Sunday, December 23, 2007

Anniversaries and Birthdays

This month has a few anniversaries. It was our second anniversary on the 9th. We went to a very nice restaurant, which I'll review in another post.

We picked up our turkey for Christmas today. It was sourced very locally, Copas Turkeys, in Cookham Dean. Copas celebrates their 50 year anniversary this year. We got a lovely free-range bronze turkey from them. If you want to see our turkey enjoying its free range life, check out the start of this BBC video. It is GIGANTIC though. It could feed the entire village, not just the 4 adults and one child who will be here. You can't see it exactly, but it's inside this box. I'm also holding my yummy complimentary mulled wine, which also helped widen the smile on my face.

Speaking of Christmas, the Queen sends a Christmas message out to her subjects every year. Another gold anniversary (50 years) this year marks how many years it's been televised. To celebrate this, this year you will be able to watch her speech on YouTube. The royal family now has their own channel there -

I think it's cool that the Queen has her own channel, but I don't think it's as cool as my channel - I'm pretty sure Lena's grandparents would agree, since nearly all the videos feature her. In fact, here's the latest one:

And of course, the big birthday today, amongst all these anniversaries was Lena's! She had a very nice day, thanks. Here she is enjoying her birthday cake.

In case I don't make another post beforehand, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

English and the Cold

A few Decembers ago, I was in Manchester for a few days. I stayed at a very nice hostel and was witness for the first time to an English phenomenon. It was Saturday night and quite cold, being December and all. I was wearing my ski jacket, but everyone else who was obviously headed out for a night on the town was dressed like it was a summer night on a Mediterranean island. The gents were in thin, short-sleeved shirts, the ladies in short skirts (the shortness of skirts in this country is another post altogether) and sleeveless tops!

Coming from a cold country, I was really in shock to see people walking around without jackets on a cold evening. Okay, sure, they weren't going to get frostbite in 10 minutes on their exposed skin, but it really must be uncomfortable. I wondered why they weren't all dead from catching their death of a cold. Over the years I have come up with a theory why they have survived such behaviour and today it was confirmed.

My theory is that the English get used to the cold by walking around in inappropriate clothing from an early age. By wearing next to nothing in cold weather, they kill off the weak ones and the strong ones survive to the age where they can go clubbing in January in mesh tops.

Today, this idea was backed up when I walked past the primary school (elementary school to my North American readers) and I saw some young boys running around outside in short pants. Short pants! On a day where the frost never left our lawn. On a day there was a fairly thick circle of ice on the water barrels at the allotment. The high for the day couldn't have been more than 2°C. I can't understand why they are wearing shorts rather than regular pants (trousers, to my non-North American readers) on such a cold day, other than for my fore-mentioned theory. Maybe there's something to it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A New Cousin

We received news today that Lena has a brand new little cousin. Eleanor Rose was born in Australia at 7:30am local time today. This makes Lena the youngest cousin on one side of the family and the oldest on the other side. All the best to Matthew and Justine and their new daughter!

As I don't have a picture of Eleanor to share with you, here's a picture of G and his sister Claire first hearing from Matthew and Justine that Eleanor was on the way. I'm sure they are even happier today than in this picture.