Feminism; and for the love of politics

How relevant is this word these days; feminism? In light of all the things going on (going wrong) in America now, it’s definitely a topic that is applicable to my life. What is feminism?

feminism: the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

Am I a feminist? Well, yes, and no. I do believe in equal rights – and not just for women, but for everyone. Every person should have the same rights, same pay, same opportunities. There are some movements/groups etc that take a very harsh line with feminism. An in your face, and all the crass words (that I will not use), that go along with it.

That is not what feminism is to me.

Maybe I am just an old-school, wanna-be southern gentile kind of person. You can say how you feel and what you think without resorting to using language that doesn’t belong in polite company, or around children. When movements/groups use these words, I think you take away from the important points you try to make.

Isn’t it more important to be above the names? above the uneducated view?

It is to me.

The marches that have taken place around the world in protest of Trump as president, have blown me away. Blown. Me. Away. Lots of people have spoken a lot more elegantly than I have on this topic. Comedians have given some pretty dang good commentaries. I found this particular article recounting a two line exchange between a marcher and a non-marcher to be really, really awesome.

Here’s what feminism means to me relative to the world we are living in today:

be strong. stand up for your rights. don’t let anyone tell you you can’t change the world. women, men, people in other countries, are right there with you. continue to fight.

There are a lot of ways to be involved and make sure America doesn’t completely spin out of control more than it already has in two short weeks. You can call your senators to protest against Education nominee DeVos. You can write to your senators and tell them about the issues you want them to fight for. Trump has reached a majority disapproval rating the fastest in the history of a president. It only took him 8 days.
‏Will Jordan @williamjordann

Days until achieving MAJORITY disapproval from @Gallup

Reagan: 727
Bush I: 1336
Clinton: 573
Bush II: 1205
Obama: 936

Trump: 8. days.

That’s pretty impressive, you have to admit. There are also endless videos you can Google of Trump and his staff contradicting themselves, outright lying, creating ‘alternative facts’ (what are those anyway?) 

It would really be funny if it wasn’t my country this guy is screwing with. If we want to start WWIII, I’m pretty sure Trump will be the one to do it.

I guess the point of this post is to ask people to keep fighting to do the right thing, speak up and be heard, and get things to change. Be a feminist. Personally, I’m predicting a Trump impeachment (hopefully much sooner, rather than later, you know, so there’s at least a tiny bit of the world left who doesn’t hate Americans). But most importantly, speaking as an American living in a country that is not my own, remember that me being an American doesn’t mean I share the views of the man in charge of my country. I didn’t ask for or vote for him, but it’s who got. And now we have to keep going.

Be Kind. To everyone.

The world really needs it right now.

September? October? I have no idea

It always seems to happen just when you get into a rhythm. You get over the beginning of the school year chaos, you get back into an exercise routine, the weather starts to not be so hot. And then it happens.

The dreaded summer-fall cold.

Die, summer-fall cold, die.

I’m at the end of two weeks of misery, and I have a feeling this cold isn’t quite ready to release me yet. I spent the first week glued to a tissue box and my tv (bonus, I made it through re-watching the first 3 seasons of Game of Thrones, and finally finished the last season of Gilmore Girls. Poor Logan, right?) This week, I have actually had to do things, and while I’m no longer tied to the tissues, the bleary eyed sleep machine seems to have belted itself securely to my back. Along with the sore throat man.

I could go back to bed right now and be so deliriously happy.

There are few things worse than the summer-fall cold.

The dentist comes to mind, but that’s less fun than just about everything.

I have more lovely pictures from the day before I got sick, where I spent two hours walking around Kew Gardens before it opened to the general public (I love having a membership!), but I don’t know when I’ll actually get around to sorting through them. (this blog is quickly becoming one big unpaid ad for Kew Gardens, my apologies.)

The summer-fall cold is especially uncool when it coincides with visitors from the US (who arrive tomorrow), and all the fun things you had planned. Like going to see Wicked, the Kew Literary Festival (for which you have non-refundable tickets to see Jessie Burton), and the fact that your children have a Monday off that isn’t also a bank holiday where everyone else in the country also has the day off.

I think the most interesting things to happen in the last two weeks have been some weird animal poltergeist who has been invading my food and drink. I have seen a duck in my tomato soup, and Mickey Mouse ears in my morning cappuccino.

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Spooky right? I keep waiting to see which animal will come up next. One good thing did come from the Mickey ears (the first sign). We decided to change next summers planned rv trip through Oregon into a Disney cruise to Alaska instead. And very ironically, as The Husband would really like to try and experience one of the other Disney ships, we will be taking our Disney cruise aboard the ship Wonder. For the third time.

If it’s not broke don’t fix it, right?

In that regard, there’s an awful lot of school related things going on, open houses, parent ‘home’ night (where someone from each area of the catchment hosts the parents who live in that area for an evening drinks and nibbles event), and bus stop mom’s night out. I’m also in very grave danger of joining the PTSA. I’ve managed 10 grades without joining (I ignore that brief stint with the BIS parent volunteers in Germany), help me now in not failing in my goals to never, ever join the PTSA. They do have a book club, a lunch club, and do fun things like walking tours of London.

