Saturday, 31 July 2010

Midsummer days

The plums in the front garden are turning red and purple. Soon we'll pick them up and make a jam. At dawn I don't hear the birds singing their aubade anymore. The days are mostly rainy but it's more like a tropical rain and I love it. One good thing, the plants are flourishing. The potatoes are almost ready for harvest and the blackberries are getting bigger.

On the way to work the fields of barley and wheat have turned gold as if they have absorbed enough sunlight. The foliage are turning dark green.

School is out and children are in the park. I love summer!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

England doesn't seem to be a safe place to live after all

Man detained after bride-to-be has throat cut

Moat raped and beat me says ex-girlfriend

These are just the latest on the news. Well, the Moat story isn't new anymore but his has sparked mixed reactions from the public. One group abhorred him, the other hailed him as a hero apparently for keeping the police on their toes. But what about family of his victims?

Anyway, like I said these are just a few of the crimes that are apparently getting rampant across the UK. Most of them don't really get the biggest headlines but still the number is significant. England, as I feel, isn't a safe place to live after all.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband found his car vandalized one morning. A couple of times I passed by a couple having a row and I was too scared to even notice it. I was scared that one of them would jump on my back and use me as weapon to get what he wanted. That's why I don't walk too much anymore.

Sometime ago, Mylene Klass was apprehended by police for showing a kitchen knife to a trespasser. Instead of protecting her, the police told her off. Of course she was gutted. At about the same time a man who chased and beat a burglar who threatened the wife and children was imprisoned for assaulting the criminal. The defender became the criminal. The justice system in this country has truly gone shambolic.

Many times when I read a daily I almost always see a news about a elderly who get beaten and sometimes killed by a yob after robbing them. Too sad. UK crime rate seems to be escalating every now and then.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

June in retrospect

It's been a while since I last posted in my blog. I've been really busy at work doing overtime almost everyday and I love it for obvious reason.

It's mid-July again and last month has been really crazy. At work we processed loads of letters a day sometimes twice the normal amount. Thankfully it's summer so even if I stayed longer at work I still got home a couple of hours before sunset. Then add to that the craziness over the world cup.

For the love of football

This football season opened my eyes to another facet of the English culture. At work the bosses were so kind and generous just like how we, (Pinoys) are during Christmas. No pressure even if we didn't hit the target. What's important is to get home early enough to watch the English team against the Germans as it could be their last game. Well, it happens only once in every four years so it's so much bigger than Christmas. Twice we dressed down at work and were actually allowed/encouraged to wear football shirt--but no shorts--in support of the English team.

Cars were flying St George's flag, which is the English flag for those who didn't know and you better not fly yours if it's not English especially in the car as it might get vandalized. Houses were hanging them too from their window. Shops were selling everything football or English football i.e. mugs, teddies, shoes, boots, you name it, all with St George's theme. Even No 10 Downing Street was flying St George's flag instead of the usual Union Jack.

Then I realized how football means so much to the English more than anywhere else in the world probably. It's just sad that being the inventor of the game, they have won the World Cup only once in 1966. When they drew with the US during the group stage they described it as "unbelievable" considering US is not big on football. But when they lost against their "arch-rival" Germany they described it as "the most devastating."

So much from this World Cup taught me about the English people. This is probably the time when Britain is divided as countries--England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Of course, not to forget the longest day of the year which fell almost always on the 21st of June. I wanted to take a photo of the sunset but didn't get a good view from my window in the loft and it got cloudy at around 9 pm.

This is all I can remember for now..I meant to deliver more tidbits but the only thing that lingered in my hippocampus is the b****y football.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The lowly rhubarb

I didn't know how good rhubarb was.  I've been here in the UK for two years and it's only today have I learned how good rhubarb actually is. It's savory, it's sweet, it's sour. It tastes like a sweetened mango. Yumm! Its sour taste reminds me of those sweets my mother used to make when I was a kid. You know like when a mango is too sour, she would cook it with sugar and how I loved to spoon it for desert.

When I first came I saw them in my husband's allotment but didn't give it any attention because it didn't look attractive at all. I see them in the shops. I see them in the recipe book. I heard people talked about them but still I wasn't intrigued at all. Then last week, a colleague told me that if there's one thing he would miss from the UK when he goes to live abroad is the sweetened rhubarb. As he described it my mouth watered and the next few days when I went to my allotment I plucked some stalk to try it.

Surprisingly, there are so many ways to cook rhubarb. And since I got three plants in my allotment now I would be exploring other recipes in the following days.