Saturday, November 27, 2010


My flat always looks a shambles come Saturday afternoon. In the early morning I do my cleaning and mid day I start my shopping in town. Being on foot means that I am limited to the volume I can carry. I can't buy bulk as my tiny flat isn't designed for housing 6 rolls of paper towels - although I've tried. But then again with stores at my feet, it isn't necessary to stock "up". Everything is less than 15 minutes away - roundtrip/on foot.

I start at the furthest distance and working my way back. Purchases to fill my shopping bag, a trip home, back out for the next place or two and back home again.

The drop offs are disorderly, only really taking time for a cup of tea or to put perishables into the refrigerator. Back out again.

Sometimes my trips include stopping for lunch at a steamed up window diner. Or a coffee at one of the numerous coffee shops. Today will include seeing an X-Factor winner (American Idol equivalent) perform downstairs. Next week will be the donkeys in my back yard  - a living Nativity Scene.

Life is always interesting here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It's threatened a couple of times. It's hovered just below the surface now and again. It's been the focus of much speculation and a hot topic in many a conversation. And today it hit.


Bless my sweet daughter's soul. Her first response is "Mom, you are LIVING in England! How many people get to do that?" That usually works. If that doesn't work she moves on to the "and you WORK in Scotland.... " approach. When she has to get rough, she brings up how close to Paris I am. And she's handling everything with great aplomb back home - paying the mortgage, buying a new water heater, duking it out with the cable company. I can't even feel like I'm "needed".

Everyone is worried about me with the holidays coming up. I think, actually, the less discussion we put into it, the better off, ultimately, I'll be. Most of my family is not around at the holidays, ever, so if the rest of them aren't, I should be able to get by. We always figure out how to have a good time long distance. I bought a foot tall, teal foil tree, decorated it in five minutes and am declaring decorating done.

But tonight I wanted to feel my cats. Smell my grandson's head. Hear my daughter's car come into the driveway. I wanted to be exhausted thinking of all the groceries I would need to buy for the two days of cooking, twenty minutes of eating and three hours of clean up Thanksgiving always brings.

So I did what every woman needs to do to cleanse her soul. I cried. I let it all fall out. Big buckets of tears. I soaked my shirt and many tissues (I recommend paper towels for this job). I closed the drapes so I couldn't see London and allowed myself a good half hour of not appreciating of where I am and the opportunity I have.

I am happy. But I miss my family peeps.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Produce Stand

I saw a sign in the window of the produce stand a couple of weeks ago: "Use us or lose us".

So I did.

For £6/$9 I purchased the following: 5 satsumas, 3 apples, 3 bananas, chili peppers, a parsnip, 2 tomatoes, a head of cauliflower, 2 honking avocados, a handful of shallots, an onion, a sweet potato, and a portobello mushroom.

The tomato stem smelled like September,  The pungent smell of fresh picked goodness.

Tonight was guacamole. Tomorrow will be pumpkin mushroom risotto....right after I go see the Queen.

This is the life.