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Bloody Beautiful

September 9, 2011

There is a bag of blood on the kitchen counter right now.

Before I lose you entirely, let me point out some of the infinitely less frightening aspects of my first few days in England.

One of the most surprising aspects of my new life involves the temperature, outdoors and in. Having moved from a Very Hot Location to a Moderately Hot and Sometimes Arctic Location to here, I had no idea what to expect. I’d always heard about British weather, but usually in Celsius (Sanskrit to me), and it usually involved rain. Rain doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but I have an ongoing battle with heat which spans almost fifteen years now.

Here, I discovered to my alarm, windows are regularly left open. There are fans when it’s a bit too warm, but generally the outside temperature is exactly what it should be for human comfort. The cars lack air conditioning, as do many of the buildings, but no one is pitching hissy fits over it or keeling over in the throes of heat stroke the way they would back home in Texas. It’s absolutely gorgeous and perfectly comfortable. I could feel myself starting to panic when I was first told about the lack of A/C in our new house – it’s an addiction, I have come to realise.

Hi, my name is Kate, and I have been addicted to air conditioning. I apologise to all of those whom I have frozen out of their drawers by reveling in the artificially lowered temperatures in my various apartments and homes back in the States. It seems that now I am on the way to recovery. And if I feel just slightly chilled here in the house? I get handed a steaming cup of tea to alleviate the problem. Bonus!

I asked a native here and was told that the only real issue with leaving windows and doors open is that occasionally a bug will get in. Very occasionally. In fact, it happened to us for the very first time just last night – I was sitting in the living room with Tweet and Mum. Dad was sitting at his computer in the dining room and suddenly, he was up! He shot into the living room with us, his eyes darting around like a madman, his posture screaming Me Tarzan, Me Hunt Big Game. Turns out he’d seen a mosquito and he was determined to take its life.

I giggled in spite of myself. Gosh, there are places in Texas where it’s an event if there isn’t a mosquito somewhere inside. This alone convinced me of the lack of bugs around here. I couldn’t help grinning like a fool while Dad poked around for the thing, peppering us with questions as to where it might have gone and what it may have been thinking of doing when we saw it. They even referred to it as a ‘mozzie,’ which makes it sound kinda cute and harmless and not at all like something that bites you for the sole purpose of sucking out as much of your blood as it can hold.

And speaking of blood…  There is a picture here, so prepare yourself to navigate away now. It is NOT an inappropriate picture in any way; it is in fact something Mum picked up from the grocery store and brought home to serve for dinner tonight. But if you’re just slightly squeamish (like me), then avert your eyes.

When I first saw the thing emerge from the Asda (like a Walmart grocery) bag, I recoiled in true girl-who-jumps-on-chairs-when-someone-pretends-there-is-a-mouse fashion. Mum, with a completely deadpan expression, looked at me and replied, “Oh, there was a lady down at the store who was being a bit bitchy.” Then she jerked her chin at the bag with an It’s Taken Care Of Now expression.

Truth be told, I wasn’t really scared. Mum does not have an unkind bone in her body. I’m just so accustomed to chicken coming from the store looking like this.

So what have I learned? Dad murders bugs, Mum murders bitches, but the temperature in the closet corner in which I will hide when I choose to adopt a little pet mozzie while feeling bitchy will be absolutely glorious.

PS.  I have just been informed that the red color in the bag is, in fact, sweet and sour sauce.  Everyone in the house knew this and let me go on thinking it was blood for 24 hours.  I will have my revenge.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Val permalink
    October 6, 2011 11:43 pm

    Wait til summer (probably next year, now… though we occasionally get a bit of summer in October) and if you get a particularly hot few days, you’ll find a whole load of flies (bluebottles, usually) taking over your home. A few years ago we bought some insectivorous plants (pitcher plants) and put them in the kitchen and they worked for their keep for quite a while but now we’re back to the ‘fly rocket’… (it’s what me and mine call a vacuum-type tube, battery-operated that sucks up the flies so that we can let them out again.) We reckons that they fly round to the other side of the house, come in again and buzz out “thissss izzzzzzzz funnnnnn letssssss do it againnnn!” 🙂

  2. October 8, 2011 3:18 pm

    Okay, you made me laugh while sipping water and I spit part of it out onto my laptop keyboard with the other half going down my windpipe. Thank you. No, really, thank you. I don’t know which was funnier: Showing how you are accustomed to seeing your chicken (me, too) or ‘I will have my revenge.’

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