river.

Monday, March 6, 2006

The Curious Incident of the Sinus Infection

After 2 weeks of on-again, off-again coldy-fluy stuff, my body has finally caved in to a sinus infection. After being a complete monster to my lovely and caring fiance, I trooped off to our local National Health office, where they were v. accomodating and sent me off £60 lighter but with lots of medicine. Try getting out of an American doc's office & pharmacy with no insurance for under $100. And they said something about claiming it back on my US I have all the reciepts.

I'm now officially on the mend, and spent an hour this afternoon exorcising the Sinus Demons from the flat...mostly involving changing all the beds and opening all the windows.

For some reason, this morning, I was craving deviled eggs, so I made some. Oh, the joys of having a kitchen and the Food Network search on Firefox. And having my appetite back.

While making the deviled eggs (and baked potato...I haven't eaten a non-squishy meal in a few days), I sat down to read a few pages of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which Emily had loaned me, and before I knew it, I'd finished it. It's a really good book...go read it.

Friday, March 3, 2006

Some Pictures

Since I love looking at pictures on other blogs, I figured I'd put up a few from 2 weeks ago that I haven't had a chance to post yet.

The boys walking on the beach at Dunwich. (James kept picking up stones and putting them in his pockets, which is why his pants look kinda funny).

And here are my pictures of Cambridge (with Sarah):

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Matzo ball soup

Arrived this morning in London after an uneventfully empty flight, nursing the most monstrous cold I've had in a while. We flew in right over central London, which with clear skies was absolutely gorgeous. My camera was buried at the bottom of my bag so I didn't take any pics, but it was truly awesome. The pic above is from the BBC website, but is pretty close to what we saw today.

Zoomed through immigration and met John, where he whisked me into the car, presented me with a box of uber-lotiony kleenex and this neat Lemsip Flu Powder (haha...Floo Powder) that disolves on your tongue. I conked out somewhere along the M11 and woke up in Bury, just in time for us to zip in to the grocery store so we won't starve over the next few days. And to get ice cream which made my throat feel WAAAY better.

John made bangers and spuds for lunch while I showered and got all de-airplaned, and then I lay down on the couch with the duvet to keep warm and read. Conked out for most of the afternoon/evening...I know it's bad jet-lag procedure, but I feel too yucky to care.

Just woke up to chicken soup that John warmed up. Wasn't quite as restorative as Katz's Matzo ball soup, but it was pretty darn close.

Dad: John and I both read OK! cover to cover (and are now fully up to date with the celebrity goings-on)...the paper on the newer issue feels a little glossier and heavier...did you change it or do we have issues that were printed at different plants?