Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Havin' a Heat Wave, a Tropical Heatwave....

Well, so we arrived in the Sunshine State. What an understatement that was. Having left Manchester on a sunny Tuesday where it was 70 degrees (a rare treat for us Scots) we arrived in Orlando at 8pm at night never expecting the Floridians to be having an Easter heatwave.  96 degrees! The mercury was rocketing on our first day, my white legs were lathered in factor 50 and I donned the obligatory stupid sun hat. Just as well. You should have seen some of the idiots at the hotel pool. Since when did looking like an oversized lobster become attractive? If you tan to a nice biscuit colour good on you, but I will never understand folk who turn themselves ruby red and then think it looks good. It just looks sore......

The first few days of our holiday we were meeting up with our American pals who live in NY state. They had flown down for three days and were staying at the Disney Pop Century resort. What a great place. Having not seen M&A for twelve years it was nice to be reunited. Surrounded by all things Disney we had a great few days, the four kids swam in the pool, we visited the Parks and ate the Disney Food. You soon get sick of that. A bucket lid sized burrito looks fantastic on the first day. It's always an achievement when you manage to negotiate the serving counter and order it yourself with more toppings than you can pack into a pancake however, by the time three days of eating the same sort of stuff passes you are having the dry boak.

On the subject of food, it may seem sad but one of highlights of my holiday has to have been our visits to Walmart.  I have never seen so many varieties of donuts in my life. S dragged me away from the baking counters as I salivated over cinnimon rolls, iced donuts and all sorts of cakes (always my weakness). It's a strange thing. They always say everything is bigger in America and it's true. You can't buy any normal sized shopping. Huge bottles of tomato ketchup, gallon drums of milk and orange juice and bumper packs of hotdogs and cold meats. Goodness knows what folks cooking for one do. No wonder there are so many big folk.

It's amazing it would appear that one thing the USA has in common with Scotland is the fact that bus travel seems to attract eejits. On the road to the Magic Kingdom one night I got harrassed into conversation with someone who fitted the bill nicely. Thirty at least and wearing his Mickey Mouse baseball cap and badges he was off to the park himself. After five minutes it was easy to see why.  I doubt even Mickey would have been able to remain patient with that nutter. Fortunately he got lost in the crowds as we exited the bus but I knew that if I saw a giant mouse sticking it to some guy in a baseball cap it was going to be him....

Friday, 4 May 2012

This is not America...Well Aye Actually it is.....

I have always maintained that is madness to take wee kiddies on a plane unless absolutely necessary, and our eight hour flight to the US of A confirmed it. We boarded a plane that, if I'm honest, had seen better days, after a visit to Virgin Airlines V-Room. (A total waste of cash for anyone considering it.) The in flight tellys refused to work and although I had been looking forward to viewing 'Breaking Dawn Part One' while I dined on my steamed mush, having to watch the first half hour three times in a row becomes a bit wearing. A reasonably quiet and pleasant flight until a poor wee lad of about two decided it would be a good idea to part with his entire stomach contents all over himself, his seat, the aisle (how he did that I will never know as he was sitting in the middle of a row of four seats) and his mother. I will confess had I not been a parent I would have probably thought 'Idiots, for trailing a kid long haul anyway.' Changed days, I felt totally sorry for the whole lot of them. Sitting in a pile of puke for at least two hours is not my idea of a pleasant journey and not one I would want experience. It didn't get any better. We arrived to a two and a half  hour wait at immigration where they took everything but our knicker sizes. I have never seen so many crabbit two year olds and psychotic parents in my life. Back the queue I spotted our wee pukey pal,  clad in only his pants and a too big t-shirt. Poor wee soul.

We finally escaped to find our car after goodness knows how many snarled exchanges. Travelling brings out the best in folk. Got to the car hire desk and S went to sort out our wheels. Looked round and spotted L in floods of tears. Upon asking why I was informed that 'I just want to go back home Mum'.

Good Lord, we hadn't even left the airport. As we did, a large sign read 'Welcome to Orlando' Aye, right, thanks, can we just find the hotel now.......?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Pets, Lies and an American Escape

Well, I am finally back after nearly four months departure from writing. But due to a small minority  ( who obviously enjoy or feel comforted by my ramblings) I am back again.

So what have I done during my absence? Well the main stuff is:

A . Be stupid enough to buy my children a hamster without consulting S.

