Thursday, 26 August 2010

Heading to Scotland! August 25, 2010

Hiya, as the British say.  Just sitting around waiting for Friday.  We are leaving early Friday morning to go to Scotland for five days!  A vendor of Joe's (Neil) has invited us up to watch the Highland Games.  He lives in Scotland, so we are heading up for the games which will be on Saturday.  The Highland Games are in cities throughout the highlands (as opposed to the lowlands and central Scotland).  They are hosted by different cities throughout the summer.  We are going to the Lonarch Highland Games.  Neil lives a couple of hours away, this is his favorite.  It is an 8 hour drive, so we will leave early Friday, stop and have lunch with Neil and then keep heading north to our hotel, about 25 miles outside of where the games are held.  A couple of weeks ago I tried to get a hotel in the city where the games are (Strathdon) and there were no rooms available.  Finally one inn keeper told me that there were no rooms as the same families reserve the same rooms for years in advance for the games!  

I really don't know what to expect.  I know there will be lots of men in kilts!  They have all kinds of competitions including piping(?) and highland dancing, track and field events, and the heavy events.  These heavy events include hammer throwing, tug-of-war and tossing the caber.   I thought tossing the caber would be like a shot put type thing.  But I saw a picture online and it is a huge log!  Here is the description:  "This event involves a tree trunk weighing approximately 150 lbs., 18 feet long and 9" in diameter on one end, narrowing to 5" on the other.  The competitor laces his hands together under the narrow end and rests the length of the caber on his shoulder.  He then runs as fast as he can, stops dead and tosses the end he holds in the air so that the heavier end lands on the ground and the light end lands on the ground pointing away from him."  It sounds like entertainment to me!

After we spend Friday night and Saturday night there, we are going to drive to Edinburgh (Scotland's capital).  They have an ongoing festival for the whole month of August with street entertainment, shows, all kinds of stuff going on.  We will only be there for the day as our next two night lodging is an hour or two southwest of there in the Trossachs area of Scotland.

The Trossachs is a beautiful area of lochs (lakes or partially landlocked or protected bay) and hills.  This area is the setting of several novels written by Sir Walter Scott.  Throughout Scotland are many places that Mary Queen of Scots hid while fleeing from the armies of King Henry VIII.  One of those places is a priory in this area. Another neat thing is that we are going to be able to see the village where Rob Roy lived (Robert MacGregor) (remember the movie Rob Roy with Liam Neeson, if you haven't seen it you must), and his grave!  There is also a museum for him.  There is a very pretty village named Luss, which is supposed to be one of the prettiest villages in Scotland.  There is another village that has a fairly famous store called the Trossachs Woollen Mill that I can't wait to shop in!  It doesn't hurt that they sell homemade cakes, scones, biscuits and pancakes too!  This is supposed to be the relaxing part of our mini trip.  Joe is happy to let me do all the planning.  I was hoping we could stroll around the area and relax with some pretty scenery before he has to go back to work on Wednesday.

I hope to have lots to write about when we get home on Tuesday.  We are going to take our Flip camera that Joe's managers gave him before we moved here. What a GREAT gift guys! We've been using it and having fun with it.  Now I need to get busy and work out how to get a video put on this blog.

On the home front (in Maryland)

Our sweet little granddaughter Caroline went to her first day of Kindergarten yesterday.  Can you believe it?  There are pictures of this momentous day on Facebook.  She is very confident and independent.  After taking pictures when the bus picked her up, her mom followed in the car to see her to her classroom.  She informed her mom, "I know where I'm going" and off she went to put her backpack in her locker.  How cute!  Brian asked her when she got home what the best part of her day was and she said, "the bus"!  LOL.  I really miss those two grandkids.

On the home front (England)

I am getting very tired of my meals tasting blah!  The other night I made a lasagna.  One of Joe's favorite meals.  It was a Sunday and true to Joe's M.O. he didn't eat all day so he could be good and hungry for his lasagna.  I don't know how he does that, but oh well.  So I work in the kitchen for over an hour making the lasagna the way he likes it with large sausages on top and ground beef in the sauce.  I made a lovely spinach salad with mushrooms, croutons and tomatoes and my home made oil and vinegar dressing that never fails to delight.  Finally the meal is ready and we sit down to eat.  I was so disappointed by the outcome.  Everything tasted just OK.  It happens all the time and I am tired of it!  The lasagna didn't have a lot of flavor.  Joe asked me if I was using less beef now.  The sausages were flavorless and believe it or not, my own salad dressing didn't even taste good!  Joe asked me why I made so much salad and I told him that I was planning on having two big bowls of it!  As it was I didn't even finish one bowl.  Then had to throw the rest away as there was already dressing all over it.  Joe is so good about it and always says the right things.  He makes a good point that we are eating less because the food doesn't taste as good to us.  I laughed and said, "yeah, but there's so much leftover we have to eat it again tomorrow night"!  We both decided that maybe it will season up overnight.  We can always hope.

