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...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

"It's a pirate's life for me. Savvy?"

Well, everybody, this is just a short post, because I almost forgot I have some very exciting news... not mine, of course. There is soon to be another avid traveller in my family.

This time it's my brother Josh. This week he received his mission call to the West Indies, only the coolest place on earth. He'll be spending the next 2 years next to crystal clear waters, sailing on little wooden rafts, eating seafood, playing the ukulele, wearing sandals speaking French with a Jamaican accent, playing a little cricket, bumping into a few pirates, and of course, bringing the gospel into the lives of the local people.

Anyway, I am of course a very proud big sister, and I can't wait to see Elder Baldock here in a few weeks!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

This weekend was Vegas! I just LOVE road trips. Along with dressing up, it definitely makes it to my "Top 10 Favourite Things To Do Ever" list. We packed up and hit the road around 3:45pm, and amazingly made the 6 hour trip in 4 hours, thanks to Jenni's fast and furious driving! I love everything about road trips. I love having the car packed full of stuff. I love rolling the windows down and having the wind make your hair wild. I love singing at the top of my lungs. I love travelling through the countryside. I love travelling through time zones. I love stopping at gas stations. I love big gulps of soda. I love pit stops at cafes. I love following cars on the motorway and pretending that we know them. I love making road trip playlists. I love detours. I love bonding time. Yep, they are just the absolute best!

I was so lucky to have my friends Kelsie and Jenni come with me on this trip, and also lucky to see 2 of my friends from school back in England when we got there, Amy and Courtney. It was a pretty great weekend! The shopping was phenomenal, the food was delicious, the company was extraordinary! Trips are just the best!

Also, I should give a shout out to my big sister Leanne who turned 24 today! Happy Birthday!! 
I'm glad we're sisters!

Friday, July 15, 2011

"You'll stay with me?" ... "Always. Until the end."

Well, the end came and went! Harry Potter is no more. The movie: INSANE! Dressing up: AWESOME! Definitely a roller-coaster of emotion. I don't think I've ever cried in a Harry Potter movie until now. Also, Neville Longbottom... what a babe! Who would have thought?

I have officially added dressing up to my top 10 favourite things to do, ever!

Here's just a glimpse at our rockin' night last night...

Also, guess where I'm going in 2 hours... Vegas Baby!! ... 2 of my best friends from school in England are coming on holiday, so we're meeting up for some seriously fun girl-time!! Can't wait!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This One's For Fred...

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I must first of all apologise for my abysmal blogging efforts over the last couple of months. I am vowing right now to make a change. Ok, good.

So I got back from my trip back to England just last week, and let's just say, it was pretty much the best visit home ever! I was determined to make it an unforgettable trip because I knew it would be the last time my whole family would be together for at least 2 years, as my brother will be leaving in the next few months. I don't want to bore you with every detail of every day I spent there, but just know that it involved "BUNNIES EVERYWHERE!!" way too much chocolate, late nights discussing ways to sneak attack my dad with water balloons, road trips to the seaside: in both freezingly windy and baking hot weather, Manuel's delicious sandwiches, far too many trips to Sainsbury's, also Maidstone, Pokemon, herds of Bambi's, castles, robots in disguise, homemade Indian curry, classic 90s, classic Baldock, Vera our neighbour, apparently being way too bootylicious, quaint village churches, Wimbledon, and plenty of my bestest pal, Josh Baldock. (Whoa that sounded like a recipe... a pinch of salt, and lashings and lashings of milk!

Even going home for just 3 weeks really made coming back here so much harder. I feel like people are so much more American than before. I am making another vow right now. I will forever say "trousers" and "loo" and I will always, always, pronounce "herb" with an "h".

Today, particularly, makes me miss England more than ever. You know why? Because today is the end of an era. Goodbye Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Goodbye Hogwarts. Goodbye Fred. Goodbye Voldemort. Tonight at 11:59, will be the end. And yes, of course we're dressing up. Because that's what we do. More to come tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Follow Your Feet...

... all the way to England. Yep, that's where I will be on Monday. In the Mother Land, Ye Olde England, Britannia, GB, Enguuuur-land, Land of Hope and Glory, Blighty.

So... "This one's for England. Enga-land!"

For some reason, this advert will always be funny to me. It just so happens to be about some of my very favourite things... England, the World Cup, and chocolate!

I am trying to get in the mood to go home, so in the spirit of all things English, let me tell you that a very kind guy bought us the Royal Wedding on DVD! I am obviously very excited about this!

So, in preparation for my trip back home, here are a few things that really pull at my heart strings...
English chocolate, Camden market, Chinatown, Wimbledon, fish and chips, the countryside, the London Temple, real shopping, the seaside, my darling friends and family ...

Let me leave you with one final thought....

Monday, June 6, 2011


One stormy Wednesday night a girl decided she definitely needed a new locket. Upon making this decision, she drove to the nearest DI and found an antique locket. After placing it around her neck she felt a pulling feeling. In a gust of wind a spirit version of herself was sucked into the locket before her eyes. She felt powerful. She now had two souls. That same night, another girl decided she would no longer be passively waiting for life to happen. This spirit of readiness soon took over her body and mind, and she became ready for danger, ready for action, ready for anything.

Wandering around in the Provo night, these two girls soon bumped into each other. Realising their dual-power together and their same unquenchable desire to save commoners from the injustices of the cruel world that they suffered, They, single handedly (or should I say, double-handedly) became Locket Girl and Go-Go Girl. Invincible, and ready for danger.

