Thursday, July 5, 2012

The 4th of July

Yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July... NOT! It was a regular old work day here in England.  They haven't established a national holiday to celebrate finally getting rid of the religious wing nuts and prisoners and government rabble rousers that settled in the colonies.  But they should because it's a nice break towards the middle of the summer season.  Am I right?

With the teen in Spain, the younger daughter and I decided to venture out of the house for the day.  Let's just say we're becoming old hands at sleeping late and wearing our pajamas all day and watching a lot of trashy American TV like "Toddlers and Tiaras".  We started off by making a run to "the tip" to drop off some bags of purged clothes, a broken microwave and several large cardboard boxes I refused to break down and put in the home recycling bin.  The back of the SUV was full of it and we needed the space for a bit of retail therapy.

Back in Texas, the tip is known as the town dump.  When I was a kid, my father lived out in the boonies and wasn't on city garbage service so he either 1) burned it in a big oil drum out behind the garage or 2) took it to the city dump and just tossed it in.  I can still remember pressurized cans of air freshener or shaving cream or deodorant exploding in the oil drum and scaring the crap out of us.

In the 30+ years since our dump excursions, the experience has definitely improved.  England really has it down to an art.  They've got these huge bins all labeled with what can be thrown in them, as well as some guys that will assist you when you aren't sure what goes where.  They take everything imaginable, even "Other" that doesn't really fit anywhere.  However, they are required to rip open those bags to make sure you aren't fudging and tossing away something recyclable.  I would never do something so sneaky as to put something recyclable in a large black leaf bag to hide my crime and then try to pass it off as "Other".  Because they do catch you and I hear it can be pretty embarrassing when they make you walk your child's old underwear with the shot elastic that's clean but you figure no one in their right mind will use it the stuff over to the correct bin by pointing an imperious finger in the appropriate direction.

SO, the kid and I made a run to the tip.  Then we headed over to Reading, about 40 miles west of our house, for a snoop through the local Hobbycraft Store.  Think Michael's or Hobby Lobby.  The daughter just loves to cook, so we purchased the supplies to make and decorate cake pops.  

There was a McDonald's right in the parking lot where the craft store is located - with a drive thru window, which is a big deal since the few fast food places in our area don't have windows - so we had a very cheap, greasy and quick lunch.  Then we headed over to Costco so we could cruise up and down every aisle, admiring things and making a few purchases along the way.  Important things like American style cinnamon rolls covered in a thick icing as well as some more mundane items like shampoo and toothpaste and laundry tabs.

It wasn't a traditional 4th of July, but we still had a nice day, just the two of us.  To be honest, I wouldn't trade standing around grilling in the suffocating heat of Texas for our thus far mild English summer.  My daily wardrobe is usually cropped yoga pants and a hoodie since temps hover in the mid to upper 60s.  I'm lovin' it!

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