The tomato sauce here is called 'sieved tomatoes'.  I'm sure there's hardly any salt added as that seems to be a running issue in the food.  They are VERY health consciouse in their food products.  Many times I have a food item that I am reading the directions for and it will say on the package, "salt may be added, but remember the daily salt requirement is...".
I have never salted food that much, but I have to here.  And it still doesn't taste quite right.  The canned vegetables taste like you bought the kind that are low sodium at home.  The ground beef tastes different.  I don't think there's very much fat in it.  I guess its all healthier, but man, I just want to TASTE again!  Joe is desperate for good tasting beef.  My niece was having a cook out this weekend and put a picture of a huge beef brisket sandwich piled high with beef and oozing sauce.  Joe and I were sitting here salivating!  Of course that was right during the time that he was "fasting" for the wonderful lasagna dinner!  Ha!  

In the restaurants it all depends on where you are and what you order.  In the nicer restaurants the food is very good.  Of course restaurants anywhere are notorious for extra salt and butter because they have to make the food taste good.  But sometimes in the cafe types the food is just bland.  Many times I just don't even finish mine, something I never used to do.  I told Joe if it doesn't taste that good, then I'm not wasting calories on it!  He always finishes his though.  Old habits die hard.  I have to say though the fish and chips are wonderful here!  They huge pieces of fish with tons of batter and are fattening as all get out but YUM worth it.  They serve them with something called mushy peas.  They are actually mushy peas, a mound of that looks sort of like green mashed potatoes.  I love them!  To me the flavor is kind of like split pea soup.  But Joe likes split pea soup and doesn't like the peas so go figure.

The peanut butter here doesn't have as much fat in it either and is real pasty.  Kind of hard to spread on the bread.  I don't think they even used to have peanut butter so I guess we're lucky to have it at all.  They have a VERY small selection of crackers.  I bought a box of "vegetable crackers" that sort of looked like crackers you'd see at home.  YUCK!  I tried some with my lunch today and they were awful.  Threw the whole lot away.  They don't have anything remotely like saltines.  I guess no one here eats crackers in their soup.  You don't get served any with soup in restaurants.  When I asked in the grocery store they had no idea what I was talking about and showed me the salad croutons (of which there are VERY few).  
I looked at cake mixes at the store the other day.  They had Duncan Hines chocolate and marble.  That was IT.  Two flavors and no others, not even any other brands!  I COULD not believe it.  Joe is not a sweet eater, although he does like yellow cake once in a while.  But I knew if I bought the chocolate he wouldn't eat much and then YOU KNOW WHO would eat the whole thing.  I'll have to make him one from scratch one of these days.  Although the powdered sugar for the frostings is called "icing" so who knows, it may have some weird additives in it.

After saying all that, I have to admit that the British are not as fat as Americans.  Partly due to the food, the lack of fast food restaurants and the fact that they walk everywhere.  It is a pretty healthy society I must admit.  Except for the health care.  I am saving up a whole blog for that subject one of these days!  So I suppose the lack of additives in the food is all good in the long run.

I get very few calls on our home phone.  Mainly just Joe telling me he's on his way home from work.  But when I do get a call during the day after I answer they always say, "Is that Mrs. Hawkins?"  Is that Mrs. Hawkins???  What the heck?  But they all do it.  So I just say, "yes" and chuckle to myself.  They love our accent so after a few words they are so pleased to talk to you.  I was in a store the other day shopping and had a young sales girl helping me.  She said she loved my accent and I swear would hardly let me go!  So funny.  Many times watching TV I have to rewind something because I can't figure out what they said.  It's usually when its someone being interviewed or something, not a TV personality.  Their accents are not that thick.

