Monday, May 28, 2007

...and she lived happily ever after

I am safely at home. Sitting in my blue carpeted living room starring out the picture window which faces a train yard and, believe it or not, parked trains. Settling in to life with my new, amazingly wonderful (see if she even reads my blog!) roommate. Her name is Jessica and she works in the pharmaceutical industry. She makes me think. People who make me think are in my ‘I like book’.

So, our new house. You come in the front door and are greeted by white and country blue. This is our great room. I have three favorite items in this room: First a 24”x24” fake oil painted of a large pink flower. Second my display of fake stainless objects on the counter. Namely my spice rack, loose tea from London and my two spice rubs. Third my elephant motif. Brownie points to anyone who knows the ‘real’ meaning of ‘motif’. Laundry, two bedrooms, bathroom and (this is the best part!) a linen closet!!!

I am situated 2.3 kms from work so I’m trying to walk it everyday. Not exactly wonderful walking through an industrial park in the early morning (gravel flying at you every time a car zooms by you and curious glances from all the drivers hurrying to work at their various plants). However I can make the walk shorter by crawling under the train parked beside my house, and walking through mid calf length grass. I’ve christened these trail blazings the ‘ANGELINA ADVENTURES’.

I am quickly running out of content that anyone besides myself and my dearest friends (wait you’re the only ones who read this anyway!) would find even a little interesting so to quote Looney Toons, “Ththththats all folks!”


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

run and worry

When leaving Canada I had a big grin on my face. Coming home Wednesday my grin was even more ginormous. The first sight of my family (minus the two members who had to work) brought tears to my eyes.

Now to the knuckle whitening, nail biting adventure at the Toronto Airport.

Tuesday night before leaving the UK I finally got around to composing a list of all my purchases. Throughout my trip I had used three different currency’s and I hadn’t been keeping a running total of the combined damage. Upon conversion into CND I was shocked at the amount. My mouth dropped open even further when I discovered I was over my personal exemption amount. Another issue was my dried seed pods, numerous wooden articles, 3 knifes and 2 swords.

Customs line #1 was right after exiting the airplane. I showed my ID and was given the all clear. (I guess I sufficiently look like myself.)

Customs line #2 I declared all of the above. They marked my form up with all these red numbers and sent me to the ‘special’ customs line #3 for those who have misdeeded.

This line had about 20 people before me with red covered forms and about 4 suitcases each. Large suitcases. Each suitcase was being hand searched by one of two border patrol officers armed to the hilt, buff, no nonsense looking, border guards. I informed the porter that I had a connection to make in 1.5 hours and he just looked at me with raised eyebrows, “Why should I care.” The message radiated from his eyes.

Half an hour later I have made it to the front of the line. I make my way across the wide expance of white tiles and fluorescent lights I announced to the border control officers, “I have a plane to catch in an hour and a half and I’ll pay you whatever you want or take out anything from my suitcase.” Then I handed him my itemized list of every single purchase I had made and my red form. They were suitably impressed.

I received acclamation on my truthfulness, a lecture and an in depth pamphlet on Canada’s re-entry restrictions.

I was also quizzed on suitcase content. “Have your wooden carvings been treated?” Angelina responds, “I don’t know.” “Have they been painted?” “No, not all of them.” “Oh. Hmmmm.” They raise their eyebrows and look at each other. I realize that this is not a good thing so I try to think of anything that may help me through this tricky spot, “They have been varnished?” Border Guard, “Oh! That’s good!”

Amazingly no comment was made on the ‘weapons’ in my possession.

They pointed me in the correct direction for my flight and I RAN. On my feet were a pair of ridicules looking, teal, pointy toed, buckled 3” high heels. My feet were killing me as I had tried to hurry matters along by running to each stop. (I must have looked quite pathetic as one of those golf cart’s that carry old folks offered me a lift for one leg of my journey.)

All of my panic was completely unnecessary as I arrive at my departure gate one hour before boarding.

Alas, I stressed for nothing.

Monday, May 14, 2007

almost home!!!!!

Time has flown by so fast it's hard to believe that it's almost over.

The assembly I went to on Sunday (at Bermundsey) was very welcoming and it reminded me of home. Can't wait to see everyone and to get back into the groov.

