Monday, June 21, 2010

The right support is important

From the BBC News this past weekend:

More than 10,000 people who took part in an overnight walk through Edinburgh are hoping to raise more than £3m for breast cancer research and care. TV presenter Lorraine Kelly was among those taking part in the capital's MoonWalk. Traditionally participants, which include some men, wear decorated bras as they walk either 26.2 or 13.1 miles.
Ms Kelly said it was an "incredible night" and "The atmosphere was inspiring and uplifting".

Uplifting? I imagine you would expect nothing less from your decorated bra....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another school year ends

This week was the last week in school for the kids, and the last week in Elementary school for Emma. It was packed full of award ceremonies and graduation ceremonies. Although a bit corny, they do provide an excellent vehicle for taking multiple photos of the kids and their friends. Emmas teacher also provided her class with a DVD filled with photos taken during the year, at various events. It shows what technology makes possible - there would not have been any equivalent during my school years.

Here's a few photos from Emma graduation

Mad Dogs and Welshwomen

Spent a few days in Tucson, Arizona last week. Needless to say, it was pretty hot (108 degrees F!), with beautiful clear blue sky. I was amazed at how much green there was - I tended to think of it being all desert-like and brown, and its true you don't see much in the way of grass around. But there are many trees (mainly Mesquite) that are very green this time of year and an abundance of cacti of varying shapes and sizes, all providing a bit of green. I stayed in the North of the city in the Catalina Foothills area which was very beautiful.

I was a bit freaked out when I read about the local "critters" though. Black widow spiders, tarantulas, wildcats, scorpions, rattlesnakes. The list was endless. Everyone I spoke to said they were not a problem, you just had to be careful if you were out hiking in the desert at dusk...hmmm. I am not so convinced. I've attached a few pics of the beautiful, and the not so beautiful, aspects of Tucson.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Say what you mean and mean what you say

What a lot of fuss about the supposed UK-US animosity over the BP oil spill disaster. Now some people in the UK are in a huff because Obama called the company British Petroleum rather than BP, as it has been known for some time. This slip is being interpreted as a slur on Britain. Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit accused him of giving a "xenophobic display of partisan political presidential petulance against a multinational company". All I can say is "Huh?" That comment is about as clear as the water around the coast of Louisiana....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What's the buzz all about?

In case you haven't noticed, the World Cup has started. I can categorically state that I will not be watching it. This could be because I dislike soccer, it could be because soccer players are babies and cry when they fall over, it could be because Wales didn't quality and I don't want to support England, but the real reason is because I cannot stand the endless drone of air horns that accompanies every match. It sounds like a swarm of bees, and it lasts for the whole game. Whats up with that? Can't the supporters just sing some mindless song like "One nil, one nil" instead?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Clutching at straws?

I think this oil spill cleanup is turning into a bit of a farce. I went to the hairdressers last week and there was a plastic carrier bag in the corner of the salon to "collect hair to help block up the oil spill". Good grief! I think it will require more than a few locks from a weeks-worth of trims to block that thing. Come on BP! Lets think of something a bit more realistic eh?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's spot funny!!

I feel I must mention the fact that menopause seems to be creeping up on me at an alarming rate. I have read about what to expect; the body changes, thickening waist, weight gain, night sweats etc and so far these have not happened to me (well not too much anyway). But I never realized that one of the symptoms can be acne! I thought that was for teenagers! Yet here I am at the grand old age of ...ahem!....somewhere in my forty's, and a wonderful crop of spots has appeared on my nose! I had to spend a highly embarrassing five minutes in Walmart tonight, next to a crowd of spotty teenagers as we all studied the various toxic acne preparations we could apply to our faces. Life is so unfair!!!

Blue Mermaid Island Bar and Grill

We visited the Blue Mermaid Island bar and grill for dinner while we were in Portsmouth. It was adjacent to our hotel, which was very convenient, and it was a "Rachael Ray Portsmouth pick" so we felt we had to try it. The food was Caribbean-style, quite creative with a lot of use of spices. I had the Sweet Potato coconut curry soup (yum!) followed by the Cilantro Basil Cod Cakes (delish!). Tony had the Bimini Chicken, which was Pan roasted boneless breast of chicken sautéed with bananas and walnuts in a bourbon coconut sauce, served with sweet potato hash (v. nice), Robert had Orange Ginger Spring Rolls, filled with napa cabbage, sprouts, carrots and ginger, fried and served with an Island peanut sauce in a rice-cake basket (creative and tasty). Emma had a burger (no comment). Tony sampled some local ales and I washed my meal down with a couple of "Merman" margaritas made with Tequila, Blue Curacao and lime juice. Very drinkable with a bit of a kick! No wonder we paid it a return visit.

Memorial day holiday in Portsmouth

Just back from a very relaxing holiday weekend in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This historic seaport sits at the mouth of the Piscataqua River that serves as the border with Maine. Its metropolitan area includes communities like Dover, Rye, and Exeter in New Hampshire and Kittery and York in Maine. Incorporated in 1653, it is the third oldest community in the United States, and the Portsmouth attractions include the region’s long, historic heritage as a seaport and shipbuilding center as well as the 18 miles of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

I love this town! It reminds me of a British market town, with red brick houses, small one-of-a-kind shops, outside cafes, a nice park along the harbor, and lots of restaurants, many with live music. The weather was perfect; sunny and warm all weekend. The tall ships were in the harbor when we were there so we spent some time wandering around looking at them. We did a lot of walking and browsing in the various shops. We drove out to the Maine coast on the Sunday and the kids paddled in the sea (cold!). And of course, we ate good meals at some local restaurants. All in all, a very nice break.

A very important meal

I have decided you can tell the quality of a hotel by the standard of dress of the guests at breakfast in the morning. When we stayed at a Comfort Suites in Orlando, the breakfast area was filled with people wearing their PJs (some obviously without knickers on, based on the amount of wobbling that went on underneath the fabric), uncombed hair, slippers and tattoos standing in a long line waiting for the waffle-maker.

In the Hilton Garden Inn in New Hampshire, there were no people in PJs, but the guests looked as though they had just fallen out of bed, pulled on their sweats, and dragged fingers through their hair. There was a line at the omelet station.

In the Hilton in DC, the guests were washed and dressed, and there was no line because everyone was too busy reading the New York Times or their Blackberry.

I wonder what breakfast at the Ritz is like? Would I need to wear a designer outfit and jewels? Would I have to stand in line at the Oyster bar? I suppose I am glad that I will probably never find out.