Thursday, February 13, 2014

Let Me Gently Probe your Mind

We're snowed in up to our eyeballs here in Baltimore so time to switch on the computer for some light relief.

So, I got challenged by another blogger to share 11 things about me

My 11 questions are:

1. What advice would you give your brand new blogging self now?

Don't air all your dirty laundry in public.

2. What four words would you say to your 18 year old self?

David Bowie is never going to marry you.

3. What three things do you think define you as either a Brit or American?

Obsession with strong cups of tea  or lack thereof

Ability to go for long walks in icy rain and enjoy it because it is 'bracing'

Deep and abiding love of the Eurovision Song Contest especially the year Bucks Fizz won.

4. Which TV show character are you and why?

Well I am definitely Eddie from Ab Fab because I love to drink a lot of wine and natter inanely. Also, we are kindred spirits in that I have never been on a diet for more than half a day.

5. Apocalypse Now or Mary Poppins?

I haven't seen Apocalypse Now so it's Chim Chim Charoo all the way for me!

6. Are white lies okay to tell? Please elaborate!

Yes of course. If you are getting  ready to go out and your friend has poured herself into an outfit that does her no favors, maybe like these green leggings ....

and she maybe asks you, 'do I look fat in these?' then the answer is always NO so as not to hurt her feelings. And then you can say something like 'Although that color does make you look a bit washed out' and help her pick something from her wardrobe that makes her look less like a stuffed courgette.

7. Whether you are a parent or not, what are the three most important things about raising a child?

The greatest gift you can give your child is time.

Children will make a lot of mess and break all your furniture. Get over it.

Sometimes it is easiest to feed your toddler spaghetti and meatballs in the bath for easy cleanup.

8. Favourite swear word and why?

I have so many favorites it is impossible to choose.

9. If you could have one super power what would it be?

Eating a lot of cake and staying slim.

10. Worst holiday experience ever.

I think it might have been when I was 15 and went on an overnight ski trip with my mum in a coach and I drank a bottle of whisky with some lads in the back  and threw up all over myself and passed out and when I woke up in the morning with the mother and father of all hangovers and my mum explained what had happened I said, "Why didn't you stop me doing that?" and she said, "Well I wanted to teach you a lesson." Lesson learnt. I cannot touch whisky since that day.

11. Elevator pitch to the Huffington Post, no more than 30 words, for your blog…..

When this London City Chick swapped life in the fast lane for the slow pace of Baltimore, USA she decided to blog about it. Follow her ups and downs as she swaps crumpets for crab cakes.

Now I have to:

• Acknowledge the nominating blogger by linking back to their blog – thanks Claire at

• Invite 11 more bloggers to take up the challenge and give them 11 questions to answer.

Here are my questions:

1. If you could go back in history who would you most like to meet?
2. What was one of the most embarassing things your kid said in public?
3. If you were an animal what would you be and why?
4. Have you ever eaten Haggis? Did you like it?
5. What's the stupidest thing you have said in a job interview?
6. Do you believe in friendship between men and women?
7. Is Kate Middleton someone you look up to or someone who seems awfully nice but basically completely uninteresting?
8. Do you feel like you are a slave to technology?
9. Have you ever had a chip butty? If not would you like to?
10. If you were on a desert island what one record from the 80s would you bring with you?
11. Do you understand the rules of American football?

Okay, so, the nominees are…

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Sunday, February 09, 2014

Great Expat-ations

I was asked to contribute an expat tip for the HiFX Expat Tip page. And this got me thinking that actually I have a lot of useful info to pass on for peeps looking to move from UK to USA so here goes ....

10 things to bear in mind when moving from UK to USA

1. Your British accent will go down a storm. Some people even ask you to say a sentence so they can hear your accent. You will feel like a celebrity.

2. You will laugh at how Americans complain about the cost of gas as it is three times cheaper than in the UK.

3. The weather is a lot nicer.

4. I had watched so many episodes of Jerry Springer, Maury etc. I thought America might be awash with women who didn't know who the father of their child was! In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. Marriage is a huge deal in the USA with only 10% believing it is an outdated institution.

5. People in US are very sensitive towards race and religion to the point where I really don't really like to talk about it because I'm not sure if I'm going to offend people. Religion in the UK is for most people just a background murmur but many people here are religious and actually go to church. That religion should be mixed in with politics is something I still can't get my head around - they even have prayer breakfasts in the White House. Some people believe in creationism, showing that the bible can be taken pretty literally.

6. If like me you did not drive before you arrived here then you will have to learn. Public transport is dire in all but the biggest cities and people drive absolutely everywhere and by that I mean they often drive the kids to school even if it is a two minute walk. It is something that is hard to get one's head around.

7. You will not realize how much you love a decent cup of tea until you move to the USA. You rarely find a good cuppa at a restaurant and I once got steamed milk on a cup of tea - of course, being British I didn't complain and just drank it. But be warned - if you want a good cuppa you will have to make it at home. 

8. TV is a nightmare with commercials every five minutes. For this reason I no longer have Cable TV just Hulu and Netflix.

9. Don't try and do all the things you used to do back in England. You can't spend your time bemoaning the fact that in the USA people don't spend all Sunday in the pub eating a delicious roast. You have to get out and experience as much as you can of your local area. I am lucky in that I live 2 hours from a ski resort and 3 hours from the beach and that there is always something to do outdoors.

10. You will be thrilled at how much bang you get for your buck when you do buy a house. On average houses in USA are cheaper than the UK equivalent!

If you are an expat give me some of your tips!

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