Tuesday, 28 December 2004

Love the present tree. Where can I get one? Posted by Hello

Christmas in London. (not bad for a self -portrait!) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, 22 December 2004

Carol's 2004 greatest hits

  • My pierced nose
  • Lightening the load
  • A UK address and phone number
  • Buying meat from a butcher
  • Calling myself a life coach and meaning it
  • My un-pierced nose
  • Pleasure of un-hurried cooking
  • Finding kindred spirits and warm hearts in class
  • Every day and every night with my man
  • Feeling support both near and far
  • Not having to get up with an alarm
  • Life with a dishwasher and washer/dryer
  • The blurry line between fear and excitement
  • Being awake

Thank you for being part of my spectacular year.

Monday, 20 December 2004

Twinkle twinkle top o tree. Posted by Hello

This is just a fun photo from the living room into the kitchen. Posted by Hello

Our tree! Sweet and simple.  Posted by Hello

Decorating my first ever, Mark's first ever, Christmas tree! (as grown ups)  Posted by Hello

Christmas time in Cambridge. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, 14 December 2004

weird to be an immigrant

I have had my head down and running into UK red tape. Is weird to set one's self up in a new country. They have zero records of you -- for things like getting a bank account and applying for a credit card. I have also had some fun getting the UK version of a social security card -- a national insurance number. I really will not try to entertain you with the story, it was irritating even to live through. Let's just say, I have paid a visit to my friendly neighboring town, Petersborough's Immigration Advisory Council. Is weird to be an immigrant. Enlightening and kind of a pain in the arse.

I started my part-time job and am thrilled that I am excellent without exerting any brain energy. Nothing like being grossly over qualified to make a girl feel like she is consistently exceeding expectations. (May I tell him who is calling? Can I offer you something to drink? Sure, I'll book that conference room for you. Post this in the mail? No problem!) All the while, I can work on my web content, write out my xmas cards and putter about on the internet. Ahhh, and for only 2 days a week. Dreamy.

Finished my 3rd round of courses. Amazing stuff. During the course, we coach each other to practice and learn the methods and man-oh-man, let's just say, stuff shows up. It is really powerful to experience what coaching can get to the bottom of and can peel back the onion layers of a person. My classmates & I are all becoming close and really learning to walk our talk. By having this first hand experience as clients, we can speak emphatically and witness and experience serious personal growth.

Also doing some socializing with the class people -- which is manna for a socially starving person. Is reassuring that I can make friends here, and it wasn't just a fluke back home.

Looking forward to a UK Christmas -- in London. What a festive city! Each street has its own theme of lights and colors and the sidewalks (called pavement here) are teeming with shoppers and humanity. Almost makes any scrooge take a hike. The store windows are fabulous -- with fashions and shiny objects that entice me to press my face close and dream of a time I'll make an income and can buy gifts again. We'll be having Christmas luncheon in our swanky hotel -- and I am to expect a traditional feast. Not sure if that means figgy pudding or the goose that was getting fat during that "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat ..." song. I am sure it will be heavy, calorie-filled, and worth the elastic waist pants.

Happy pre Christmas -- hope people are not too manic and making themselves crazy. Being away makes me remember how nice it can be to want a Christmas tree and snow to mark the season.

Wednesday, 1 December 2004

Old pal and blog reader, Joyce, and new pal My hanh in London over Turkey Day weekend. Posted by Hello

Monday, 29 November 2004


I miss

microwave popcorn
my car (not actually driving, but my sweet friend my Matrix )
living in the same time zone as people I want to talk to
ability to impulse shop
spicy crunchy tuna rolls
the new Wisconsin quarter (although I have one, courtesy of Mom)
old people who smile at you
people understanding what I am saying on the first go
local friends

I don't miss

car alarms and sirens
sense of slight nervousness when walking at night
the red line
lots of homeless people
paying bills (ok, I still have Cobra, which is enough!)
the Washington Post
the President, et al

I am getting

lots of walking
time in my head and on my own

to prove myself to myself
drunk white people walking around with king cans of lager
to paint my own toenails
to live simply

real actual paper letters from my Mom
to wear jeans everyday

to eat at gastropubs
to watch Bernie Mac as my first activity of the day
daytime errand abiliry

impossible cheap and good wine
to meet friends who visit in London and almost know where I am going
to remember to wheel out the garbage can on garbage night(rubbish here) (as a 15 year apartment dweller, I was a trash room girl)
to play house
to want more
to be different

new friends from many countries
support from all entities

Thursday, 25 November 2004


Ok, it is Thanksgiving. And I am here in the UK. First time in my 36 years that I am not in the bosom of some gathering, large or intimate.

