Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy Birthday...

July has been a busy month birthday wise for me. Firstly a big Happy Birthday to my boy who has gone from being 6 year old to being 7 year old last Thursday in a haze of Scooby Doo, Transformers, PS2 games and Lego...yes Lego, how very retro!

Also Happy Birthday to Mike who was a year older on the 12th and to my big bairn Siobhan who was a very old 19 on Sunday in a haze of money and perfume! 10 year old was very chuffed to at last be buying a card with sister on it after all these years!

Happy Birthday Ya'll.

Jenny xx

It's All In The Sky...

Yesterday I looked up at the sky and there was a big dinosaur looking back at me. A few days ago when I glanced up I saw a wizard complete with pointy hat in the sky. In Florida I saw a witch on a broomstick heading across the sky far above me and only this morning I saw something that clearly resembled an elephant right above my back garden.

Now you'd be forgiven for thinking I've gone a bit loopy but I've not. You see all these images were made from clouds.

I was lying there a few weeks back on my holibobs looking up at the sky just watching the clouds pass over head (as they do around tea time in Florida in July just before the rain and thunderstorms hit) and I spotted what looked like a dog. A few days later (and bizarrely just after the radio had issued a tornado warning!) I saw a witch on a broomstick overhead (how very Wizard Of Oz!!) and it dawned on me how good clouds were.

We all did it as bairns didn't we? Looked up at the sky and saw things in the clouds. Well I have come to the conclusion that we should do it more. Why? I'll tell you why. It's theraputic. So you're a bit stressed out, you've been busy all day or you're just plain knackered. Go out and lie on your back in a nice spot and look up at the clouds in the sky and let your mind wander (course this will only work if there are clouds in the sky...otherwise it defeats the purpose!). Chances are that within a few minutes you'll see some image or another up there and you will just smile. I don't know why you smile but you just do. 15 minutes lying there and you'll feel relaxed and happy just watching the clouds go by. It's free therapy! It just makes you feel a bit happy and calm.

Clouds are great. So there.

Oh and while we're on a bit of "make yourself more happy" therapy here's one for you blokes to try...Next time you feel a bit pissed off bear this in mind.

When you are at work/out/whatever and you find yourself talking to a female colleague/friend/whatever think to yourself "I have a lovely penis you know" (change penis to your prefered word for it!) and you will find that you just smile. Not only will you just smile but you feel a slight sense of childhood silliness as well which will make you smile even more. Add to that the fact that the female will probably have no idea why you're smiling and the feeling of silliness will just increase.

Yes we're adults with responsibilities ans shit but sometimes when we're dealing with these responsibilities we just need to reconnect with ourr inner child and let loose for a minute or two.

You can't beat a smile to make you feel a bit better.

Jenny xx

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Still On America...

But on a different note...

It seems some random no good terrorist folks attempted to do bad deeds in Scotland whilst we were overseas. Most Americans who spoke to us or asked us about it where genuinely concerned and said they were glad it hadn't been much worse. However I got this by email while I was gone and although it's poking fun at the Americans it did have a slight ring of truth to it and made me laugh!

Terror Attacks. The USA versus Scotland.

So they came to Scotland and tried to do us a damage. Imagine if they'd done the same thing in a US airport. Here's some how the eyewitnesses from each country would have reacted.

American: "Oh my god! There was a guy on fire and I was just so scared. He was just running about the place on fire and I was so scared and it was all crazy and I thought I was gonna die!"

Scot: "Some guy wis oan fire and running aboot the place goin' mental so when he came near me I just gave a stiff kick and then decked him. Tosser"

American: "I just wanna get home. It's so scary to be here right now. I don't want to be near an airport or a plane. You just don't know if it's safe"

Scot: "Ah'll tell ye this. I'm no fecking leaving here till I get oan that plane tae my holidays"

American: "There was chaos everywhere. No-one knew what was going. We were just so scared and people were just running all over the place. We could have died"

Scot: "Place wis in an uproar man. Folk running aboot and that so I took my family up tae the bar and got a pint in till it aw calmed doon again"

American: "We thought he was gonna blow us all to kingdom come. He was on fire. He had a gas canister in his hand. He was trying to get into the trunk. It was real scary. We thought we were gonna die. We just ran for our life. I thank sweet jesus I'm still alive to tell the tale"

Scot: "There wis a boy on fire and he hud this gas thing in his hands and he wis trying tae open the boot o the car an that but he couldnae dae it. He wis shouting stuff and that so I went over and gave him a kick in the baws and then hooked him one tae shut him up. He didnae shout so much efter that"

American: "There was a huge explosion and we were so scared. I just ran for my life. I thought we were all gonna die. I grabbed my cell phone so I could ring my Mom and say goodbye. I thought we were all gonna be dead"

Scot: "There wis a big bang. It wis loud likes. I jumped a bit like and spilt some irn-bru on ma polo shirt"

American: "I'm feeling very traumatised and very upset right now. I'm not sure I'm up to talking about this right now. I seriously thought I was gonna die. I'm probably gonna need counselling"

Scot: "Aye I'm happy tae be interviewed pal but gies 2 minutes till a phone ma auld dear cause if ahm gonnie be on the tele ah want her tae tape it like"

Course these are all fictional quotes but here are two real ones...

