Missing the UK

Top 10 things I miss about the UK

Picture via The Telegraph – Go read their article!

1. Rugby – seriously the best sport ever to watch and to play. I need to figure out how to find matches to watch on the interwebs.

2. The Accents – the general populace over here in the States, just doesn’t sound as intelligent… being surrounded by such wonderful accents every day for a year and then going directly back to people sounding stupid even when they are discussing astrophysics is pretty jarring. I realize this is a strange controdiction because I still have an American accent.

3. Being a Novelty – Speaking of which – for some reason the Brits love American accents and Americans in general… I shall miss this being a conversation starter when out in public.

4. Public Transportation – The public transpo here in the States blows! Things are too spread out for it to be anywhere near convenient.

5. Brands/Shops/Designers – Cath Kidston has to be my favorite designer and now I can only find her stuff online or in super-mega big cities (maybe?). Also my new obsession with the shop White Stuff has be bummed because they don’t exist (to my knowledge) over here either.
6. Cider – Not apple cider, there isn’t a lot of that  in the UK but tons in MI, but the real (alcoholic) kind. The beer industry has a monopoly on the drinking in the States and cider is hard to come by. Good cider is especially hard to find. Cider on tap is more rare than Pandas in China.

7. £1/£2 Coins – Dollar bills and the rare $2 bill are really boring. I liked that the smallest bill was a fiver in the UK. Coins might be heavier, but they don’t seem to go walkies nearly as much as $1 bills.

8. BBC/ITV iPlayers – I shall miss catching up easily on my favorite BBC/ITV programmes.

9. Easy/Cheap Travel to Different Countries – Everything is so close together and smaller over there. You can go to 6 different countries in a weekend if you really wanted to – for less than $500 for traveling expenses.

10. Gregg’s Sausage Rolls – I don’t know why I become so obsessed with this specific type of sausage roll, but I will really miss them.

 

EVERYTHING MUST GO!

Hey UK Peoples –

You want stuff? I have stuff you can either have or buy from me. It’d be cool if you left a comment letting me know if you want something – prices listed next to items. There is more than this, but I didn’t feel like photographing all of it. Complete list at the end.

Mini Trash Bin £2

Mini Christmas Tree £2

Assortment of Sharpie Markers, Dry-Erase Markers and Day of the Week Dry-Erase magnets £1

2 x Fish Shape Ice Cube Tray
2x Bottle Ice Cube Tray  All 4 – £2

3 Tray Ikea Desk Organizer £3

3 Drawer Mini Organizer £2

Remington Hair Straightener £5

Tesco Hair Dryer £5

Food Scale with lid £1

Ikea Cupboard/drawer Organizers – Set of 6 (only 4 pictured) £2

Litchfield Self Inflating Camping Mat w/ carry bag and patch kit £10

Ikea Underbed Storage Bag/Box thing £2

File Box w/ hanging folders & manilla folders £2

Other Items not pictured:

1 x Medium Sauce Pan £2

1 x Small Sauce Pan £2

1 x Small Milk Pan £2

1 x Set of 2 Ikea Utensil Canisters £1

3 x Plates (1 ceramic, 2 plastic) £1

1 x Set of 4 plastic square bowls £1

1 x Baking tray – Free

1 x Roasting Pan – Free

1 x Large (Well Seasoned) Wok £1

2 x Small Square Plastic Storage boxes – Free

2 x Small Round Plastic Storage Containers – Free

Assorted Cutlery – Free

Assorted Cooking Utensils – Free

Assorted Mugs/travel mugs/drinking glasses – Free

Assorted Random Objects – Free

Leave a comment if you want to call dibs on anything. I can deliver to UoN Campus, Jubilee Campus, or Lenton/Notts City Center or you can pick up from Broadgate Park. Payment in cash please! All transactions are final (if you don’t want it after that – it is your problem :P) Preferably all items will be picked up/dropped off by the 15th, but small items can be held until the 21st.

That is all.

Fin.

 

Mama I’m Coming Home

That’s right folks, I’m headed back to the States in a little more than a month. I still have a bunch of work to do on my dissertation but after that is all handed in – I will be leaving on a jet plane. I’m packing up myself and leaving London on 22 September for Helsinki, Finland (yep cheaper to fly to Finland than direct to the States) where I will spend the night and then at about 2pm Finland time, I’ll be on my way to Chicago, where I will arrive at about 3pm Chicago time on 23 September (That’s a Sunday).

