Friday, August 26, 2005


Hey everybody! I'll soon be coming back to good ole Brooklyn!

I spent four and a half hours in the purgatory that is otherwise known as The United States Embassy UK. Of that time I spent a full five minutes in conversation with the relevant authorities who promptly smiled very nicely and told me that I would be allowed back in to the land of the free. It was definately one of those 'are the policemen getting younger?' moments as the young lady who interviewd me must have only been about 26.
The rest of the day was spent sitting in a huge waiting area with about 600 others watching a TV screen with a completely random collection of numbers which indicated who should go where and for what. I tried to read my rather good book (Andrew Marr 'My Trade, a history of British journalism') but kept getting distracted by the TV "678 please go to desk 23" and then "265 please go to desk 12" It made no sense. I was 430.
Thus, with a new spring in my step and the knowledge that I might one day again feel the humid air of my adopted city, I did what only Bowles could do, Checked in with those fabulous Holland boys and drank lots of beer!
Henry (of Henry and the Avenues fame) had decided that we should meet in an Islington pub called, wait for it.... The Embassy!
This was a fine choice until the standard North London drunk scottish bloke invited himself to our table and started heckling us about social class. Hester responded that she was a good working class gal whilst I muttered something and Henry just kept mum!

Scotish wanker made us remove ourselves to a slightly swankier location where we found the admirable Mr Thorne. I was itching for some cricket news but as these boys are sailing chums it wasn't the right thing to talk about.
Speaking of sailing, we all decided that we don't get enough of it and now, after a few cheeky phonecalls to boatyards Henry and I are taking charge of 'fiddler' a small dutch thing for a day of sailing and sunburn!
As I write I am waiting to hear from Henry about his latest round of missed trains. It looks like i'm going to have to pick him up at 12.30am!
There are some friends you'd do anything for (he's totally buying breakfast!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Petcare Futurama.

It's another rainy, windy english summer's day. Those of you who expressed concern will be pleased to know that Milo and Fizz are safely tucked away in their tiny little hutch nibbling on a carrot. Maureen I can't get my printer to work.

An amazing night of telly.

I just have to love the BBC.
I don't normally blog about TV but tonight was too good to miss.
3 hours of fantastic sports documentarys about everyone's favourite sport, football!
Firstly, an hour about how TV sports developed through the 1960s with an unhealthy emphasis on the coverage of British domestic and international footy.
This featured huge chunks about England's 1966 World Cup win and Glazer United's 1968 European Cup triumph. Marvellous. It also featured some great cricketing footage.

Then a show about how black footballers such as Luther Blissett, Laurie Cunningham, Justin Fashanu and John Barnes broke the colour barrier in English football and overcame all the inevitable prejudice and stuff. Great.

Then, an hour tribute to Sir Bobby Moore.
This made me cry (well, could also have been the many beers i sunk whilst slumped on the sofa).
It was such a heartfelt show all about what a glorious Englishman he was.
Filled with old players and friends, noone had a bad word to say. And the thing is, it was easy to believe, Bobby Moore was a genuine hero, even though his playing days ended just a couple of years after I was born I, and many like me have been brought up to respect and admire all that he was, and we still do so, with ease.
The film really brought it home in the way that so many of the people interviewed were clearly welling up during their reminincences, My personal moment was the footage of martin Peters and Geoff Hurst laying a wreath decorated in the likeness of a West Ham no 6 shirt on the field at Upton Park. Tears in their eyes.
I brushed past Bobby Moore in Wembley car park before the 1987 FA Cup Final.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Petcare 2000

I always thought it might be fun to run a pet shop. It would have a futuristic edge to it, hence the name, 'Petcare 2000'.

Right, my question is this. Is it OK to leave two guinea pigs outside (in a semi covered run with hay, a carrot and dry food plus water) in the rain?

The run is much bigger than their snug little hutch but it is open and it's quite cold outside.