With a little tin foil, a laundry bag cape, some fetching leggings, and a trusty mask, they were wallflowers no longer. Silent about the injustices of bad driving, of tight-fisted adolescents, and alarming blind dates, no more. They fight these injustices with Locket Girl's invincibility and  unbreakable fist-power, and Go-Go Girl's mighty speed and agility.

Little is known about the identity of these girls, and they intend it to stay that way. But ever you find yourself in danger, they will be there, because every time is "go go time!"

They are your friendly neighbourhood super women!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Here I go...

Welcome to my very first blog. This is very exciting. You should first of all understand that I attract drama like there's no tomorrow. That just comes with the territory of being a foreignor anywhere. I am the luckiest girl on the planet, because I go to BYU here in Utah, but I also get to travel back to England a few times a year. It's kind of weird having two separate lives, but you'll soon see that it's actually awesome!

Okay, so I have a truly excellent story to tell from Christmas. I try not to tell stories that happened ages ago, because no one wants a sob story from the days of yore... but this one is pretty crazy!

Here goes...

So this past Christmas I was travelling to the Salt Lake City airport to fly home to London for Christmas. I left on the Saturday before Christmas, and planned on being at home for 2 weeks. So I flew to Chicago first, an hour or so later than scheduled, but made it there in one piece. I got off the plane, poised to book it to my next gate. I then looked up at the departure boards, and all I saw was "cancelled, cancelled, cancelled" the whole way down for every flight to Europe. That was pretty scary. So I panicked. Understandably. I went to the desk to try and find someone to help me, but no one knew what was going on. That was also pretty scary. So then I went to the loo and cried a lot. I couldn't call my parents because my British phone wouldn't work, so I resorted to texting them about my crisis. I finally went back to the desk, and they told me that they had no idea when the next flight to London would be. They wouldn't give me my suitcase, or a hotel room, or anything. So it was just me, and my handbag. I soon regretted learning how to pack lightly. I literally just had my debit card, passport, phone, and a bottle of water. Yeah, I pack really light.
By this time it was about 9pm, and the airport was getting quieter. No one at the info desk knew anything, except that every airport in Europe was closed. So, I was stuck, in Chicago airport, at night, by my lonesome. Obviously, the first thing that popped into my mind was the movie "The Terminal". Tom Hanks survived in an airport. It could be done.

Yeah, I wasn't so keen on that idea. So I bought a sandwich while I decided that I wasn't going to die. I was just going to be really smelly, really tired, and probably very cave-womanesqe by the time I made it to London. The sandwich booth guy thought it was a great story, and offered me his couch for the night. I also decided then that the headline "stranded cavegirl murdered by Chicago sandwich man" wasn't the best.
Saved by the bell (or my phone ringing). My dad was texting me with a plan. He's the man. He had spent the last 2 hours contacting the local Bishop to see if he could come and rescue me. The frighening thing was that my parents were really worried. You know they're worried if they actually tell you.

So I was rescued by this really kind family, and I spent the night at their home in the suberbs of Chicago. It was then that I realised that a close friend of mine lived in Chicago, so I called him, and crying down the phone, asked him to pick me up. He did. He is also the best. So he picked me up on Sunday morning. I was looking really gross by this point. So we went to his ward, I sang in his ward choir, and pretended to be his fiancee to boost his ego. So I then spent the next 6 days at his house, calling every morning and night to see if I could get on a flight back home before Christmas. I was an honourary member of the family for this week. I even had a family t-shirt to prove it. O even got to see Chicago. It's pretty cool. You know what though, people are so nice. I now had fresh underwear, clothes, deoderant, and shampoo. I was a new woman!

So the story continues a week later when I finally get on a flight which is meant to leave. I get to their airport, fill out the form to have my luggage restored back to me, and sit in the gate. I then hear that my flight (stopping in New Jersey) will be delayed by 2 hours due to windy weather. Well that meant that I would miss my connection to London. So, having spoken to my dad, who had found another flight, I ran up to the info desk, determined to be the most assertive person for the next 20 minutes, and demanded to be put on this flight. The woman at the desk then told me to be queit. Well that was just plain rude. She then told me that the just booked me on the very last seat on the very last flight before Christmas. So I was praising at this point. She was an angel disguised in a green suit and a pillbox hat. Yes, I could feel the floodgates opening. I was tearing up. She told me to leave my luggage in Chicago or I would miss the flight. So I did. Now, queue the slow motion dramatic running.

I ran through the gate. Ran to the next terminal. I was shaking at this point, and my eyes were filling up. I ran to my gate and sat down, all dramatically next to 2 English guys. They were speaking like true cockneys, and then I could feel big fat tears rolling down my cheeks. That was exactly where I wanted to be. Scheduled to leave the airport this time, right next to smokey English men, who, let me tell you, had some serious "builder's bum" issues.

Okay, where was I? Shaking, tearing up? Now boarding the plane. I sat down, called my dad, and told him I was going to make it back for Christmas.

I finally arrived in London the next day. Christmas Eve. I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to be greeted by so many British Indians. I loved being told "Velcome to UK madim". That really felt like home.
So I filled out the form to get my suitcase back. This Indian man was so excited to hear my story. So I told him, gave him the "Sian-Amy half-wink" and then he promised to deliever my bag on Boxing Day. So that was settled. Now to meet the parentals. I rushed through arrivals. Still in those jeans from a week ago and my trusty handbag. Then I saw my parents. Yep, as you can imagine, there was plenty of crying. Even my dad teared up. I always feel truly loved when I can break my dad. Trust me, move to the other side of the world, and I'm sure your parents will love you more!

Long story short, I just about made it home in time. It was a Christmas miracle. Moral of the story, girls, never pack light!