To my friends/family in the States:

Mama, I’m Coming Home

Going to be in Mason for at least a week and then I’ll be packing my stuff and my kitty (unbelievably excited to see her!!) and heading back to South Florida. Feel free to message me on Facebook or leave me a comment to let me know who will be around and when so I can try to see as many people as possible while I’m in Michigan. I know it seems like a very short amount of time to spend with you all after being gone for so long, but I’ve got to get back to making money so I can pay my bills. I will, however, do everything in my power to come back to MI for Christmas.

To my friends in the UK:

Leaving on a Jet Plane

This has been the best year of my life thus far and I will miss you all dearly. If you are ever in South Florida please let me know so we can catch up! I’m going to come back someday, if only to visit. That’s a promise. I hope I can see most of you before I take off, though my hanging out time is limited, I will be here a whole week after dissertation hand in and leaving so that would be prime time to say goodbye. So please message me on Facebook or leave me a comment to let me know if you will be in Notts or want to meet up in London for tea/coffee/lunch (I’ll probably be there for a few hours before my 6pm flight on the 22nd).

Leaving is bitter sweet and I might cry a lot when it happens (she says while tearing up already) so be prepared for that when saying your goodbyes!

So before I completely ruin any chance of getting work done tonight due to puffy eyes…

Fin.

New Life Goals

Apparently, the fates have aligned and given me a new life goal that I didn’t ask for. My new mission in life has become to break everything made of glass or ceramic I come into contact with. I’ve broken 2 wine glasses (not while drinking) and 1 ceramic bowl in the last week and a half. I am now concerned for my tea mugs, Delft tile sitting on my desk, and anything someone else owns made of glass/ceramic.

In better news the most recent event of breaking a stemless wine glass in the middle of my bedroom floor gave me a shove to actually hoover (vacuuming for my American friends) my room and then I went all cleaning crazy and deep cleaned the bathroom as well. At this point I think I would do ANYTHING (like this blog post) to avoid working on my dissertation since it is this long and arduous thing looming over me.

For kicks here is what I looked like while cleaning with this really insane ‘natural’ cleaning agent – not sure natural cleaning products are suppose to be so hazardous for your breathing health, but the first time I used this one I almost died of asphyxiation. Enjoy!

Fin.

I want a new pair of TOMS

They are Giraffe print!!!!

I can in no way afford these at the moment so they will have to wait, but hopefully they will still be around in the actual fall so I can buy them when I have a job again.
Fin.

UK Adventures Chapter 2: Notts and Manchester

It’s Friday night and to prove how coolIam, I decided to write another blog post.

Nottingham:

Well after the harrowing journey back to Notts from London, Kate and I crashed out until 3pm. After waking, we decided to go on a quick walking tour of the city centre and grab some dinner. We arrived into town just in time for all the shops to shut, but I showed Kate the “sites” as it were, we ate some pub grub, and took her to the (somewhat disputed) oldest pub in the country, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem for a pint. Being still knackered from our long journey the day before and a train to catch to Manchester the next morning, we had an early night.

Woke up the next day and realised that I had a package waiting for me at the post office, which I didn’t want to leave there for 2 weeks lest it end up being sent back, so I ran down the road only to discover the small package that I thought was coming, was actually a large, extremely heavy box that I couldn’t have possibly carried all the way home. I hopped on the bus outside and rode it back, but this was slower than I thought.

We left to catch our train about 15mins later than we meant to because of it, which meant that the slow traffic in town made us miss yet another train… it was becoming a pattern that neither of us enjoyed, though this time the new tickets were only £20 each and we only had to wait an hour for the next one. (Kate decided while we were in London waiting for the train, – that everytime she got stuck somewhere, she would draw a rat… this one is Ratbin Hood.)

Manchester:

Finally, making it to Manchester, where our very first CouchSurfing Host met us at the station. She showed us the best way to get to her house from the station and vice versa then we talked with her for a bit and she gave us a map of Manchester, told us a good place for lunch, and other stuff to check out.

