Friday, 1 October 2010

Awaiting friends October 1, 2010

Where does the time go?  It's already October and we've been here six and a half months already.  Doesn't seem possible.  The other day I took Joe to work and kept the car to get some shopping done.  As I was sailing along, enjoying the freedom of driving myself around, and taking the roundabouts nonchalantly like the rest of the Brits, I realized that I have really become accustomed to driving and living here.  I love our house and I love the freedom of not having to work, puttering around the garden and hopping on my bike whenever the mood hits me.  I miss the kids and the grandkids, that is the only real drawback. 

This day and age with computers it sure makes things easier to stay in touch and even SEE the grandkids.  Skype is the best thing ever invented!  I can sit and have long conversations with Caroline with Brian and Crystal popping in and out.  Dylan never could get the idea of looking into the computer and seeing us.  But the other day after he got up from his nap Brian had him on his lap and I said, "Hi Dylan" real loud.  He looked up into the computer and finally saw me and gave me a great big smile!  It was priceless.

Gary and Danny called us on Skype a while back.  They were outside at Danny's house sitting on the picnic table with their dogs running around.  I swear it was almost like being there.  Except that Danny lives out in the country and kept losing his internet signal!  I guess we have to accept a few glitches in this computer age. 

Everyone seems to be doing well at home and making out on their own.  They should, they are all adults!  We do miss them all of course.  Melanie is doing a lot of travelling in her job so we keep in touch through emails and phone calls.  United set us up with a phone system where we can call the US free of charge.  But we can only call land lines.  So Melanie is the only one of the kids who has a land line still (at home).  That makes it nice.  We do call the boys at work some.

This past week has been very exciting for me as we are awaiting the arrival of our two friends who will be here tomorrow!  It is Sarah and Cathy, our good friends from our years in Poolesville.  They will be here 11 days and we have lots of plans for them.  They are our first visitors from home.  They will be so easy to have and I know we'll have a blast.  The emails have been flying between us as they are equally as excited to get here.

They arrive Saturday morning after a long overnight flight.  I told them that we'll come back to the house and relax for Saturday.  They will be tired, I know from experience.  But early Sunday morning we will be leaving and going back to the airport to fly to Ireland for four days.  Joe is taking off work and going with us.  He has already warned us that we have to get to the airport EARLY.  When Joe travels by plane he turns into another person, driving fast and being in a rush mode until we literally are sitting at the gate.  It is most annoying because we leave SO early and are never late, but he just can't help himself.

I emailed Cathy and Sarah and told them to be prepared to be up early Sunday morning.  Sarah emailed back and said, "how early do we have to get up Sunday?  My internal clock is going to be all messed up".  Cathy, in true Cathy fashion, fired back an email, "WE CAN REST WHEN WE'RE DEAD!  THIS IS EUROPE BABY!"  I laughed and laughed.  Sarah even sent an email back saying it cracked her up too.  Cathy told me earlier that usually when she goes to Europe she hits the ground running when she gets off the plane and never rests.  But she has agreed that a rest on Saturday would be fine.  I hope we can all keep up with her during this trip.

Suffice it to say, you will not be hearing from me until after the girls leave on October 11.  Then I will write about all our adventures both in Ireland and here.  We will spend the last four days of their trip in London.  Already have tickets for two shows (Warhorse and Billy Elliott) and they want to do a Fat Tire Bike Tour in London.  My leg is still messed up, but I can certainly ride a bike.  Weather permitting I guess we'll go for it. 

We have to be back here immediately after leaving them in London (they are booked in a hotel near the airport) as Joe has to go to Germany on business that next week.  No, I don't get to go.  The wife of his counterpart and I are going to have to get tough on those two and get ourselves on some of these good trips!  The problem is their bottom line is always in the forefront of their thoughts so they don't want to spend extra money!

It is raining cats and dogs out today and I have to go down to the village to change some pounds over to euros at the post office for our Ireland trip.  So its either walk and take an umbrella and stay relatively dry, or ride my bike, get soaking wet but be back sooner.  Decisions decisions.  I still have some house cleaning to do and want to get a potato soup in the crockpot ready to put on tomorrow morning.  Guess I'd better go for the quick trip.

So off I go, ta da (as the Brits say). 

I have just posted this and already have a comment.  "Anonymous" said that ta ra is what the Brits say for good-bye, not ta da.  I had a grocery delivery man say it yesterday and I could have sworn he said "ta da".  But I'm sure I'm mistaken...  so ta ra, as the Brits say!


  1. it's "ta ra", not "ta da" :-)

    ta ra is good bye,
    ta da is what you say when something is done, like "ta da! check out my delicious soup!" as you take the lift off the pot :-)

    have fun in ireland!

  2. When we roll/harden our r it sounds like a d! :)

  3. Well hello Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins! I have been reading your blog on a regular basis, and get a real kick (not to mention a real education!) from it! I hope you had a great time with your Poolesville friends - I look forward to hearing (reading) all about it!
    I wanted to know - if someone wanted to send some really good friends (you) a real letter via the postal service... what would the full address be? We love and miss you guys - Sue and Don

  4. It's actually "ta-ta" but northerners pronounce it "ta-ra" and like someone said, it could easily sound like "ta-da". Gosh this is all too confusing :D

  5. Thank you for explaining ta-ta, ta-ra and ta-da for me, one more linguistical mystery solved!

    Now what about "Ta" by itself? It seems like that is just short for thank you.