Friday, January 11, 2013

"Oh, the places you'll go!"

Well, another Christmas came and went. It was a good one this year.The journey home was generally uneventful, apart from one of those "oh no you didn't!" moments on my first flight. I was at the Salt Lake airport, and because I was going to miss my connection to London, they put me on standby for a slightly earlier flight. So I sat at the gate nervously waiting for my name to be mispronouced over the loud-speaker. And there it was, I made it onto the flight. So, victoriously, I strode onto the plane, eager to begin the first leg of my journey. I sat down and took off my coat, looked around me at my fellow travellers, and fastened my seat belt. As soon as I had done this, the flight attendant came hurrying towards me, lent over the person next to me, and almost shouted "we need you to get off the plane, you're too heavy!" That was the "oh no you didn't!" moment. No, she did not kindly and diplomatically say "your bags are too heavy for this flight" she said "you're too heavy!" No, no, no. That's never what a girl wants to hear! I must have held the disgusted/embarrassed/nervous face for a while, because the pilot soon came up, looked at my expression briefly, and told me I could stay. The whole time, I was nervously holding my breath. No, not because of my weight. Because I may have vomited from anxiety. When I re-live the moment this happened, in my mind I'm a larger than life black woman who yells "excuuuuuuuse me?!", waggles her finger, and defies anyone who dares to mention her voluptuous figure. No, instead, I was sitting there white as a sheep, shaking because I didn't want to get kicked off the plane, looking around nervously at the passengers staring at me. Yes, I'm the one with the extra weight. Sorry. Now let's please all stop looking and get up in the air!

Ok, so that was the only airport moment worth sharing this time. I don't know if anything will ever beat the time a woman in New York shouted to her colleagues at McDonald's "excuuuuue me, e'erbody. Mmmmhhhmm, this girl on the TV", and then turned to me, "girl, you on the TV!" I'm not on the TV. But perhaps I should have lied, offered my receipt signature as a gift to the staff at McDonalds, and accepted photos from my adoring fans around me.

When you fly alone as often as I do, you have nothing to do but let your mind wander. Ok, definitely got to get myself a travel companion. Next time.

Guilty pleasure. Don't judge me. I don't do it very often, but it's the same idea. Going to IKEA and pretending you're newly married and you just moved into a new house. Maybe I walk around those mock layouts of kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms, and pretend that I actually live there. Maybe my successful brain surgeon husband and I are expecting guests over for dinner, and need to pick out a colour scheme for the dinner plates. Just maybe.

Oh yes, back to my trip home. It was just lovely. We got to skype with Josh for over an hour. He has an awesome Jamaican twang to his accent. He's the coolest. I wish I could get away with saying "yo, family, how goes it?" like a Caribbean person in real life. For now, I'll just practice in my head!

That's it for now. Happy 2013 everyone!

Friday, November 9, 2012

"Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?"

Today is has done nothing but rain. My hair is crazy. My feet are damp. There's only ever one thing to counteract that. It's Raining Men by the Weather Girls. Yes, maybe I played it on repeat the whole way to campus thing morning. I'm not ashamed. It was fabulous.

Well, Halloween came and went again! Definitely one of my favourite times of the year. What's not to like? Costumes, candy candy candy, Hocus Pocus, the Monster Mash, dance parties! I love it. I do. I do.

You know it's a good Halloween when you have 3 costumes spread out over the course of a few days...

Costume 1: Lady Gaga (with the fish I won)

Costumes 2 & 3: Sandy (from Grease) before and after

Oh and this year I won a goldfish at the Ward Halloween Party. Yes, I proved myself a very talented player of 'get the ping pong ball in the cup.' So now we have a teeny tiny goldfish in the trifle bowl in the kitchen! I wasn't sure if I was ready to take on the responsibility of a goldfish. I mean, I can't even remember to feed myself. I'll admit, there were some anxious mornings early on when I was so sure I'd come into the kitchen and find Diego floating on the surface. We also didn't have any fish food at this point, so we resorted to tuna. I think that was a good decision. Now he's our little cannibal goldfish. One day when I leave the Dev, I'll have to release him into the wild, and I'd much prefer him to be able to eat his way to the top of the food chain. So that was the first week, and he made it. Wallis bought some Tetra Fin (possibly the stinkiest fish food around) to fatten him up!
But nothing's simple when you become a guardian. Rachel and I realised that little Diego had been swimming around in his poop water for a long time. Operation change the water and move him from the scales bowl to the trifle bowl was about as nerve-wracking as stubbing your toe and wondering if you'll lose it. But you know what, Diego made it. Bless his little goldfish heart. He's probably the smallest goldfish around, but he made it through!