I have a new favorite show.  Animal Cops.  I know we had it at home, but I hardly ever watched it.  Now I set the DVR to record all the shows from different cities (here and US) and watch them when Joe goes to bed.  I don't watch TV during the day.  We watch FOX news in the evening.  Although they are all the afternoon shows since the time difference is so big.  But that way we keep up on what's going on in the US.  Then Joe goes to bed and its me watching all the people being cruel to animals getting their animals taken away and sometimes even jail  or fines!  It is unbelievable how people neglect or abuse their animals.  No one MAKES them have pets, so why do they get them if they aren't going to take care of them?  I just don't get it!  My favorite is when the animals are all healed and happy and get new homes.  I SO long for an animal of my own.  The closest thing I have is that one kitty up the street who I pet when I see her.  (Previous blog has a picture of her).  

I wait for a nice sunny day to do laundry.  You need the sun and a breeze for the laundry to dry on the line.  The sky was blue, sun was shining and I had a load almost ready to be finished in the washer.  I went in and took a quick shower, came back out and the dark clouds have appeared and the wind is kicking up like crazy.  This is typical of the weather here.  Since England is basically one big island, we have a constant threat of rain and usually nice breezes.  It rains one minute and the sun comes out the next.  That's one rule of going outside here.  ALWAYS bring an umbrella. (I've been caught out on my bike three times when it started raining.)  So my clothes are out there whipping in the wind.  I'm hoping they dry before the rain comes.  If not, they'll get wet and then the sun will come out again and dry them.  If you are in a store, making small talk about the weather, usually someone will say, "well I hung my wash out so it will surely rain, oh well".  I don't think anyone here uses a clothes dryer.  They just make due.  I have finally started using my dryer for towels.  Got tired of drying off with stiff scratchy towels.

Joe and I receive mail here about once a week.  Don't get me wrong, they have delivery six days a week.  We just get ours sporadically.  All houses have mail slots, no boxes on streets for curbside delivery.  NONE.  We live down a long lane and my personal feeling is that the mail carrier doesn't want to walk down that lane until he gets a good handful of mail to make it worth it.  Because on the day we do get mail delivery it is usually a good amount.  I guess the Royal Mail does not have the strict rules of the Postal Service.  It was a firing offence to leave a first class letter, or any first class mail behind and not deliver it.  I guess I should be happy that I get the mail at all if they are that lax here.  A letter from our insurance was mailed on 7/19/10.  It would have gone to our VA address and then forwarded here.  The forwarding part would have taken about a week.  So what is the hold-up for the month following that?  Who knows!  However, if I order something online here, usually it is delivered to me the next day!  By other shipping companies, not the Royal Mail.  Most companies have UK divisions, like Amazon etc.  I am always amazed at how fast I get orders like that.  I have even ordered in the evening and many times still received the next day.  Of course the UK is small so the warehouse is probably not too far away.

One last update on the pet situation.  I contacted a shelter and am speaking to the woman in charge about fostering a dog.  They need fosters badly for dogs who are either ill or are not handling the kennels very well.  Right now she has several animals in need of foster.  The one I'm interested in is a lab mix that is eight years old.  His elderly owner just passed away and he is not doing well in the kennel situation at all.  She is mailing me forms to fill out.  I'm a little worried that the owners of our house won't want to agree to me having a pet.  I wouldn't even worry about it because the house is managed by a company and we have never even seen or heard from the owners at all.  But some of the shelters ask for written permission from the landlords. I'm hoping that the issue won't even come up!  Wish me luck!


  1. Good luck in the fostering situation. Fostering animals is such a wonderful thing. You get to help them heal and provide them a warm home until they find their forever home and in turn you get their love. I hope you are approved!

  2. You are in for a real treat with the Highland Games! As I'm sure you know, they occur many places in the U.S. too, but seeing them in Scotland is by far the best. It sounds like you've done your homework as far as what to expect, and Edinburgh and the Trossachs are also both lovely. My husband is from Scotland, and we took our first trip together to Aberfoyle, heart of Rob Roy country and home of the Scottish Wool Center. I'm a knitter and a history/Rob Roy/Walter Scott buff, so it was a dream come true. Have a fantastic trip!

    (I'm a fan via postsecret, just so you know)

  3. As a Brit who has also lived in the US, I totally agree about the lack of taste in British food and ingredients. Two top tips, always add tomato paste to our watery tomato sauce and if you can find a store called Lidl near you, their peanut butter is much more like the American kind. As for cake mixes, where I now live in the south of England, our supermarkets have tons of American import cake mixes. I guess it varies. Asda usually have more American imports than other stores, due to their Wal-mart ties. I even found Kraft mac and cheese! Maybe try online grocery shopping, most of the big supermarkets offer it, and you can have a good search to see which on may have items similar to those you're missing from home. Good luck and have a wonderful time in Scotland!