I thought I would pay homage to the day by making a simple pumpkin pie. Yum. Can taste it already.

Walked to the local Sainsburys and got the pre-made crust, (what? you are surprised?) the vanilla, the evaporated milk, the sweetened condensed milk, checked that I have cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger at home. All I needed was the canned pumpkin filling.

Up and down every isle. Dodging the seniors and the surprisingly large number of Sainsbury employees doing their own shopping. Canned fruit? No. Canned veg? No. In the baking area? No. Frozen? (gawd forbid) No.

Finally I break down and ask where the pumpkin is. "Oh, that is a holiday item." Yes, I am thinking, Thanksgiving. "We won't get that until 2 or 3 weeks before Xmas. I don't think any stores stock that now."

I almost started crying.

But I recovered. I thought, "I'll get some of my own brand of comfort home food -- frozen burritos." (No mocking, I have had no mexican food in 60 days.)

No burritos. No frozen mexican meals. Only an 'American-style fried chicken' and 'potato skins'.

Readers, I took to the international isle. And there it was ... refried beans. Quickly, tortilla chips (ok- they are dorito type, they had no real white corn or any other kind!) and cheese and sour cream jumped in the cart (ok, trolly).

Happy Nacho Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, 24 November 2004

Happy Thanksgiving, my Americans. From 2 toothy grins over here. Posted by Hello

gainfully employed

Making that fight for a working visa worth my while.

I will be starting my flunky job in January!

For me, it really is all I could want in a part-time job while I am here-- cool offices overlooking the river, bus takes me to the door, American IT company, STOCKED kitchen with breakfast and lunch goodies, young people to mingle with and working 2 days a week. Perfecto. And I want a no brain, no responsibility job.

People, never thought I'd say this. I am going to be a receptionist.

And I may need to get over myself.

Did you know the average salary in England is like 16-19,000£ a year? Seriously. Another thing is that most offices have actual receptionists, which is very different to the non-secretary world of corporate America. Only senior execs in the US have PAs, and they usually support like 5 higher-ups. Here it is normal.

I know I will kick some serious lunch-ordering, mail-posting, conference room booking, telephone answering, front-desk sitting, arse.

So I need to get over myself.

And practice sounding professional.

And not worry about hanging up on people.

And prepare to limit my free Kit-Kat intake.

And keep my ego in my pockets.

Monday, 22 November 2004

The glamorous, fabulous, fuzzy sweatered, Kelly Quinn, with the knowing look of mirth on her face.  Posted by Hello

My coaching classmates! Shiny happy people. Posted by Hello

Windswept on Holy Island.  Posted by Hello

November 23 is International Kelly Quinn Appreciation and Birth Day. Rejoyce and be all manner of glad. Posted by Hello

Thursday, 18 November 2004

keeps me off the streets

I am loathe to post this, as am now extra sensitive to my hours logged on with the telly. (Really everyone does call it that and is contagious.) But I must share my secret discovery.

I don't know if it is homesickness, sickness in general, or just a lust for yesteryear, but they have the BEST selection of 80s and 90s American TV here. They have a channel called ABC1 -- which is like the JV loser team of TV. The afternoon line up has such classics as:

  • Moonlighting - when Bruce Willis had hair and amazingly Cybil Shepard looks exactly the same but wears awful outfits with hats. It is surprisingly hard to watch.
  • Nurses- this horrid sit-com that was born as a spin-off of The Golden Girls and Empty Nest. (Where IS Kristy MacNichol??) that apparently ran from 1991-94, but I have NO memory of it.
  • OLD General Hospital episodes
  • Bernie Mac show- Where have I BEEN? This man is a genius and someone PLEASE send me the Orginal Kings of Comedy DVD. Can't get it here and he is the best.
  • Sports Night - what a great- short lived- smart show. I heart Felicity Huffman and Nate from 6FU and Benson as stars.
  • Once and Again- I never saw this in the states. Gooey and also Sela Ward is a knockout.

And another station has, literally, QUINCY! Jack Klugman in his post-Oscar prime! Who can't remember watching The Crime-Fighting Coroner.

So, I look at it as keeping in touch with my Americanism. Well, the good old days anyway, when America could still crank out innocuous TV shows and we made smarter choices. Now if they could just put Fantasy Island and Joanie Loves Chachi on ...

