HRH Ashjolina, Ruler of Ashford

HRH Ashjolina, Ruler of Ashford
God Dust the Queen!!! by Mark Otero/POPGUN Design SF/USA

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Home Sweet America!!!

Everyone at the airport was so nice.  Even though I brought back food, I only told them about the crackers in my purse!  LOL  I must have looked guilty because I got my bags xrayed.  Others got waved through.  But, I didn't get busted.  Thank goodness.

Weird feeling driving a car and looking around at everything.  I don't think I have ever been on vacation for that long in my life.  Not in a foreign country anyway.  Very strange coming home.

Made myself stay up until 9:30, which was just about 22 hours since I woke in London.  So I was DONE!  Woke up at 2:00 am...4:00 am and finally got up at 5:30 am.  So strange the way your body can't get over time changes...

Today, I bought myself an Electric Kettle, just like the one I got used to in London.  It's the most awesome thing ever invented.  Don't know why I never had one!  You should get one for sure.  Boiling water in 4-5 minutes, much faster than the stovetop.  Pasta is boiling 5 minutes!  I sound like an infomercial.

Took today off in case you didn't guess.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Packing is scary.

What the hell was I thinking?  Clearly I shopped my self into oblivion.  OMG.  The trinkets have added up.  Indeed.

For those of you expressing your sadness that the blog will end, well, fear not!  I'll keep it going for awhile.  There will be many stories to share as we all entire American atmosphere.  It won't be like the Astronauts in the 60's who had to be decontaminated, but it will be damn close.

Lord have mercy.  Those airlines are absolutely furious that they think they were forced to close for no reason.  OMG, the contingency money in their coffers has run dry.  Britain bail out on the horizon.

Wicked was awesome.  Highly recommend if you've not seen yet!  A proper tut-tut and all of that good bye.

But wait...there's one more item...

Flippin' Tracey and I are so damn nutty about going home, that we took a cab from theatre without asking each other if we had any cash.  I emptied out my whole wallet of the monopoly coins and seriously, could have been 35 pence or 8£...who knows?  There was no light, we were giddy on candy (no time for dinner before show) and the damn cab driver had the thickest Cockney accent.  So, as soon as he found we were ASHERS he agreed to take 5 euros!  AWESOME!  We are responsible for the first in London (according to Asher Bunce) to pay in 1/2 sterling 1/2 Euro to a cabbie, now formerly known as a no Euro zone.  We paid a 10£ cab ride in 5£ and 5EU and a handful of coinage.  We were so embarrassed.  Gobsmacked!  We are dead broke.  DEAD broke, except I have 100.00 USD that are worthless over here.  Why did I do that?  I thought I would change it.  Wrong.

So to pack I must go.  Leaving for Paddington Station  in 8 hours.  OMG, we have no cash.  Blimey!  Gonna have to make a bank stop on way to train.

Keep reading!!!

Bronn Bronn signing off.

(PS...  Tim LeT. you can call me Bronn Bronn whenever you like.  Can we go for pancakes at Millbrae PC House when I get back ??)

Good NEWS!!!!!!

I've got a confirmed flight on BA tomorrow at 11:something-ish, direct to SFO!

Am I ecstatic?  Not really.  I've really grown to love this place.  I tried to live as a local this past week.  Took trains and buses.  Walked about 40 miles today.

Here's an idea for charity race/walk-a-thons.  You could double your # of entrants, if you directed the route right down the posh shopping district main street, and let everyone window shop as they 'run/walk/stroll' the race.  Believe me, I completed a 10K plus today. I took 1 bus and 4 trains altogether.  Quite awesome indeed.

Funniest thing I saw today was a food stand outside this posh department store called John Lewis, and they sold Corn in a cup.  CORN.  Yes, the green giant niblets.

Best thing I saw was this...


Well, more later ... headed to the Thee- Uht-Tah tonite to see WICKED in celebration of our return to America!  Our last night in London. Boo Hoo!