I think it probably is OK but if Milo and Fizz kark it then I'm in it deep with my neice and nephew.

Mo Mowlam.

Mo Mowlam has died aged 55 after a long illness.

Quite frankly unique, there is no US counterpart.

As Northern Ireland Secretary in the 90s she told hard line Ulster Unionist Ian Paisley to "fuck off".

I'm not sure she'd like to be remembered for that, but then again.

There's no 'I' in Immigration.

Right, some folk have expressed a mild degree of concern over my latest scrape.
it's really very simple.

I am between processing. This means that I am waiting for an appointment at the Embassy in London before I can return. The lovely Ms random Doubt had to leave for 'home' yesterday so i'm just hanging here in Norfolk, feet up and chilling.
When all is said and done i should be back in good time for 'work week'- don't worry listo!
This is just what happens when that 10% of the "I'm 90% certain this will all be done by August 18th" pops up and gives you a cheeky kiss.

If you've ever been an immigrant you will fully understand.
If you never have, don't waste your time trying to imagine.

I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby!!

Nothing much to say except YEAH!
The end of my immigration hell is near, I have all the relevant paperwork and appointments booked. I have to spend another two weeks under gorgeous house arrest and then I'm back to trouble the mighty USA with my wierd brand of teaching!

Thursday, August 18, 2005


If you're going to be stuck in immigration related limbo anywhere it might as well be your favourite laid back lil hometown with your sister away on a lengthy august vacation so that you can live in her house and pretend it's your own.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

More drunk vacation blogging.

Does it get any better than this?
Today I played at being "farmer Bowles".
The orchard needed mowing (our hosts had left this for me as they know how much I love driving tractors).
I fired the old girl up in the barn, searched hopelessly for the hay bin (it collects the grass from behind the mowing gear) but instead decided to go ahead without it.
I spent about an hour ducking near fatal apple tree branches as I mowed away to my hearts content!
The only thing is that now the orchard is full of big piles of grass (oh hay bin, where art thou??)
It took me about 2 hours to hand rake the grass, pitch it into the trailer and deposit it into the compost/horse shit pile.

I managed to clear about 1/10 of the orchard.

Tomorrow looks like being a busy day.

Other news....
I have fleeced my parent's house for old CDs and have harvested a cracking bunch including some old Cowboy Junkies (per-fuckin-fect for the Norfolk summer), some early Super Furry Animals (listened to as we speak) and some Noel Coward (we danced to him last night).
I have also found out that the cottage's grill doesn't work (sort of inconvienient as we have invited 20 people over for a grill fest tomorrow night).
The place is still full of bugs and wierd wildlife.
We are drinking too much on a daily basis. Perhaps three weeks is too long for a foreign vacation? No, it's great!
Ms random doubt has become an expert on the different items of agricultural machinery that pass along our narrow country lanes at super high speeds (sometimes causing us to duck the Saab into the nearest possible gap in the fields).
Wheat is in, barley is taking a week or two longer.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

God Bless you Norfolk, you're a damn fine place.

Been away from the 'puter for a while and have decided to take a slightly tipsy evening away from it all to catch up.
Our vacation so far............
Chestnut Cottage is unreal, daily routine involves getting up, breakfast and feeding the animals (hens, geese, cats etc) getting Ms Random Doubt used to the huge ammount of spiders.
Then it's off to check out the day's activities, family stuff, beach, town, driving the Saab convertible with the roof down, daily temps of about 70 degrees, big passionate skies full of clouds and sun.
We have about 5 acres here with horses, orchard and paddocks.
England won the second test, I was sailing with the boys (only had to go in the drink twice to unsnag the propellor from the weeds).
Spent today with nephews and neice watching 'Charlie and the chocolate factory' and was delighted to find that 4 year old Ben is quite the film critic. Then walked into the city from my brother's house and did some shopping. Back to Chestnut Cottage (6 miles from anywhere) and ate and drank!!
Miss you all.
Mr and Ms Random Doubt.