Friday, June 3, 2016

School's (Almost) Out

I'm not sure why, but the spring semester seemed to occur in half the time as the fall semester. This Friday is reading day, and then the 9th grader wraps up freshman year with exams Monday to Wednesday. Her college coed sister finished her Maymester class and will arrive here in England on Wednesday. We'll spend the next few days scuttling around taking care of things on our to do list - a trip to the travel clinic for typhoid shots and a round of preventative malaria pills. Then those typically hideous passport style photos to be used for visas at the border.

I already got some travel money from the very convenient exchange location in our local supermarket. That's over £1000 worth of South African Rand to be used for things like museum entrance fees, food and tips. It seems the safari lodge and hunting experience is all about tipping. Reminds me of cruising, where you're expected to dole out cash to everybody that serves you. It seems that on a hunting and photo safari, that's a lotta folks schlepping, driving, guiding, serving, etc.

I know the almost sophomore doesn't want to even contemplate this, but I already ordered her required English novel summer reading and printed out the requisite guiding questions for the essay once it's finished. I'm evil helpful like that. With the way our summer plans have evolved, it looks like she probably won't be reading the book until a couple weeks before school begins. Meh, at least it will still be fresh in her mind. Part of me is glad she's getting to read modern lit since the language is typically more straightforward. However, I'm also a tad disappointed she won't be reading a classic. Maybe they're saving the flowery old confusing novels for the school year.

There's nothing much else going on here, otherwise. The weather warmed up for a bit and we enjoyed lots of sun, but it has been cooler and overcast all week. That's how summer seems to go here in England, the weather cycling between the two. We'll be in shorts for a while, with the windows thrown open and all of the floor fans running. Then we'll cool off, unplug the fans and throw on a hoodie and leggings. So long as we don't have an extended heat wave, I'll be glad to spend a chunk of my summer here in the UK. 

Poor Ollie still resembles a naked mole rat. I think it's his face I find most disconcerting, such a different expression than what I'm accustomed to seeing. Without the fur, he looks either mad or sad to me. Mourning his lost coat or pissed that we had him groomed, maybe? 

In the pic below you'll see him lounging on his older sister - she rolls her eyes when I call him her little brother - and hiding beneath my desk while Lidiya the cleaning lady was running the vacuum. He's such a big baby when it comes to sounds. The clang of a pot and pan has him hustling out of the kitchen. That has become my tool of choice for getting his stubborn little doggy butt back into the house when he's in the back garden barking his fool head off. For a while just waving the broom at him worked, but it lost its power for some reason. So now I clang a pot and pan and thus he is easily shooed back into the sunroom's french doors. I'm sure any of our Brit neighbours witnessing this little spectacle think I'm nuts. You can take the redneck outta Texas, but you'll never completely rid her of her redneck ways.

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