Remind me to tell you the story of buying the half price theatre tickets today.

xoxo

The Planes Are Flyin...now what?

Went to bed last night at midnight, knowing the airways were opened 2 hours earlier.  Love that CNN breaking news update on my Blackberry.  Sends a little shockwave through me.

Well, I reacted to the news with mix emotions.  Doubt was the overwhelming thought, as we had been told this before.  Now I was faced with the task of getting a ticket booked, because I was tired of every time I booked a return it got cancelled, and it takes about an hour to try to figure it out each time.

Now I am disappointed, because I thought I was stuck until Monday.  And now I have to squeeze the fun I had planned into one day, TODAY!  I'm off to the neighborhood of Covent Garden, to see the little market there and visit the Gardens...assuming there are some.

But really, if I get on that plane I'm booked on tomorrow (not yet confirmed), I will be ecstatic...get home to my husband, my cats and my friends.  I find the headline above kind of strange.  Where's the celebration?  They have gone straight from 'oh the horrors of it all, the planes are grounded!' to 'Why did this happen?'  Where is the "Whoo Hoo, the Ash has dissipated" headline.  The "Pip Pip, Cheerio...back to Obama you Go!"  Headline.  Cab driver said the Americans were spending money and propping up economy, so he hopes we never leave!  How sweet...that money grubbing Bloke.

Wonder what will happen to me today...since it started out getting stuck between floors in the elevator.  Yes, Lucy and Tracey, the evil far left 'vator skipped along and kept stopping between floors.  And finally reset itself by rendering the panel inactive and returning me to the basement.  NICE!!!  I was scared to death.  So, I waited for another, because no amount of fear is forcing me to climb 9 flights of stairs.  And then the same elevator came.  And I got back on.  Insanity...but there was a little boy on it and he looked scared, so I started asking him if it was broken, but he was FRENCH!  Couldn't understand me.  So, I got on, and he got off safely with his mum waiting (I think he was in trouble playing on the elevators, unsupervised).  I proceeded to my room on 8 only to find I could not get in, card rejected. OMG, I'm not getting back on the bloody vator and get stuck, run into flipping misbehaving French kids, so forth and so on...so I go start finding the housekeepers.  Find one vacuuming under a bed, scare the crap out of her because she didn't hear me coming.  Luckily, it was my Romanian friend, so she let me in...lucky strike there.

Well, gotta get out there and enjoy my day!  Hope yours goes well.  By the time you read this in America, since you are all asleep now, I might be in the friendly, dust-free skies!  Fingers crossed.

xoxo

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A new Ash Cloud on it's way

Christmas has come early from Iceland.  They are sending another cloud.

Over in America, you may not be aware, but EU or UK (not sure which) has lent Iceland alot of quid recently (sorry, quid = cash) to prop up their economy.  The joke around here is that Iceland misunderstood a recent request.

UK would like Iceland to know, "We said CASH, not ASH".  Oh those crazy Brits.  Stop it! My sides a splittin'.

Cheers!  (you may not know this, but you actually say "Cheers" here instead of "Thanks".  I always think of raising a glass of bubbly when I say cheers, so running about saying cheers all the time is making me virtually tipsy!

Flight Update:  There is a plane flying over Heathrow right now.  A test flight.  I guess they are watching it on tv to see if it falls from the sky.  weird.

Glascow has flights.  But closing at 1.  See, you can't go chasing aboiut the continent for where you hear there are flights, because by the time you get there, the flippin' cloud has shifted.  And the airlines are not wanting to get their planes out of position.

The most ironical thing is this...the only place you can safely fly out of Glasgow is ....wait for it....ICELAND.  Iceland is unaffected by their Enja volcano.