I’m on the edge and possibly falling over into all it’s fundraising, socializing, insanity. Someone talk me down.

As we are nearing October, London has finally moved on to cooler temperatures, where you are constantly putting on layers and taking them off five times a day. We are three weeks from our trip to Spain, a few birthdays, Halloween, and then into the long month of November (no holidays here kids), and into the slippery slope of Christmas. That seems to be approaching awfully fast.

Hopefully my summer-fall cold with have left the premises by then.

I can only hope.

Weekend in Pictures: Greenwich and a Moody Kew

This weekend we were all slightly titchy for something to do. We even had the Boy wanting to go out and about, which is somewhat of a rare thing in a teenager. We figured it had better be good.

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Awhile back over the summer, I took the kids to the Maritime Museum (to see a space exhibit, we had just watched Martian). The museum is in Greenwich by the Royal Naval College. Getting there from west London is not so much fun; two tubes, the DLR, etc. Since it takes about the same amount of time as a train, we decided to take the Thames River Ferry {or whatever it is actually called, I have no idea}. I’m glad we did because we’ve done boat cruises/tours in a few places – Bonn, Germany and several in Seattle. While this wasn’t a tour, just a ferry/commuter boat, it was still a nice way to see the city from a vantage point I don’t normally get to.

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Even though I caught part of the pier ceiling in the picture above, I like that I caught the bird. It was a moody kind of weekend, all overcast.

So it was a typical London weekend!

But that was actually part of what I made it a fun weekend. The imminent threat of rain at any time is always interesting.

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This is a part of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. It’s very pretty, and if it weren’t for the imminent rain we likely would have stuck around a bit longer. Unfortunately, the Greenwich Meridian Line {again, no idea the actual name}, is inside a museum and no one felt like paying the entrance fee just to stand with one foot on each side.

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The family, secret spy picture, which is about all I can manage of the teenager these days. I did cause him concern this morning when I told him we were actually buying the school pictures the year (he tried to flatten his hair and everything since today is picture day). I do like that at their current school they require the high schoolers to dress in formal shirts, no logos, etc. So it’s the only time my Boy wears a button down shirt, other than on school field trip days when they go to see a play. Then they are also required to dress nice. I actually just bought him not one, but two button down shirts last week. He can wear the other one when we go see Wicked in a couple of weeks. He will be most excited by this no doubt {the dressing nice part. He surprisingly wanted to go see Wicked, mostly I think because he does the sound & lighting for the school plays and seeing a professional show would be interesting from that perspective. It could also be because his grandmother and aunt are also going, and well, anything for Grandma. Including button-up shirts and London stage shows.}

Anyway.

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Sunday was the same sort of day, we did errands in the morning {Costco and Ikea, could we be any more fun?!} but in the afternoon we decided to go to Kew Gardens. The Hive instillation is being moved in the next week or two and the boys hadn’t seen it yet. While it was a moody kind of sky, it was also rather nice after the hot weather we’ve been having.

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How wonderful is this tree? I love the knots. It would go very well in a Narnia movie.

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Another successful weekend.

Can I get a little snow please? Random things

It’s hot.

I mean really hot (for London).

Pushing 85-90 hot, with humidity to boot.

I really like hot, but when AC doesn’t exist in the country you live in it’s not so much fun. The only AC is at Waterstones – but only my local Chiswick Waterstones, the cool 6 floor Russian Bookshop Waterstones on Oxford Street does.not.have.ac. as I learned on Sunday after touting the joys of Waterstones AC to my family. We’ve been in this heat wave since July. I get cranky when it’s hot and there’s no way to cool down.

I don’t take outfit pictures.

I don’t want to go to essentially non-air conditioned museums and look at paintings.

I don’t want to do anything. Like cook, or do laundry.

It was also the first week of school last week, so getting up at 6:18 am again, has been a bit rough. I will not lie, I actually enjoy having my kids at home in the summer. The Chick and I are pretty similar and enjoy doing things like museums, movies, and going to the gardens. The Boy stays in his room most of the time, so it’s like living with a houseguest you never see.

Chick and I also love reading. One of many books I’m reading at the moment is The Known World by Edward P. Jones. So far in the first 45 pages I’ve met about 20-25 characters. It’s very hard to keep track, and I’m not sure we are ever going to get to a storyline, but intriguing all the same. I bought the book when I was going the course The American Novel Since 1945 at Yale Online. I just never got around to reading this one. With Black Boy (which was great), Lolita (good, certainly memorable), Housekeeping (weird but okay), Wise Blood (definitely strange), Franny and Zooey (dislike), and On The Road (couldn’t get through that after numerous attempts), among other books, so I let a few books slide.

The Chick and I did some watercolors yesterday, which always helps, especially when listening to disco.

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We also went insane and went to the M&M Store the other day. On a bank holiday weekend no less. Lunacy does run in the family I suppose.

