Monday, March 30, 2009


I have to admit I have been absent from the blogging world for a while as I cannot decide if I feel totally cheated and abused or I'm just sulking!

Mr nice man (not anymore) Kevin from LBI (the M & S marketing company) thanked me via e-mail for posting the free shipping for M & S on my blog, yet he could not send me a bag of wine gums or even a bar of chocolate...cheapskate! I gave him lots of information on what expats miss the most from the UK which he admitted he had no idea but yet again he was grateful for the info.

Now do I feel so cheated because I have been in the USA too long and I am used to getting free lollipops at the bank, free munchkins for a dog at Dunkin Donuts..a free t-shirt for every company that you know?

Or are LBI and M & S cheapskates??

Google pay for any adverts that they place on your blog why not M&S or LBI?

I know for a fact that many of you have placed orders with M & S due to reading my blog or another expats so that proves how useful we are to the marketing companies.

We all know how much money flows through marketing companies & all the perks they receive.

Shame on you LBI!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Marks & Spencers knickers for all

Well surprisingly after the brief post on the "undies free shipping post" I received a comment from the gods themselves......M & S!

A very nice chap called Kevin has asked that I post their latest survey to see if any of my kind readers would like to respond for the chance to win a 250 English pounds M & S gift voucher.

Now that could be a very nice new knicker collection folks!

So ladies and gentlemen if you are willing please complete the attached survey and good luck to you all.

Deleted due to cheapskate attitudes!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

At Last Signs of Spring!

You just have to import the daffodils when you cannot wait for your own to surface through 3 feet of snow!

The rusty buckets are the buckets to collect the maple sap as it rises, ready to make maple syrup for our pancakes!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Important news!

I have just heard that M & S are offering free international shipping for a limited time only....let's order those undies ladies!

Try this link

Sorry deleted Mr.Kevin

You do need to spend over 80 pounds to get it!

Homemade Creations (ctd)

Following on from the previous post you have no idea how many curse words and tears that have been shed to make this bloody pillow!

It looks so easy, buy the paper and add a square of material sew it up & Voila!

Oh yes that is how the people in the know how i.e. "sewers" would make it....whip it up in 20 minutes and make a quilt to match!

Alas not I!

I could not figure out how to sew the material around the printed picture...Sir L bravely stepped up to the challenge with his engineering skills. Somehow I think that it is not the correct sewers way but stuff it.

This creation took over a week to produce and I have 2 more to do so that each brat I mean darling child can have one!

I would never get a job in a sweat factory!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Icy Rain = G & T?

Icy rain is the most beautiful yet dangerous weather in NH. It always amazes me after an ice storm how everywhere looks as if it has been blasted with glass. When the tree branches sway in the wind it makes a tinkling sound that reminds me of ice cubes chinking into my glass for my G & T!
As breath taking as it is it is a horror to drive in as everywhere is all slushy snow & mud.
Another 2 hour delay today which works out quite nicely for me as I get the day off since I teach pre-school.
So today number 3 & I are making Easter cards...sad or what? I seem desperate this year to get to Easter for some reason. Almost as if once it is here the winter will disappear...however we often do egg hunts in the snow which is quite fun!
If this weather does not hurry up & disappear I will be onto making this year's Xmas card at this rate!!!!!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tis Daffodil Season in the UK

Oh my I am feling a little homesick for the UK at present especially the Lake District in Cumbria with all the gorgeous daffodills that line the edge of Lake Windermere.

I have spent many years hiking, drinking and admiring the beautiful countryside in this region.

My love with the lakes began when I was 15 years old and my boyfriend took me camping at a quaint farmhouse that had lambs nibbling our tent strings. It was an Enid Blyton kind of place with a little stream that ran through the field. Freezing cold showers and bathrooms that seemed to be miles away from wherever you pitched the tent!

You could buy fresh milk from the farmer for breakfast and best of all there was a superb pub called "The Drunken Duck."

Just read this quaint naming reason: The Legend:

This unofficial title dates back to Victorian years when a landlady of the Inn found her ducks lying stretched out in the road and concluded that they were dead.Thriftily she began to pluck and prepare the carcasses for dinner. The ducks however, were "quick" and not dead. Down in the cellar a barrel had slipped its hoops and beer had gradually drained from the floor into the duck's customary feeding ditch. Thereupon the ducks made all too good use of their unexpected opportunity, with the result that when they came to they found themselves plucked and halfway to the oven. According to local legend, the landlady full of remorse for the rough treatment, provided the de-feathered birds with knitted jerseys and kilts of Hawkshead yarn until their feathers grew back again.

