Saturday, June 27, 2009

I shall open a froggery!

I was going to take care of some of the pieces of dead hedge in the back garden, but my hedge trimmer battery was dead. So I decided instead to skim off the green seeds that cover the small pond instead.

That dead hedge.

And on moving one of the stones that are situated at one end, I found my business plan. A froggery.

OK, not really. But look! Tiny little frogs!

For a bit of perspective, about eight of those seeds would fit on my thumbnail.

Hang in there, little guy. You'll be a frog in no time.

Anyone for escargot?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gratuitous view shot!

The late-evening sky does some strange things.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Curiosity confused the Brit

I've realized in my short time alone in this house that having a cat (or, I suppose, any other uncaged pet) is useful for more than just companionship: It's also a ready-made explanation for any weird noises that may come from other rooms. Strange creak? Clattering noise? Cat did it.

No cat? No easy explanation for this bump or that bang.

Not that the house is possessed or anything. Still, it'd be nice to know just what was making some of the noises. Probably just things settling in the dishwasher.

Or is it?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

On the dole, and I don't mean bananas

I am now officially registered for unemployment; I'll get my 64 pounds a week starting in a few weeks (though I'll get the cash from the date of application). 5,000 miles to get on public assistance? Totally worth it!

No, but really, I'm gonna keep looking for jobs, and hopefully something will come along.

Also managed to blow up the microwave the other day. Don't really think it was my fault, as it just started firing sparks out the side. But it's been replaced, and the new one has a touchpad and a clock and everything. Very exciting.

And I've hacked most of the hedge at the edge of the patio into submission. It needed to go.

Yep, a little short of excitement this week, but all in good time, right?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flying solo

I dropped my dad off at the airport yesterday, so I'm officially on my own now. It's a little strange, to be sure, but I'm getting used to it. I've been moving a few things around, trying to figure out exactly where I want certain things to go, things like that. Obviously, my main task is to find a job, and that process will now begin in earnest. (Right after I update my blog ... or something like that.)

A week or so ago, I was enamored of the charm of hanging laundry outside, and my darling sister posited that I would get bored of it after a while. I'm not bored of it yet, but waking up this morning and looking out the window to see that it was raining ... well, it took some of the sheen off hanging laundry outside, anyway.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Not much more to say, but I have pictures to post.

We've spent most of the week working on the front bedroom, where I'll be sleeping. To say it needed it would be an understatement. We didn't take any before pictures, because it was so bad, but the walls were all this color. (There are a couple closets that still need painting; we had to put the stuff we were keeping somewhere.)

The color can best be described as either "pee" yellow or "baby ****" yellow.

Now, however, it looks like this.

We actually picked the bedding first, then matched the paint to it. The "espresso" back wall there is the only wall that's that color. The others are "sweet caramel."

Sweet caramel is hard to see here. The room doesn't get much light, and my camera batteries were dying, so there was no flash. Also, there's a vacuum cleaner in the way. Oh well.

We also found some really cool stuff among the piles of clothes and other stuff that was up there.

A barometer/altimeter. The flash was working at this point. No idea as to its age or origin.

Photo album. Appears to contain a number of photos of my great-grandfather and others of his generation.

And what I think is the coolest of all:

A surgery kit (we think) that we believe belonged to and was likely carried by my great-grandfather during World War I. It might look a bit like a shaving kit here, but if you look closely enough, you can see that those are scalpels. If it turns out to actually be a shaving kit, then it's still pretty darn cool.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Short update

Projects in the works, projects in the works. No pictures as yet, but I should have some tomorrow. We took a big leap on the front bedroom, which will be mine, and we totally stuck the landing.

The weather continues to be absurdly nice, though it looks like that should be coming to an end just in time for the weekend. Woohoo!

That's all, really. Told you it was a short update.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jolly good, then

At long last, the post you've been waiting for. And by you, I mean my sister, since she keeps bugging me.

This post is brought to you by jet lag (except not really), a balky camera card and unseasonably (OK, un-ever-ably) mild weather.

I tell you, if you believe in omens, then this whole thing is going to go swimmingly well.

Let's go back to the airport on Friday night, shall we? Actually, we can go all the way back to the driveway, where we crammed all four of my suitcases (OK, yeah, it was a lot, but it's MY. WHOLE. LIFE!), plus my father's small carry-on, plus my duffel bag, plus two laptop cases, plus a jacket, plus three people, two of whom aren't fun-sized like my sister, into a 2004 Kia Rio. Yeah, it was pretty amazing.

Once we got to the airport, though, that was where the good times started. Of those four suitcases, three (THREE) weighed in at 49.5 pounds. If you've traveled internationally, you know the weight limit is 50 pounds, with a $50 charge for anything over that. So yeah. Apparently I pack better than I thought. (Or, you know, I stood on the bathroom scale with suitcases in my hand, so I knew roughly what they weighed.)

On the plane? I was assigned a middle seat. Dear Old Dad had the window. The aisle? Claimed by NO ONE! Huzzah! Not to mention touch screen video entertainment, better than one might have hoped for on a 757.

And on our arrival? Holy beautiful weather, Batman. 25 degrees, bright sunshine, clear skies. (What's that? 25 doesn't sound warm? Celsius, young grasshopper. OK, it was something like 78 or 80. It was nice.) If the weather was like this all the time, everyone would live here. Naturally, it isn't. I'm sure we'll resume regular service by the end of the week.

I'd include pictures of the drive back from the airport in Bristol, featuring winding country roads and a detour down a single-lane really country road, courtesy of the idiot reading the Google Maps directions. (Said idiot will remain nameless, but I hear he has a blog.)

Welcome home.

Don't act like you're not jealous of the key on the right there.

Having survived the English countryside, we opened the doors and windows, gazed upon the splendour of the four-foot grasses in the back and settled in for the final football match of the season, the legendary FA Cup Final. Of course, having tuned in in the third minute, I managed to miss the fastest goal in Cup final history, scored after a mere 25 seconds.

But I digress.

Look past the tall grass. Look right on past it.

A fish-and-chips dinner followed (also photographed for posterity and eaten by my camera), and then we passed out. In my case for 12 hours. Time change accomplished.

Sunday, we started clearing up the front garden, a multi-stage task to be sure, then celebrated the sunny weather in fine English fashion by going to the seaside. And sitting on the beach. The beach of rocks. Who needs white sand? Besides, it'll be white sand in another, oh, million years or so, right?

Pub night followed. It was good. Umm...that's it, really.

As of today, I now have a bank account (devoid of money for the time being), car insurance (thanks going to Dear Old Dad) and an application for a National Insurance number (mmm...socialized medicine. It's good for what ails you. Allegedly).

And I've driven my new ride, the 1997 Renault Megane. Oddly, it was made the same year I actually visited France.

The Renault Megane enjoys being driven on the left side of the road,
fine wines and cheeses and being snooty to Americans.