Saturday, January 27, 2018

Repatriation, Six Months On

So yes, we've been back in Blighty for six months, give or take. Thoughts?

1. It's not that different when you're still doing the school run. Given that we came back to England every summer, it was never going to be like landing on the moon, but on many levels, it's same old, same old. I have neighbour's small barking dogs instead of sirens as my evening soundtrack, and traffic because of narrow rural roads instead of city congestion. 

2. I don't mind damp and gray. It hasn't rained as much as I anticipated but it's pretty damp. And I quite like it. My skin feels much better and there's something Wuthering Heightsy about walking the dog in mist. My wellies have never had so much use either. In Chicago, by the time it might have been wellie weather, I'd have had frostbitten toes wearing them, so giant snow boots it was. (Can't even remember where I put my snow boots!) 



3. I'm still an extroverted introvert. I think it's that way round, but it could be an introverted extrovert. I can be the life and soul of any party if I want to, but I also don't mind spending days on my own. In the States, friends and family were often aghast that I might not see another soul (other than child) for days and it's no different here. Man-Child 2 and I came back from our Xmas break a week before the Ball & Chain, and from the Saturday we landed till the Saturday B&C came back, I only saw the boy! Is that terrible? 

4. The dog does fine in kennels. Since two dog-sitting arrangements fell through before November, I had to trial leaving the mutt in kennels before our two week Xmas trip. She's eight, and a bit of a weirdo. She looks like a collie-mix and, according to dog people, displays many of their traits, one of which is not always being a sharer. She stayed with one nice lady for a long weekend back in October, and apparently wouldn't let the other two dogs out into the back garden. Not that she hurt them or threatened to; she just sat in the doorway and gave off the vibe that she was in charge. (The dog lady put a stop to that one fairly swiftly but, how embarrassing.) She loves this milder winter weather and spends all day on my back patio, so the kennels is heaven to her as she's outdoors and rolling in mud all day. At least I think it's mud. 

5. I have a handy capacity for walking off into the sunset. When I left England, decades ago, to join my shiny new husband in the USA, I left a medium-sized family and a large group of friends without really thinking about it. Got on a plane and started over. This time, we left two kids and a large-ish group of friends and I did the same. It's not that I was glad to be rid of anyone, or that I don't miss anyone now, it's just that my preferred method of dealing with life events is - Don't Look Back. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

How to Avoid Being Obese - See Trump's Doctor

So Dr. Ronny Jackson reported last week that Trump is in perfect health. Despite the fact that he looks like he’s about to explode (and that’s not just a fat/thin issue, btw), Donnie’s doc reckons his weight is in the heavy, but not obese, category, and his high cholesterol poses no threat. At the hour long press conference after the four hour examination, Dr. Jackson conceded that Trump should lose ten to fifteen pounds, but otherwise reported Trump as in “excellent” health, weighing 239 pounds (that’s 108.409 kilograms or 17 stones.) In fact, he can safely be President for the next three years and (hint, hint) even another four, were he to win again.
At least he didn’t go for the superlative we got from Trump’s doctor during the election campaign. Trump provided the media with a letter from his doctor, Harold Bornstein, which stated: “If elected, Mr Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
Given the emphasis Trump placed on the physical appearance and well-being (of others) during the Presidential campaign, this health report is garnering quite a lot of attention. A “girther” movement erupted, consisting of those whose tongues are firmly planted in the cheek and whose eyes are rolling so far backwards they’re about to fall over. Comparisons are being drawn to several fit and healthy athletes who also claim to be Trump’s height and weight and let’s just say, even accounting for the lumps and bumps of ageing, there’s no comparison. Late night talk show hosts were having a blast, with Stephen Colbert impersonating Trump, "Listen, Doc, I don’t want to be obese, but I feel like this wad of cash is about one pound. Why don't you take this off my hands and weigh me again, OK,".
Asked by one reporter how Trump could be so healthy for a guy who eats junk food and never exercises, Dr. Jackon’s response was simply “genetics”. Hmmm.
It would apparently have nothing to do with the extra inch Trump seems to have acquired in his dotage then. By suddenly being an inch taller, he has cannily avoided landing in the “obese” category. Fancy that. A copy of his still-current New York state driving licence tells a different tale. The licence was released by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control through an open records request by Politico news, and shows him as 6’2”. Having obtained several American driving licences myself over the years, I can state that one’s height is self-reported. To be fair, this height discrepancy was first exposed in late 2016, which just means that…….in preparation for Presidential weight gain, he’s been fluffing that fact for a while now.
Obama is 6'1" by the way. 
It’s not uncommon in American doctor’s offices to be asked to “step on the scale” before entering the consulting room. You can go in for a suspected broken finger and they’ll still want to know your weight. The dreaded weigh-in usually happens in hallways, and although people walking past most definitely have other things on their minds, the public aspect just adds to the experience. Shoes are flung off, extra layers and jewelry abandoned and we inch onto the scale, one foot at a time, as if that’s going to make a difference. I don’t recall ever being measured for height though, so from now on I’m just going to add an inch and hope I don’t get busted. I’ve always said I’d be perfectly happy with my size and weight if only I could grow a bit higher, and now it seems, with the right doctor, it can be done. Hallelujah!
But really, thank goodness he grew that extra inch, for all concerned. Donnie clearly doesn’t mind looking the way he does, but anyone reporting him as clinically “obese” would be well and truly in the dog house, if not in the jail house. I’m now betting that he’ll write a book or launch another reality TV show called The Art of the Meal. Or get the good doctor to write it for him.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018 - No Resolutions, Just a New Handbag

After the total s***storm (excuse the French) that was 2017, I don't believe there's any point at all in making NY resolutions. I mean, we could all be blown to smithereens if Trump is allowed to keep his phone couldn't we? (A quick look back at some of my previous, unkept resolutions might also have some influence on this opinion.)

What I do need however, is a new handbag. 

I'm not a great one for changing out handbags unless there's a real clash with what I'm wearing, or I'm going to a wedding. Can't really take a bulky, functional black thing when you've thought long and hard about all other aspects of your outfit can you? Actually, I'm also not a great one for thinking long and hard about what I wear, so never mind. 

My present handbag looked ideal when I bought it. It has a main section with a slightly smaller section on either side. "Ah" I thought "I can be one of those people who always knows where everything is in her bag. No more diving to the very bottom of the abyss." The plan was to have money things in the middle, with lipstick-y things in one side section and keys and house items etc. in the other. Unfortunately, each sections comes with a myriad of pockets and sub-sections and that's where the trouble starts. 

My phone is usually kept on the outside, zipped pocket of one of the side sections. That usually works well except when I'm at things like airports, and the phone then just gets dropped into the middle with everything else. Cue panicked cries of "I think I've left my phone at Security", while my family sigh and wait for me to search each and every compartment (except the middle one), until I find it. 

The other side on the outside contains no less than four separate pockets! I don't even carry enough stuff around to make use of them. What was I thinking? 


Currently I have my "readers" in one pocket and a house key in the zipped part. (See, I didn't even stick to the original plan of keeping house things in the inner compartment.) Other than that, it's usually anyone's guess as to what one might find in the other sections. Is it any wonder I can never find anything?

So, I'm looking for a bag that has a few compartments, but not the ludicrous amount that this one has. I don't want a bag that is basically a posh sack. Been there, done with having to tip everything out to find a tissue. I could get one of those portable organiser things that you just pick up and move from bag to bag, but doesn't that require the same size bags to drop it into? 


Advice needed. Ball & Chain is actually threatening to burn my bag and thus force me into a new purchase. 


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