We had lunch at Richmond Tea Rooms, which was super cute with its Alice in Wonderland themed interior. The sandwiches were pretty freaking amazing and the tea was really good! I had the Fig & Goats Cheese with Honey Sandwich and it was just the right amount of sweet with the creamy goats cheese and toasted bread… yum!

After that Kate and I decided to get lost trying to find the little shopping area that our Host suggested. By the time we finally found everything, most places were shutting up for the night. So we waited in the park to meet my Uni friend Luke for dinner/drinks. After Burritos for dinner Luke (a Manchester native) took us to Sinclair’s Oyster Bar where we proceeded to get a bit drunk.

After Oyster Bar he took us on a small adventure of some other places that I don’t remember the names to were there were more drinks, ending with Kate and I returning to our host’s house at about 1am (don’t worry we had prearranged coming in late with her) and having very little sleep before we had to be at the train station the next morning for our 6am train to Edinburgh, which we were determined not to miss!

Stay tuned for UK Adventures Chapter 3: Edinburgh, Scottish Highlands, and Glasgow where you will find out if we actually made it to the train station in time for this very early departure!

Fin.

UK Adventures Chapter 1: Arrival

Well – so I may have fibbed a little on the timing of my posts about my trip and that sorta thing… but mostly because I got addicted to internet television and busy with actual school work for my Masters Degree… anyway here is the rest of the story in minute detail, b/c I don’t know of any other way to write:

2 April I headed to London at the ass crack of dawn to go pick up my dear friend Kate (ratgirlstudios – link to the right) from the airport. The plan was to pick her up around 11am when her flight got in, have lunch in London, then hop on our train at around 4ish back to Notts. Like I said before – the best laid plans yada, yada… I got to London around 10:45 on the coach… it was late because traffic on a Monday morning in London around Buckingham Palace is worse than anything the States could possibly imagine… took us 45 mins to move 1/2 a block.

After finding a coffee shop to hop online, I discovered that I needn’t have rushed to find one. This is when the motto of our UK Adventure Times was born: “Blame Canada!” This point onward, anything that went wrong or not according to plan was blamed on Canada, which is slightly unfair, but that’s just how it goes. Kate’s flight from Michigan to Toronto was delayed by an hour and a half, which meant that she missed her connection to London, the next flight being the next morning at 9am Toronto time instead of 11pm… which means that she was getting to London at 9pm GMT. This obviously meant that we were going to miss our pre-booked train back to Notts.

So I hung out in London all day by my lonesome, wandered aimlessly through Hyde Park, took a quick nap, & basically just a vagrant for a day. When it was getting close to time I decided to buy us coach tickets for the last coach back to Notts, b/c train tickets the day of are astronomically expensive (I couldn’t phrase my frustrations at this better than David Mitchell) , but we will get back to that.

Tickets bought, Kate’s second flight was on time according to the boards at the airport, so I thought everything would be fine. I knew she didn’t have any checked luggage so it should have been easy to make it from Heathrow to Victoria Bus Station in 2.5 hrs after she touched down. Boy did I underestimate British Passport control. 45 mins after her flight hit the ground is when she strolled out of security. Not great but we still had an hour and 45 mins to make it to the Station – shouldn’t have been a problem. It was. After shenanigans and the achingly slow underground ride we arrived 10 mins too late for our coach.

Wrapping up this stage of the story: we thought there might just be one more train back to Notts instead of a coach so we headed to Kings Cross and let’s just say we were totally Chamber of Secrets. No trains until 7am! It was midnight. Too bad we didn’t have a flying car (this reference isn’t going to get old b/c we eventually made it to Scotland where Hogwarts is suppose to be). So we bought tickets for what we thought was the next train after speaking with 2 employees and we to the 24 hr coffee shop to wait it out with the Nazi barrista that wouldn’t let me put my sprained ankle up on footstool.

Kate drew this while we were waiting

We got on the train exhausted (I got a little sleep in the coffee shop but Kate didn’t) only to discover that they wanted another £20 per person to ride the train (that put each ticket up to a total of £74). I almost cried.

Finally back in Notts we went back to my place and crashed.

End of UK Adventures Chapter 1, tune in next time for Chapter 2: Nottingham & Manchester

Fin.

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