Thursday, May 31, 2007


The mac is going on a small field trip - its airport card (wireless interweb) hasn't worked for a few weeks, and apparently it's a hardware problem. It's connected to the wired internet but I really miss being able to take it around the house with me. So it's off to an 'Authorized Service Provider' tomorrow evening - I'm really hoping that they ping a new card in and I trundle home with it but something tells me it's not going to happen that way...

I'll be interwebbing on John's PC (if I'm nice to him), so I won't go through too much withdrawal.

We really need to move in to our study properly - we have our desks set up but there are no pictures on the wall (waiting for mom) and all the books are crammed on one small bookshelf (and the floor). We're John's torn between getting a cheap 'Billy' bookshelf from Ikea or waiting and getting one that we really love. I'm not that fussed about bookshelves - I'd rather have a cheap one and get the crap up off the floor - nobody's going to be looking at the shelf and we can always paint it if we get desperate.

I'm still trying to get my sewing corner set up as well - I think I need to do some more rearranging. In my infinite spare time, of course.

Ooh...and three more tomato plants arrived today - I think they're part of the ones that Freda ordered for me - I'll pot them tomorrow night and send them on their way!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rest and recuperation...

After a really fun weekend with C, she headed home this morning. Back to London and then home to Boston. It was kind of strange to have her here - almost like worlds were colliding, but it was SO good to see her. Yesterday we watched Miss Potter (very cute but predictable) and The Fountain (redeemed by the fact that Hugh Jackman is hot but otherwise VERY strange). I'd had a fit of decadence at Waitrose and bought 5 different bags of 'odd flavor' British crisps - we had Thai Chili, Mango Chili, Sea Salt + Balsamic Vinegar, Spicy Lime, and Roast Chicken with Herbs. Yum-o! Not all at once, but over 2 days we managed to eat all the (little) bags.

I also planted some herbs in the garage which I then put out in trays in the garden and managed to COMPLETELY bugger my back. It wasn't my usual lower-back-twinge-oh-shit-I-can't-move... this was more of a hmm-that-doesn't-feel-good-ok-now-it's-killing-me-and-I-can't-sleep. Lovely. I was NOT a happy bunny when I woke up this morning and I spent most of the day 'on bed.' I managed to finish Digging To America and start in on The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Digging was not what I'd expected it to be - I thought it would be from a completely different perspective and I kept waiting for it to get 'good.' It wasn't bad, just not particularly memorable. And quite similar to The Namesake, which I also read recently. So far, Memory Keeper is pretty good, although I'm not terribly attached to the characters so I may give up. I still have 19 Minutes (the Jodi Picoult, signed) sitting on my nightstand...I think it's next in line after MK.

I'm also the newly appointed newsletter editor for the Bury Bach Choir - lucky me. I'll have to do some tinkering in Pagemaker or Scribus (the Linux version, on John's pc).

Sunday, May 27, 2007


I had a fab day in London with C and Ellie- we all managed to meet up at the American embassy at the appointed hour, and then trundled around the city. We went to Harrods, Hyde Park, the National Gallery, St James' Park, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, walked along the Thames, and then we went to Foyles and had curry in Soho. Phew. Here we are in front of the 'green' Trafalgar Square:

Then yesterday we went to Aldeburgh (after touring scenic downtown Stowmarket...). We had supremely chippy chips (and fish) and window shopped with the rich people.

We made a pit stop in Woodbridge on the way home to look at the boats, and then had a light-ish and very late dinner as we were all still recovering from the chips.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


The King's Singers were really good on Friday night - they have really solid stage presence and their musicianship is unlike any other performers I've ever seen. They know exactly what the other ones are going to do, and when, and they blend SO well. We were sitting in the third row (thank you, free 'sponsor' tickets from work!), and it truly couldn't have been a better concert.

We took the boy to the Rougham Kite Festival on Saturday - it was super-windy and we all had a great time.

We James built a kite in the kids-build-kites tent.

It was WAAY too windy for it to fly so we...customized it a little. The tail needed more weight so we attached some hair clips that I had to the bottom and then it flew really well.

Here he is, flying it.

And here it is, with the other kites.

They were also running a ride-along thing with the kiteboarders - so we paid £1 and signed James' life away. He had a BLAST. We took a little movie of it - as soon as I figure out how to get it on YouTube, I'll post it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


John and I are off to see the King's Singers at the Bury Festival tomorrow night. I saw them with my parents some time in the early 90s in the UK (and have the t-shirt to prove it), and I can't wait to see them again. They're going to be singing mostly madrigals and early music - it's going to be SO good!!

I bought my Mom a notebook from Taylor Made Designs - it's similar to the one that I got Andrea for her birthday and I just couldn't resist. She's been carrying around an old cast-off notebook that I had written Keep OUT (in bubble letters, natch) on - it was time for something a little nicer and they're SO cute.

One other thing - if you're a guy, stop reading. Gone? OK. If you're still reading, check out the Mooncup (UK) or the Divacup(US). I bought a Mooncup after stumbling on a recommendation on another blogger's site about 6 months ago and I haven't looked back. The mooncup is kind of an odd thing to rave about (John's getting a little sick of it), but it's truly awesome - it's cheaper, better for the planet, better for my insides, and generally fantastic. Ok, infomercial over.

Men, you can come back now.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

"It looks just like the picture!"

