Tuesday, April 28, 2015

British Goodies Giveaway

Recently, the Fresh & Easy close to my house shut down, which is a shame because it was the jewel that had fallen out of the Tesco crown, but where I could still get English food items.

I have previously written about my experiences at Fresh & Easy right here.

However, there is always a silver lining in every grey cloud and mine was the fact that everything was being sold at HALF PRICE!! 

So I went down there and fought my way through the crowds, because apparently now it's closing, its the best supermarket in the area and everyone wanted to go there.  [I'm sure the half price tags had something to do with the popularity]  It was a bloody madhouse with everyone fighting over spaghetti sauce and beer.

Not me - I legged it straight around to the international section and began loading up my trolley with goodies, much to the disgust of a lady who was looking over my shoulder trying to see what my hurry was.  She even tut tutted me a bit. Rude.

Well, having taken everything I wanted (well, everything I could carry anyway) I moved away.  The rude tutting lady immediately dived to the self and picked up some salad cream (yes, I did leave some), she read the back and put it down again, with a screwed up nose.  She didn't even know what she was looking at - it was one of those instances where if you see someone buying it all up, you must have it!

So now my cupboards are bursting - I have more salad cream than I can ever use before the sell by date and clotted cream.  Do I really need clotted cream?  Two jars of it?  Take a look at my haul:

So I had a thought. I'm going to do a giveaway to any expat out there who would like some.  Up for grabs is a bottle of salad cream, a jar of clotted cream, a mini jar of marmite and a couple of Aero's.

All you need to do is email me here: chelseagirl70sw6@gmail.com  or leave a comment below and let me know why you think you should be the one who gets it.  The best answer wins!  [That would be the best answer in my opinion *smile*]

It would also be lovely if you could share my blog with your friends and family (not that I'm begging for readers, you know, but just in case they might like some English goodies).

Addition:  You can also comment on my Facebook page for a chance to win!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Passive Aggressive

Give me my pills...!!
Today I had to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy (chemist) and when I arrived there were already two people in line.  They had obviously been there a while because the pharmacist had a blank look on his face and kept rolling his eyes. 
The problem.... they were chatting.  Not just any old chat, mind you.  This is where I came in...

Mum 1:          ... yes, they keep getting ear infections and nothing helps ...
Mum 2:        [Interrupting] Oh, mine used to get those all the time...
Mum 1:       ... they had to have the surgery, with the tube thingies in their ears, and they were only TWO, both of them had to have the same thing
Mum 2:        Yes, mine had that too.  But luckily at his age he only gets sick about once a year now
["He" was standing right next to her and she was talking as if he wasn't even there]
Mum 1:        Does it get better as they get older?  We only manage to go on date night once a month now and I keep telling my husband it will be better when they get older..
Mum 2:        Well mine's in a travel hockey team and we have to go all over the state, so we don't get date night either
Mum 1:        So it doesn't get any better?  I've got girls, so they won't be into sports hopefully, but they will want to do dancing, so it will be the same thing, I expect.  But we love football, so I wish I had a boy, we will just have to put up with dancing...

Mum 2:         You poor thing....

Blah, blah, blah...

chat or gossip?
About this time, I was feeling somewhat annoyed and obviously did what any true English person would do.... I tutted and sighed.  I also texted the whole conversation to a friend telling her how mad I was.... because, you know .....English....

It went on for at least another couple of minutes, before the pharmacist gave a polite cough to encourage Mum 1 to pay and, well, basically, get out!  (Apparently he has some Brit in him too)

I'm sure this same thing happens in England all the time, but it dawned on me that we just don't ever speak up for want of looking rude.  Heaven forbid that we should make a scene. 

So I did the obvious thing, I came home and ranted on here.  Passive Aggressive at it's best. 

Thank you, rant over.... you can resume your normal business now.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Reminder of Home

So this happened the other day on the way home from work.

I was just minding my own business, sitting in traffic when all of a sudden a flash of Union Jack caught my eye.  Obviously, I had to find out what it was all about so weaved my way through the traffic to catch up and saw this.....

