Friday, December 31, 2010


Small print: this post does not in any way diminish the excitement and magnitude of children's births, marriages, surprise parties, ages, etc.

Today is the last day of the most magnificent year ever! Late January gave me an opportunity to work in the UK. February landed me in Scotland to work. Still working in Scotland. Now living outside of London.

I see London, I see France - I see London every single day (weather permitting)
I visit London all the time.
I've been to South End Victoria, Leeds, Brighton.
I've visited castle upon castle upon castle. And had one photo published.
Some of my family has visited.
I've spent time in  Inverness, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee (Scotland).
I've collected pebbles which have fallen from Roman walls (Colchester), I've walked on Roman roads (Spain)
I'm very close to the sea.
I've walked on the banks of the Thames.
I've stood over the North Sea.
I've stood in the presence  The Queen and Prince Charles, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and three former Prime Ministers. I've seen Camilla.
I've been hugged by Jonny Woos crazy "girls"
I've seen the Denver Broncos play in Wembley and done a tailgate party in London.
I've shopped in Soho at Christmas time.
I've seen a pantomime.
I've sung Christmas Carols in Brentwood
I'm FB friends with the first season's X Factor winner.
I've had high tea at Fortnum and Mason
I've had Cream Tea at St. Peters
I've been to Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey
I've been to the pub in Cobham where Dickens wove his tales.
I've been to Legoland!
I've seen the Crystal Skull
I've eaten wild boar, drink Taliskar, and buy fruits and vegetables from a fruit stand
I love England and Scotland and I love my life.
I walked the Camino again - against some interesting odds.
Through the beauty of Internet streaming,  I saw the Santiago de Compostela holy doors opened on 1 Jan and on 27 October , I walked through the holy doors myself. The doors won't be opened for another 11 years.
I love my job!
and I turned 50.
Thank you God for all you do with and for me every single moment of every day.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas

I woke up to heavy fog today. I can barely see the street down below and no more than a block in any direction. Seems appropriate for England eh?  I love fog so I consider this my "white" Christmas.

My plans aren't exactly as I hoped, but not entirely dashed either.

I've got the crud that is going around the office. I have it bad. Fever, chills, sore throat, cough, sneezing, snot, lots of snot. I can't remember when I last slept 24 out of 48 hours.

But I have four days off and no where I have to be. I was so looking forward to Christmas Mass here this year. But as wicked as this bug is, it wouldn't be fair to share it with the other parishioners. I have two more Christmases to go. Perhaps before the weekend is over I'll be able to get some walks in.

Only one package made it from the States so my one foot tree is not overwhelmed. The last package I was waiting to get to the States arrived yesterday! We'll do our vid Christmas and enjoy the closeness we can make although spread out.

And then there's Boxing Day. Interesting history.

Happy Christmas achoo and Happy Boxing Day.

Friday, December 24, 2010


I love London. I'll surely have a pile of I Love London gear before I leave. (I won't be a tacky resident - just a tacky tourist upon my departure.) I've figured out WHY it is so fabulous. London is really the center of the UK....It is the United States' NYC, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Hollywood all rolled into one. Everything is available in one place. And that place is visible from my window. I love it here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

When Hope Fades

I pulled on my jeans this morning whilst getting ready for church (LOVE that about the Catholic Church). I grumbled to myself about my jeans being snug. I've been needing to lose some weight again and there's a point where it hits the big red bell at the top of the meter and I eventually get with a program and pull it down again.

I started a new program a couple of weeks ago. Knowing the office curry party was coming up, but wanting to have some lip control over Christmas, I approached the kickstart week more like a long, drawn out punt. I started eating the breakfast and lunch suggestions and ate dinner as I damned well pleased - including alcohol.

I figured after the Curry party, I could snuggle in with the program and be perfectly content. I'd also hoped that being on holiday with my stay-cation would let me practice some better habits. And last but not least, I refuse to climb in the  New Years resolutions bandwagon - I prefer to treat them like my -9th birthdays....if you celebrate to the "nines" then the 0's can't get you down - meaning that I'm well into them before the first of the year and therefore am usually have the gusto going so I can't be slowed down by the people trying to talk themselves and everyone else away from their resolutions.

I'd even been able to do double take and happy dance after visiting my big yellow British stone-weight bathroom scale the other day.

Imagaine my dismay this morning when my jeans gave me their "negative feedback". I was also sad that in my ignorance with UK washing machines had allowed them to fade. Then I was thinking - "crap" nice middle of vacation way to be thinking Ter-bear. And then....

I realized I had grabbed the the jeans that a month ago, I couldn't button.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Merry Christmas

Boy is the Catholic / Christian faith is alive and feisty in the UK. They are not soft about reminding us that religion, faith, standing for ones faith, etc. is waning and have called us into action.

They have asked us to consider
- Wearing a cross or religious article that tells people we believe.
- Buying Christmas cards with a religious theme.
- Asking for the Madonna stamps (descriptions of both first and second class images) for mailing this season.

One thing I do see and hear that I love, is that faith is still a strong part of everyday life here. The signs saying traffic is diverted for a few hours states it is for the Christmas Tree lighting. There is a Christmas tree. Christmas Carols with Jesus in everyone were sung at the event. Every store, every shoppe has not excluded Christ. A live Nativity Scene was staged in the park yesterday with the Christmas Story told.

"Merry Christmas" is not considered politically incorrect to say. Believers or not, everyone here seems believe in Christmas.

And the ASDA does not put a sign on the pork saying it's a perfect meat for Chanuka.

Merry Christmas Season everyone!

I Live Here

I realized this week as I prepare for Christmas that this has truly become my home. I live here. I haven't forgotten how fortunate I am to live here, but I live here. I'm not a guest, I'm a resident. The people I work with, my church and the people of the area have made me feel a part of this place. I don't feel like a visitor.

I can't vote, but I can care. I pay taxes here just like everyone else. I worry about the traffic, the weather, the economy too. I know if I don't shop at the vegetable market, it will cease to exist. What I do know is another way of life. And if I don't do my part to preseve the eloquence and beauty of the differences England affords, then I've not done my part. I don't need to be an American consumer here.

My girls are intelligent and strong. And while I don't get to see them as often (but almost), I don't worry about them. I don't feel, really like I'm away from them. I'm just here. In my home. In England.

My first Christmas card? From my neighbour across the hall. I'm home.

I'm Teri and I live in England.