Thursday, 24 June 2010

Week 3, Progress

I'm finding myself going a little nutty living in little America waiting the day where life can be somewhat normal again.

We live on an air force base. It's a lot like living next to the airport. Plus, add in jet noise. Gotta love the jets. Olive hears the beginning roar of the engine and quickly slaps her hands over her ears until they have past miles away. It was cute and first. Now it's more essential than using hands, oh say for holding oneself up while climbing on playground equipment. I guess she just wants to hang onto her hearing so she can destroy it later as a teenager.

The other fun "new" thing about living on base is the 4:30 dose of patriotism. I knew it existed but now we get to participate. Those of you who are not familiar with military customs, the National Anthem(s) play from loud speakers, and when it happens, you stop, stand, and salute (or cover your heart with your right hand in case of civilians). Oh yes, today instead of dancing to the music from inside the hotel room while I cook dinner, Olive was outside with me on the playground. She believed the music was coming from the commissary (grocery store) and didn't know why she had to stand still instead of dance. God Bless America.

Can I mention as brilliant as having easily accessible playgrounds outside your living quarters is? I think we've got to be on hour 70+ by now... no sarcasm in that what so ever.

It's not all bad. Just a little of the cabin/base fever.

In the news of the outside world. We placed a retaining payment on our future rainbow pal
ace near Newmarket/ Cheveley. It's easily 2 times larger than our modest little bungalow at Hoadly. In all honesty its too BIG. Cleaning, not looking forward to it. I guess Josh and I are enlarging our Carbon footprint to make up for all those years living with little room, heat, running water, or a bathroom... If you want to see it follow the link. We get to have a sit down meeting with the landlord on Monday. A bit of a chat. Should be interesting.

We also have a car. It's the mama car. 2003 Subaru wagon, silver. Oh yah, a wagon. Olive calls it the 'Subaru dragon'. I think the name might stick. So much for going small. Josh is still looking for a Range Rover. It's a bit of a culture surrounding those cars... much much more than a Trooper.
Photos are from a walk we took on father's day to the Fens.

Those are the big happenings in weeks past- love to hear what's happening in your world.

Friday, 18 June 2010

What a week brings

Today is day 19th here in the UK. Some quick updates:

1) Olive has now eaten proper paper wrapped fish, chips, and mushy peas supper
2) Discovered the brilliance of being mobile- here's to owning a right drive car!
3) Seen an Old, dear friend from long lost Greenkill
4) Made a new family of friends from not so foreign Kansas
5) Seen the sun for a few days, but still had to wear a sweatshirt
6) Poppies are in bloom along the carriage ways along with other grassland flowers
7) Been thwarted several times in finding permanent housing, so, still searching...
8) Seen baby swans in the river down town
9) Walked a footpath and waved at cows
10) Reaffirmed Olive is a very lucky child to have parents who are kind
11) Dislike the amount of TVs the base has about to placate people who wait in long, long ques
12) Navigated narrow roads, roundabouts, and general adrenaline producing moments in driving
13) Had a WA-like BBQ in the overcast and cold
14) Corrects Olive when she says that pounds have "clowns" instead of "crowns" on them- sorry Queen Mum
15) Hiked the King's Forrest
16) Been dragged by Olive to the playground(s) for over 50 hours and climbing
17) Enjoyed several pints of real ales, but not all at the same serving
18) Showing great restraint not eating my way thought the entire Cadbury collection like I did last time I was here
19) Watched a lot of World Cup
20) Enjoyed the local farmers markets & produce
21) Seen pigs living out in the open, in fields, with shelters - makes bacon eating feel a little less guilty

and more. Just thought I'd enumerate before it all passes by. Real sentences next time. Maybe...

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Welcome to the UK

There's not enough time in a day (or correct time zone alignment) to properly address e-mails, quips on FB, and explain oneself on lagging Skype connections. Hence, I'm writing a blog. I never thought I'd join the masses, give up paper mail and inky handwriting, but here I am doing it. If you are reading this, you care enough about our lives, we yours, that you should receive at least on piece of paper mail in the next 3 years. Otherwise, you'll get your stories here. BLOGGED. Argh.

After leaving Olympia, we met up with family. Olive got to have some quality time on the beach making tunnels in the sand and collecting shells in RI with Oma & Opa. Then we were off to IN to see Nana & Dapa. THEN, back to NY to spend time at Coney Island with Mark & Masha. (Thus 5 states and 7 different planes later arriving in London ) Typical travel stories of airports, delays, lost bags, missed flights, and such. Not worth reliving, really. So, I won't subject you to them- the travel that is, not the family.

Once in the UK, the first few days were a blur of altered sleep patterns and the need to feed oneself and the small child. Olive still wakes up after an hour of going to bed telling us it's "Time to wake UP! I want breakfast." The first week was spend under the wings of Josh's new boss's family for food, clothing, and hospitality. A trip to BurrySt.Edmonds for the market (Josh drove, so proud you) proved useful for fresh vegi & fruit. Dirt still on the root vegi. from being plucked that morning. Good stuff. (see Flickr pixs under baby_shark)

This past week Josh has been at work and Olive and I are starting to sort out some kind of routine. Somehow, Josh has seen SinBad and is now at the Syke showing of the London vs. US football mat
ch and I'm in the hotel room... hum, how does that workout to you? No, he does have his work cut out for him as the new flight chief. Me, I'm hoping for a rental that will allow a garden plot. Today we looked at two homes. The first was a 3 floor historic inn in Ashley with a thatched roof. Fantastic property overlooking the horses who train in Newmarket for racing. However, a little more decrepit inside than charming for my taste. The second home was a new build that backed up onto a cricket pitch of the local cricket club. Olive wanted to stay to watch the match and could care less about the house. Both houses were obscenely large, but we have good old uncle sam paying our rent, so, why not live it up? We figure it will give us room when everyone comes to visit. It's just that we'll have to buy things for everyone to sit/sleep on.

No big adventures yet far off base. We've been driving, correction, Josh has been driving around with us looking at villages trying to sort out where to live and what cars to buy. This month's goal is to achieve a set of reliable wheels and a place to stay that doesn't relate us so heavily with the military. Until then it's the small victories of grocery shopping, making friends, and trying to figure out which mobile service is the best to buy that take our hours.

We'd love to hear what's new in your lives in any medium you choose.