Fertility Series: Part 5

This gallery contains 14 photos.

{We’re in the middle of a series on fertility. You can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and a quick post on Mother’s Day – or read the whole series here.} There are two main reasons I’m writing this series, which is so … Continue reading

Fertility Series: Part 3

This gallery contains 3 photos.

{We’re in the middle of a series on fertility. You can read  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and a quick post on Mother’s Day – or read the whole series here.} There are two main reasons I’m writing this series, which is so … Continue reading

Keepin’ it Real

Life here is certainly an adventure. We have some fun trips and great pics to show for it. But the day-in, day-out stuff here really sucks.*

Exhibit A:
The Post Office
We received a package while we were out and got a slip to collect at the local post office. We could not locate this local post office on google maps. The phone number listed on our slip rang and rang with no answer and no voice mail; we were instructed to call back four separate times. Grant maps out the post code, walks in that general direction, finds the post office (victory!) only to have the lady not even check for our package. She takes one look at the slip in Grant’s hand, says she’s sure it’s not here anymore (?) and walks away from Grant as he continues to ask her questions about the location of our package. Grant leaves empty handed. He said he’s not sure he’s ever had any one treat him like that–ever.

Exhibit B:
The Bank
City University attempts to take a large sum of money out of our account–so large that it’s way more money than is in our our little account (despite my parents wiring the money to school). As a result, there are insufficient funds that affect our account and card use for days. I’d love to be able to check this online, but I can’t because the bank has not texted me a special online banking code, so we are in the dark about recent transactions. Now, there are over-draft fees (unbeknownst to us, having been assured that we would not incur fees from the university only days before). I run to the bank this afternoon at 4:30, arriving around 4:40. The banks here conveniently close at 4:30 not 5:00. I get on the phone where it takes four representatives and two different security people to answer one simple question.  I’m honestly still not sure if anything was resolved.

There’s an expression: “It’s been real. And It’s been fun. But it’s not been real fun.”

*I know the bank and the post office can suck anywhere.  I know they probably frustrate everyone everywhere. But there are things that are in general more difficult here and things that are in general more convenient at home. I’m not wishing our time away or complaining too much, but if I can’t keep it real on here, where can I be honest? This is my safe place to write–when it’s great and when it sucks, and everything in between.

One Month

It’s officially one month today: we’ve lived in London, dealt with the transition of moving, found a flat we call home, mastered survived public transport, and seen some pretty awesome sights.

London is amazing and intoxicating and the energy here is vibrant.

There is this beautiful combination of Old World and New World here where you can plan an outing to the largest occupied castle in the world {more on that later!} or just wander around randomly and have an equally intriguing encounter with this great city and its surroundings. We love it.

Today, we went to Windsor.

Private apartments of the Queen

Back Gardens and State Rooms

We got a deal on tickets and got to be a part of history, too! They just reopened The Round Tower for the first time in 30 years – it’s a trial run for August and September only – and we got to be in one of the groups.

Loved it. The view was unparalleled!

You can see all of the surrounding royal grounds, gardens, and park, as well as the Thames River Valley and London skyline. We took the train out there, packed a picnic lunch (yum!), and toured the castle – tower, state rooms, upper and lower wards, St. George’s and Lady Chapel {aka: Albert Memorial Chapel}. Followed it up with a quick jaunt through Great Park – The Long Walk to George III’s statue – and a look around the charming and picturesque town. I know why it’s the Queen’s favoured residence.

My Favourite Part: The Norman Gate


Forgive me, but I must write these phrases down so I don’t forget our funny and sometimes embarrassed or flustered transition into the local lingo.

British : American

Jumper : sweater
Pants : underwear
Trowsers : pants
Ice lolly : popsicle
Knickers : ladies’ panties
Left luggage : baggage check (a good one to know!)
Chips : fries
Crisps : potato chips
Fag : cigarette
Frogs : French people (ha!)
Fanny : vagina
Mate : friend (boy or girl) this has replaced the old-fashioned “bloke”
Bangers and Mash : sausage and potatoes
Scottish egg : hard-boiled egg, wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried
Holiday : vacation
Let : rent
Flat : apartment
Lift : elevator
Loo : toilet
Toilet : bathroom/ powder room
Licenced : restaurant that sells alcohol (ie, all of them. And yes, Mama, that’s how they spell it 😉
Off-Licence : liquor store
Afters : dessert
Snogging : making out
Rubbish bin : trash can
On offer : for sale
Torch : flashlight
Wellies : (rain) boots
Petrol : gas
Pissed : drunk
Half eight : 8:30 (not 7:30)
Cheers : hi, bye, thanks, and many other conversational uses (when in doubt, say Cheers!)