Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bloody hell

Okay day four is about as gloomy as the weather. I guess what I need to preface this with is, England isn't just London. Where we are? Think West Virginia with British accents...lovely, scenic but enough green fields and rural country side for this girl. Yep, after four days of family togetherness on the set of Deliverance, I am calling it. 10:40pm, Day Four. Done. Today was long and full of mishaps and just when I was SURE it was almost bedtime, Joseph shares with me that we need to take (and pass) and international driving test - tonight. As in, now. As in, before tomorrow when we attend our Newcomer Meeting. That's right folks...just what I wanted after looking ALL over the @#%^ grocery store for crackers (Guess what? They're biscuits) and chips (Guess what? They're crisps) and maybe some produce that doesn't look like it was grown right outside my hotel room under a heat lamp. And wait - that wasn't as fun as finding out I have to put in a pound just to get a shopping cart (it doesn't take American quarters...imagine). Add that to my cell and internet withdrawal since I am only operative on wifi and NO ONE HAS A FUCKING SIGNAL's like going back in time but not in the quaint way - quaint comes later, right now, I just need groceries that I can haul across three layers of wet grass to my big gulp cup of a hotel room, to put in my camper size micro fridge that gets as cold as a beach cooler at the end of the day and go to bed without, gd help me, taking a drivers' test I didn't study for, which, by the way, Joseph is now taking for both of us. I hope I pass, if not, he sleeps in the bathtub. And before you even BEGIN to read to me how important learning to drive here is, no one does it right. You know what a roundabout is? I'll tell you - in lieu of lights because Gd knows how inefficient starting and stopping in an orderly fashion is, they put you on a road carousel that you signal entering or exiting, yielding right, going left, at 40 fucking miles per hour hoping to Gd someone sees you before you face plant against another driver. Try not to scream. Oh and do it on the "other" lane. Who did that? This girl. In a stick mind you. Are you impressed? Badass meets Terrified. And the roundabout only happens every 11 feet so you're good. And if you are fussy, make sure you hike up very close to the car in front of you and flash your lights like a maniac, but don't honk; the Brits are civilized. It's fun, especially at night - when I looked into my rear view mirror, it was like the mother ship was landing behind me. And the freeway is the motorway, unless it's a roundabout. Then it's the spiral of death. I had a meal of Chips and Mayo, yes, french fries and mayo because they ran out of two of my meal requests...and don't ask for iced tea unless you want your server to look like she ate a bad clam. It doesn't exist. There is tea - the hot kind, or you can have Lemonade, which is Sprite. No Sprite. No Ginger Ale (again, bad clam). And I'm not sure what Sponge Jam Pudding was so I passed. As my poor husband pecks away at our driving test and I share my thoughts under the glow of my tablet, on the desk I made out of a shoe box, tune in tomorrow for The Smiths Find a House.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A pint of inertia

We are here! Arrived after a very fitful three weeks of hotels and living out of a suitcase. We had our first official meal in the UK at Subway because that is what was walking distance from our base hotel. It's a little bit country and a lot of going back in time being here...dark early, stores close early - everyone walks if they have no where to really go. Our hotel room is tiny and the kids are all out of whack but they are registered for school and start Wed (can I get a hell yeah?) and we are hoping to secure a rental car tomorrow...oh good - everything I ever learned about driving needs to be in reverse. No that pint but still working on that cup of tea. Five people, 16 bags of luggage and one big, big dog sharing space that rivals a big gulp cup, wifi from the 1800s, yes, I know but if they HAD wifi, it would work like this...and I'm grumpy because I miss my bed and my besties, in that order. House hunting tomorrow will breathe life into all of us. So will a decent night's sleep. I will say this - the British accents do make you feel like they know where they are going...ask them for directions, I dare you - they sound like GPS operators.