Move to England and become a sun zombie…

yankeebean

When I moved here in 2004 I used to laugh when the sun would come out.   English people across the nation would drop everything and wander, like zombies, to the nearest sun-soaked surface…

Free will was abandoned, the work day crawled to a halt, grown men walked through town centres without shirts on (*shudder*).   People scrambled madly at the sound of the ice-cream-van-twinkle; praying they had the essential £1.10 so they could afford the king of all ice creams – the Magnum… (freakin’ YUM!)

But the part that always stumped me the most was the reckless abandon when it came to skin care. It happened every time!  Half-naked Brits stumbled into midday the sun, where they would stay until they were burnt to a bright red crisp…  And it wasn’t accidental, either.  I’ve spoken to plenty of British people that set out to burn at the first opportunity so that it will fade to a tan.

Why oh why oh why would the pastiest nation set out to burn themselves??  Why??  (BTW, I’m allowed to call people pasty because nobody’s is pastier than I am.  I always said that if there was a concealer colour called ‘pasty cadaver’, that would be the colour I would need)…

The thing is, all skin care worries aside – I’ve DEFINITELY turned into a sun zombie.  I wear a layer of sun screen a foot thick, but I will drop everything and stumble into the sun, squinting and confused, at the first opportunity.  And there I’ll stay, until I’m literally drunk with vitamin D – until even the thought of sun hurts my brain.  But even as I limp back inside, I’m thinking in the back of mind, “This might be my last chance… my last chance to see the sun until next year”.

Especially with Mount Supercalifragilisticexpatalidocious erupting in Iceland… that ash-y bastard…

Stuck in America because of an Icelandic volcano

yankeebean

When I say ‘stuck’, please translate that as ‘YAY!  I get 6 extra days in America with my family!!’ :)

The main reason I wanted to write this blog is because of the title.  How often can you write a blog title like that and have it be 100% non-fiction?

Anyway, the short version is that Mr. Nice Guy and I were supposed to fly out of O’hare tonight at 9:45pm, but instead a volcano shut down the skies over the UK and we’re not flying home until Wednesday morning…

Any other Expats stuck in their home away from home?  I feel like I’ve gotten an extended snow day :D   WOOHOO!!!!

5cm of snow in Chicago = annoying, 5cm of snow in South West England = Snowmageddon

yankeebean

This morning began normally.  I woke up, put on my giant fuzzy slippers, wandered into the kitchen and turned on the coffee machine.

Then I looked out the window…

and there was SNOW!!  WOOHOO!!  (The joy experienced comes partially from working at home and knowing you don’t have to get in your car…)

But OH how the joy slowly faded as I slowly took in the scene and, I kid you not, this is what I saw… in order…

First I saw a car parallel parked (technically ‘parallel stuck’) – fishtailing back and forth a couple of inches over and over and over and over.  I watched them for about a minute as they shimmie-shook their way nowhere at all.  Finally they gave up and just sat there.

Then a cyclist tried to turn a corner and fell off his bike… (he was fine, I think – he got right back up again.  In fact, he got right back on his bike and teetered away – guy’s got stones…)

Then I saw a mamma with a pushchair – well, dragging a pushchair behind her.  She had the same body language as someone trying to drag a mule somewhere it doesn’t want to go.  The pushchair had one of those anti-snowmageddon sheets over it – and I bet she was wishing she was in there instead of out in the elements…

Then I saw a jogger wearing SHORTS AND A T-SHIRT running along like it was no big deal (I felt like that guy in Flashforward when he saw the kangaroo).  I’m sure there’s some reasonable explanation, though, like a rift in the time-space continuum or a worm hole or something.

In short – snowmageddon has arrived in the South West… because of 5cm of snow.

Five centimetres!!!  HA!

I know I know I know, I get it – they’re not used to it, it’s not very common, they don’t have the resources and the expense isn’t worth the gain, yadayadayada.

It’s just a bizarre comparison with my ol’ stomping ground Sweet-Home-Chicago where 5cm of snow barely even counts as snow.  It would be called Sn.  We once had 3ft of snow over night and we STILL had to go to school – and it was UPHILL BOTH WAYS…  ;)

Seriously, though, I hope everyone is ok out there in the elements – especially the drivers that have been stuck in their cars overnight on the A3.  That sounds HORRIBLE…

If all you gorgeous readers don’t HAVE to travel, then don’t – stay home in your warm den and drink tea.  I guess the good news is that it’s after Christmas so we should all have stockpiles of candy and chocolate.

“In case of snowmageddon, break glass, eat Minstrels”

Life in Yorkshire: Needing the Sunshine Like a Druggie Needs Cocaine

yahooavatar15I admire British people that remain in the UK. I really do. Apart from generally being very polite in public, well-spoken and generally un-offensive, they also kindly put up with the UK weather system in a very dignified way. And probably have been doing so their whole life.  I gotta give it to them, they handle the weather very gracefully. Not like me!

In general the weather up here in North Yorkshire miffs me off. I get angry at it. I blame the cloudy weather for my bad moods. I complain about it to Mr. Chill, my English man on a regular basis (I know– poor man!). I take holidays to Spain that I shouldn’t. I rant about the grey clouds in my psychotherapy sessions. I curse my seasonal chilblains. This hate I have is not going to be solved with a  sunlamp, chillblain cream, or by admitting I  have SAD year round. Nah, its just I hate the weather here in Yorkshire. Period. The weather and I are mortal enemies. Let’s put it this way. If you were to go back in time  ‘Back to the Future style’ and put us both in the Roman Collosseum to duke it out, I would put up a huge fight and aim to kill.  But the UK weather would still win.

I  grew up in the middle of the desert so I need the sunshine like a druggie needs cocaine. I crave it.  I bloom in the heat. Its just my Puerto Rican blood that the sun needs to run through my vains. Its just another thing about moving to the UK, you just gotta accept the weather (which I am trying, I am trying!). But that doesn’t mean I will EVER love it. Not a chance little darlin, not a chance!