One time I took a Marriage and Family Class and the professor had us plant a seed and let it grow throughout the semester. Obviously, this was a metaphor for nourishing and nurturing our relationships. Well my plant grew about an inch high, and then it died. It's just a metaphor right? Right?!

This time I'm determined to nurture the heck out of that little goldfish! I will not let him die!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Oh me, oh my, what a lot of funny things go by"

Again, apologies for being the world's most unreliable blogger. Really. As Jane Bennett said, "there always seem to be so many other things to do." Yes, I did just quote Pride and Prejudice. You know you loved it!

Anyway, where did I get to in my life. Ah yes, we left off at Christmas in England. Well, that's exactly where I want to start today. I originally had a flight to come back to England during the summer to support Team GB during the Olympics, well, and Team Baldock... I definitely come home for those crazies too! For financial reasons I decided to cancel the flight and move it to this coming Christmas. Yes, I was a little devastated about that for a day or so. Then about 2 months later my dad randomly found a very very cheap flight to London, so we snapped that up. I definitely felt like I needed to be back in England. Definitely started to miss marmite, chocolate, and little Tunbridge Wells. So I went home, and it was wonderful. As usual, my parents picked me up from the airport. This time, my dad (bless his heart) had a bunch of my favourite flowers for me with a note that said "Welcome back to 'Zion'"... love love love my dad! Mum even said it was his idea. Having so many girls in the house definitely did good things for his sensitivity levels!

So, the 2012 Olympics were in London. Before they began, the Olympic flame made its way across the UK, running through my little hometown. My mum and I had planned out the whole morning. The local schools let out all of the children to watch the flame run through the town, so there we were, waving our little British flags, standing with the school children, giggling with excitement. All of the kids around us were calling out and beckoning the runner to bring the torch over. So my mum nudges me, and says "go on, go on, bring the runner over, touch the torch!" So I did, and it was awesome! The torch was cool, but the runner, not so much... he was a middle-aged German man. Not quite sure what that was all about!

This year was a truly excellent year to be English. The Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics. I was so lucky to be home for some of it. All I can say is us Brits know how to put on a good show! The Opening Ceremony was a great indication of the games... the best of British... Mr. Bean, the Queen and James Bond, Harry Potter... say no more. Maybe I cried a little.

I know you're all wondering, so yes, the vibe in London was electric. Yes, it was amazing to be a part of it. Also, yes, there were attractive athletes walking around the city. One rainy London day I ventured into the city centre, and a group of tall Spanish athletes in Olympic tracksuits walked past me, big maps of the city out in front of them. In my mind I looked up, winked at them, and then spoke in dulcet tones, "¡Hola Señores!" But no, in real life, my umbrella was blown inside out, and I fumbled around trying to fix it muttering to myself, almost walking into them. Zero points for Siân-Amy 'breeziness'. 10 points for London breeziness!

Going home definitely put things into perspective for me. I got to spend a lot of time with my little sister Ell. She's kind of a cool kid. Also put me through my paces everyday in badminton. Loved that. Not. But really.

What else happened this summer... oh, my best friend got married to my other friend. They're all in love and stuff. So so so so happy for them. I definitely deserve a hi-5 for my match-making skills.

Oh, on a different note, I recently became a columnist for the Daily Herald. That was a good day! It's exactly what I was looking for, and it literally was handed to me on a plate. I basically didn't stop smiling all day when I found out!  I write about food from all over the world, and experiencing it here in Utah. So that's that. Just making my way in the journalist world.

Anywhoo... that's my life right now. It's pretty great!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Be Jolly

Season's Greetings from England. Yep, I made it home this time without any drama. Of course, it was another emotional reunion with my family... mainly due to tiredness this time. After waiting in arrivals for almost an hour without my phone, my first words to my family upon their arrival were "I thought you'd forgotten about me!" which I managed to choke out through tears.

The arrivals area at Heathrow airport is one of my favourite places ever. I love to see reunions. I love to see couples who haven't seen each other in months, grandparents meeting grandchildren for the first time, soldiers being reunited with their wives. Hugs, kisses, tears are so much more tender. There's something about the airport that makes us all so vulnerable. We're either coming or going; tearful goodbyes, or joyous reunions. Maybe waiting for an hour for my family wasn't such a bad thing. There was a lot of love in Heathrow arrivals last Sunday.