Well, I have to go to "private doctor" today.  Appt. at 4:00 to get my prescriptions refilled.  Oh the joy of it.  It's going to cost me private costs, not NHS as previously expected.  My Texas accent gave me away.  33£ = $49.00  CHEAP.  And then the prescriptions will be whatever.  This should be interesting.  I couldn't even answer her questions about my name correctly.  She asked me my Christian name.  I said Bronn.  And then she said and your surname.  Oops.  Oh Bronn is my surname.  Then she said, "Oh, your name is Bronn Bronn?"  OMG, no, I answered Christian name wrong.  Reset.  Now she begins speaking to me like a toddler.  "What do people speaking to you call you?"  LOL  I answered.  Cole Bronn.  Then she said, "I've never heard of it.  A woman called Cole".  Deep breath.  Don't engage the receptionist.  Be patient.  I reply "Mmmm.  Yes, it's true, I have a male name"

Long pause.  She replies, "Well, I've decided it's quite pretty, your name".  Said in her snippiest little Brit accent.  I think to myself.  Well thank God I have passed the strict requirements of pretty name to be able to visit her clinic.  By the way, the clinic is called Dapdune Surgery.  DAP DOONEY.  Sounds like a flippin' Warner Bros. cartoon.  Dapdooney macarooney toonies.

Sorry, I woke this morning with a screaming Ashache.  Dehydration is a real problem here given the strong absorbent qualities of the ash cloud.  Real clouds haven't been seen since the last tires left the tarmac at Heathrow.  World scientists are chomping at the bit to study it all, but alas, they can't get a flight in!  LOL

Crazy times continue.

Blog Headquarters

Thought it would be nice to show you my incredibly creative and inspirational space while here in London.


Yep, that's it.  Blog headquarters, located in the shadow of The London Eye, and ever so close to Waterloo station.

Here's some of my co-workers...look how happy they seem, hanging out, eating and shopping, before they realized their lives were soon to be controlled by little particles of volcanic ash.

Where are those Krups people that invented that gold filter for my coffee pot?  Can't they outfit some of these planes with giant coffee filters to keep out the ash and get us home?

By the way, the flippin' government over here is sending a battleship to get their citizens home.  Let's see how that works out.

Cole

Traveling involves alot of Math

Finally, today, I bought a clock with a face on it.  The damn flat screen in this place, and the microwave all show time in 24 hour version.  You know like military.  Right now the tv says 0:36.  That's 12:36, and I'm so tired of subtracting 12 from the clocks to see what time it is.

And subtracting 8 to see what time it is at home, or subtracting 5 to know if I can call my Mum.  Or dividing by 2 and taking the result and adding to the original number to know that a 2£ Vitamin Water actually costs me $3.00.  Ugh.

The math is starting to frazzle me.  Which explains why I keep talking to everyone in a foreign language.  Now, I do not speak any languages proficiently, including English, as my Texas accent is still hanging in there, despite living in California for 17 years now.  I keep saying "Pardon'" in French accent.  Saying cheers alot, and seemingly, every time I am ordering something it's from a Romanian or French person.  I do still feel like I am in a foreign language speaking country.  I was at the mall today, just trying to grab a quick lunch, and craving mall chinese food.  I found it, and no kidding, it beat the hell out of the Atrium Cafe Chinese at work.  ha ha.  Isn't hard actually.  Sadly.  Anyway, it took atleast 3 times to get him to understand Diet Pepsi, and Chicken Chow Mein.  Can you believe all of that for 5£.  I only order chicken chow mein and for some reason those sticks of Chicken Satay landed on the plate..and those white foam disks.  Weird.

I decided today to start taking advantage of all the frequent buyer clubs they have.  They are going in my Asher Scrapbook!