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Afterward I convinced the family that we should spend some quality time at Gourmet Burger Kitchen for milkshakes and fries. You only live once right?

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If it ever cools down, perhaps I’ll be in the mood to post something more interesting, but for now all I have is random words and a few iPhone pictures.

Enjoy. And send me that snow.

Post holiday blues & Month 13

Ah, holiday. How do I love thee, let me count the ways?

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Post holiday blues are real. And so extremely hard to get over. Especially if you toss in jet lag. And your 3 doors down neighbors all-day long digging out a basement construction noise. {which is bugging me so much I might start taking the dogs prozac just so I can survive the year it’ll take for them to finish}

Month 13 of living in London is going swell, in case you couldn’t tell. I have tried to not be a negative nellie but if The Husband came to me tomorrow and said he was being transferred back to Seattle ASAP, I would start tossing clothes in a suitcase without even folding them. That’s how much I am ready to leave London. There comes a time where all the noise, dirt/trash, people just becomes too much. I have hit that point and then some.

I don’t even want to leave my house to walk the 1/2 mile to buy milk. I finally took the dog to get her nails trimmed (the only option since in case I haven’t mentioned it, my dog takes anxiety medicine because London has her so freaked out). It’s a 1/4 mile maybe? I literally walk up the street, cross the high street, and then it’s half way down the street on the other side. She gets so stressed out by the traffic and people, I get stressed out.

Recently, on the expats group I’m in on Facebook, someone asked about living in London because they have the opportunity to move here. Everyone chimed in ‘it’s so awesome!’ ‘we travel every weekend!’. At one time that might have been me, and if we were still living in Germany, I’d probably be encouraging them to go for it (language challenge though it was). But english speaking London? I’m proud of myself for at least being honest despite everyone thinking I was crazy for saying I wouldn’t do it again. There is a big difference between a sleepy little city like Bonn, Germany, and frenetic crazy London. {maybe if we didn’t live IN the city, but then how would we get anywhere? I’m not insane enough to drive here.}

People like to talk about all the great things like art, cultural events, sights to see, history, ability to travel in Europe easy {which is a bit of a joke. do you know how expensive it is to get 4 people off this bloody island??} What a lot of people forget is that you aren’t on an extended vacation. You are living a life daily in and out with small spaces, noise, crowds, things that make no practical sense, and a confusing set of social norms {like leaving trash on the ground/table/where ever because it’s not ‘your job’ to clean it up. what IS that about?}

This is basically my post to get it all out and stop trying to sensor what I really want to say when people ask me “how do you like living in London?” On Friday we are having dinner with one of The Husband’s former interns who is in town from Boston. I know I’ll get that question, it’s only normal. It will be a struggle to not be totally honest and say

It. Sucks. And if you could smuggle me into your luggage, that’d be awesome.

I thought this job would be the easiest of the many places we have lived, but I am finding it to be the hardest of all the places we’ve lived – even over middle of no-where Kentucky. Which was pretty bad.

I very much miss the peace and serenity of Seattle life. The quiet, the birdsong, the bullfrogs croaking, driving a car, understanding that if I buy milk the expiration date won’t be in 3 days, and that a loaf of bread will actually not mold after 5 days if we can’t eat it all. {i know, preservatives are bad, but living without them in certain things is really tough}

There are 11 more months to go. I look forward to our scheduled holidays; Spain in October, Italy in February, east/west coast US in April, and my 40th birthday weekend in May (destination as yet undetermined).

11 months.

I wonder if the dog really will share her prozac with me….

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Inspiration: Holiday

We are going on holiday. Yes. hOliDAy. I can’t wait. Less than 18 hours and we will be on the {not fun} ten hour journey to Seattle.

{insert happy dance}

And we will spend five days on the lake. That means beach vacation.

{insert extra big happy dance plus kayaks}

So today’s inspiration post is all about the h o l i d a y .

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And the things we might wear on holiday.

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And the joy that comes from ten days of rest and relaxation.

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Happy Holiday everyone.

Photo credits on my Pinterest board

Trying to find the sunshine

Today’s inspiration post is one I really need. We woke up to find our reservation for a lake house (that’s supposed to start in ten days, 5000 miles from London) was cancelled because of a legal fight between the people who own the house and their neighbors.

How that can actually be right to do to people coming from 5000 miles away is beyond me, and to say I’m utterly angry is not even close. We’ve spent 6 months looking forward to spending 5 days on the lake, we’ve rented kayaks, we’ve bought ‘beach items’. I don’t even know what we do now because with 10 days left until we need to stay somewhere, needless to say, everything is booked up. {we do have a last resort, staying with my parents who were supposed to stay with us at the lake house. it is not the ideal trip we all had in mind though.}

So, I’m going to stare at this post until something occurs to me as to what to do. Of course it’s a Monday. No Friday would ever dream of starting like this. Not even Wednesday would be so bold….

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How’s your Monday going? I sincerely hope it’s better than mine.

*image credits please go here —-> Pinterest