Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Snow

So, lest my friends and family back in the Midwestern US think they're the only ones facing blizzard-like conditions this year, I'm posting this picture of the "snow" we got today. It may be the first snow we've seen since we got here, but hey--it may still be record-breaking, at least by Peterborough's standards! I wonder if we should try to find a sled for Madeline...?


So, as an update, it snowed the next day, too (on Easter), and even if it was all melted by the afternoon, it did look like "real" snow for awhile--I know some people even made snowmen!

Friday, March 21, 2008

A $700 Failed Date

Bill and I were going to go out for a date tonight. He actually suggested it himself. We planned to grab a really quick bite to eat, then catch a movie. I haven't been out to a movie in a year and a half--the last movie I saw in a theater was the Bond movie that was out at Christmas of 2006. We got a babysitter--we were even going to have her put Madeline to bed, which would have been the first time she'd been put to bed by someone other than her parents.
Instead, we're home, calling insurance and pricing windows and SatNavs. We were only in the McDonalds about 15 minutes. We drove our old, nearly falling apart Saab. But we left our SatNav in the car. We came out to a smashed window and no SatNav. Words really can't express how angry and vulnerable and frustrated I'm feeling.
The kids who did it (an employee saw them running off--two teenage boys) have gotten away scot-free. Our insurance deductible is basically the same price as a new SatNav, so we're swallowing the difference to avoid having a claim counting against us. It all feels very unfair.
The world does not seem like a very nice place at the moment.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


So my husband decided to surprise me with a weekend away for our fourth anniversary. All three of us went to Wells-Next-the-Sea and stayed in the Arch House Bed and Breakfast (behind the sign in the picture above) for three days. It was a time of many firsts:

Possibly the first time the North Sea got referred to as a lake by a cartographer. Not my fault! Bill was being quite secretive about the whole thing, even going so far as to program the SatNav when I wasn't around. So we're driving along, and I notice the edge of a body of water on the screen of the SatNav. I comment that it looks like a big lake and ask Bill what it's called. He gets a really funny grin on his face and says he doesn't know, but probably should. Huh? Not too long later, I actually get a glimpse of this "big lake" out the window. We were laughing about that one most of the weekend.

First time we ever got locked inside our room. The lock on our door was a little messed up. It was a good thing Bill had his cell phone and the number for the bed and breakfast--they came and let us out pretty quickly.

Madeline's first time to the sea (at Holkham Beach, where we had to pay £3.50 for parking in the off season!):

It was cold and windy, and with the tide being out, a really long walk, but Madeline loved it. She was more of a trooper than her mama, who was tired and cold by the time we got back to the car.

First time learning that just because all information available says activities will be open, it doesn't mean they actually will be. Poor Bill! We ran into this time after time, but we did still manage to have fun. Pensthorpe Natural Centre had a lot of really neat birds, even if the off-road tour wasn't running. And Madeline loved Langham Glass even though the demonstrations weren't happening, because they had a children's play area!

Madeline's first ever boat ride was to see the seals at Blakeney Point. She acted like she hated it the whole time (being forced to sit still instead of climbing all over the boat like she wanted to) until it was time to get off. Then she was mad it was over.

Last, but not least, we experienced the first signs of just how dangerous Madeline is going to be to the males of the species when she grows up. While eating lunch in a pub on the last day, she blew kisses and smiled quite coyly at a random grandpa-aged man who was talking to her. He was so charmed he bought her a whole chocolate bar! Sigh...

All in all, it was a great 4th anniversary present, and quite unexpected.