Weird Blogging Habits

This town is run by clout and clout is fuelled by information.

I’m struggling to admit this but figure admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. I have developed weird blogging habits.


I’ve developed a strange habit over the past couple weeks—while researching, preparing, and writing my blogs I’ve been watching the old show Murder, She Wrote. Weird right?

I just sit here writing and watching, watching and writing. And of course they have all the episodes on Netflix. (NETFLIX! Oh wait…there are TWELVE seasons!?)

And here’s a quote from Season 1 Episode 13: “This town is run by clout and clout is fuelled by information.”

I like it! It’s like how people are now but with more face-to-face and less social media. Clout is still king.

Anyway, that’s all I got. Maybe it brings back memories of being really bored and lonely in middle England and having nothing to watch on TV except reruns of Murder, She Wrote. That’s where I first watched it. Got me through a lot of dreary afternoons stuck at the house, waiting for the kids to come home from school.

I should warn you, that last link has nothing to do with me sitting on the couch waiting for the kids to come home from school. I don’t think I ever blogged about that (too busy watching Murder, She Wrote obviously). This one is about a Halloween school dance they roped me into chaperoning. Just a bit of fun.


While I was going through some old posts trying to find something funny I had said about coffee I ran across this Top Five List Trifecta about my time in England and the adjustment process. It was quite enjoyable if I do say so myself.

Here’s the post if you want to see for yourself. England Top Five(s).

My favourite list is the things I had begrudgingly adapted to:

Things I have begrudgingly adapted to since moving to England:

  1. Belts-as-accessories
  2. Fashion boots
  3. Sparkles
  4. Leg Warmers
  5. Cricket

And then Kinneyland’s comment:

As witty as it all is I would like us all to take a little looksey at the time and date stamp on this comment. November 2007. Which means I’m a proven trendsetter. Look in your closet. TELL me I’m wrong.

Well, maybe I’ll give you cricket. I still don’t get it.

Top Five First Fives from Arbynblog

top five

Something I love about having the last six years documented in this blog is how much I forget.

For instance: I thought I started doing Top Five lists on this blog when I moved to England.

But actually I began when I was in Quebec. Randomly. As was my entire stay in la belle province.

As I dug through my archives I decided a good way to start off Top Five Lists month is to do one from my own collection: Top Five First Fives From Arbynblog

  1. Top Five Things That Make (Do Not Make) My Bug Bites Itchier
  2. Top Five Things I Learned in Montreal
  3. Top Five Things Not to Say When Meeting Yacht People for the First Time
  4. Top Five Favourite Moments from my Brother’s Wedding and Reception
  5. Top Five Reasons to Live in London

My first attempts at Top Five lists were kind of funny. They consisted of a lot of inside jokes and no context, which was probably only funny to me and the one other person who was there (who probably didn’t even read my blog cause it was kind of a secret back then). I hope I’ve matured past that by now.

And, actually, although I think all those lists are pretty funny, I found another, which may take the cake. It’s about my first experience driving in England and me oh my that was a nail biter! Reading that list makes it seem like it was just yesterday I was driving on the left-hand side of the road, listening to my driving instructor tell me how nervous I made him because I was from Canada and claimed I could drive a manual transmission (I totally could).

Oh, and when you read Top Five Things to Know About Driving in England know that all these things actually happened to me on my FIRST driving lesson. Crazy! How did I spend two years there and never get in an accident?!

Round and Round with Writer’s Block

There must be a term better than “writer’s block” but I can’t think of it. I’ve been in a bit of a writing funk for, oh I don’t know, a while so it has made me think.

And think

And think.

Mostly I’m going in circles. I think I’m stuck in a roundabout or something. But not one of the new ones in the Lower Mainland. Those are little mini’s that don’t make any sense.

No, I’m talking about the figure eight England-style roundabouts, which could take you halfway to Cambridge when you’re trying to make it to Sheffield if you’re not paying close enough attention.

It’s one thing to drive on the left-hand side of the road. It’s completely another to navigate through the East Midlands successfully without a GPS.

No wonder it gave me a complex.

Oh, and happy birthday to my brother who’s totally getting married in six weeks.

