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

reason number 473 why i love my husband

by Jen at 10:05 pm on 8.05.2007 | 1 Comment
filed under: now *that's* love, photo

with his new (old) haircut and new specs, he resembles the delectable rivers cuomo.

only, y’know, hotter. and with an endearingly goofy grin.

rivers cuomo

weezer – say it ain’t so

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reason number 3662 why i love my husband

by Jen at 11:30 pm on 18.03.2007Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

every time the advert featuring this song comes one, he dances around and sings it to the cat, claiming, “he likes it!”

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best in show

by Jen at 9:10 pm on 11.03.2007Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

i love to watch the crufts dog show every year on television.

i love to see the dogs…

but mostly i like to remember watching it with j in the days when we first got together, in between spending hours making out on the couch. ah, the throes of fresh new passion!

who knew it would only get better?

(ha!! j just compared a maltese with a full mop of hair to a sea squid. that boy makes me laugh.)

because it’s a fun song: elastica – mad dog

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home is where my heart is

by Jen at 12:01 am on 20.02.2007 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love, photo

Dearest J -

Last year on our anniversary I wrote:

i never would have picked j as someone who was exactly perfect for me. but he’s steady and ambitious and incredibly goofy. he’s got a perspective on life which constantly amazes me and he always knows what’s really important, yet never takes himself too seriously. he makes me laugh like no one i’ve ever met, is completely unafraid of facing stuff head-on, is always up for fun, and can still kick my ass at chess.

and for some unfathomable reason, he seems to fancy me. and makes me believe. he makes me believe in pablo neruda love poems, and 50 year anniversaries, and in that impulse that would make one lay down their life for another. he makes me believe that there might be a force in the universe which has a plan for my life, and that perhaps he is part of that plan. because i can’t conceive of any other explanation for it without attributing to blind luck, and i refuse to believe that such an incredibly significant event in my life could only have occurred through a random act of capriciousness.

he makes me believe in the possibility of forever – because i can’t imagine my life without him.

And since last year, we’ve been around the world and back again. We planned and plotted, got lost and lost the plot. We spent 24/7 joined at the hip, waking to brilliant cold lake mornings in New Zealand, playing dominoes in the spartan mountains of China, riding through a rainstorm in Cambodia, watching the sun drop into the ocean in Costa Rica.

It only made me love you more – I didn’t even know that was possible.

But lying on top of that hill in Fiji, watching the night sky so full of stars I thought my heart would burst with the beauty of it, holding your warm hand, I remembered reading this to you from my vows on our wedding day:

a slow shift in the stars
an imperceptible twining
of my soul with yours
my hand with yours
through subtle spinning of the earth
which brought us here and now
as if it never could have been otherwise
as if nothing else ever was

Happy anniversary, baby. Two down, only 48 more to go.

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because it makes me think of you: leona naess – home

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ek het jou lief

by Jen at 12:02 am on 14.02.2007 | 1 Comment
filed under: now *that's* love, photo

happy valentine’s day. i love you.

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Song of the day: Crowded House – Fall at Your Feet

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reason number 4320 why i love my husband

by Jen at 9:11 pm on 9.02.2007 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

an advert comes on television for a face cream. “pentapeptides make your skin appear fuller and smoother”

J sticks out his butt and slaps it: “i use pentapeptides on my bum, to make it appear fuller and smoother!”

(this probably seems a lot funnier to me because i have the bird flu, and am actively hallucinating at the moment…)

Edited to add: j just started talking about tying a ribbon around his bollocks for my valentine’s day present. when i told him i was going to put it on my blog he said, “you can’t put that on your blog – that’s *my* intellectual property! now everyone will be tying ribbons around their bollocks!”

the man has no shame.

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reason number 833 why i love my husband

by Jen at 8:31 pm on 17.01.2007 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

he’s been smoke free for two whole weeks!