How brilliant is that?  An "English" window cleaner.  So, as you do, I drove up along side him, wound down my window and asked for a card.  How the heck I thought he was going to pass me a card on the freeway is anyone's guess!   We did have a nice little chat though - he's from Oxford - and he said he would pull in front of me so I could take a photo so I had his number.  Ahhh...some common sense.

I did wonder a bit how an English window cleaner would fare in California as the windows are so different from those in England.  Every window here has a screen on the outside to keep bugs out - not necessary in Blighty - we just put up with flies in the house.  I should phone him and ask how he deals with that extra work... but I probably won't.

Not easy to clean through the screens
It's always nice to see a fellow Brit when you don't expect it.  But the most annoying thing about it was that I had this flippin' song stuck in my head all the way home.... my nan used to sing it all the time when we were growing up and I hadn't thought of it for years.  After all that time, it just popped into my head out of nowhere!

Take a listen and see if you don't have it stuck there all day too [*smile*]

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Cadbury Godfather

If you've been following this blog for a while, you will know that I am right Royally peeved with the Hershey ban on the import of British chocolate.  It's obvious I'm not the only one as the #boycotthersheys hashtag has taken over Twitter.  What are we going to do without our yummy Cadbury's??

Well never fear, there are a few enterprising people out there who always see an opening in the market.  So with no more ado, I would like to introduce to you to.... drum roll....

Chris Turner and his business partner, both from just outside Manchester, have put together a wonderful website where you can order British Chocolate to be delivered directly to your house.  They have a variety of sizes to choose from, with a selection box of 10, 20 or 30 bars.  The boxes have brilliant names such as:
There's also a category where you can "Pick & Mix" your very own selection.  The price is a very reasonable $15.50 per box, no matter what size you choose.  Shipping varies depending upon where you live and how much you buy.

Chris told me he believes the recent ban by Hersheys is totally unfair and a sorry sign of the corporate giants flexing their muscles in the name of greater profits [I think we all agree with that].  It's his view that "It's everybody's right to be able to have the freedom of choice if they want to eat British Chocolate (read "real" chocolate) and no one company should be able to dictate to us."

I voiced my concern that chocolate being shipped to hot climates, particularly like California (yes, I was thinking of myself) would be in a mailbox for an extended period of time and would result in the chocolate turning to soup before I got home.  Nope, not a problem, they've thought of that already as they offer tracked and signed postal options so you will know when it's arriving and can either be at home when it's delivered or you can pick it up from the Post Office.  I got around that problem by having my box delivered to my work address. 

While I was waiting for it to arrive I was a little fearful.  What happens if it gets stuck in some airport on the way and the heat gets to it?  What happens if the post office open it and take my chocolate?  Oh the dilemma, the nightmares.  Well, this is what it looked like when it got here:
Post Office doesn't read, apparently!
Hmm... fragile??
I carefully opened the package (okay, I frantically tore into it) to see what goodies were inside.  All my fears were unwarranted.  The chocolate was packed really well and even though the box looked like it had been kicked around Wembley Stadium for 90 minutes, every chocolate bar was undamaged.  I could hear angels singing as I saw this little lot

From the selection, it looks like I received the 'Cadbury's Collection Box," although there is a cheeky Cadbury's Creme Egg in there too - just in time for Easter, how handy!

What was most exciting for me was the Freddo as I've heard so much about them. I don't think I've ever had one.  They were introduced by Cadbury's in 1973, but were discontinued in 1979 and for some reason I don't remember them at all.  They were reissued in 1994, presumably just after I left England, so this is is a first for me.  

This is definitely a great way to get your chocolate fix and very soon, you won't even have to order every month because a subscription service called "British Chocolate Club" is in the pipeline, where you will automatically be sent chocolate every month!  Can't really argue with that, can you??

So don't just sit there with your mouth watering, click on the link to the right and start shopping.  I have some vouchers for a 20% discount on all orders.  If you would like one, please let me know by contacting me here.  Better hurry...... meanwhile, I'm going to sit back, relax and eat my Creme Egg - very.very.slowly.

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Chocolate Mailbox.com