Friday, 31 December 2010

.anticipation.kills.


Does anyone remember what it feels like to be so excited for something that nerves keep you from sleeping and you find yourself perched by a window waiting for that one person or thing to come into sights? You find yourself awake so early that the air still smells so fresh and crisp as if none of the daily toxins have corrupted its flow. The sound of birds chirping is still in the air. Other than Christmas time, whatever happened to real anticipation. Why am I up so early? Waiting for a package to arrive. And without the luxury of having a vehicle and being able to pick up a missed package in an instant, instead I am waiting by my window for the sights of that Royal Mail truck. Occasionally peeking my head out the door to see if he is down the street possibly delivering other mail. The other reason for this insanity is that our door bell is out of commission and we live on the top floor. Do you think a post-it saying "Dear Mr. Postman, flat 5 has no doorbell. Would you please hollar real loud so we can hear you or call my mobile so I can run down and receive my package? Thank you SO very much, Happy New Years!!" -- would this suffice? are postman's out here nice and sensible enough to carry out my instructions?? Yes, did I mention it is New Years Eve and I am awake at 9am sitting by a window waiting for Postman Pat... and his black and white cat. It's going to be a very L  O  N  G  day thats for sure! :(  

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

chicken.slouvaki.with.NO.tzatziki.

Link to this resto: http://www.zorbas.co.uk/home.cfm
Zorba's Greek Restaurant is an abomination to all Greeks. Bobby Kyprianou my darling, you would be appalled! Where to even begin.. lets take a look at exhibit A: business card - MEDITERRANEAN is split into two lines! WTF! Maybe acceptable in the UK, but not so much in Canada. Already at a bad start. We come into the place and we are told there is a 20 minute wait... but there are empty tables in the restaurant?! OK fine, lets wait and look at the menu. 10 minutes later another couple walks in, no reservation (from what I understand) but they seat them anyway. THEN, the waiter walks to us and says ok there is a table for you. Not only did they act like asses, they sat us at the darkest table in the room!! So obvious I complained and we moved. SO next hurdle, they get us drinks and then when it comes time to order, 
-waiter: "Oh I can take your order now but it won't get to the kitchen for another 20 minutes"
-mike: "ummm WTF??"
-waiter: "You said a 20 minute wait would be ok?" 
-mike: "So you gave us a table, but are not serving us yet??!"

YA. Ridiculous. So while we wait for food to come, there I am hoping that the food is worth all the shit.  One of the first few things we notice while sitting at the table: 1) the wine glass is absolutely filthy. If I wanted scraps from someone elses' meal I would go dumpster diving in the back ally. 2) the cutlery was made for giants. The fork was the size of 3 folks all melted into one! 

Already very not impressed with whats been happening and what I've seen. Thankfully the first course is delivered by a very cherry Greek man, barely understood a word he said but he was a delight! Starters where a meh... the tomato soup was nothing spectacular, something out of a can would have been better. Mike had a mushroom dish which he says was a delight.

Chicken Souvlaki
Mike's Mary Lamb
Main course: I ordered the chicken Souvlaki. IT DIDN'T COME WITH TZATZIKI! What is unheard of! One of my best mates is greek and hell, they eat tzatziki on everything!! So I had to pay almost an extra £3 for tzatziki sauce which was ok, I've definitely had better! Mike on the other hand ordered some lamb and apparently it was amazing. Fall off the bone, tender, delicious mary's lamb. But still, none of this was enough to make us want to come back, which is a shame because we LOVE our greek food and its been pretty dam hard to find a good greek restaurant. Back home Markham and Scarborough have two of the most amazing greek restaurants I have EVER eaten at and man we cannot wait to go back home and devour it!

Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to take a picture of desert. Their Tiramisu was absolutely AMAZING. Not too sweet and with just the perfect amount of all flavours. It was really just the ONE server who ruined it all for us. All in all, it was a MEH. I've definitely had much better Greek food elsewhere.   

   



Sunday, 26 December 2010

.the.season.comes.to.a.close.

The holy jolly Christmas is now coming to a close... lucky me, i'm in education and still have a few more weeks till im back in a classroom. But I don't know how 'lucky' that is because time can sometimes feel like f.o.r.e.v.e.r. when you have nothing to do, no where to go (because your broke) and no one really hang out with - other than obviously your other half, but even sometimes a girl needs another girl to chit and chat with - you know what I'm talking about ladies ;) - First Christmas away from home was very different... makes you realize how important and cherished your family traditions are. With all the hussle and bussle that comes with growing up, family time does slip away and gets shorter and shorter. Thank goodness for technology and skype :) Also, cooking a Christmas dinner is not as fun when a) your doing it yourself, and b) when there isn't as many mouths enjoying the not-so-balanced meals you shovel into your mouth.But all in all, it was a great dinner, a great Christmas, and there will always be more Christmas' to come, ya?!.