All the campers would hike down there for some good old English pub grub!

You really deserved it by the time you arrived as it was a 45 minute hike in the pitch black with some steep hills to climb. It was one of those old fashioned pubs with a fireplace, lots of polished copper stuff around, old beams & nowhere to sit as it was always crammed full. The beer was always flowing and the food was excellent and all homemade. The normal English pub food chips with everything..... just what you needed after a long hike.

Last year I visited my old haunt to find out that it had been sold & modernised.........heart breaking! The cuisine was all a la carte, the old beams and fireplace had all been ripped out and replaced with an Asian theme...all black and angular. I was so upset I could not even order any lunch.

Oh well a little memorabilia for you whilst I try & find some new photo's of daffodils to cheer me up!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Health Care

I just had to comment on Limeys post regarding the American Health System.

When I came over to the States I was just pregnant & I had no idea....a result of 2 weeks of parties to empty our liquor cupboard! We did have health insurance however I was classed as an "already existing condition" as I had conceived in the UK.

This changed the whole perspective when it came to costs, it would have been cheaper to fly home & have the baby in the UK, have 2 weeks in the Seychelles in a Spa, buy a Porsche (maybe sink to buying a second hand one) than pay the hospital bills.

My first born cost me $14,000 as she was an emergency c-section!

Of course we were oblivious to the whole billing procedure and could not understand why we were getting lots of bills every week. Then more bills from the same people as they adjusted the costs etc it was such a muddle of a minefield!

It was a rude introduction into the American Health Care System.

We were scared we would be imported as we were on temporary visa's so in the end we did pay the price. She was worth it though.

Now I am a little more savvy it would have been nice to have had someone to advise us what to do. We did call the medical companies who were about as good as a chocolate fireguard as they cannot speak to you in plain English. They were throwing all sorts of their medical terms, HMO, PPO deductibles etc which were like a different language to us. Plus we had a colicky new born & Sir L had to travel alot. It was very stressful.

Something does need to be done so that people these days can get medical care & not worry about the price, loosing their house or selling a couple of their kids to pay their medical bills.

I think twice these days before I go to the ER or the doctors as its so expensive.

I spent alot of time at the hospitals in the UK last year and I was shocked at how slow the systems were, the scruffy hospitals, doctors arriving late and the way patients were treated. It took 2 hours for an ambulance to arrive when it was a 15 minute drive and then the staff were very rude and mean to my mum.

In USA I would have written a complaint & it would have been addressed, in the UK it is the norm.

So my vote is for the American health system & hospitals yet at no cost!

Do you remember "Jim'll fix it?"

Let's make it "Obama'll fix it!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Homemade Creations!

You know when you are home in NH when on the first day of school (after a vacation) is cancelled due to a snow dump!

Definitely back to reality with a head on collision!

Oh well, trying to stay positive and not hit the last bar of Cadburys in the cupboard I had a brave British moment of " the weather will not beat me!"

Very similar to when you are in Blackpool you see old folks sat by the prom with a thermos of hot tea and a couple of butty's looking cheesed off at the pouring rain. Yet the stiff British upper lip stays strong & the report to all their neighbours on returning home " we had a lovely day out at the seaside!"

I had been reading "The Creative Family" by Amanda Soule the previous evening and I had a feeling of well "let's make it a good family quality time day."

So I drove to the local shop ...yes in a snowstorm..I was on a mission! I purchased material & some cotton print paper.

I then approached the computer all ready to scan carefully chosen pieces of the kids artwork from Kinder garden. My plan was to make cushion covers with them....a great idea from the book. Even though I still cannot use the sewing machine which is my daughters!

By now my kids had abandoned me to create the biggest den ever built in the little ones room with all the blankets, clothing and cardboard they could find.

Alas, we were out of magenta ink so the whole project is on hold as to purchase more ink would be too long a drive in the snow!

I had good intentions and the bar of chocolate is still intact!

Maybe tomorrow.....................