Anywho, I digress …

Loosely based on what might have happened. Or not.

Archive for the ‘UK’ Category

Revisiting the Ashmolean Hippo

Posted by episode81 on October 15, 2010


Very nice


A little over a year ago, I wrote about my failed attempt to visit the Ashmolean Hippo.  After the crushing disappointment, I checked, rechecked and then checked again to make sure the Hippo would be available to greet his public during my visit.  I was assured that he was on display.

Rather than staying across the street from the Museum again, I decided to stay in a rather fabulous stately home, Eynsham Hall.  Wow!  Very nice!  The room had a great view over the grounds, and there was a double rainbow.  I just took a picture and didn’t, well, you know.  Go crazy.  But it was intense 🙂

Anywho, I digress …

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Politically Incorrect, but not in the way you might think

Posted by episode81 on October 7, 2010


Not PC. At all.

A friend forwarded a link to me recently.  I confess I have spent way too much time looking at the maps. I do like to look at maps, but usually skip the political maps as I find them dull.  These are not those.


I like to think that, as a European, my knowledge of European maps is good.  Sadly, it is not and Google Maps has helped fill in the gaps.

My knowledge of the map of the USA is similarly challenged.  Took me years to figure out that Arkansas and Ah-Kansas were the same state.  Bill Clinton helped me out there 😉

Anywho, I digress …

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Posted in Thought, UK, USA | 1 Comment »

Has England changed, or is it me?

Posted by episode81 on September 29, 2010

I am at the Arboretum!

I recently spent 10 days in England to see my family and take a moment out of the sun.  I have been back to the UK about once a year or so since I left in 1996.  Nothing has hit me as being really different until this trip.

The first clue was to be found at the motorway services.  There were several business people at the Starbucks having business meetings.  Nothing too surprising in that. However, when it was two women meeting, it was just horrifying.  They greeted each other in high sing-song voices, and then continued their discussions in the same high sing-song voices.  No, not a aberration.  It happened again at other service stations and in every hotel lobby that I found myself in.  It was hard to ignore and incredibly irritating.  Nobody I know talks like that, so what gives?



Anywho, I digress …

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Posted in UK | 1 Comment »

Lisa does not have a big mouth – official

Posted by episode81 on May 12, 2010

Open wide!

I have been searching for a new dentist.  My old dentist, well, I wasn’t happy.  Nuff said.

I found my new dentist on Yelp.  Why?  I couldn’t find anyone who would recommend their dentist!  I was hoping that the comments on Yelp were genuine – much of what I have seen about local restaurants is too extreme to be useful.

“The meat was off and I ended up in hospital”  Vs  “The waiter kissed my shoes and gave me free champagne”

The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Anywho, I digress …

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Posted in Thought, UK, USA | 1 Comment »

Citizen Lisa

Posted by episode81 on March 25, 2010

More is better

I have been quite forthright about my Britishness.  However, it has become increasingly clear that I will probably never go back and live in the UK.   Trips back to the UK have highlighted the rich vein of cynicism that runs through everything, and I can’t wait to leave, even before I touch down at LHR.

Anywho, I digress …

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Posted in UK, USA | 2 Comments »

Happy to be ordinary, for a change

Posted by episode81 on October 16, 2009

Like many people, I’m anticipating the flu season.  I’ve had the seasonal shot and am waiting to “qualify” for the H1N1 shot.  In the mean time, I am stocking up on decent pocket tissues.

A few years back, a fellow expat of mine pointed out the difference between UK Kleenex pocket tissues and those sold in the US.  Same brand, same packaging but very different quality, or so he said.  I confess, I thought he was “having a moment”.  There is a very big difference between Kleenex and store brands, but the same brand purchased in a different country?

I took the nose test … and he was right.  The UK version is soft, strong and absorbent, the US version, not so much.  More of a spreader than wiper.

I always have a pack of tissues in my (fabulous!) handbag, attractively packaged in a handy tissue holder.  Imagine my dismay on a recent trip to the UK, when I stocked up on pocket Kleenex, only to discover that the UK Kleenex have morphed into the US Kleenex!  The horror!!

I have been test driving (nosing?) all the brands I can find.  They are all spreaders, not wipers.  Do let me know if you discover a good one.

Anywho, I digress …

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Posted in Thought, UK, USA | Leave a Comment »

Why am I here?

Posted by episode81 on September 29, 2009

There's no place like home. There's no place like home ...

Once people are done with telling me about their vacations in the UK and how cute my accent is, the inevitable next question is:

“Why did you move here?”.

My automatic answer is:

“Money, the weather and opportunity”.

Sometimes I vary the order depending on the preceding conversation, but in reality, there is no order.  All three are of equal value.

Personally, I think the actual act of moving to the USA is the more interesting question.  Six weeks after a trip to the US from the UK for interviews, the house was sold, I had a green card, the four cats were crated and in the hold of the plane and we were on the way.  I am very decisive.  And it was 1996, so things were much easier then.

Anywho, I digress …

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Posted in Thought, UK, USA | 3 Comments »

Being British

Posted by episode81 on September 11, 2009

Maurice on the London Eye

Maurice on the London Eye

I get asked about my accent all the time.  When people discover that I am British and not Australian, Irish or  Russian (yes, really), I then get a potted history of their trips to the UK and questions about their next trip.

Everyone has the same questions that largely revolve around places to visit in London.  I try to be polite, but inside, I am screaming “Buy a guidebook!”.  Sheesh – I haven’t lived there since 1996!  The world has moved on since I was there – new phrases have popped up that I have to ask my UK-based friends to translate. That’s pants, that is and fair play to name but two.

Anywho, I digress …

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Posted in Maurice, Thought, UK | 2 Comments »

Never even occurred to me to check

Posted by episode81 on August 21, 2009

The Ashmolean Hippo

When I was planning my trip to the UK, I thought I would take the opportunity to drop in on my old friend, the Ashmolean Hippo.

I booked a hotel right across the street from the museum so that I could maximize my viewing time.  The plane landed just before 7am, and so I got to the hotel before 9am.  My room was ready, so I got to check in right away.  The guy in the lobby said it was a wonderful room on the fourth floor.  Off to an awesome start 😀

With all the luggage, stairs were out of the question, so I looked for the lift.  There were two lift doors.  The one on the left goes to the fourth floor, the one on the right stops at three.  Press the button between the lift doors and only the door on the right opens.  Waited a moment.  Pressed it again.  Same result (why did I think it would be different?).  There is only one button.  Confused, I returned to the lobby.  The guy from the lobby pointed out the button for the lift on left.  It was more the 6 feet off the ground,  above the door, and therefore not obvious.  The guy from the lobby seemed to think I should have been able to find it. Clearly I have been away for too long.  Or not.

Anywho, I digress …

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Posted in Thought, UK | 3 Comments »