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reason number 9923 why i love my husband

by Jen at 4:12 pm on 25.12.2006 | 1 Comment
filed under: holidaze, now *that's* love

i am posting this from my shiny, beautiful new laptop!!

with:

# Intel Core Duo T2050 Processor 1.6GHz
# 667MHz FSB
# 2MB Cache
# 1024MB RAM
# 80GB Hard Drive
# Dual Layer DVD ReWriter MultiDrive
# 15.4″ Widescreen TFT Display
# 128MB Intel UMA Integrated Graphics
# Intel Pro/Wireless 3945abg

and many other things I do not understand. (since j and I only did very small Xmas gifts this year, he thought he could cheat by calling it a birthday present!! cheeky monkey!)

It is a thing of beauty, and I have named it Zippy. Is it pathetic that I’m actually sad to be saying goodbye to my old computer? (anthropomorphise much jen?)

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reason number 5018 why i love my husband

by Jen at 11:47 pm on 23.12.2006Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

(searching through the cupboards for jaffa cakes he pulls out my box of matzohs)

“99% fat free cracker…that’s me! i’m a 99% fat free cracker!”

tears of laughter are still leaking out of my eyeballs.

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reason number 720 why i love my husband

by Jen at 5:54 pm on 19.12.2006 | 1 Comment
filed under: now *that's* love

(j takes the Santa gingerbread cookie kim gave him yesterday and starts making it dance around singing “santa baby”)

“santa has been drinking too much sherry, and now he is legless”

(snaps cookie in two and hands half to greedy little me… and smiles)

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reason number 8023 why i love my husband

by Jen at 12:16 am on 26.11.2006 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

i’m watching a re-run of “america’s next top model” for the sheer comedy factor.

the girl on the television is starting a cat fight because someone touched her special dietetic no-carb brownies. She says, “Don’t put your finger in my brownie!!”

j and i turn to each other and laugh.

jonno then turns that phrase into a hilarious double-entendre and spends the rest of the evening working “finger” and “brownie” into the conversation wherever possible.

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reason number 659 why i love my husband

by Jen at 10:46 pm on 19.11.2006 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

after watching the bbc’s planet earth (as we do every sunday evening) he’s spent the entire evening dancing around imitating the bird of paradise mating ritual just to make me laugh.


[click pic to play]

from the bbc’s motion gallery

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reason # 359 why i love my husband

by Jen at 1:30 pm on 25.10.2006 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

he’s got 4 job offers on the table. that’s *my* man.

now we can start flat hunting in earnest. we’re going to see a few places that look quite promising… fingers crossed!

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reason number 5002 why i love my husband

by Jen at 12:37 pm on 7.04.2006 | 1 Comment
filed under: now *that's* love

upon hearing me bitch about being bored for the umpteenth time, grabs my bandanna, puts it between his legs and pretends to floss/do a fan dance striptease (in his little b-boy outfit of baggy jeans and baseball cap) just to make me laugh.

also sings “the fishie dishie song”* on command, or whenever the marks and sparks advert comes on.


*
Dance to thy Daddy,
sing to thy Mammy,
dance to thy Daddy,
to thy Mammy sing.

Thou shalt have a fishy
on a little dishy,
Thou shalt have a fishy
when the boat comes in.

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one down, only forty-nine to go

by Jen at 12:06 am on 20.02.2006 | 3 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

today is our first wedding anniversary, so i thought i’d tell the story of how j and i met, since i’ve never really done that here.

first, there was the meeting that neither of us remember. in the summer of 2003, i had a kiwi friend from work named nicola, who was going out with this south african named john. she and i spent a whole summer hanging out and travelling together, and i was slowly introduced to the little expat ccommunity she was part of – she had a bunch of kiwi friends from home who were all here on working holidaymaker visas, and her boyfriend belonged to a similar cohort of south africans. the two little circles eventually melded into one big fluid circle of friends, and apparently i was once hanging out at nick’s house when j dropped by with a few other saffas. that meeting doesn’t really count, however, since both of us were a bit “under the influence” and only discovered later we’d been in the same place at the same time. if a tree falls in a forest, and neither remembers it, does it make a sound?