See that card for Boots?  Lucy went in today and bought 16 Ibuprofen tablets for 38P.  That's pence.  Which is 57 cents for 16 Ibuprofen.  And we think our health system is good.  Guess what?  I have to go to the doctor tomorrow to get my prescriptions refilled.  They won't refill with a US doctor prescription.  I have to go in and show them the pills to see if they carry it.  Yikers.   And I'm going to the NHS...National Health System 'drop in' clinic.  Evidently, you don't have to be a citizen.  And prescriptions are refilled at Boots for 7.30£....roughly 10 bucks.  Wow!  It's like HMO prices over here!  And it's a good thing because a few of us have scurvy and have had to get this weird medicine.  Lovely!
  
Later Sk8trs.

Keeping our spirits up...being stupid

Me and Ashers Bunce and Bradshaw stopped by this little picture opportunity on the way home from the train today and couldn't resist.


Aren't we hysterical?  Here's Lucy and Tracey!
Shut Up!  You know this is some funny stuff.  Even if you don't know us.

Rockin' it Old School - TV Guide on paper


I have been forced to comb through the paper tv guide and jot down the shows and channels to schedule my tv viewing.  Seriously...I'm bored and can't sleep.  My body has refused to get off Pacific Coast Time and I've been here 10 days.  I just got an email from my travel agent that I am booked for economy ticket on April 24 for a $3,400 ticket that doesn't even fly direct...I have to swing by Los Angeles before I can get to San Francisco.  Blimey!   I'd rather stay here and sleep on the Queen's lawn.  This is not working for me.  I think I'll try taking a train somewhere and flying from there.  Heathrow is a big mess.  Except all the ferries and Eurostar are cram packed too.

How did I get into this mess?  Whatever...ooh, look there's an old episode of Two and A Half Men, with Sean Penn as a guest.  Gotta go...

Travel Adventures of others stuck Under the Ash Cloud

Here's a new adventure on the blog...
Adventures of others that are stuck...and the first entry is from a fellow co-worker who made a fatal error and broke off from the other team members, and did not take the last flight out of Cologne back to London.  He decided to stay back and see a few more sites, and now calls Cologne home for the past week!  haha.  We have tried to get him to get over to London, but as the closures continue, train travel has become harder.  Here's his little take on the travel adventure...




Stuff it turns out I really like about Germany 


On my vacashion (get it? vac-ash-ion?), I was stranded in Germany. Not just any part of Germany, but perhaps the happiest, strangest, most unexpected place in Germany – Phantasia Land. When I think Germany, I think industry, engineering, beer, well-built cars, WWII and knockwurst. I had never considered the idea of a roller coaster called The Black Mamba, or fuzzy costumed animals wanting to hug me as I walk through a hotel lobby. I’m not kidding. Check this out… http://www.phantasialand.de/eng <http://www.phantasialand.de/eng> Turns out, Phantasia Land is pretty great, a well-decorated, extra clean theme park about 30% of the size of Disneyland, but also with very short lines during off season. There are three rides worth riding twice, and I rode them all. The Black Mamba I road four times, which is at least once too many.
(What’s fun about the Black Mamba is the endless accidental double entendres it generates from otherwise innocent people. My co-workers had a fairly long discussion about whether or not it was better to ride the Black Mamba in the back, or if it was more fun to ride it up front. I laughed and laughed, because I’m very silly.)
After two days of meetings and theme park fun, I was ready to go home. And then Iceland blew up and the ash hit the air stream. Suddenly, the fact that a roller coaster filled with screaming people was right outside my window was no longer cute. It was time to leave Phantasialand.
I’ve spent the last three days exploring Bruhl and Cologne, walking and eating and walking and eating, and I have to say, this has been way, way better than trying to hitch a ride to Milan, getting there 8 hours later only to realize that the airport is shut down and having to sleep on the floor near a puddle of urine. This actually happened to some folks who work for my company. It sounded unpleasant and I pondered their fate as I dined on surprisingly good pizza in a German cafĂ©.
If you are American and ever have a chance to spend time in Germany, here are some things I really like about Germany…
1.
     Just about everyone, especially people who work in restaurants and stores, speak enough English to serve you food or sell you stuff. English is taught for a couple years in high school, so you won’t go long before you find someone who speaks English well enough to help you out.