John and I had a particularly decadent food day today. I called my friend Elia this week and invited her and her husband (she's American, he's a Brit) over for lunch today. They called to confirm this morning and I suggested that they come over around 12:30 or 1. John asked what we were having for lunch, and I panicked. Elia was really funny when I talked to her in the morning - she basically said that "canned soup warmed up would be fine for them." I don't really like canned soup (too salty), so I attacked this month's Good Food for suggestions.

And found this:

We went to our favourite butcher in Needham Market this morning and got lamb steaks, which I broiled under the grill with some herbes de Provence and olive oil. Then I put it with the smushed tomatoes and zucchini that I'd sauteed in garlic. It was GLORIOUS. And Elia announced that it looked "just like the picture!" Success!

Then, for dinner, John and I wanted something light - I'd gotten some smoked trout and champagne as splurges at the grocery store yesterday - we had some vouchers and wanted to spend them on things other than juice and veggies. So we had the trout on the caraway and poppy bread that John made last weekend - it was amazingly good.

And we're having another beautiful evening - it's been raining on and off all day (and POURED during the hour that we decided to walk in to town...) I think I'm going to make this in to my new banner.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


It looks like I'm going to have 2 (count 'em, 2!) roommates in the UK in the next few weeks. Both C and Ellie are going to be here for various reasons. I definitely feel spoiled!

I got a new cell phone (same number) this week - Vodaphone called and said that my contract was up and did I want to renew and get a new phone. Um, yeah. So I'm now the proud owner of a sexy little blue Motorola Krzr. And I've moved my Indigo Girls ringtone (it plays 'Rise Up') on to it. What more could I want?

Oh yeah, ROOMIES!! In England!! And possibly Stowmarket!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bread and Sky (2 kinds)

John made bread yesterday - he added caraway and poppy seeds, which was REALLY yummy. James and I made a box of American Betty Crocker brownies from the airbase, which went down very well. Here's the aftermath of all that baking:

It was really showery yesterday, and at one point in the late afternoon the sky was really dark and rainy on one side of the house, with the sun shining brightly on the other side.

And I even caught the rainbow:

I'm a sucker for rainbows, and they happen all the time in the UK because the weather changes so fast!

So the OTHER 'sky' in the title is Sky TV. For the Yanks, nobody here has 'cable' either have an aerial or you have satellite TV. Sky is essentially the only satellite provider, which is a bit of a bother. We ordered their cheapest, off the grid plan (all we REALLY want is BBC2 and the odd football/tennis match and dog show - and the TV is v. snazzy and we love it - thanks mom and dad!), and when the guy came to hook up the dish, he couldn't. Basically, they're only insured to drill through external walls. And as our TV isn't on an external wall he suggested we move it. We then pointed out that there was a TV point on the wall behind where the TV is. He looked at it and said that we'd have to hire an 'independent' (i.e. not Sky) to install, as he'd need to go into our loft space to hook up the already existing and perfectly functional except that it needs to be connected to a dish satellite plug. BAH. So now Sky are refunding our £ - hopefully - and we have to pay MORE money than we'd originally paid Sky to get the thing hooked up in the loft. So the fancy-pants pre-wiring of the TV that the builders did ends up costing us extra. Go figure. And it's going to be at least another week before they can hook it up.

My mother has a theory that everything that's done in England has to be done at least's shaping up to be true (although I haven't had the best of luck with Verizon/Cablevision/TimeWarner etc in NYC either...)

Thoughts, moral support, and invitations to come over and watch TV would be appreciated. :)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Post Mills -> Bury

First cool thing? Jodi Picoult signed my copy of Nineteen Minutes.

Second cool thing? She and I had what she referred to as a 'moment'.

I was about the 6th person in line for the book signing (behind 2 Americans), and when I got up to where she was sitting, she asked me how I was doing. "Great," I replied. "I think ALL the Americans in the whole county are here today!"

"Oh, where are you from?"

"New York"

"Really? Where?"

"New Rochelle...[a knowing nod]...but I've spent a lot of time up in Hanover [NH, where she lives - it's on her bio]"

"Oh wow - were you there for college?"

"Nope, I went to camp just down the road - in a little town called Post Mills."

"POST MILLS?! Which camp?"

So I told her. Much shrieking of recognition.

It turns out that her daughter has been a camper there for the last two years and is going back for her third summer this year. It's a teeny-tiny world. She thought it was really funny that she was meeting someone who'd been so close to home, so far away.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Jodi Picoult - in Bury tomorrow!

I'm psyched - when we were in Bury today for the America 400 festival that Ian suggested, I wandered into Waterstones' bookshop and noticed that Jodi Picoult (the crazy famous bestselling author) is going to be there signing her new book tomorrow (it's a 3-day weekend in the UK). WOAH!

I bought the book today (in hardcover, gasp!) and I'll be bringing it back for her to sign tomorrow. Pics, I promise!!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Message from the pancakes.

We made pancakes last weekend - I seemed to have a message in mine:

I WILL be posting more pictures of the house- I'm just supremely unmotivated at the moment. Silly house thing of the day - we were cold (it's a chilly spring evening and we're both wearing sweaters). So what did we do? Turn the heating on. And now, we're warm. AMAZING.

Here's our first bird in the garden. He didn't really want to have his picture taken, but what can you do?