Yes, Christmas clearly makes me mushy. I just love this time of year, though.
I love being with my family.
I love what Christmas really means.
I love cosy nights in.
I love Christmas shopping.
I love Christmas decorations.
I love cheesy Christmas songs.
I love The Snowman.
I love mince pies.
I love carolling.
I love Christmas dinner.
I love Christmas crackers.
I love Christmas movies.
I love snow.
I love Christmas lights.
I love all of it.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reckon I'll Just Mosey On Then

Oh blog, I have missed you. A lot. Welcome back to my life.

So this semester I'm taking a class on the American Novel. Yes, oh yes. I should have seen this coming, but I was not prepared for two weeks worth of cowboy talk, ranching lectures, and guest speakers on the American West. Don't be surprised if I reject your high-five and instead initiate a shoulder-swinging handshake and a "put it there partner!" It gets better. I was an American for halloween. Well, initially a cowgirl. But the responses were far more entertaining when I professed to be an American! Yes, of course all Americans wear plaid shirts, cowboy boots, and braids with ribbons. One of favourite costumes of the day was surprisingly a friend at work, who I initially did not think was dressed up until I realised she was wearing my name tag. She was in fact a muggle from England. Well done, Megan. I applaud you. But I might add one thing. I would never be a muggle. Here is my proof. I whisper "accio" over and over, and things I am summoning magically come to me. (I have great roommates.)

Of course, we watched Hocus Pocus. It would not be halloween without that movie. And of course, I still jumped when the blonde witch jumps out from underneath the bedsheets. Nothing will ever prepare me for that moment. Terrifying!

Also, side note. A man at work last week thought I was Scottish. Really? I asked him if he'd seen Braveheart. He had. One of us was still very confused. Another person asked me where I was from. England of course. She then asked me if my siblings were English too. Oh, yes! That one made my afternoon.

Okay, enough. I should save these for my folklore project where I will be researching being English in Provo. Get excited. You all will be able to find my research project in the BYU folklore archives, if you ever end up lost in the basement of the library. But seriously, don't do it. My first experience of the the archives was somewhat strange. We were taken to some lockers where we had to leave all of our belongings, and we were then locked in a room surrounded with windows where we could view the items. They then passed the items under the glass window to us, like we were contaminated for something, or under arrest. I felt slightly twitchy. Like when they put secret microphones under the tables, and cameras on the ceiling to record your conversations. Regardless of if "They" were listening or not, I made it a good one.

So last week I celebrated my 22nd birthday. Madness. In my mind I'll always be that 12 year old girl who watches Power Rangers with her siblings, sings to S Club 7 into her hairbrush microphone, and wears sparkly flared jeans. Awesome. 90s, you will always be a part of me, even though now I have transitioned into an "old person." Grim. On the other hand, I am having very good feelings about my 22nd year. Good things. Good things.

Here are the highlights of halloween at the box office...

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Last week a friend of mine asked me to tell him about the craziest thing I've ever done. Of course, my gut reaction was to tell him about this one time that I went skydiving and forgot to pull the cord. But that would be a lie.

All I could come up with was the time I went hiking with some friends. Not the best decision I've ever made for two very good reasons. 1.) It was winter 2.) It was after midnight. 3.) It was icy. 4.) There were wild animals out. Getting up the mountain was not a problem. It hadn't started to snow yet, and so we paced it to the frozen-over waterfall. The way back down, though, was the problem. I was only wearing sneakers, which apparently had no grip, so I was slipping and sliding a little too close to the mountain edge. By this point it had started to snow heavily, and we were into the early hours of the morning. The rest of the group went on ahead, and one of the guys decided to stay behind with me, and help me down. I must have fallen over at least 10 times, so he literally held me upright, he slid down the parts of the mountain on his bum with me, and he even carried me back down at points. Although he saved me from falling off the cliff at least 10 times, he neglected to tell me that he had seen animal tracks, and that we were being followed. Probably a good idea on his part. So my story ends. We made it back down the mountain safely. Cold and a little bruised, but not eaten by mountain lions! Moral of this story, wear hiking boots, hike during the day time, hike during the summer, hike when wild animals are sleeping. One day I will make this story into an amazing Sacrament Meeting analogy. One day.

No I haven't been skydiving. No I haven't broken the same arm 3 times.

I have come to the conclusion that life in itself is a pretty good adventure. Life keeps me on my toes. Life is kind of funny sometimes. It really is quite spectacular.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sunny Side Up

I'm not quite sure where to start with this week. There have been a lot of adventures, and so I'm just trying to piece my week back together so I can share it with you.

