Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Halfterm breakers

I understand that it has been a while, however, I decided to take my own ‘half term break’ from blogging. I have been super-busy since the last time I posted, but this means that I have so much more to tell you about life in the little bubble of New Albany, Ohio. It is like living in a little bubble away from the rest of civilisation. It’s really safe as everyone knows eachother here and no-one needs to travel more than 15 minuites for anything. The type of people that live here are similar to those in Harpenden; very middle class.

So, last Thursday was Halloween; a greatly anticipated event. Houses were prepared for days in advance with orange lights and grave-stones in their front gardens. However, on the eve of Halloween itself there was a storm, this mean that they had to move the time of trick-or-treat  forward an hour. Yes, they even plan the trick-or-treat hours in advance. Some other suburbs moved their trick-or-treat day altogether just to avoid the bad weather. Although, this meant that many kids went out on two nights rather than one thus accumulating huge amounts of candy. There were kids turning up at the door with bin bags full of the stuff. One place that Hamish visited even gave him two full size bars! Neverthless, the local dentist is trying to make good of the situation by offering kids money in exchange for their candy, 1lb=$1… Only in New Albany.

Now that Halloween is over it has presented us with a new issue: pumpkin disposal. Since the pumpkins are not carved in New Albany are they seen as a ‘Fall decoration’ or ‘Halloween decoration’? does this mean they stay on your doorstep until the christmas decorations go up? are they removed now? or are we supposed to make pumpkin pie with them – even though all of the pumpkin food was before Halloween? I am highly perplexed by this issue and if anyone would care to enlighten me on this protocol I would greatly appreciate it. Otherwise we could end up being that-house-with-the-mouldy-pumpkins-on-the-porch.

Diwali was this sunday and so we celebrated with food but no fireworks. Apparently New Albany doesn’t do fireworks. Quite why, I dont understand. We took part in all of the usual prayers and ceremonies. This included one, which Baa explained was to  ‘pray to the holy cow’ to which Hamish responded ‘do we prey for steak?’. There have been a number of great Hamishims lately; he was selected, as one of the second graders, to go to a meeting to discuss the interior for the new school building. He told the school official that he thought the design needed ‘oomph’. Which the official then proceded to use as the key term for the rest of the session… In other Hamish news, he was told by another girl that she likes him and was given a bracelt by her. This caused quite a traumatic journey home from school as he had to decide whether to persue the new girl or not. Don’t worry, he stuck with his girlfriend. In relation to the other sibling of mine, the Americans are effecting her and I fear for he accent. On saturday she was out for a mere 6 hours and returned with a full Ohio accent, using words such as ‘super great’ and ‘good gosh’. As I say, my worry is great.

New Albany is starting to settle down into wintermode. Our pool is now totally out of action until next spring and all of our irrigation pipes have gone through ‘winterisation’. Yes, this is a thing. The ‘pipes are blown’ so that no water is in them and so they can’t freeze and break. It’s cold. I’ve resorted to wearing a puffer jaket at the bus stop every morning, it’s not attractive.

I’ve almost taken to dressing like a typical New Albany girl what with the weather and my lazyness – PINK leggings/abercrombie jeans with an abercrombie or PINK top, a North face soft shell jaket/ green abercrombie coat, complete with either Uggs or Hunter boots. Yes, they wear wellies as a fashion item, idgi. This typical N’albs girl also drives her own Jeep, carrys a starbucks, owns a macbook and uses the word ‘literally’ twice per sentance; it’s too white for words! To be honest I just think the whole thing is quite funny, I’ll embrace it all anyway, besides uggs are like foot clouds and who wouldn’t want to drive a Jeep?!   

PSAT, Pumpkins and Paxo

It’s been a hectic week of Isla-ing around and so you’ve had to wait a while for this post, sorry, to make up for it I’m going to condense a whole week of antics into a bitesize chunk.

Monday commemorated 17 years of my existence on this planet which was very exciting, I got notes from home and birthday wishes from everyone. I got some cute birthday notes from my friends and a stream of pictures of Philip Schofield from Lucy (don’t ask). Although, much to my annoyance it was ‘Columbus day’ and so the postal service was out of action. After school My friends took me to Wendy’s for the first time which was yum although I felt like a complete fatty getting chips at 3pm. After rehearsal my family and I went out for dinner at this fondu place and I don’t think I’ve ever inhaled so much chocolate in one sitting.

