My blog used to be called Nappy Valley. But now I've moved to the dizzy heights of Crystal Palace (via a spell as an expat on Long Island, New York). And my Littleboys are long out of nappies.
Friday, 29 April 2011
Royal Wedding; my highlights
*Waking up Littleboy 1 at 7 to see the carriages leaving the Abbey. He was so excited.
*Quotes from the Littleboys.
Littleboy 2 (seeing the full leaves on the trees in London): "is it June in the film?"
Littleboy 1: Where's the King? There's no King? (I explain about the Duke of Edinburgh). He must be older than the Queen. He's taller. Where's the president? (Good question....)
Littleboy 2: I like that girl. The one in the white dress. (Good taste....)
*Switching channels to NBC, because the BBC coverage was getting rather dry and boring, and finding them explaining that Kate's father would be walking her up the aisle. We quickly switched back.
*Peeking at Fox News for some classic quotes. On the security contingent: "There's 40,000 cops there, and they don't have guns. That's unbelievable. Can you imagine that in New York?"
Fox also had a countdown clock to 'The Kiss'. Pure class.
*Catching up with everyone's comments on Twitter and Facebook. Events like these are really where social media comes into its own - and keep me really connected to what my friends are thinking back in the U.K. (and in the blogosphere).
Happy public holiday, everyone. I hope you're enjoying those parties.
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Oh to be in England, now that April's here
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Tales from the nail salon
When I lived in London, I think I could count on one hand (or should that be foot?) the number of times I went for a pedicure. It just didn't seem like a priority, and I only got my nails polished professionally when I was going to a wedding or some other smart event that required more than my own efforts at toenail painting.
But here it is a different story. While I wouldn't say that Long Island mommies are more glamorous than those in London, when it comes to the feet they are decidedly more high maintenance. In spring and summer, everyone sports perfect-looking painted toenails and sleek-looking feet, so if you have chipped nail polish and heels like leather you are definitely going to stand out. Going for a pedicure is also a fairly social activity; many women go with their girlfriends and have a catch-up while they sit there, and you also see mothers and daughters doing it together.
(This may be a sign of the times, but when I was growing up I don’t remember my Mum ever suggesting I went for a manicure or pedicure. Indeed, I'm fairly sure she never went herself; although she was always well-groomed, with nails she filed herself. But now it is quite normal to see mothers dropping off their teenage daughters at the salon – I’ve also seen little girls sitting alongside their mothers having their tiny toenails done.)
So yesterday I took myself off for the first pedicure of the season (no, I don’t do it year-round – what’s the point when your feet are encased in boots all winter?). I’m probably being a bit optimistic because it certainly isn’t sandal weather yet, but it felt like time and, having my first week off work since January and with the Littleboys esconsed in a sports class, I felt perhaps I deserved a touch of pampering.
The nail salon is also a great place for people watching. On a rainy Tuesday morning I was the sole customer (no pun intended), until Sweatpants lady walked in. In many ways she was so typical. Huge cup of Starbucks in one hand, iPhone in the other, dressed in her gym gear. She was midway through a phone conversation as she walked in, and proceeded to chat loudly for the first five minutes while the nice Chinese salon lady waited patiently to ask her what she wanted done. (Nail bars here are always run by Chinese or Koreans).
Sweatpants has a cursory look at the colours on offer and then asks ‘Don’t you do 'Minx'?”. The Salon lady looks blank. “It’s like, a sticker that you stick on. It lasts for two months. It’s so fabulous.” Salon lady shakes her head again. Sweatpants carries on about the wonders of Minx, although quite clearly it isn't on offer, until she runs out of steam. But then: drama! She can’t pick a nail colour. Cue long, long conversation over which colours will last longest. Eventually she picks two colours – plum and silver. “I can’t decide – I’ll decide while I’m sitting here.”
At long last, her pedi begins. But we aren't quite there yet. It’s nearly time for the colour to be applied. Then she looks up. “Did I see ALL the new colours?” she asks. The nail lady shrugs and gestures back to the shelf where she had spent at least 10 minutes. “Oh, I didn’t see those ones round there!” she exclaims. And she leaps up, mid foot-scrub, to take another look.
I left the salon at this point, so I’m afraid to say I can’t reveal what colour she went for in the end. But I did wonder if she made the right decision. And I'd also love to know what the salon staff (who have a habit of talking very fast in Chinese while glancing furtively at you, which convinces me they're sharing how appalled they are by the state of my feet) had to say about it......
Monday, 18 April 2011
How do you know your kids are becoming American?
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Easter on Long Island...a very New York blend
Thursday, 7 April 2011
Birthdays, teapots and the lurgy
He was also shocked to hear that I was not having a party. Not renting out a room at Pump It Up for all my friends to jump on bouncy castles, nor hiring a magician, nor even giving out party bags. (Birthdays are a big feature at the moment, with all of his friends seemingly about to turn six in the course of a few months, and we are constantly buying presents, searching for strange party venues in the mall-ridden hinterland of Central Long Island, and trying in vain to prevent them necking entire goody bags full of candy in the car).
In other news, I managed to flummox a mother at one of these parties by asking her if her son had escaped the 'lurgy' that was going round the school. Even as I said it, I thought "I bet that's a British expression that she won't understand", but it came out anyway for want of a better word. "Lurgy?" she asked me, wide-eyed in horror. "What IS that?"