And I’m not talking about touristy areas. I spent a decent amount of time in a cool little neighborhood called South Cologne, which is kind of a college town meets Greenwich Village meets The Haight (in San Francisco) meets South Street (in Philly). You know the place. It’s where the cool college kids hang out, drink in bars, buy bongs in head shops, eat good yet inexpensive food and figure out ways to look laid back and cool. I think every big city in the world has one of these neighborhoods. In Cologne, its South Cologne, or if you are on the train and decoding the German, it’s Koln Sud.
2.      Germans love their dogs. True, we love our dogs in the U.S. as well. But in Germany, they seem to be treated as a slightly lower level of person. You see them on the trains. You see them in restaurants. You see them in stores. And these are the most polite well-trained dogs I’ve ever seen. They just sit there with their family and look around, waiting for someone to give a little something to nibble. My dog would not be into that. He would be a little more insistent when near a table covered in sausages and deep fried pork.

3.      The street musicians in Cologne are the best in the world. I’ve been to a lot of big cities and listened to a lot of amateurs singing and playing songs for a few coins. New York, Paris, Barcelona, Tokyo, Chicago, Los Angeles, London – I get around. And I love music, and I will linger around good tunes played live and even throw some money into the guitar case.

But Cologne, wow, every corner in the busy shopping district seemed to have a world class musician. A violinist playing Mozart and Beethoven as well as I’ve ever heard. And he was backed up by two sullen accordion players, a tuba player and a guy playing a bass violin made from the tip of a row boat. They looked like a band from a Dr. Suess book.

Around the corner there was a duo of acoustic jazz guitarists who filled the air with the same music you might hear in a Woody Allen movie. I kept expecting Scarlett Johansen to show up. Then there were a couple acoustic rockers, one guy with a froggy, scratchy voice so full of soul and pain and sorrow it broke my heart. I would have paid money to hear any one of these acts, and yet here they were playing for free.

4.       The town of Bruhn, a suburb of Cologne, is a little gem of a town so cute you could tweak its chubby little German cheeks. The main attraction there (other than the commuter train station) is the Schloss Augustusburg (or the Augustusburg Palace), a massive mansion built in 1725 by a very, shall we say, extravagant archbishop named Clemens Augustus. It was his summer home and featured things like a dining room decked out in blue and white tiles so it would be cool in summer, gold dipped statues, gold etched wall paper, and ceiling paintings so extravagant they would make Michael Angelo say, “Really? Isn’t that just a bit much?” The palace tour also passes by an electric toilet Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both, in theory, sat on. I’m not kidding. They both went to parties there, and well, you drink a lot of punch, one thing leads to another…
You can see a little of the castle here…
http://www.eupedia.com/germany/augustusburg.shtml <http://www.eupedia.com/germany/augustusburg.shtml> But you really need to see it in person for the full effect. Clemens was like the P. Diddy of his day. He was very into throwing extravagant costume parties and creating spectacles with fireworks and tournaments. He also wore blue tights and high heels. I know this because there is one portrait of him (and there are about 100 of them in the house) where he’s lifting his skirt and showing a lot of thigh…and grinning a little. Archbishops were a little different back then.
5.      The pizza in Germany is surprisingly good. That’s because it’s probably made by actual Italians who make it very thin in the Roman style. You can’t get pepperoni pizza here. I don’t know why. It’s a sausage and there are a million kinds of sausages here. But not pepperoni. You can get salami on your pizza, and it’s not half bad.
And yes the beer is very, very good. And its spelled bier, which makes it easy to find.
Thanks for everything Germany! It’s been fun. I’d like to leave now. Would that be okay? Please?

  

Monday, April 19, 2010

Guess who's behind the Ash Cloud?