S was opposed to the idea, sanctimoniously quoting 'a hamster is for life not for Christmas' and warning against buying one.  However, I have had three and the kids are now a good age to understand the responsibilities of looking after one,  so Operation Pet Shop was launched. My sister in law and myself went off to the local pet shop  (she was buying a budgie) and that's where the fun started. They had loads,  but I knew I wanted the Syrian long haired type so plumped for a little ginger and cream one which was very active. Yes,  so damned active that it started to gnaw it's way out of the box on the road back in the car. I watched in horror as a larger and larger hole appeared in the side of the box finally having to cover it with my hand. If you have seen the size of hamster teeth or been on the receiving end of a bite then you will know how much damage they can exert,  but the thing was sticking its head out the hole. We got five minutes along the road and were convinced the budgie had died of shock as there was no noise and not a movement from it's box. Then the s**t really hit the fan. S phoned and asked where I was. I could hardly say 'sitting in your sister's car with a vampire hamster and paralytic budgie on my knee'.  So I told him I was at home doing the housework.  I am ashamed at how easily the lies tripped off my tongue. Anyway he was soon forgotten as the thought of arriving at our destination (in this case where they were being kept until Santa time) with an escaped rodent and paralysed bird was not a good prospect. Especially when the cages had cost a bomb.

Anyway, all worked out fine. The hamster is now much adored - once we all got over the fear of handling him.  Apart from having sussed that if he gnaws the bars he gets out of his house  -  he does it every night.  He might as well just get a sign painted with 'You'll no hear the telly until I get oot o' here'. And the budgie? Well , that's another story I'll save for later.....

B.The second major thing was our visit to Florida. I can honestly say the highlight of the year.( More like the century). It is going to take me a lifetime to write all about our two weeks over the pond.

I love America, for lots of reasons, but mainly because:

1 They are the most sincere people on the planet. If someone in the Co-op told you to 'have a nice day' you would look at them as if they had a screw loose. Not in the USA, they always look like they really mean it, even when they are probably thinking, 'What an a**hole'.

2 They have great shops (I should know, I just got my credit card bill today).

3 No matter were you go, there is always someone fatter than you are.

Aye, more on our American Vacation in my next post.....





Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Welcome Frosty the Hamster......

In the absence of the regular writer who is trying very hard to get into the writing zone again this post was written by the house's newest resident......

I moved in three months ago.  One minute I am safely ensconced in my cage with my brothers, the next my fluffy little jacksie is wheeched out of the cage and crammed into a cardboard box. After a terrifying journey in the dark,  where I nearly managed to escape by eating my way out of my cardboard prison (much to the horror of my abductors),  I landed in a big cage with some old git who wouldn't put the heating on and a feathered thing that got on my wick because it wouldn't shut up. Finally I woke up one morning to find that I had arrived in what seems to be my permanent residence. The digs aren't bad either. Now I have a three  storey mansion in the corner of another big cage and the grubs pretty good. There are four big animals living here.  My new name is 'Frosty' which I can live with. (My posh name is Cinnamon Frost because I am ginger and white and it's sounds Christmassy).  It appears I was brought by someone called Santa.  I know what Santa looks like and he looks nothing like the biggest one  who I'll call 'Baldy' because he is furically challenged. He pretends he doesn't like me but when no one is looking he is always at the cage making this really aggravating clicking noise with his teeth. Heck knows what he thinks that's going to achieve. They don't teach Morse code at hamster school.  Then there's the fat one with the things on her eyes, (she seems to be in charge - the baldy one thinks he is - but boy is he deluded),  she cleans my house out and goes on and on about not giving me too much food. Pot and kettle there.... Then there's the little one, who talks a lot - mainly questions- and who I keep at bay by showing him my teeth every so often. You can almost smell the fear. He will never put so much as a fingernail near my house. The skinny, squeaky one is my favourite, she lets me out to play with her and cuddles me and tells me how much she loves me. I'm nice to her because it means I can run about and leave chocolate chips all over the floor which really winds the fat one up. She's always shoving this noisy, sucking monster round, shrieking about sawdust and droppings -  whatever they are.......


Frosty (Cinnamon Frost) the Hamster

PS Hopefully the boss will get off her over sized butt and type her own stuff. These big keyboards play havoc with the claws.....