On Wednesday I had to endure the PSAT, a formal exam taken in order to practice the question type of the SAT (big exam that determines your uni place). From taking this exam I learnt two things: a) Americans don’t do joined up handwriting b) that urban children don’t know what cows are. Let me explain; before the exam started they made us write a statement to say it was you/you weren’t cheating etc in ‘cursive’ (joined up handwriting) and the whole room threw a complete wobbly! Everyone here writes in print and so none of them could do it properly; I re-wrote the sentence in about 30seconds and it took everyone else about 5 miniutes! The test itself was really odd, it was part maths part english reading and grammar. There was this long reading bit about how urban children didn’t know what a cow looked like but knew what a giraffe was and another section about a man who fell in love with his translator. I don’t understand Americans.

Not only do people have orange vegetables on their door steps but they are also putting pumpkins in and on everything else. They are obsessed! I’ve seen pumpkin cakes, candles, breads, coffee, ‘candy’, donuts, chocolate, it’s in everything. The infuriating thing about the whole ordeal is that they don’t even taste of pumpkins! It is all winter spice without even a hint of the orange vegetable!

We were lucky enough to get a long weekend so we’ve spent the past few days in Florida. After living in America for a few months, being here makes more sense. For example I understand the shops better so the combination of outlet malls and lower taxes has meant this weekend has been a shopping frenzy. Orlando is a british tourist hotspot during October and the amount of British voices i’ve heard has been a relief, it also means that the British part of the ethnic aisle in Walmart is roughly 3 times the size of the one in Ohio. This managed to cause complete food madness this afternoon and resulted in us buying an abundance of British chocolate and two boxes of Paxo sage and onion stuffing which mum is planing to take back with us tomorrow (for the ‘2 roast chickens we’ll probably have before Christmas’)

 

Be careful what you wish for

This weekend we turned American and put vegetables on our doorstep. Yes, we have four rather lurid orange pumpkins sitting outside our front door to match the rest of the street. The Americans get really into the whole ‘Autumn’ thing here and the houses are dressed up for ‘fall’ almost as much as we would decorate ours for christmas. There are pumpkins and browny-red leaves hanging from everywhere. I don’t really understand why, but we decided to embrace it anyway.

So, this weekend I haven’t really done anything noteworthy to be honest. On friday we went out for dinner as a family then after My friends Hannah and Austin picked me up and we went to Ben’s house. We watched a film and just chilled in his basement. He has built a skate ramp in his basement. Like a mini half-pipe in his house. It was cool. I had a go and fell over about 7 times. I’m not the best at skateboarding, evidently.

Saturday was another day full of rehearsals. I seem to spend hours on end in that theatre at the moment. I’m not complaining, but it is long. I also seem to be frequenting starbucks far more than is healthy at the moment, mainly because it is so close to school (and I like chai a lot). I even went pre-rehearsal this weekend and somehow it resulted in 5 of us tap-dancing in the queue. Don’t ask…

After rehearsal I went and got Chipoltle with Sydney. If there is one thing that England is missing it’s Chipoltle. It’s sort of like really yummy healthy(ish) fresh mexican food, I think. St Albans needs one desparately. It does tacos and Burritos (which I have to pronouce ‘Buh-ree-doh’ or they don’t understand me) After that we got icecream then we just drove around for a bit. We went to Hannah’s got in her car and then drove a bit more. There’s not really that much to do here as you can guess.In the end we ended up at the local Kroger (supermarket) where we met pretty much everyone I knew. Yep, you heard right, the place to be at 10.30 on a saturday night in Ohio is the local supermarket carpark. This is a very cool place to live.      

Even though there isn’t loads to do here, I am enjoying the level of freedom compared to back home. Everyone I know lives really close by and everyone here drives, so getting around is incredibly easy and quick. It’s also safe as well and so Mum doesn’t have to worry quite as much as she did. Needless to say I like it a lot. Where we live is exactly the environment that I wanted to grow up in. Even Hamish is loving the freedom, he has a friend who lives right next door and they play at our house, his house, by the creek and at the park almost constantly.

It’s weird thinking that this time last year this was everything I wanted and now I’m living it. I turn 17 tomorrow and if you took me back a year and told me about what i’m doing now I never would have believed you. Yet here I am and believe it or not I actually love it. So here is to another year of surprises and making this one as good as the last.