Day 1, Sunday: The Meat Market. I really do love new wards, and I'm lucky to be staying in the same apartment as last year. I really do love to meet new people too, but I must admit, the Meat Market that is the first Sunday is not my favourite thing in the world. It's pretty much "bish bash bosh." This is an English term to express the efficiency of a process. Look how I'm teaching you new things! Anyway, I'm not really one for small talk, and meeting people en mass with endless small talk mainly consists of this: "Where are you from?" "England" "Whoa that's awesome" "Yeah" ... awkward silence, and eyes looking helplessly around the room for a new topic. I am the Queen of those conversations. Maybe next time I should wear a badge that says "Yes, I am from England. But let's talk about something else."

Day 2, Monday: The Zombie and the Plane. So here the plane consists of one flying between London and Salt Lake. Well 2 actually. And the zombie is my brother. I got to pick him up from the airport, and yes, he was tired, and stinky, oh, and wearing a suit. I shouldn't give him grief for being a zombie, considering what I'm like when I step off a plane. I have a look on my face that says "I haven't slept in 30 hours, I haven't showered in 2 days. Do not mess with me." Anyway, he managed the flight just about, and they didn't cancel anything, they didn't lose his bags, or leave him stranded anywhere, so all in all, he did a lot better than myself! I got to hang out with the zombie all evening, and I must admit, listening to him try and string sentences together with his slurred speech and sunken eyes was entertaining. We got to the point where he was so tired he was singing hymns in French. And then I joined in. We were very tired. And yes, finally the zombie got to sleep.

Day 3, Tuesday: The Final Goodbyes. This was a very emotional day for my brother and I. He woke up very early, and very bright eyed from a good night sleep. So of course, that meant I was awake too. I really did pull out the big guns for the ultimate breakfast. I literally made everything you can think of: hash browns, pancakes, fruit salad, cereal, eggs... I think I was trying to impress my mum who was skyping with us at the time. Yes I am capable of making food. This was the day where I had to take Josh to the MTC. It was a very hard day, and I made a goal not to cry around my brother. I succeeded. Well, I don't count teary eyes. There were plenty of photos, suitcases, hugs, laughing, and a final goodbye. And then we got back to the car, and I could outwardly be the wreck that I was inside. I'm definitely missing him already, which would suggest why I've already written him 2 letters and 2 emails. Yep, I'm going to be that girl who's always writing to her missionary brother!

Day 4, Wednesday: The Mini Meltdown. Okay, so I really had to take Tuesday off to be with my brother. But then when I got back to class on Wednesday, I realised what I had missed and the intensity of my workload, and the lack of time I had to complete it, and then I had a mini meltdown. My meltdowns don't last very long, just a few minutes, but they involve an inward panic, shifty eyes, restlessness, and mild sickness. I got back to my Spanish class, and realised I, in fact, did not remember anything. But then I had a good old talk with myself, and now I'm fine. Mini meltdown managed.

Day 5, Thursday: The Life Plan. One of my professors gave this inspirational speech about how English majors are the most hired graduates in America, and how we have skills that other people lack: creativity, analytical skills, ingenuity, originality, and enterprise. So this was the day where I thought about the future. It doesn't happen very often, because it only makes me freak out. But I started to plan what I will do after graduation, and how I can find a job using my skills, but also entertaining my interests. That is where I came up with this: a writer for Smash Hits, the teeny bop magazine. Yep, that's my life goal. Haha, okay, maybe I should be considering more mature careers. Then we watched the Disney movie "Prom." Don't judge. I must admit, all I want to do now is go to Prom. It really is the pinnacle of life. Or high school.

Day 6, Friday: The Broadway Star. Every sensible plan I ever made on Thursday was completely eradicated by Friday. I got to watch Lea Salonga's performance here on campus for work. I now have no desire to do anything intellectual with my life, but sing my heart out, broadway style... and not just in the shower, or in my bedroom with my hair brush microphone. In school that was all I ever wanted to do. She was so amazing, and a sweetheart. Forget teaching obnoxious teenagers about Shakespeare, I'm going to Broadway baby!

Day 7, Saturday: Today. Not too much has happened today yet. Except writing this. Looking back at this week though, it was carnage. Theme of this week: carnage. I've been very to and fro this week. The first week back is always very hickldy-pickldy. Hmm, I've only ever said that word outloud or in my mind, so I just decided that's how it's spelt. Anyway, you've made it with me to the end of my week. Hope you didn't die in the process. I will include some photos to make up for too much writing...