If you wonder who is the Richest man in the World? you may think of Bill Gates or those chaps over at Google.  Warren Buffet is very, very wealthy, but took it in the shorts as a result of the Madoff scandal.

However, look closely at the headline on the cover of this little magazine.  Yes Sir-ee...He's on his way back up and spending his dollars wisely.  Just as the entire EU Continent must rely on trains to get about...or wish there were more of them...Warren Buffet has placed his bets on trains, weeks before.

When I play Monopoly, I always buy B&O Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad, etc.  Maybe I should buy some real stocks now!  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Searching for funny takes on Ash Cloud...FOUND IT!

Let me say, as a person pretending to be a responsible journalist, I must give credit to the website the Spoof.  (no link because you have to read down further first, dammit).

Here's a little spin on the cloud...enjoy!

The volcano which is named Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced: ELIN-NOR-de-GREN) has been spewing forth literally thousands of tons of gray volcanic ash, much like the volcanic ash that is found in most activated volcanoes.

Craig F. Kipplemeister, director of NAVAO, stated that the monstrous volcano has the potential of making Mount St. Helens appear like a mere pimple on a teenage boy's face.

Kipplemeister went on to say that many people from all over the world falsely believe that the sixteen lettered name Eyjafjallajokull is actually Ukrainian and translates to: Shit-filled lavanistic mountain. 

Mount Eyja, for short, has already disrupted 99.7 percent of all U.K. and European airtravel. It has caused the gay and lesbian ship line, The High Seas Lisp Line to cancel 41 cruises including the infamous two week cruise from San Francisco Harbor to the GreekIsland of Las Lesbos, where lesbians can get a marriage license for 8,000 Dacabatittis [15 cents U.S].

Eyja has also caused Lindsay Lohan to have still one more damn thing to sit and cry incessantly about.

GOPrincess Ann Coulter has blamed the volcanic eruption on the Democratic led congress. Rush Limbaugh agrees with her. Bill O'Reilly agrees with Rush. And Sean Hannity agrees with Bill.

That is some funny shit!  Seriously.


Thanks to http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s2i73195

Football Vs. Soccer: Confusing?

Lots of people confuse Football (NFL) with the national obsession of EU...Football or Soccer.

Below is the front page of the Sports Section...today's The Sunday Times.








Think that 'bout clears it up for me.   Cheeky...

Any questions?

Sunday Times Headline

I told you so.
We are not getting out of here for atleast another week.  And let me tell you what...I'm not getting on the first flights out.  I don't want to be a test passenger.  No thanks.

I've gone out today as a new person.  I'm no longer a visitor.  Originally, I was not even here on vacation, but for work.  I'll just pop up tomorrow and take a train to work instead of my hour and a half commute to Redwood Shores, California!  Instead I'll adventure on over to Guildford to our offices there and hang with me new mates!  I was sad to say goodbye last Friday.  I know there are some Ashers trapped here on a 'forced vacation' with bosses who are ogres, or co-workers who annoy the hell out of them.  I'm doubly lucky to be traveling with lovely people.  You know that question "what if you were stuck on an island, what people would you choose to take with you?"  I can honestly say, I was granted a good group to be stranded with...very fun!  I don't require much, actually.  Must have love of laughter, food, and shopping.  And knowledge of tv/movies/celebrity gossip is a bonus.

Have you ever been on a holiday and rushed about to all the monuments and tourist traps, and never ventured into the land of the residents?  Lived life like a local?  Well, this is my chance to see how I would have felt moving abroad.  Of course I would have packed better.  Those worms at the Weather Channel must have gone to clown college, and when that didn't work out, they became weatherpersons.  Seriously, the forecast was cold and rainy.  Actually, that's probably the default setting when they pull up London to type in the forecast and someone just forgot to check and see if it was holding true for the next week.  :)  Anyway, my cashmere sweaters are useless as it is tipping 65 degrees and hotter in the sun.