  4. Oops, I meant to say I'm also a post secret follower of your blog, hope you don't mind becoming public property now! I just love reading your take on all things British.

  5. I am so excited to come and visit now that I know you have bland food there, lol! I was worried I wouldn't be able to find anything, like in Mexico. I hope you had fun at the games and can't wait to hear about the foster dog! I hope you can get it!

  6. The highland games sound fascinating. Can't wait for a first hand account of them.
    Best wishes on the dog situation.
    Lori Graybill

  7. The lack of salt is mainly due to the governments crack down on it a while a go!
    People don't use tumble driers (clothes dryer) at all really, I loved doing laundry while I was in America- it is so easy! In the winter people will use them more. They just use so much electricity!
    As for crackers, you want to look for savoury biscuits. They are used to put cheese on, but they are the closest thing we would have and water biscuits are close to saltines-but you guessed it- without the salt! People only really put croutons in soup.
    I spent three months in America, and a year with an American flatmate so I am happy to decode things for you!

  8. Found you thru the Post Secret. You are now in my online Bookmarks.
    This is the second blog I read which is written by an American who moved to Britain.
    the first is Gifts of the Journey her stories about learning to do laundry and grocery shopping are older, but similar, to this here.
    My oldest son was in Scotland for a semester during his college studies. He loved the Highland Games. It's a wonder he managed to pass his courses, what with all the sight-seeing he did.

  9. My husband and I are also recent US->UK transplants and yes, it is funny when they ask you if THAT is Mrs So-and-so. I also have to say I am continually annoyed by the need for some of the people, mostly women, to say goodbye multiple times on the phone. It takes two people to participate in this exchange so you probably won't hear it for a while until you're out and about listening to someone else's cell ("mobile"!) conversation, but it goes like this if you are listening from one end:
    "okay, bye"



    with increasing volume and pitch such that by the end they are practically screeching. Now I live in the south of the country and this could be regional, but I don't think so :).

    I've been to the highlands. September or not, bring clothes for any possible weather eventuality, and if you don't already own waterproof overtrousers you can wear over your regular clothes I would obtain some... there is nothing worse than finding your pants (ok, British people, TROUSERS!) soaked through because its been misting or downright raining on you all day. And fuzzy-lined rubber boots!!

  10. Mom,
    I hope you and Dad had a great time in Scotland, can't wait to hear about it. Good luck with the dog situation. I'll have to get the kids on Skype soon so Caroline can tell you all about school. She left her ladybug lunch bag at school Friday, hopefully she'll remeber to grab it from the lost and found. Grace said she'll look too. Anyway, better get back to work!

  11. I have been debating in my head whether or not I should post, but I've waisted so much time thinking about it, perhaps it's better just to get it out. I found your comments about British food a little unjustified and wanted to add my tuppence worth.

    As a Briton who has lived in the US, I understand the frustration of things being largely familiar, but somehow missing the mark or going unexpectedly wrong. Your experience with crackers is perhaps a perfect example. I don't think crackers would ever be served with soup here, and consequently the ones you can buy in our shops are not well suited for that purpose. To go on to proclaim that the crackers are awful misses the point --- the point is they are awful in soup, and I'm sure we agree that soggy crackers aren't good. Serving them with a good Stilton, Cheshire or Cheddar cheese, on the other hand, is great. Being in a different place with different customs means you sometimes have to adjust and can't always eat as you used to. But equally, it is an opportunity to discover new things. Here soup is always served with bread, but on the positive side, most supermarkets bake pretty good bread in store --- dare I say, better than most American bread.

    In America I loved to cook with black beans, but, for some reason, they are hard to find here, so I can't do that much anymore. Equally, the baked beans in America were too sugary for my liking, so I didn't eat them there.

    Perhaps it's the same problem with the sausages. Britain has very good sausages (for example, a Cumberland), but if you search out the ones that look like the popular types in America, you are probably buying the mass produced kind that do taste like rubbish.

    I don't know why your mince tasted so bad, but talking of beef it is the Aberdeen Angus breed of cattle that is so popular in America, so the meat here can't be too bad and is certainly not filled with artificial hormones, as it is in the US.

    I should probably stop now, but I can't without mentioning healthcare (as you did). I think I speak for the vast majority of Britons when I say we looked on incredulously as you debated Obama's healthcare reform. The US system was not the free market at work, but a tax loophole that meant employers and insurance companies used patients as pawns. For there to be any question that healthcare should not be a right of every citizen in a society is beyond our comprehension. The NHS is far from perfect, but some statistics speak volumes. The life expectancy is a year longer in the UK than the US and infant mortality is 40% higher in the US, yet Americans spend two-and-a-half times more per capita (not per person insured). What's prescription? A little less Fox News.