John Smeaton, who was actually on the scene and helped to restrain one of the terrorists was interviewed by several news programmes. During his interview with ITN News the interviewer asked John: "What message do you have or the bombers?" John replied "This is Glasgow. We'll just set aboot ye" and when interviewed for CNN News John was asked how he restrained the terrorist. John replied "Me and other folk were just tryin' tae get the boot in and some other guy just banjoed him".

Absolute class.

Jenny xx

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rip Off Britain...

You know us Brits are royally ripped off. Everytime I go to the States it gets my back up at how fecking expensive everything in this country is. Let me show you what I mean...

I went to a store in Florida and made a few purchases (from the receipt which I kept) which were as follows:

4 pairs of boys jeans
1 denim jacket
4 adult hooded sweatshirts
1 pair mens cargo shorts
4 mens t-shirts
2 mens polo shirts
3 pairs ladies jeans
2 ladies casual tops
1 ladies long sleeved top
2 boys shirts
1 pair girls trackie bottoms
1 mens shirt
3 boys t-shirts
1 girls t-shirt
1 pair boys cargo pants

The total? $220. Or in pounds at the current exchange rate £113. I say again, £113. Now this wasn't some discount American outlet place this was a regular store on a par with somewhere like Debenhams here. Would I have gotten that much in there for £113? I don't bloody think so.

Let's take it a bit further will we? Say I wanted a new Toyota Rav 4...well here in the UK I'm looking at a base price of £19,999. If I bought the same base model in the states it'd be $21,686 or £10,870. For the same car? How can that be right? Or how about if I wanted a new washing machine? Maybe Whirlpool one with 12 settings for example. Well the price would be £422.99 or maybe I should pay $229.99 (£117) for the same one in the USA!

It does my fecking head in. Really it does. A flight from Edinburgh to London advertised today £189 return. A flight from Minneapolis to Orlando advertised today $110...double the distance and with the same air carrier but half the bloody price. Road tax? Nah, toll roads to pay as you go and if you don't use the route you don't pay. Discounts on attractions near you because you live there? Yes. $49.99 for an annual pass into the water park. Us? One day a year when the castle is free. Food? Don't even go there. TGI Fridays are offering a apecial deal just now... 2 courses for £10.99. TGI Fridays in Kissimmee? 2 courses for $10. Same food, different country.

As for Petrol? Do you the Americans are having a shit fit because their gas is up to $2.99 in places? That of course is a gallon though and not the hideous 89p per litre we pay here. Now fair enough in our gallon there are 4.54 litres and the US gallon only 3.78 liters but do the maths...4.54 litres here (litres are standard measure universally) would cost £4.04. So $2.99 for 4.54 litres seems like an absolute bargain. Here we accept the expense meekly with our usual stiff upper lip and British "let's take it on the chin" attitude yet in the States truck drivers are suing for millions in lost gas because at anything over temperatures of 64 degrees the gas expands and they are losing 0.4 of a gallon each time they fill up in hotter states and big haulage firms are suing for loss of earnings due to soaring gas prices. You wouldn't mind but damn me if we can't see fecking oil fields from the coast of Aberdeen! Yes I know that's bollocks and it doesn't matter that we have our own oil but it didn't stop the SNP using that little fact as part of their manifesto did it? Nor did it stop thousands of numpties voting for them either.

House prices? Another fecking bone of contention. $300,000 will buy you a 5 bedroom, fully furnished (and by fully furnished I mean right down to the lamps and cushions of your choice), decorated, new built detached home with a pool, 2 car garage and 3 bathrooms. That's £160,000 there abouts which if you're lucky will buy you a 2 bedroom flat in a stair in Edinburgh which may have a white bathroom suite instead of an avacado coloured one and if your dead lucky double glazing and central heating but you will have to pay and additional £700 per year for a parking permit to get your car outside.

As that chicken thing Caba-whatsit would say "Eeets an injusteece".

Pfft. Rant over.

Jenny xx

And So It Is...

That my 3 weeks in sunny Florida comes to an end.

"Ladies and Gentleman this is the flight deck again, we will shortly be commencing our descent into Edinburgh airport and have been cleared for landing. Current weather conditions in Edinburgh for our landing will be cloudy skies with some showers and the current temperature is about 15 degrees celsius or 59 farenheit. Please return to your seats in preparation for our landing. Thank you"

15 fecking degrees? I will admit to making a highly audible sigh when I heard that. Home sweet home indeed. I'd just spent 21 days hearing "Well it'll be another warm day here in central Florida with temperatures around 94 tomorrow but when you factor in the heat index it'll feel more like 104" from the very cheery meterologists on central Florida news 13 during their weather on the 1's updates! 15 degrees seemed positively arctic after that!

So we're home after a great 3 weeks which involved sun, fun, food and thrill rides and a few days lounging by the pool doing nothing with a book in hand which was bliss.

I did a fair bit of shopping...went out with 1 suitcase with clothes in it and 2 empty ones (one inside the other!) and returned with 5 full size suitcases, 1 hold all, 2 pilot cases, 1 vanity case and one back pack all full to bursting and a $100 excess baggage charge for being overweight! The weight limit was 24kg per case...4 of mine weighed in at 64kg each. Oopsy! But hey ho...America is the land of the free (or at the least the land of the very much chepaer than here (more on that later!. I have not looked at my bank balance nor do I intend to any time soon (although it's a fair bet my bank manager will be looking at it and shaking his head).

We are still in the realms of wacky jet lag/sleeping at the wrong time thing that happens when you return from the States but that'll pass by tomorrow so it's all good.

Jenny xx