I found Starbucks.  Comforting thing from home.  Do we have this awesome Mango Passionfruit thing?  Yummy.   I thought it would have Tazo tea in it?  Even though I speak English, I still find it hard communicating still.  Today, I insulted the housekeeper because I thought she was French and started saying a few things (ok, everyone that knows me stop laughing.  I can say a few things, seriously).  Nevertheless, she was from Romania.  OMG.  She was so sweet.  She just came from 8 years living in Italy...only 4 months in London.

Sunsets are changing

Can you tell that the sky is much more tangerine now?  A perfectly odd color to explain the surreal feeling of knowing you can't go home.  I try to explain to people at home what it feels like.  I love to study human behavior and there are definitely so many types of people, as you know.  Throw them into a foreign country and tell them they are coming home in so many days time...then tell them ....nope, just kidding...and see what happens.

Some quickly go into denial mode.  They are like the ant on top of the ant hill that tries to carry the large crumb across the sand, only to have it tumble them back...but that little ant just keeps trudging.  Enter the couple that takes a cab to Heathrow, and cabbie says "No planes are flying"...couple says..."No worries, carry on and drive us to Heathrow".  Cabbie, not wanting to waste people's money, but gobsmacked at their arrogance or ignorance or BOTH, carries them to the point where the first sign says EU AIRPORTS closed.   Cabbie says "See, sir.  EU Airports closed."  The man responds, "Does that include Heathrow???"

OMG.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Things ASHers need to get used to...

Here's the list of things starting to concern me, or getting my knickers in a twist:
  1. No Tivo or DVR or whatever.  OMG, I'm not sure if I can make it...I know that American Idol and Glee are waiting for me in California, safely on my little DirecTv DVR, but it's more than that.  This bloody hotel doesn't even have a guide where I can find out what's on without channel surfing, and it's satellite and the ash cloud is disrupting service, I'm convinced.  Blimey!
  2. I'm losing my identity quickly.  Note above where I refer to hotel as "bloody" hotel, and use my new favorite word Blimey.  Well, as they say, 'when in Rome'.  Hey, do they have airplanes flying out of Rome?  
  3. Football - (soccer)  This is a big concern...soon the masses are going to figure out that the professional footballers can't fly around match-to-match and may have to cancel a few (oh the HORROR OF IT ALL).  SSSSHHHH. Let's keep that one to ourselves a bit longer.  Tv news hasn't figured it out as they seem preoccupied with the ash cloud and ...
  4. The Election.  If I'm here much longer and I have to watch any more about the 3 fat heads running for some big office, then I'm going to take a meeting with the Queen to petition that Ashers get to vote.  
  5. Full English Breakfast
Aren't you simply Gobsmacked at that mess above?  Yes, that is the FULL ENGLISH Breakfast, that's exactly how it appears on the menus, and even on bloody postcards.  It's freakin' famous.  Like a Hurricane drink at Pat O'Briens in New Orleans, or Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bowl in San Francisco.  I'm telling you, those are baked beans, and they serve them in GIANT cauldrons on the street...like hot dogs in NYC.   Enough of drawing the parallels.  You get it.  And I've not had a proper breakfast in 7 days.  I tried this morning and caught a croissant on fire in the toaster.  Torched it.  At work we have these weak rotisserie toasters, and they barely warm your bread.  This one was like Chernobyl.  Honestly, 3 inch flames off that baby, no kidding.  I tried to blow it out, but the smoke came back on me and I nearly choked to death.  I ran yelling to the waiter, and he dove in with a fork.  I fanned the flames away from the smoke detector with a dinner plate.  I could just see the whole hotel evacuating at 8:45am with sprinklers drowning everyone.  That was a close one.  I will not show my face in the Executive Lounge for a few days.  I think it's best.

