exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

he drives me crazy

by Jen at 9:20 am on 20.02.2010 | 3 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love, photo


things that drive me crazy about jonno:

- he leaves empties everywhere. empty tubs of peanut butter, empty cartons of milk, empty bottles of shampoo. there’s nothing like going to use some clingfilm/margarine/coffee only to find a container full of air.

- he kicks me in his sleep. rhythmically. he’s got periodic limb movement disorder, which means that just as i’m ready to fall asleep… i get kneecapped. it does not make for restful nights.

- he smokes. i’ve been trying to get him to quit for years, but no dice. my favourite is when he has a cigarette right before climbing in bed.

- he’s immensely cheery when he’s hungover. no matter how rough the night before was, he springs out of bed in a sprightly, hypermaniacally happy manner. when i can barely open my eyes, it makes me want to strangle him.


things that drive me crazy about jonno:

- he makes me belly-laugh, every goddamn day. it’s a kooky, goofy side that he keeps private, but when we’re alone together, his offbeat sense of humour is infectious, and it makes my life immensely richer.

- he is loyal to a fault. family and friends always come first, and those priorities are crystal clear for him. moreover, not only does he put up with my crazy family, but he actually likes and values them – and the feeling is mutual. that makes all the difference.

- when he wakes up in the morning, with his sleepy eyes and tousled hair, i can see the little kid he used to be. and it makes my heart melt.

- he’s driven to achieve the things that are important to him. for nearly two years now, he’s been studying for an accountancy diploma via online coursework. at home, evenings and weekends, he’s been turning down social engagements, and studying his little brains out with a discipline i am in awe of. and he finally received his diploma, just the other day. i couldn’t be prouder.

- he is steady and calm and unfazed by all my insanity. he is kind and good to the core. he always does the right thing. he is a better cat parent than me. he has the most wonderful eyes.

i love the hell out of that guy.

happy anniversary to us! five years down, only 45 to go.

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the deepest well i’ve ever fallen into

by Jen at 7:02 pm on 1.11.2009 | 1 Comment
filed under: now *that's* love

the other day i was inspired to start clearing out my emails, i’m not sure why. rather predictably, somewhere along the way i fell into the rabbit hole of actually reading them, rather than deleting them. and in the course of that journey down memory lane, i found myself re-reading early emails between jonno and myself.

oh! those early emails! they so perfectly reflect that time of falling in love – falling, tumbling, helplessly, eagerly. the intense desire to both know and reveal everything, the apetite for the most personal details, the willing offering of scars and trust. the awkwardness of trying to figure out where all the pieces fit together, the coupling of couplehood, negotiating boundaries in a tangle of limbs and emotions. it makes my heart hurt to read them, they’re so raw, so needy, so vulnerable, so tentative, all at once. shyly reaching out a hand, the electricity when warm fingers meet and wrap firmly around your own. that freshness of desire that it always feels like you must be the *very first people* to ever discover. that this love is like no other love which has ever been, obliterating all past hurts, blocking out the past like it never was.

it all fades, of course. the rhythms and grooves become comfortably worn. as partners, you map out the terrain of smooth highways, rocky detours and dangerous relationship landmines to be traversed. the small triangle of freckles on their shoulder becomes as familiar to you as your own skin, habits and patterns fitting neatly into the shared life you construct together. the experiences melding together to become something thick and rich and deep with time. and you wouldn’t trade it for anything, really you wouldn’t.

but oh! those early emails! preserving in clumsy words the overwhelming excitement and nervousness of discovering a soul which complements yours so well. i thank god for those emails that, in their own fumbling, bumbling way, stand as record of a heady time we can never recapture, but which i can revisit with just a trip through my inbox.

you and i – wilco

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reason number 4309 why i love my husband

by Jen at 6:13 pm on 26.10.2009 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love, zeke the freak

i came home this evening and jonno summoned me to his computer – “come here, i’ve got to show you these!”

he spent his entire lunch hour looking at cats in halloween costumes. (he’s convinced we’re going to get zeke into a pumpkin outfit!)

bumble bee

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and i thought hairless cats were bred that way

by Jen at 5:33 pm on 23.04.2009Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love, zeke the freak

jonno brings home a new set of electric clippers, starts taking them out of the box, testing them out.  he eyes up the cat.

jonno: “would you like to be a punk, zeke?”

zeke: *meow*

(i swear to god, they actually do “talk” to each other. funniest thing i’ve ever seen.)