Need to figure out the whole moving thing too. I have a feeling I might be a little stressed out initially. Oh well. *Angelina Squeals in Excitement*



Saturday, May 12, 2007


Did over 8 hours of walking today and have slowed down to a hobble. It's worse than the aftermath from kickboxing.

On the bight side: I saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace and spent time at the Imperial War Museam. They have floors and floors of interesting facts and tear wrenching stores. One floor is dedicated to the Holocast another to WW's I and II. Deffinately a must see if you're ever in London. I have two quotes that I want to pass on but they're up in my room so you'll have to wait with baited breath.

Tomorrow I'm heading to the meetings of a local group of christians to worship the author and finisher of my faith and the rest of the day I'll take easy in order to rest my walking weary feet.

God Bless!

Friday, May 11, 2007

lost and alone in london

I arrive in London at 2:00. Figure out the tube just fine. Get off the tube. I can't see a single street sign or north/south orientation mark. I wander about randomly asking old ladies for directions. Recieve incorrect directions. Finaly orient myself by determining the layout of various tube stations I have passed relative to each other.

Half way through my meanderings I realize street names are fixed to the corners of the buildings. This greatly improves my navigational abilities.

My calfs are screaming with each step, my thighs ache as my duggle bag slams repeatedly into them, my kback/neck/shoulders pulse with the starin of two heavy bags (why did I buy books in Scotland?!) and my feet burn with each jolt on cobblestone. However - "It could have been worse." I eventually found my hostel, it was dry out and I didn#t have a hat box.

So it's now 4:30. Food is in order. Armed with new maps and specific directions ("Go that way," accompanied with a pointing finger.)

I make my way to the local Tesco and purchase my dinner. I purpose to eat it under the shadow of the Tower Bridge. One tube ride and a long walk later I am sitting under a tree on a wall at the Thames with the HMS Belfast in front of me and the Tower Bridge in the distance. Sounds perfect right?! It's pouring buckets. My feet squish with each step, my skirt is wet up to my knees and when I walk it whips against my legs. I keep on going. I get lost. Many times. My map is soaking wet. Somehow I manage to take in St. Pauls, the tower bridge, London Tower, London Bridge, the Millenium Bridge and some other nameless cool buildings. All by accident.

Decide to head home. The rain is really coming down now and my glasses are rain droplet covered making it difficult to see street signs. I get lost. Find tube station. The line I need is closed. Go back above ground. Walk aimlessly. Find myself surrounded by pubs. Walk faster and with purpose (get me out of here!). Find MIA street!! An hour later I arrive home. It's 9:15 and I'm exhausted.

Monday, May 7, 2007


Our hostess is descrbing England in a paragraph for me in a posh, English accent, "England is a lovely, sunny place and it only rains to freshen up the grass. It is very beautiful, especially Wales. You really will regret it if you don't go there. The sea! Oh, it's just so lovely! It's so nice. The hills behind you and the sea crashing in front of you."

Disclaimer: Wales is not a part of England.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

fashion observations

While shopping in Edinbourgh I took note of two of the major style trends.

For ladies maternity tops are everywhere! Perfect for days when one intends to stretch those stomach muscles by extending them as far as possible. (I even bought a jacket using these guidlines!)

For guys the must have of the season is belted skinny jeans worn at precisely mid-hip with several inches of ‘pant’ billowing out the top.

If neither of these options is particularly appealing to your sensitivity a good rule of thumb would be: Full and billowy.

attack of the crazed sheep

Driving at what feels like breakneck speeds down winding roads and hairpin curves. All this in order to catch the perfect ‘sunset with blue sheep beside a wood fence before it gets dark’ picture.

Blue sheep you ask?! Apparently Scottish folk find it necessary to paint their sheep blue to show ownership. Funny how all the sheep in all the fields seem to be blue. Funny why they don’t just tag their ears like they do the cows (coos) or why they don’t paint their cows (coos) blue too. Some things are just too complicated for the likes a me.

So we have found the perfect location for this perfect picture. Mr. T pulls the car up next to the fence and three of us hop out. I stand right between the car and the fence. (No use walking further along and wasting my energy reserve!) From out of nowhere a crazed lamb bolts towards me and desperately leaps into the air bleating in panic. Wool streams frightfully near my head. He lands, hurtles down to the corner and along the field frantically trying to get away from the strange screeching creature he encountered, through the barbed wire fence and into the safe, loving embrace of his mother.

I will never view sheep the same way again.