Monday, 27 September 2010

"Everybody Loves You" - Kaki King, 2003

This is Ed Miliband, new leader of Britain's Labour party.

And this is comic Ray Romano, of American TV's "Everybody Loves Raymond".

Does anybody else see the resemblance? If Ed starts to whine like Ray, we'd better all start running for the hills...!


Friday, 24 September 2010

"That Smell" - Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1977

Living on the edge of a village in the English countryside, as we do, we are exposed to a lot of smells. Some are very interesting -- like the smell of a freshly-harvested field; others aren't so great -- like the stench of that poop-based fertilizer that the farmers use on those same fields.

In last night's weather forecast, I heard that the winds today were going to be coming from the north. I really didn't need to have been told that, though. I would have figured it out this morning without even stepping outside!

About 8 miles north of us, in the town of Banbury, there's a big Kraft plant that processes Kenco instant coffee. Usually you can only smell the product from the plant where you're in Banbury itself, but this morning I was getting bombarded with the smell through my bathroom window as I took my shower. As you might be guessing, my bathroom is on the north side of our house.

The aroma isn't as nice as you might think. To me, it smells of burning coffee. That odor reminds of my father, when I was growing up, as he kept reheating the same batch of brewed coffee off and on all day. Waste not, want not, he'd say. Life's too short to drink horrible burned coffee, I'd say.

Maybe that's part of the reason why I'm so picky about my coffee as a grownup!


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

"Turning Japanese" - Vapors, 1980

(Click on the image for a full-sized version.)

This post is courtesy of my niece Melissa, who spotted this sign near our bus stop in Oxford during her visit to the UK this summer.

Take a look at the first item on offer. Either that's a typo...or...this cafe has come up with a unique variation on that famous Japanese beverage!


Sunday, 19 September 2010

"What I Didn't Know" - Athenaem, 1998

When you make a move to a new country, as I did at the end of 2002, you quickly discover that there are loads of things you don't know...and should, if life is going to run smoothly. Some of those are very important, and some are merely trivial. But even the trivial can add to the feeling of "not belonging" that affects even the most stoic of us.

I was reminded of one of those moments of confusion yesterday afternoon.

Feeling a little under-the-weather this weekend, I lay on the couch downstairs and caught up with some TV programs that I'd recorded on our hard disc recorder over the past couple of weeks. One of those programs was BBC4's "Corrie: The Road to Coronation Street". And given that I'm a recent convert (hmm...should that be "addict"?) to regularly watching the show, I found the BBC's drama very interesting.

When it finished, a memory of my early days in the UK flashed into my head. Back in early 2003, every time I heard something about Gary Barlow on TV or on the radio, I assumed he was part of that family on "Coronation Street". It took me quite some time to figure out that Gary was actually a real person.

I must apologize to my non-UK readers, as this post won't mean much to you...unless you just happen to be fans of Take That!


Friday, 10 September 2010

"Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" - Temptations, 1971

My husband and I live next door to a Church of England school for youngsters...what we would call an "elementary school" in the US. I love our location, because the sound of the kids out in the school play area is wonderful and so full of life.

Sometimes, when I'm in the back garden or in my bathroom with the window open, I can actually hear snippets of conversation coming from over the wooden fence. "Conversation" isn't actually the correct term, though. What I hear is squealing, yelling, laughing, and the stomping of their little feet! That's what happened this morning.

I could swear that I heard one of the boys yelling the following:

"It's at minimum wage! I tell you, it's at minimum wage!"

I think my imagination is running away with me, don't you? Perhaps I've been watching too many business news programs on TV.