Today we experienced our first boxing day in the UK - never again. WAY too much effort for nothing... its a madhouse everywhere, even just walking through the Bullring was a pain in the pooper. Didn't end up getting much at all, one jumper, only because I've been eying it since I moved here :) Shopping surprisingly did not last long at all! And if you know me...the real ME, you know that is just unsightly. But, I was unfortunately sick on Christmas day, which kinda affected my mobility today for Boxing Day, but that's eh-ok! After getting out of the maddness we slipped into our favourite cafe - cafe nero - for a relaxing change of atmosphere. There's something about sitting in a nice place, listening to calming cafe type music, reading the paper, and purely just enjoying the company around you. I suppose as a 'new years resolution' we've come to agree that we need to just slow the fuck down. Growing up in North America, Toronto nonetheless, you grow up with a sense of urgency to get everything done, to do as much as you possibly can, to constantly challenge yourself and do better. I have always, always been this way. Since the days of high school, working two jobs, going to school, still obtaining that honour roll status, just a constant need for achievement. Well it all stops now - or at least I am going to try my darnedest to! But after today, after going from one extreme environment and feeling to a complete opposite, its easy to see that being relaxed is the much better way to go. Must be a reason for the "keep calm and carry on" phrase they use here. Lets see how this will unfold :) 

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

.liquid.chocolate.key.to.my.heart.

 

Gotta love the smell of chocolate in the air! There is so much to Cadbury that I had no idea about until we visited the wonderful land of chocolate. Bournville is a beautiful area in Birmingham with quaint houses, a country club, fabulous schools.... all built by the Cadbury family themselves. No bars of course because the Cadbury family was a bunch of quakers lol. Its a GIGANTIC factory though, the first real big factory from Cadbury. It is definitely a place that we will go visit again in the Spring.




Now, the Cadbury factory itself was pretty amazing :) We learned about the coco beans - ie how the white folk stole it from the natives lol - and how Cadbury makes wonderful chocolate from it! We made our selves into chocolate, wrote our names in chocolate - which I thought was going to freeze since it was on a marble slab, but NO they just threw it away :( OHH and one of the best parts was, they gave us LIQUID DAIRY MILK to eat!!! Absolutely artery stopping deliciousness!! :D
All in all it was a pretty fun day! Raided the chocolate store, where else can you buy amazingly cheap chocolate! There are more pictures on our gallery, check 'em out yo!










Tuesday, 14 December 2010

.december.festivities.

It's crazy to think I've been living in the UK for 4-ish months! Time is just flying by!! Nothing terribly exciting just yet, but we did celebrate a little Canadian Christmas with all the teachers and their other halves. Got real full, had some laughs, made paper snowflakes, watched Sam cut up our chicken with scissors (lol) and drank countless bottles of wine :) It was a good time :) So of course I didn't really take many pictures....opps.... but heres one of Liz with our window of flakes and mike with his special K snowflake :) Everyone's pumped for the holidays, and why wouldn't you be. We get TWO WEEKS OFF :D One of the joys of being in Education! I am looking forward to this holiday very much. Not even going anywhere, just being able to not get up at 6am and relax and go shopping when I want. YEAHHH!!!!!




video
Speaking of shopping...we've been doing, what seems like a lot of it! I never thought I would get so excited about a map... but check it out!!!! It was at Waterstones (like a Canadian Chapters!) 

Our Photographer man Bobby D!!

Us in a blink of an eye :)
 
 Found lots of cool hats and such.... --> the Cheubacca hat! and a cool gladiator looking hat! Its so hard shopping around christmas time. I just wanna buy a shit load of stuff! But can't. I did send home a christmas package...hope all enjoy it! And now that Christmas is coming, the snow decided to go away :( A plus this week has been that almost all classes I've had to supply the past 2 weeks are doing their Christmas plays/nativities, or having Christmas parties!! So not much teaching going on!! :)





Tis now the time to sit back and relax.... 
Spending the holidays feels very different when in a new country... but only different because you don't have your family, or the selection of friends to catch up with over christmas holidays :( kinda bummy. But you gotta deal with what you got ya. And I can't wait for our HBC Canada sweaters (or what they call jumpers) to arrive!!! Thanks again mum and dad!! I know theres much more I wanted to say, but what a surprise, the day at school has left me drained of any energy. 
Cheers!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

winter.has.come.damit.

"Your from Canada, aren't you used to the cold?" ... NO! The UK has such a different type of cold. It may be sunny, but sure as hell does not feel sunny at all. Its the type of cold that gets into your bones. Its freaking cold out here! Thankfully I was oh so smart and brought my TNA parka! phew! And I've pretty much been wearing since the end of September! AND my UGGS otherwise my feet would absolutely freeze! This also makes traveling in the UK completely dreadful :( Oh how I have come to hate public transit even more. This also diminishes any desires I have to travel. A few friends of ours are heading out to Stone Henge and Bath this week but I think we will save that trip for a warmer season :) Just want this winter to be over, its not fun at all. I might actually say I'd rather have the winters of Canada.... wait a minute... white outs, black ice, minus 40 weather.... I might take that back :s

This photo above was taken on our lovely street in Birmingham one cold day after work. A day of work in which the school closed down early because it was snowing too much. I don't think they know what too much is! Not to Canadian standards that is. This is a short one folks. I'm actually swamped with work this week.. TAKE home work! haha but fingers cross I may have some good news in a few days :D 

ta-ta!