    Best wishes,

  12. George I love the comment!

  13. Thank You, Anonymous George, for telling it like it is!

  14. I feel the need to comment here as well.

    I am a little concerned that some of the comments could be read harshly but I do not think they mean to be judgemental, they are trying to explain why differences exist. It would be easy to criticise the writer or the commenter’s opinions, but the point of this blog is that it is this lady's musings on how different things are. It is not a place for socio-economic policy debate, or grand world view, it is simply her experience of living in the UK and for her to update her family on her comings and goings. I think it is unfair to ask her to respond to larger issues. She is one individual with her own opinions so of course some will be not to our liking.

    In short, I really enjoy reading this blog, and I would not like it to stop because it becomes yet another internet battleground that the author feels is not worth the effort because of constant attacks. I enjoy reading a fresh take on my side of the world, good and bad. So everyone play nice please?

    The food is very different and it will need a good bit of experimenting before you find things you like. Just remember to season everything well to your taste. Also, if you go to your local butcher's shop, they will be happy to try to supply you with cuts of meat or full fat mince you like, if you describe it and give them some time. They are much more flexible then the supermarkets and they will also give you advice on how to cook something unfamiliar. Supermarket meat can be okay-ish, a good butcher you trust is way better. And it supports your local shops.

    I live in Ireland but when I visited the US for the first time recently with work, I found the food either over salted or over sweet. Even fries tasted sweet to me. Your taste buds might adjust after a little while, if not break out the salt or the sugar while cooking (by the time you go to eat it, it is too late to season).. ..I find English butter and milk (the general everyday type, not speciality types) tastes totally different to me and our countries are only 70 miles apart at points, so in theory it should be similar but it’s not. When you are over three thousand miles from home, everything is bound to be different.

    Best of luck,

  15. Please try to remember that this is a person from the US, using a blog to keep updated with friends and family in the US and it is merely about her experiences and things she's learning as she goes while living in the UK. Yes she relates those to similar things in the US, however she is not slamming or shunning those diffrences, just acknowledging them from her perspective. I think she appears to be very much embracing UK life and those us who have not that opportunity to live abroad are enjoying finding out the little things you don't learn in a travel guide.

    Many of us Americans agree with the points that George made, however this is not a blog designed for political debate. We should respect the nature of this persons blog and leave the snarkiness for a more appropriate place.

  16. i agree with dc. This is a personal blog, that has been bought to great attention but is really intended for friends and family. Kathy is just posting her experience as she sees it. People who found there way here through post secret should be a little more tolerant of others perspectives too. As a Brit i wasn't enthused by this post, or the comments on the NHS, but oh well. I am a very open minded person. The comments she is making are not about us as people but about supermarket food! Do not be offened by that.

    If you find the mince a little bland try adding a beef stock cube for a fuller flavour/ I learned this from an Australian friend who also thought our meats had a less defined taste. I also recommend going to butchers for meat over the supermarket who will never put the same care into the produce they are buying.

    When it comes to Sausages go for more local varieties to find ones you like, rather than a pack marked 'sausages'. They all have distinct flavours and you should find one to your taste.

    If you do find you miss something too much look on ebay and expat websites, you can often buy your cravings online (at a cost...)

  17. I just want to thank all of you who have commented and offered different hints and ideas about adjusting to life here in the UK. I do take all the advice seriously and have tried some of your ideas. I visited my first real butcher shop this weekend and found that the cut of steaks that we are used to in the US aren't really available here due to the expense of cutting around the bones of the T-bone for example and the processing. Did get information from them on other meats. So it was a valuable comment for me.

    It is perfectly understandable to me that our American food would taste equally bad to someone from a different country. Such is life! I hope to not offend people with my musings.

    I am happy that I have followers from all over the world thanks to Post Secret. It has enriched this whole experience for me. But try to keep in perspective that I have been writing to friends and family in America so it may be a slightly slanted view of things.

    Thanks so much for reading and writing!

  18. Ah, the pains that come with being an expat! Personally I haven't been able to make the lasagne I like in America yet, because I can't find the kind of lasagne that I was used to in Britain! It really does work both ways. Where I am in the US, it seems to be very hard to find any good lamb. Or any lamb at all even. I've had to accept that in some cases I must swap British recipes for American ones, because I just can't find the correct ingredients.

