The Chap Olympiad

Oh Britain, I love you. Don’t ever change. One of the things I love about this country is its sense of humor, and the fact that it’s not afraid to make fun of itself from time to time. To that end, we have the Chap Olympiad, billed as Britain’s most eccentric sporting event, dedicated to celebrating “athletic ineptitude and immaculate trouser creases.” Honestly, it’s like … Continue reading The Chap Olympiad

10 Reasons to Move By Sea

You’ve got your visa–well done!–and now, inevitably, it’s time to consider how to get to the UK. You have two choices: fly on any number of airlines leaving regularly from every major airport in the US, or board the luxury liner Queen Mary 2 for a leisurely 7-day crossing. My husband flew; I sailed. Here’s why I think the ship is the way to go: … Continue reading 10 Reasons to Move By Sea

God Bless the NHS

There seems to be a fair bit of dissatisfaction with the NHS in the UK, but after having had some experience with it firsthand, I think the complainers just haven’t ever had to deal with the alternative: the hopelessly broken for-profit health insurance and healthcare system we have in the States. Granted, I haven’t had to go to hospital for anything (yet), so my experience … Continue reading God Bless the NHS

Liveblogging the Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant

You know what? I think everyone who’s been in the same job of 60 frigging years should get to ride down the Thames in a pimped out barge, don’t you? Up here in sunny Scotland, I’m watching BBC1’s coverage. We get shots of the queen arriving at Epsom yesterday dressed, appropriately, in royal blue. Beatrice looked like she was wearing a tablecloth. Shame. Reminder of … Continue reading Liveblogging the Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant

Becoming an Expat: The Visa Process

Perhaps the most stressful single aspect of the stressful process that is moving overseas is getting your visa (and visas for any members of your family accompanying you). It’s a Kafka-esque hellscape of conflicting information, uncertainty, no communication, and little indication of where you can get any answers from. Good times! The website you’re going to be dealing with a lot is the UK Border Agency. … Continue reading Becoming an Expat: The Visa Process

Becoming an Expat: Decisions, Decisions

After many years of longing to live in the UK, I finally got my wish, thanks to my husband, who landed a job in Edinburgh, Scotland. We were both happy and excited at the idea of moving abroad, because back then we had no idea what lay ahead of us. Moving abroad is hell, even when you’re fairly young and relatively unencumbered, as we are. … Continue reading Becoming an Expat: Decisions, Decisions