Monday, April 26, 2010

Inappropriate clothing, cars, lilacs and WTF?

In other words, a random sampling of tidbits.

Tidbit the first: this weekend, the temps in London got up to 22 degrees C (a whopping 72F). This was apparently the signal that most of southwest London had been waiting for. In a climate that would have a number of Houstonians huddled in their parkas and wool sweaters, I was "treated" to the sight of more naked flesh then is really appropriate on my grocery run. OK, I realize it's been cold and raining for nigh on five months, but that does not make hot pants and bikini tops (thankfully not on the same person!) good ideas for a trip to Sainsbury's. Just sayin'.

Tidbit the second: my driving test is on Tuesday tomorrow (cue heart palpitations). Himself took his last week, and I'm sorry to say that my run of doing better then him in this arena is likely to be finished. You are allowed 15 minor faults on the practical test before you fail. He got two. Apparently (according to my absolutely lovely driving instructor) that's really, really, really good. So I'm bowing to the inevitable and just hoping at this point that I pass. The ALDI did give me the encouraging news* that 50-60% of people with driving experience pass on their first go. Excellent. Fantastic. Shit. So tomorrow at around lunchtime I'll either be greatly relieved or hiding under my bed.

Tidbit the third: for the first time in more then 15 years I am living somewhere with lilacs. I cannot begin to explain how happy this makes me. I have very fond memories of wallowing under the lilac bushes at my aunt's house in Somerville as a kid, and seeing those purple cones starting to flower makes me a wee bit giddy. The girls think I'm nuts, but they are infidels when it comes to lilacs. Heathens. They will be educated.

Tidbit the fourth: one of the questions I get quite a bit from people in the states is how's the food? And, for the most part, it's good. Especially in London, you can get just about any kind of food you want**, and pub food has moved towards hoity toity roast lamb with truffles kinds of things, at least at some places. But the one thing I cannot wrap my head around are the flavors the Brits chose to put on their potato chips (crisps). Last weekend at the store, I was so stunned by a display that I had to play photo documentarian (sorry for crappy phone pictures).

Bad crisps!

Bad crisps!

OK, cheese I get, Teriyaki Chicken is pretty much in line with usual choices, but Flame Grilled Steak from Argentina? I've now checked out the website, and the flavors available include: Welsh Rarebit, Argentinian Flame Grilled Steak, South African Sweet Chutney, Australian BBQ Kangaroo (???!!!!), Dutch Edam Cheese, English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding, Scottish Haggis (oh barf), Irish Stew, Brazilian Salsa, American Cheeseburger (better then Apple Pie, I suppose), French Garlic Baguette, Italian Spaghetti Bolognese, German Bratwurst Sausage, Japanese Teriyaki Chicken and Spanish Chicken Paella.

I'm not sure what more I can say. I thought Prawn Cocktail crisps were bad, but these are beyond comprehension. Truly.

* The encouraging part being that only 10% of new drivers pass the first time.
** We have not yet found good mexican. I've been given assurances that it does exist, but we haven't found it yet.

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