subsequent to that summer, i was deported from the u.k., and only made it back to london just before christmas. nicola invited me to join a group christmas dinner the big expat circle were doing, but i had already told my flatmate i’d have dinner with her and her boyfriend. unfortunately the flatmate and her boyfriend had an ill-timed big drunken, screaming, slamming row on christmas eve until the wee hours of the morning, and needless to say that christmas day was spent in awkward silence staring at the telly and drinking sherry. dinner was late to start and late to finish and when it finally ended, i rang nick, who assured me I should still drop by as the group dinner had segued into a big party. determined to salvage some part of my holiday, i cheerfully forked out the £25 cab fare (double fare on xmas with no tubes running) to get the hell out of the house. once at the party, i hung out drinking and dancing and indulging, and spent some time unsucessfully flirting with another kiwi guy who was there. at some point in the evening, i ended up in a discussion with j.

i wish i could say it was love at first sight, but to be truthful, the conversation was a bit bland, and though i remember thinking he was cute and smart, i didn’t immediately fall head over heels. the thing that i remember most about that evening was that after mentioning i was thirsty, he kept bringing me glasses of water throughout the evening. we went our separate ways after the party, knowing little more than each other’s first names. i mentioned in passing to nick that i thought he was really cute, but didn’t expect to ever see him again.

fast forward to valentine’s day 2004. i was out at a big party with my flatmate when i got a call from my friend nick. she mentioned some people were congregating at her place, and did i fancy coming by? i declined politely, as i was having fun where i was, and getting to her place would require a bit of travelling i just didn’t want to bother with. about an hour later, i got another call, trying to convince me to come through. and then another call. and then another. eventually i got out of her that j was there, and he wanted to meet me again and she was trying to arrange a hook-up. so i told her to give him my mobile number, and have him call me.

he called me a few hours later, and when i rang him back the next day, we had a very easy and comfortable conversation and arranged to go out. i was actually a bit nervous, because i had only a vague recollection of what he looked like, but when i finally spotted him, it was instant recognition. we had a great first date, the usual drinks and dinner, and though i was dying for him to kiss me on the way home, he didn’t. in fact, he didn’t kiss me until the very end of our second date, standing at the bus stop after i deliberately missed my bus to give him the opportunity to plant a smooch.

the third date… well, it was the third date (*delicate cough*). after that we were nearly inseparable. i was nervous – i’d fallen hard before only to end up gutted. but after he told me he loved me (10 days later) all that just melted away. we decided to move in together after three weeks. we decided to go around the world after four. then we went away for a long easter weekend to cornwall. We were in St. Ives on our second evening there, and we decided to have a drink and watch the sun set at this bar with an outdoor balcony overlooking the water. We were talking about being married previously, and our travel plans for around the world, and how excited we were to be moving in together. And we did this little routine we’d been doing for the past few weeks, where I said “Can I keep you?” and he said “Absolutely”, and I said “For how long?” and he said “As long as you’ll have me” and I said “Forever?” and he said “I’m yours”.

And then, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. it had been on the tip of my tongue for days, and I just blurted out “Will you marry me?” And he looked me right in the eye and said “Yes”. And I said “Really?” and he said “Yes”.

And so I started bouncing up and down and he said he wanted to ask me to make it official, so I said okay, we’d wait until he asked me, thinking it’d be a few days or weeks, and later that evening we were just cuddled up talking and out of the blue he said “Will you marry me?” and I said “yes”.