Journey’s End

The rest of my visit to London passed like a blur. I love this city so much…when I’m there it feels like I’ve never left and when I leave my stomach bunches into knots and I wonder when I’ll get to come back.

It’s weird how a place gets under your skin. I didn’t even spend time in the parts of London I knew, and I didn’t see any of the friend’s I made while living in England (I met Jess at French camp remember), but I did get to watch Die Hard finally, and we really went all out. Die Hard, Die Harder, and Die Hard with a Vengeance. Unfortunately I didn’t stay in the country long enough to get to Live Free or Die Hard. My review: Quality movies people. Give it a shot. (See what I did there? Because John McClane shoots a lot of people? A shot?)

Oh a side note, recently I heard puns are the lowest form of comedy. But I digress.

I looked around my blog archives to see if I ever mentioned not getting to watch Die Hard, despite trying several times, but I guess I didn’t blog at the time of those attempts. And on a side note, me digging around my archives might just be why these posts take so long to write. I do love back links.

One night in CP Ben and Jess took me to a friend’s birthday party in Clapham Junction. Yes, we left the triangle, but no we did not leave south London. My unintentional avoidance of central London continued to intrigue me and I was secretly glad of the standoff. I was having such a great time discovering more of London, I didn’t really feel like going to old haunts.

But actually I’ve been to Clapham Junction, and one time I didn’t have any money. But that’s a story for another time. Actually, I looked in my archives and noticed I omitted that experience from my recount of my Greek adventure. Instead I wrote about knitting. Go figure.

Before the party Jess and I headed over to a shop a couple blocks away and got a five pound shape and polish. That’s funny. I debated not putting the photo up and then you might not know I got my fingernails done. These are the jokes (at least I’m over puns). Then I found some amazing wallpaper at the party and photographed both together. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the polish (I was so aware of it, I kept looking at my hands and they felt heavier! Serious!) but I did feel…good.

I like how you can see my scar. It’s the oddity that would be listed on my dossier if I were one of Carmen Sandiego’s henchmen.

Damask Wallpaper

Anyway, we also checked out Westfield mall (sorry, shopping centre), which is an interesting nut: high end couture shops in one classy wing, then you exit out to a massive, gigantic version of high street, but with more shops than you could fit on one street. It was fabulous. Whenever I shop in England I make myself a list before going out, because I will want everything. It’s weird because I never shop in Canada. It’s like I save all my money for my yearly trip abroad.

So, I had been hearing good things about the designer wallpaper in England and when I stumbled upon the Graham and Brown display my jaw nearly hit the floor. Not only was everything in the display beautiful, but THIS was the EXACT pattern I’d been dreaming of for, like, six months. I bought one roll of black and white and one roll of teal and gold.

And I felt insanely proud of myself.

My reasons for not purchasing more wallpaper were threefold:

  1. It was pretty expensive
  2. I had pretty harsh weight restrictions for flying home
  3. I wasn’t sure how much I would actually want to use (matt…)

I also bought a new pair of boots but they’re very trendy and I’m not sure how to wear them yet. I’ve tried them out twice and am pleased with them, but we haven’t quite clicked yet. We will, it will just take some time.

So a few days into my visit and it was at its end. I was flying home the day before I needed to work again and had more than used up my welcome on the office floor. So, early in the AM Jess walked me to the tip of the triangle where we searched for my bus stop (she didn’t make me walk the hill this time) and handed me written instructions for getting to Gatwick Airport. It wasn’t super complicated, but there were enough changes that I was happy to have a reference.

I ended up arriving with two hours to spare but my flight was delayed by two and a half hours. That said, enough people had already checked in that I ended up with a middle aisle seat. Yes, did you know you can’t check in online with Thomas Cook airlines? Random! I mean, you can when you’re on Air Transat, which is who I booked with, but when Thomas Cook is the carrier for your flight you can’t check in early and then you get a middle aisle seat. Fine print.

At the airport I searched for somewhere to spend my £1.99 AND get something to eat but failed and used my credit card for McDonald’s. The flight home was uneventful and my seat was actually really comfortable and I didn’t have to ask anyone to move so I could go to the bathroom.

My parents picked me up at the airport and then we went out for lunch. It felt good to be home, I was ready to go home.