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

new way to live Posted by Hello

Monday, 15 November 2004

A little too much of my face blocking the view of Edinburgh skyline. Posted by Hello

Famous Forth Bridge from Edinburgh. We took a train over it. (I was not scared) Posted by Hello

North Queensferry, Scotland laundy in the cold wind. Posted by Hello

The Edinburgh castle. Love the purple clouds. Posted by Hello

Our country guest house in Northumberland.  Posted by Hello

away in a manger

Ok, not in a manger, but away. Immediately following Terrible Tuesday, I went north. (Just like the US going to Canada!) Took my first holiday/vacation here and we drove to the beautiful Northumberland part of England and onto bonnie Scotland for a week.

We got back and I immediately went deep into my second course for life coaching, which ended last night. So, gentle readers, I have not forsaken you! (and it has nothing to do with the newly installed digital TV in the house, meow, that was so craftily suggested by ANONYMOUS. Cheeky.)

Is weird to come back 'home' to Cambridge after vacation -- it made this much more my home than anything else could. No matter how much one enjoys traveling and being new places, the home bed is always best. And I so do love the slumber.

Autumn is nowhere near as breaktaking here as it is in the states, but I've been able to wear a few winter accessories and feel the much-loved cold on my head. But, we had our first frost over the weekend, and I road on a train for 90 minutes without heat at 0:dark early and understood a little why some people hate the cold. Chattering teeth, zah zh zzzz.

My course was once again, wonderful, inspiring and life changing. I am with the same group of 20 or so people that I was with before, and it is so gratifying to see everyone grow as coaches and to get to know them as humans. We practice coach on each other, with real issues, so the level of intimacy and connectedness is unique and gentle. We will go through the whole program together and this bond is really cool. I like having friends from Sweden, Mongolia, England, South Africa and Canada. (Once again, the lone American to suffer though the American jokes with a stiff smile.) At one point after an especially intimate, emotional exercise in class, the instructor asked what the class thought the point of it was, and someone yelled out, "To become Americans!" Hardy har har. It is weird that it is a GIVEN to make American jokes here. And it is even odder to be the cheese standing alone at the punchline. I'd like to develop thicker skin on this. It inconceivable to me to make a slur like that, let alone when I know someone of that creed, nationality, etc was in the room.

I might have some educating to do. Or example to be. Although, as most of you can imagine, I am not one to keep my mouth shut when a pithycomment could be made or joke to be told. So I tend to probably be seen as the sassy American. Which I am.

I interviewed for 2 flunky jobs immediately upon my return-- one for Sure Start, modeled after Head Start... and I did not get that one. The other was for a receptionist in a Surgery -- a.k.a. a GP doctor office. The twist I found out about at the interview is that it is 100% for homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless. Hmmm. Am I brave enough? Is this a good match? I want a job to keep me engaged with people and to make some friends. They expained that often times, the patients are drunk or on drugs at the time they come in. This does not sound like me. As hard as it is to admit, I do not think I would be very good or happy in that job. So, back to the internet search for a position.

How is America? I have heard from some of you, with links to stories and snippets. Are people deflated or still fired up to make a change? I must admit, I am glad to not live there right now. I do not know how I would handle it. The further I am away, the better perspective I get, and it just makes me sad and pissed.

Still working on locking in my coaching practice domain name. I have scrapped the ones I had before as none were resonating with what I want my coaching to be and who I am. They were just names. Based on some excellent feedback from my course mates, I am working on others. Prepare to vote.

Happy almost Thanksgiving. Not sure what I'll be doing over here, but I invision a warm meal with warm Mark. I'll be feeling grateful for where I am in my life, and for where I can go, and for all the perfect friends and family I have who support me and keep me spicy.

Wednesday, 3 November 2004


No fat lady has sung yet, but I hear her clearing her throat.

I think I am glad to not be in my homeland right now. Too depressing

Friday, 29 October 2004

all systems go

I need to report that all household technical difficulties mentioned in earlier logs are FIXED!

Mark just read back through entries past and demanded I report that he fixed to working order:
  • the digital TV
  • the stereo (with its many components)
  • land-line phone service

And we now have 24/7 internet wireless connectivity. Thank the lord. I was too much of a regular at the internet cafes in town.

So Mark's capabilities/pride are restored. And we have an additional 5 channels of nothing to watch.

Dapper in the stripy suit. Posted by Hello

Night out in London. Posted by Hello

Monday, 25 October 2004

Will probably be mad that I'm posting his photo. Gray Saturday, walking the streets.  Posted by Hello

A tribute to so many good Marys and my alma mater.  Posted by Hello

The many colleges in Cambridge. Posted by Hello

Thursday, 21 October 2004

out of order

I am probably braking with convention to post pics from my farewell soiree a month after I've been gone, but just realised (realized -- still can't do the English spelling w/o letting people know it is odd for me) that I never posted the rest of the pictures and people were asking after them.

the underbates. the batewoods Posted by Hello