    The Royal Mail does seem to have gone downhill over the last decade. You used to get your mail at 7am every day. However, it might just be a regional oddity that you seem to get your mail in clumps. I'm on a rural route in America, the mailman goes by our mailbox every day but we still seem to get our mail in clumps. The blame for international deliveries probably goes both ways too: Royal Mail always seemed to get mine over the Atlantic pretty quick, but the other way was often a little longer.

    Lots of people seem to say that a bit of vinegar in the wash helps soften the clothes. Our dryer has broken, so maybe that's a tip we can both use...

    You should try some fruit cake whilst in England! If you're going to make a cake from scratch then maybe try an English recipe? After all, most of the ingredients will probably be slightly different. I even find the flour to be different!! Icing is different, it is less sweet than frosting. Or a different kind of sweetness, I don't know how to describe it. Frosting makes my teeth hurt sometimes :-/

    I really want you to love English food! But for that you're probably going to have to avoid trying to recreate anything you eat in America. There are American foods I love, and there are British foods I miss so much. As you will be returning home at some point it should be easier for you. Then again, the south-west is the best and maybe there's no good restaurants/shops near you at all :P Anyhow, I will reiterate something I said before: you MUST have a good Cornish pasty before you leave! Ideally from Cornwall. Not healthy at all, so it tastes great :P

    I'd be interested to read your views on the NHS. Although it will probably invite lots of comments! Personally I was very lucky growing up and experienced the very best of the NHS, with the bestest doctor, nurses, doctors' receptionist!, dentist, and even optician ever. Which makes it hard for me in America, because it's going to be hard for anything to live up to that standard. Hopefully I will end up with a great doctor, I'm certain it is possible. Hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later and I won't have to pay for lots of different doctor visits haha. But I know for sure that having children in America will be harder than it would be in Britain, because I want a midwife-attended home birth which, in VA, will involve not that much choice and a lot of haggling with my insurance company. C'est la vie.

    Hope you enjoyed the Highland Games, keep writing!

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  20. Hey, I came via Postsecret, and being a Brit have been enjoying reading your experiences of life in the UK, particularly the odd things we British do that we probably don't even notice. (I probably do say "Is that..." on the phone. Never even thought it was strange until now...)

    Your issues with food intrigued me (to the extent that I wondered how I'd find American food), and I had to smile, remembering a sketch on Goodness Gracious Me, a British Asian comedy show. A group of Indians in Bombay go to an "authentic English restaurant", parodying the typical behaviour of English people in Indian restaurants. One of the men boldly asserts "What's the BLANDEST thing on the menu?" Then one of the women asks for chicken curry, as she doesn't like bland food.

    Of course, I'm sure there's a little give and take... I've heard a lot of people say that British chocolate is better (and by god, we eat a lot of the stuff) and I imagine there are other things that possibly taste better. I also know that personally it was ingrained in me from a young age to eat my dinner unless it literally made me sick, so maybe we're all so used to eating less-than-exciting food that it's really less of a big deal.

    And I suppose familiarity is important too! I went to Italy last year, and on my last night there, I was in a British Theme Pub (called Sgt Pepper's. I loved it to pieces), so I asked if the chef could make me ham, egg and chips. He seemed baffled by this, and I tried to explain it, and he happily obliged, but it really wasn't good, apart from the chips. But two days later I had ham and eggs in Austria... now that was good. But I guessed I'd like it, as the ham and eggs was advertised in English :)

    Glad you like our fish and chips (not that I'm responsible for them or anything :) ), it's good to know that our culinary heritage is not entirely void :) Anyway, hope you enjoyed the games :)

  21. I believe my taste buds are maybe getting a little used to the different food here. I ate some candy recently and it was SO sweet! It was candy sent in a care package from home, so it was the kind I was used to.

    I can attest to lamb not being common on America. It is not popular there, but it is everywhere here! I need to learn how to fix it. As for the cornish pasty, I wrote that down on my list of "things to do".

    I loved the Goodness Gracious Me skit. It was hilarious. Obviously everyone has their comfort zones, funny to see it from that perspective.

    I don't know if I have the nerve to write about the NHS. I haven't experienced it yet, but am amazed at all the negative stories that there are in the paper about it!


  22. Ah! Haha, well if your opinions are based on the newspapers then no, don't post. It's our national pastime to bash the NHS! Partly because we like to complain but mostly because we need to point out the negatives in order to make improvements.