Thursday, 22 September 2011

Bits and bobs (odds and ends for the American crowd)

Yesterday was disappointing, deflating and a little scary.  Now I know where those sad, wailing, blubbery drunken Irish ballads come from - house hunting in the UK!  We went house hunting and saw six homes, but didn't put an offer on any of them.  We did see a few nice ones but none were within walking distance of a school.  Lori gets a car for work but if we want a second car we have to buy one.  That still may be what we do but we are trying to avoid it if possible.  If I end up getting a job I would need a car but until then we are going to try relying on walking or public transportation.  We are also strugling to find houses near some of the better rated schools.  We did get a better idea on areas now and have a catchment map (thanks again Becky L.) so that should help.  Now we can triangulate primary & secondary school catchments with available housing and hope public transportation is close.  The other catch is just because we live in a catchment for the school, the kids won't automatically get in.  There is a state law that puts a ceiling on the class sizes, so we would have to wait for an opening if the class year (grade in the states) is full.  I don't mind walking to stores or what not, I am more concerned about how the kids get to and from school.  A very frustarting day yesterday, maybe today will be better.

We also picked up some more Brit lingo yesterday.  During our house hunting the realtors kept talking about the gardens as we looked at the backyards.  I thought they were pretty poor gardens as nothing was growing in them until I realized their garden is our backyard.  They also called the front yard a lawn.  I didn't think to ask them what they called our garden.  We did see one house a little out of our allowance that was BEAUTIFUL!  We need to look into that one a little more, it had three "gardens", 3.5 baths, 5 bedrooms and 3 reception (our living room) rooms.  Bigger than we need but it was SOOOOO nice.  Probably expensive to heat/live in which is a consideration.  

As an FYI we are in the Derbyshire (pronounced darby-shur) area.  I keep thinking of Bugs Bunny cartoons of my youth when Daffy Duck was Dorlock Homes looking for the Shropshire Slasher (said with his trademark blustery lisp of course).  I loved that episode.  I don't know if Chuck Jones was never over here or if he chose to pronounce it as it is spelled.  Let's move on before I digress to much.

Today's Dana Johnson pic.  Typical breakfast at the hotel.  When I say typical I mean every single morning.  Every... single... morning.  Starting at the fried egg and moving clockwise; drowned in butter mushroom, fried in a ton of butter hash brown, black pudding, spice pork sauage (hope it was pork), pork sausage (ditto), smoked back bacon, and grilled tomatoe in the middle.  The hash brown and bacon are okay.  The black pudding is a blood pancake, I only put it on my plate for the picture.  It kind of grossed Lori out and it was only on my plate.  I have not tried it yet, I was going to but chickened out.  Blood anything is not real high on my new experiences list.  It actually is just below live grizzly bear wresting. 

On the positive side we were able to FaceTime with the kids last night.  That was great, we really miss the kids (Lori is going on two weeks, so she is having definite withdrawls).  It is nice to get away and live as adults for a while but you always worry about your kids, especially when they are not near you.  Thanks Bob & Lona for taking care of them this week, we really appreciate it.

Thanks for listening,

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