Friday, 21 October 2011

Weather, gas, food and stuff

Howdy All,
I figured I had better comment on the weather before my dad disowns me.  It has been very nice so far, blue sky everyday and sunshine every day except one.  It has rained a little but barely enough to mention.  When we arrived the morning temps were 5.5C (42F) and afternoon temps were 11.5C (53F).  It has dropped a little, coldest morning was 2.5C (37F) and afternoons are around 9.5C (49F).  We have had to break out the sweatshirts.  Locals are talking about snow this winter so that should be interesting, apparently snow is not common here.

Dad will also ask about gas (petrol as they say) prices.  Our BMW takes diesel which was 1.369 pound per liter today (they don't say pounds over here when talking about money, I guess England doesn't have pounds or deers).  I put 46.02 litres into the car for a total of 63 pound and no pence, or 12.16 gallons for a total of $100.40 for the folks back home.  That works out to $8.26 per gallon so quit crying about $4 gas.  I did not check the gas mileage but we have driven 9 days on the tank. 

A couple of pics for the foodie followers...

Lunch for Karl and I one day.  Sainsbury's has a baguette/paninni/wrap + snack (bag of crisps) + 500 ml drink for 3 pound deal so we each tried it.  Settling for Diet Coke kinda stinks (sorry Tammy) but I am breaking my Mountain Dew addiction.  Walker's crisps (chips) look an awful lot like Lays logo, I will have to look online to see if the companies have a partnership.  The back info on the bags read Walkers Snack Foods Ltd so I know they are not made by Lays.  The baguette was okay but they put pickles and mayo into them (a common theme over here) so KJ didn't finish his.

Our flat fridge.  I was speaking to the mother of Kalle's American classmate and an English mum standing in the circle corrected me when I mentioned our temporary apartment.  "We don't have apartments here, we have flats."  Very nicely said but a hint of the Brit stuffiness
 in her tone.  Mark that down as my first toned "correction".  I must say every Brit I have met so far has been extremely friendly and helpful.  The fridge itself holds 2-2.5 days of meals plus drinks and condiments.  Our rental house fridge will be bigger which is nice.

A sample dinner.  Brown the burger, add the sauce and noodles until warm and serve.  Very convenient and only cost 5 pound 33.  (They also don't say 5 pound 33 pence, they just drop the pence.)  Serving size is great for the four of us.  Ground beef and chicken has been good so far.  Sausages not so good.   

Finished product of the above.  The fruit fingers were great although keeping fruit to the advertised due date has been hit or miss so far.  Can you read the Jamie Oliver pink Himalayan salt in the background?   

Dessert and breakfast sampler.  Cupcakes were great, haven't tried the Cornish ice cream yet, Sainsbury's ice cream was okay, strawberry tarts were AWESOME, Kit Kat's were good and wafer bars were duds.  I actually turned down a cupcake to eat a tart after tasting both.  That's a first for me.

They have Pizza Hut over here, note the ingredients on the All Day Breakfast Pizza.  Baked Beans are on every breakfast menu over here.

Next week is holiday for the schools, most of them have their half term breaks next week so families go on holiday (vacation) then.  I will explain the British school year and expand on the kids schools in a later post, to much to explain in a paragraph.  Some of the other RR ex-patriots we know are going to Rome and another family is going to Pisa then eventually to Barcelona which sounds great.  We are going on a day trip tomorrow east to Nottingham, then the Atlantic Ocean, then more house stuff shopping at Ikea Sunday.  We are supposed to receive our shipping crates and beds next week which means we will be able to move into the house!  So nice for many reasons; we can start settling into routines from a permenant home base, the house is closer to schools/work then our flat, plus we can watch the bigger TV we purchased. SO excited for the TV.  Kids will be excited for the rental house dishwasher.  We currently have two mobile dish washers which tend to complain, bicker and are downright cranky at times.  They are doing good tho Ma, you would be proud of them.  Reminds me of growing up when I was one of the mobile dish washers although I am sure I never complained or was cranky.  No need to comment Ma.

It was pretty exciting driving yesterday, KJ and I managed to pick up Kalle and Lori without use of the sat nav.  Unfortunately it was because the sat nav battery died and we forgot the charger at the flat.  We were only 30 minutes late picking up Lori.  Oops.

Karl also has a new school, John Port.  Its website is and it highly regarded.  It was listed as one of the top 400 schools in England and one of the top 5 (of 70) schools in the county.  We had it listed as a higher preference then Murray Park but is very hard to get into so we weren't expecting him to get in.  KJ and I toured it today and it was okay to him since it specializes in technology so he starts there on the 31st.  Yes Ben he still has to wear a uniform, no John Deere gear allowed. 

Thanks for listening,


  1. Tell KJ to man up at the new school and represent !! At least you didn't turn into traffic with the SatNav down!

  2. I think he will like the school. The uniform code is lax this year since the company contracted to embroider the logo onto the clothing didn't deliver. He still has to wear the same black or navy trousers, white collared shirt and navy jumper (sweatshirt as we would say) as everyone else. So far so good driving but it is a little scary when there isn't any cars on the road. Jay