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cassowaries, electric blankets, and love

by Jen at 8:00 am on 20.02.2009 | 5 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love, photo

dear j -

tomorrow (today) marks exactly 5 years that you and i have been together, four years that we’ve been married.

tonight, i’m sitting here watching a nature special about cassowaries with you.  you’re doing a running commentary, as you do: “look at the little fuzzy chickies”, “ooh, he’s doing a jump!”, “that bird could eat little zekie”.  i yell at you often when you do that, because you talk so much i can’t even hear the television – but really, i find it incredibly endearing and entertaining.

five years on, i love you more than ever.  i know you probably don’t believe it – after all, i’m hardly as gushy as i was before.  but the highs and lows have smoothed out into a steady, rhythmic, comforting pulse.  a presence i rely on like air.

and yet you still manage to surprise me with the small tendernesses that catch my heart unawares.  the other night i came to bed and found you’d thoughtfully turned on my electric blanket for me so i had toasty sheets.  me, with my reptilian circulation that you endlessly complain about.

and while it doesn’t sound like much, compared to flowery poetry and professions of love… it is, in fact, everything.

you are the endearing, entertaining, tender and surprising constant of my life.  thank you.

j and j morocco

crowded house – fall at your feet

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reason number 299401 why i love my husband

by Jen at 8:40 pm on 9.01.2009 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

he got offered a promotion )   such a smart boy.


sad but true

by Jen at 9:26 am on 16.11.2008 | 1 Comment
filed under: now *that's* love

jonno and i are getting ready to go out. he puts on a grey jumper, which i notice is pilling a little at the hem. i grab him as he walks by.

me: c’mere a second.

i grab my sweater shaver and begin attacking him with it.

him: but this is my kurt cobain look! you’re spoiling it!

me: so this is deliberate fashion on your part?

him: yes. if dave grohl ever dropped by, there would be no sex for you!!

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the olympic fever must be catching, because he’s delirious

by Jen at 7:53 pm on 14.08.2008Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love, this sporting life

we’re watching this (at 8:33) high bar routine from a japanese gymnast.

my mouth drops open, agog at the amazing feats of mid-air acrobatics.

me: wow…..wow…*wow*!!! did you see that?!?

jonno: i can do that.

me: (dripping sarcasm) reeeeeally.

jonno: (earnestly) oh yes! i just decided to let other people have a chance this year.

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reason number 7734 why i love my husband

by Jen at 9:49 pm on 24.03.2008Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

he took apart the dehumdifier today to try to fix it.

it didn’t work. but he did try, bless.

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every day my confusion grows

by Jen at 10:00 pm on 28.02.2008 | 4 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

i may have mentioned my love of the bbc show “masterchef”. throughout the series, one of the judges has had a habit of saying things like, “that dessert is so good i want to snog it, ” and “that pudding is such a triumph, i’d like to wallow in it,” and “that mash is so velvety i want to cuddle up to it.”

and so what else is he to do? it’s too much temptation and jonno cannot help himself. tonight’s grand finale was liberally peppered with comments from the peanut gallery.

j: “that ice cream is so smooth, i want to rub it on my balls and play with myself.”

j: “that mousse is so light, i want to paint it on my nipples and have someone lick it off.”

j: “that chocolate is so rich, i want to dribble into my own buttcrack.”

his sense of humour is so terribly sophisticated.

new order – bizarre love triangle

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forever and ever

by Jen at 9:17 am on 20.02.2008 | 9 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love, photo

four years ago today, i went to a bar to meet up with a guy i’d met at a christmas party, who i only vaguely remembered as being “cute”. it wasn’t the best first date i’d ever had. (in particular, i had bronchitis and had to excuse myself for several coughing/gagging fits, then topped it off with a classic jen-plant by tripping over my own feet – how sexy was *i*??!) i had no idea my life was changing that night.

three years ago, we stood on a beach with the sun setting and promised to stick together like glue. promised that no matter what this crazy world throws at us, we’ve got each other, and nothing else matters. then we tested that by travelling around this crazy world.

happy anniversary, babe. i love you more than you could ever know.


crowded house – fall at your feet

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reason number 5488 why i love my husband (his lyrics are bottomless…)

by Jen at 6:29 pm on 14.12.2007 | 1 Comment
filed under: now *that's* love

j’s been telling me lately about a colleague who uses the same phrase a ridiculous number of times a day. today at work i got this:

From: J
Sent: 14 December 2007 11:42
To: J
Subject: I’m the hip-hopapotamus ***

My day was going well I thought, I was feeling pretty happy

Its almost the weekend I thought, today will not be cr*ppy

When suddenly my ears flexed and my stomach wrenched in pain

For from across the office came the dreaded phrase ‘to which it appertains’

I feel like saying ‘Over-using words like that just shows a lack of class’

‘So why don’t you stop it before I shove this Collins up your….’

*** if you don’t get the reference, check here. hell, check it even if you do get it!

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suspension of disbelief

by Jen at 8:02 pm on 3.11.2007 | 1 Comment
filed under: blurblets, now *that's* love

an advert for the “dirty dancing” reality show comes on.*

jonno: you know what i wonder? you watch that whole movie and they never once mention the word “statutory”.

*yes, a whole reality show based on “dirty dancing”. go figure.

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how can it be that we can say so much without words?

by Jen at 7:13 pm on 1.11.2007 | 3 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

jonno comes home from work, takes off his tie, plays with the cat… and begins telling me about the ducklings he watches every lunch hour down by the pond at his work. how he’s been watching these ducks mate, nest, hatch, and mature for more than a year now – that they’ve had two sets of ducklings that he’s watched grow into adulthood. he does an imitation of the fuzzy little birds wiggling their bottom, ducking under for food, paddling feverishly behind their mother. he speaks of them with gentle affection and humour.

all this is news to me. i never knew he spent every lunch hour going down to the pond, sitting and contemplating in the fresh air. he’s been doing this for over a year now, and never breathed a word – in all the times i’ve asked him about his work, he’s never once mentioned this quiet, private ritual of his day.

this is one of the small marvels of love – that every day, he continues to reveal facets of himself i have not yet seen, like unfolding petals. that i can continue to be surprised by this person i think i know so well. that i can be struck by the mystery that is this man i married. that he can let me in on intimate little secrets about his internal life that i never would have guessed.

that i can feel tenderness well up inside me, like a brave wondrous thing, new to the world again. that he can make me feel that way, all these years later.

it is nothing less than a miracle.

madness – it must be love

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love means never having to say you’re sorry

by Jen at 2:24 am on 16.10.2007 | 4 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love, zeke the freak

j went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday this evening, while i stayed home feeling unwell. he swore up and down he was going to be home early, but sloshed his way home at 1 am full of mojitos.

j often gets unbelievably amiable when drunk – telling bad jokes, insisting on making cups of tea, etc. jonno also gets completely obsessed with the cat when drunk. i mean, won’t stop picking him up, trying to cuddle him, holding long one-sided conversations with him. it’d be really cute if it wasn’t so incredibly annoying, and i have to say, the cat didn’t like it much either… or at least that’s what i garnered from the fact he was trying to hide under my chair, and the strangled meows every time j squished him close to his chest, in a scene which called to mind the character lennie from “of mice and men”. the rspca would have been appalled.