And then I burst into tears, and couldn’t stop crying.

that was 6 weeks after our first date. a year to the day of our first date, we were married at cape town, in a small ceremony on the beach. it was exactly perfect.

when i first got divorced, i spent a lot of time getting used to the possibility of being on my own for the rest of my life. i learned to be okay with that. i never thought i would remarry. i never thought i would want to.

i never would have picked j as someone who was exactly perfect for me. but he’s steady and ambitious and incredibly goofy. he’s got a perspective on life which constantly amazes me and he always knows what’s really important, yet never takes himself too seriously. he makes me laugh like no one i’ve ever met, is completely unafraid of facing stuff head-on, is always up for fun, and can still kick my ass at chess.

and for some unfathomable reason, he seems to fancy me. and makes me believe. he makes me believe in pablo neruda love poems, and 50 year anniversaries, and in that impulse that would make one lay down their life for another. he makes me believe that there might be a force in the universe which has a plan for my life, and that perhaps he is part of that plan. because i can’t conceive of any other explanation for it without attributing to blind luck, and i refuse to believe that such an incredibly significant event in my life could only have occurred through a random act of capriciousness.

he makes me believe in the possibility of forever – because i can’t imagine my life without him.

happy anniversary, j. one down, only 49 to go.

wedding

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reason number 47793 why i love my husband

by Jen at 9:01 pm on 19.02.2006Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

he responds to the name “tea boy” and brings me chocolate at *all* the right times…

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shameless schmaltz

by Jen at 4:53 pm on 14.02.2006Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

well, what good is a blog if you can’t use it as a public valentine for the love of your life?

valentine

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it must be love…

by Jen at 10:56 pm on 10.02.2006Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

… otherwise, how do you explain the fact that I married a man who doesn’t like opera??!

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reason number 5972 i love my husband

by Jen at 1:33 am on 28.12.2005Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

he genuinely doesn’t care that i am getting ridiculously fat on chocolates and fry-ups and alcohol and potatoes in every form imaginable…

ugh. thank god the holidays only last another week, or i’d need an entirely new wardrobe.

as an aside: i fixed the photo link in the 26th december post below… people really oughtta tell me these things!

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reason number 8 million 7 hundred and one why i love my husband

by Jen at 11:11 pm on 28.11.2005 | 2 Comments
filed under: now *that's* love

because when i was freaking out earlier this evening thinking the database from whence my website springs was corrupted and lost, and he tried to reassure me, but i just bit his head off… he didn’t even hold it against me.

that’s love.

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reason number 974 why i love my husband

by Jen at 4:25 pm on 28.09.2005Comments Off
filed under: now *that's* love

most people don’t know that i have a huge soft spot in my heart for folk music. real acoustic hippie-dippy stuff. my dad raised me on storyteller guitar melodies. i was weaned on peter, paul and mary, and spoon-fed joan baez. as a kid, I would borrow judy collins records from the public library. i knew pete seeger songs before I knew the alphabet.

it’s a strange sort of sonic thread running through my life. joni mitchell, bob dylan, and simon and garfunkle pop up in the unlikeliest places. there have been many points in my life when I’ve been estranged from my father, but even when my dad and i aren’t speaking, it’s a way I feel close to him. and sometimes there’s just nothing else to put you right but a good guitar and a clear strong voice with a lyric hook under your solar plexus.

So the past two nights, J and I have been watching “no direction home”, scorsese’s movie about bob dylan’s early years. a fascinating look at how he became a political figure against his will, and was then crucified for failing to live up to everyone else’s expectations. he was held up, then chopped down simply for making the music he wanted to make. he’s been called a poet, a prophet, a singer/wongwriter, and a sellout.

i haven’t owned any dylan for a while. I used to have a lot of stuff on tape, but they all got lost in travels along the way, and I never got around to replacing them on cd. and while watching this documentary i was lamenting the fact that i’ve never had a chance to see him play. i mean, dylan is an icon – one of those rare figures you’ll tell your grandchildren about. he played at the march on washington, he introduced the beatles to marijuana, he’s played for the pope, been nominated for the nobel prize five times, and won an oscar. love him or hate him, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

and today, j surprised me with tickets to go see him in manchester.

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