Continuing the review of breakfast:  I'm going to have to call Oscar Meyer or find a butcher to get some real bacon.  The kind that comes in STRIPS not slabs.  And those little potato cakes are like from McDonald's.  That black thing WAS a sausage.  I am starting to horde fruit.  Because alot of it is imported by plane, oranges are surely to become very expensive, very soon.  

How long do you think we are going to be here?  Well, I'll tell you...I booked my room until next Friday...I bought a large hand soap for my bathroom, and I've unpacked my suitcase.  I'm digging in...got Waterloo Station on one side and the London Eye on the other...adjusting to life ...

Under the Ash Cloud

Signing off now, because I have many things to sort out before bed time.   

Free with Turn Down Service

This hotel really knows service.  


In anticipation of the impending Ash Cloud raining ash down on us, they've taken precautions.  




These were free with turn down service tonite.  Neato!

Ash Cloud Eats ACTUAL Clouds



Have you ever seen a bluer, pristine sky? Seriously?

Scientist will find the Volcanic Ash has rare and unexplicable absorption ability and thus, sucked the other clouds into oblivion. Wal-Mart will corner the market on the world's volcanic ash supply and soon offer the world's best kitchen sponge, in 5 exciting colors, at low, low prices every family can afford.

Day Two: Putting the URL Out There



Today, some fellow ASHers (American's Seriously Hoping Eruptions Rapidly Stop) and I went to the Portabello Market in Nob Hill made famous in the movie, Notting Hill. Left to right: The lovely ladies who lunch are Alison Stevens, Tracy Bunce and Lucy Bradshaw. Missing is our Male Asher, Tim Kamienski, who chose to forgo buying scarfs, jewelry and assorted bobbles 'n bits, and headed to Trafalgar Square for an outdoor concert. Score one in the culture column for him.

Visited a little cafe where there was a cupcake decorating party in the back...cafe and all in the front...but they had a giant mural where I decided to graffiti our URL. See if we get any fun fellow Ashers joining this blog. Speak up if you're out there! Share your insider tips for any news on how best to get the hell back to the US.



Day One from Under the Ash Cloud


Never in my wildest dreams would I think that a Volcano could change my life so easily. I was born in Texas...no Volcanos...now live in California, counting on an earthquake to shake me up. But seriously, a plume of ashes while I am on a business trip has me feeling like I'm on some weird gameshow. Surprise. You're stuck on an island and you're not going home.

Now, suppose I won a trip to London...all expenses paid. Then I'd be excellently happy to spend some time in this lovely city. But I had a flight booked on Friday am, and it was ceremoniously cancelled along with 39,000 other European flights today. Being told you can't do something seems to make you want to do it more.

In this blog, I want to capture the funny, the absurd, the unprecented times of Heathrow Airport being closed for the longest time since 9/11. There are so many jokes that will come from this. My first thought is I want a t-shirt designed. Afterall, what great upset of nature deserves a t-shirt more than an ash cloud for God's sake? I'm thinking a puffy grey cloud over a cartoon of the queen. Maybe a little umbrella over her head...

My co-worker is going home tonite to start up a barbeque and will probably be selling little bottles of ashes at a market this weekend. ha ha. Laugh if you will but there are collector freaks out there that will sell that bottle on Ebay. Seriously. Like chunks of the Berlin Wall.
You know you have one in some box in the basement somewhere.

Tomorrow, all anyone wants to do is see if the airport opens. And then we get the news with how "out of place" all of the planes are, so it will take 8-10 days to sort it all out. WHAT? I'm booked on Virgin Atlantic on Sunday am, which I weaseled out of the internet at 2:00 am this morning. The power of an Amex card. I have a confirmation. In my heart I know I won't be home until Tuesday probably. That's my target. I hope it's sooner.

I'm off to Portabello Road tomorrow. I want to see the little outdoor market from the movie Notting Hill. Run into Hugh Grant and all of that. I'll share some photos along with any of the fun stuff from Under the Ash Cloud.

Blimey! :)