i have a hunch someone will have a sore head in the morning.


imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

by Jen at 9:07 pm on 3.08.2007 | 3 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love, zeke the freak

this is zeke cleaning himself


this is jonno imitating zeke cleaning himself

(argh!! photo removed due to threat of marital row, though to be fair i *did* tell him i wouldn’t blog it. he really should know by now that i am a shameless liar…)


stick, snow, toilet seat… it’s all the same

by Jen at 8:31 pm on 19.07.2007 | 3 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

an advert for a pregnancy test comes on television

jonno: i should check to see if *i* am pregnant

me: you just want an excuse to pee on something


no, i have no idea what celeriac is either

by Jen at 11:14 am on 17.06.2007 | 2 Comments
filed under: mundane mayhem, now *that's* love

last night k & t came over for dinner. this is pretty much a standing weekly event, where we take turns hosting and cooking and picking up bad videos and drinking too much wine. [aside: the informal wine experiment continues with disastrous results - i had two glasses of white wine last night and had a headache even before i went to bed, as well as upon waking this morning.] i always cook when it’s our turn, mostly because i really enjoy cooking (i am surpisingly domestic/ated) and partly because j’s idea of a good meal is one where he expends the least amount of energy possible getting edible food into his mouth. he’s a guy like that. but i was really tired, so i asked him to organise dinner, fully expecting we’d end up feasting on j’s old standby of prepackaged fresh pasta, sauce from a jar, and frozen garlic bread.

you could have knocked me over with a feather when he said, “maybe i’ll make some duck.”

and so we went to the shop, laid in the provisions (my jaw nearly hit the floor when he told me with a genuine tinge of disappointment that he was sadly unable to find celeriac), and when k & t arrived, the three of us drank and played yahtzee while j toiled away at the stovetop. it was wonderfully relaxing to be able to carry on a proper conversation with friends, rather than inattentively saying, “uh, huh”, “uh huh” whilst trying to juggle boiling/frying/slicing all at once. it was the height of luxury to actually be able to sit and enjoy my wine, instead of taking hasty gulps at my glass in between stirring and dicing.

and what j brought to the table was a revelation: roasted duck breast with cherry sauce, spinach mashed potatoes and side vegetables. it was *good*.

so a) clearly all the cookery shows we’ve been watching have been brainwashing him to good effect and b) he will no longer be able to get away with serving up frozen fish and chips and calling it dinner. the boy can cook.

a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

the beastie boys – finger lickin’ good

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reason number 3306 why i love my husband

by Jen at 12:05 am on 11.06.2007 | 3 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

j plays guitar. he used to play all the time – pretty well, in fact – but hasn’t picked it up in quite a while, what with moving and studying and being generally busy with life. i’ve missed it. there’s something about watching him, bent over the chords so earnestly, that really gets to me, tugs at my heartstrings. it’s so sweetly endearing, something inside me just turns to mush. i can’t help it.

i’d heard a new version of “overkill” last night at chris and ton’s barbeque that i hadn’t heard before, and i liked it so much, that i spent some time today tracking it down. listened to it over and over.

and when i came home late this evening and opened the door, i heard him practicing the same song. now how am i supposed to resist that, i ask you?

lazlo bane f/ colin hay – overkill

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he clearly hasn’t seen “dr. doolittle”

by Jen at 9:00 pm on 20.05.2007Comments Off
filed under: blurblets, now *that's* love, zeke the freak

j: “heh heh heh heh heh”. that is my eddie murphy laugh, zeke. *you* cannot do it because you are a *cat*.

zeke: meow

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j hits the big 3-0

by Jen at 12:01 am on 10.05.2007Comments Off
filed under: family and friends, now *that's* love, photo

happy birthday, baby.

here’s a photo from your birthday last year – yep, the day that i completely forgot.

i didn’t forget this year )

jonno bday

i adore you. wishing you much love and joy for the coming year.

always yours,

(because i know you love it…)
howie day – she says

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