18 January 2012

Odds & Ends (Bits & Bobs). . .

I need a break from catching up on posts about our holidays, so I thought I would instead catch up on some random things that I have noticed.

Brand-name Longing:
  • I miss Crest dental products!  There are plenty of brands I know to choose from; Colgate & Aquafresh are available--and Sensodyne--and they are all right, but something about them seems to say "I am just not quite as good as Crest."  Don't get me wrong, Amazon is just as easy to use here as it is in the States, but I wish I could just grab my Crest Pro-Health toothpaste at the store.
  • No Secret deodorant..
Observations on Christmas:
  • There were no packages of holiday wrapping boxes to be found--you know the ones that come flat and in varied sizes?  And stores (at least the ones that I frequent) weren't passing them out along with your purchase.  Although I realize it's a better idea to create less waste from the presents, some things are hard to wrap with paper, and gift bags can be slightly anti-climatic on Christmas morning.
  • In the part of the country we live in, the selection in the stores isn't very good, even at Christmas.  BUT, online shopping is HUGE here; shipping is really fast and usually free.  Easy to do when the whole country is the size of Oregon!!  And much less stressful to do things that way, too!
  • Just a general comment--nothing to do with US v UK. . it stinks when Christmas Eve/Christmas fall on Saturday & Sunday.
  • The first Christmas card of the season for us came from CEFCU--our bank in the States.  Ironically, the second one was for a previous tenant and it wished them safe travels in their trip to the United States!
Road sign:

In Kiddie-Land:
  • There are no pop-up baby wipes; I can't get refills for those handy Huggies plastic boxes.  I can only get them in the 64 count diaper bag size.  Right now on Amazon.co.uk, a plastic box of wipes is either 7 or 14 pounds  ($10-$21)
  • The kids come home from school and they have played "tig" not "tag"
  • Old MacDonald is "Old MAC Donald" not "Old McDonald"-the same for McDonald's as well.
  • It's not the "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" here. . it's the "Eensy-Weensy Spider"
  • For "Ring Around the Rosey". . .the words we are singing here are "Ring-a Ring o' Roses, a pocket full of posies, a tishoo, a tishoo, we all fall down"  There are a lot of variations of this song; its origin is Old English, so I assume we are closer to the original here.  There is actually speculation that it originally referred to the Black Plague somehow. . but since Wikipedia is blacked out, I guess I will have to wait to find out! :)
  • The "Hokey-Pokey" is the "Hokey-Cokey" in Great Britain.  
In the Kitchen:
  • I couldn't believe how salty everything was when we went home for Christmas!!  I know that British food is stereotypically bland and that American food is stereotypically unhealthy, but this time the stereotype might hold!!  My lips and fingertips were chapped the first couple of days home from the food and drink.  To be fair, though, I did have more than one margarita. . and there is probably something to be said about living on an island. . it might be just a tad more dry in Chicago in the winter.
  • I don't know if this is an American v British thing or if it's just me, but I noticed at church that the coffee mugs are put away in the cabinet right-side up.  I have always put them away upside-down.  When we went on holiday, they were right-side up at the apartment we stayed in:

  • The fans on my microwave oven and my stove that run for what seems like hours after I have turned them off are starting to wear on my nerves!  However, I am enjoying having a stove (hob) on my counter-tops separate from the (double) oven.  The only trouble is having to Google the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion every time I go to make something from the US!
 At the Market:
  • Eggs are brown and can be found in the regular aisles of the market. . not refrigerated, although they suggest doing that when you get home.  Having never lived on a farm, I had a lot of trouble with this at first.  And speaking of eggs, here's something you don't regularly see:

    • I have to say. . .this one makes me smile!  The top box is a normal size box of Kleenex, and then of course you have the more masculine version: