Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Interesting English Words

Words here in England can be very interesting! Many, such as "chips" for "fries", we have all heard before. But, have you ever thought about what they call our potato chips, since they use the word chips for something else-----our chips are called "crisps" . Here are some of the other interesting words:

nappy = diaper, dummy = baby's pacifier, trolly = grocery cart, lorry = truck, car park = parking lot, digestive = something like a cracker/cookie, trainers = tennis shoes(they never use the word tennis shoes), football pitch = soccer field, infant class ( like at church) = ages 4-8 (How will Lauren and Katelyn like going to the "infant class" when they are here??), servette = napkin, dual carriage way = divided highway, motorway = highway, quid= buck or dollar, trading estates = shopping center, wellies = muck boots or waders, pound store = dollar store, pegs = clothes pins, beetroot = beets, to hoover or to cannister = to vaccuum, boot sale = car "boot" sale or fleamarket, round-about = traffic circle

Names for towns can be interesting, too. Some of the ones that are around here close to us are: Poddymore, Wetmore, Chard, Crewkerne, Axminster, Exmouth. Tintinhull. (Caleb, you mentioned that you hope we still say "ya'll" when we get home-----we drove through the town of Yawl the other day. I liked the sign at the edge of town that said "Yawl, Drive Slowly" ! I would have made a picture, but we passed it too quickly!)

We went to a little take-out fish-and-chips place in Martock recently. I brought home a menu, and I noticed that they sell "Pukka Pies", one of which was Steak and Kidney Pie! (well-named!) They also sell peas as a side dish---you can choose either "mushy peas or processed peas". (By the way, an 8oz burger with onions and relish is $7, and a children's box meal with chicken nuggets, chips, and toy is $6.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dental Care in the UK

I had a dental procedure done before I came to England, and it seemed that I had developed an infection. I called the dentist in Texas and was told that I probably just needed a round of antibiotics.

I had been to a pharmacy here in Martock, so I went there to ask about how to get a prescription. I was told that they would not accept one from Texas, so I would need to go to a dentist in England. She said that there was one across the street. I was surprised because I walk that way all the time and had not seen a dentist's office. It turns out that the entrance to the office was a small set-back door (with no windows). I went there and was asked if I was a "member". The girl couldn't tell me what she meant by "member", but she said that I had to call a Dental Help Line to see what dentist I could use. I could not just make an appointment.

I called the help line and explained the situation. The lady on the phone was very friendly and asked lots of questions. She said that she would check to see who could take me and what times were available. This was on Wednesday, and she said there was an opening in Yeovil at 10:00 on Thurs and one at another small town, Somerton, at 2:00 on Thurs. I opted for the Somerton appointment because I thought it would fit Ron's work schedule better, since he has to take me. The Dental Helpline woman said that it would cost $30. I thought that was interesting since she did not know whether the dentist would take x-rays or do anything else. I asked the dentist's name, but she said she couldn't give me a specific name.

When I got to the dentist on Thursday, the Helpline lady had not called to make the appointment, but the dental office worked me in. We noticed that there was a sign posted in the waiting room that said that all appointments for regular dental visits, including x-rays, cleaning, fillings, etc., would be $30. Dental appointments involving rootcanals, tooth extractions, etc., would be Level 2 Care and would be $87. Level 3 Care would include dentures and bridges and would be $366. Evidently there is no dental procedure that would be above that cost.

The dental office was a really old building, like most other buildings in the area. I don't know how many dentists work there, but there were at least 3. There were a lot of people coming and going. No one seemed to wait too long. My appointment did not take long, and the dentist thought I did need antibiotics, so she gave me a prescription. I asked what would happen if the antibiotics did not take care of the problem---would I return to her? She said that I would have to call the Dental Help Line again and see what I was told to do.

I asked the receptionist about a cheap place to get a prescription filled , and she said that everywhere is the same price. ( My prescription turned out to be $13 (without insurance). I don't know if every kind of prescription is the same price----I will have to ask that.) She said that they had an opening at their office for a "member", if I would like to be a member there. Evidently a citizen can be a member at a dental office and return to the same office all of the time, but since I am only going to be here a short time, I cannot be a "member"!

It was an interesting experience----quite different from home! I don't know how much the English citizens have to pay in taxes to cover the medical care, but at least for me, it was much cheaper than I expected! (It makes me wonder if there is a Medical Help Line, too...........guess we should find out.......)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

More about our Scottish family.....

(This post will make more sense if you read my post from earlier today first.)

Thanks to Staci, I looked at my computer more closely and found the ~ (by my spacebar!) Now I can give the site http://members.tripod.com/~Hal_MacGregor/gregor/Gregor.htm
This site has a lot of really boring information---at least to a non-history person like me---but scan through the section titled "MacGregors Are Driven Out"

Dan Wright's great-grandmother's name was Sarah "Sallie" Ellen Magee. Way back in her family was James MacGregor (born 1618), who changed his name to William Mackgeehe (later became Magee) when he came over to the US from Scotland because of the bad connotation connected to his MacGregor name at that time.
William's ancestors that you may see in the article are Duncan MacGregor 1490-1552, Gregor Patrickson Gregor the Great 1460-?, Patrick Mhor Macgregor 1430-1518, Gregor Macgregor 1400-?, Iain Dubb Macgregor (3rd Chieftan of Clan MacGregor) , Iain Cam Macgregor (2nd Chieftan) died between 1360and 1390, and Gregor of the Golden Bridles.

To answer Staci's question about the youth minister at Bristol--Jason---I think he will stay in England, since he married an English girl. There is another American in the congregation that came over here 9 years ago and married an English girl. He speaks with an English accent, and I had no idea he was American! I hope Ron and I don't come home speaking "English"!

News from England 6/16/07

Ron has been working really long hours, even on Saturday, last week and this week, so there is not really anything to report in the way of site-seeing. One evening we walked a long way through the countryside---there are public footpaths through the edges of fields with steps over the fences to get to the next fields. We saw horses, barley fields, and wheat fields. We finally came out at a playground and football pitch (soccer field) and made our way back home on the town streets.
There were some students from Harding at church on Sunday. They were on a mission trip through England, and on Saturday they had hosted a kind of carnival in the city park---with puppets, face-painting, Bible stories, games, etc. Evidently it was well-attended. There was also another US couple, who were visiting with Beryl and Alister, the ones we have had dinner with several times.
Some of you might be interested in looking at the Bristol church webpage. You can take a virtual tour of the building and read about the ministers, etc. It is http://www.churchofchristbristol.org/

This week I have been doing some family research on the internet. It has been very interesting. I go between doing research on Ron's family and doing some on mine. I have not been able to find anything on the Haker's, but on Ron's mother's side I have gone a long way back in several families. I found a woman in the 1500's in Germany who was beheaded for witchcraft!! Right after that I started looking up things on my family, and I thought my family was much better, because I found some going back to the 1300's in Scotland who were land owners and were called Chieftans. However, after reading more, I found that these were from warring clans---very violent times! In fact, on one day a father and son were both beheaded by an opposing clan. This family was the McGregors, and their arch rival clan was the Campbells (Julie and Matt's name). When I told Julie about it , she said that she and Matt must be Romeo and Juliet!!
If I can ever figure out how to send links, I will send one to this Scottish information. (The address has a squiggly line in it and I don't know how to type that!----that shows you how good I am on computers!!)
I have found out a lot of other interesting family information, such as people who served in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the War of 1812, etc. I have the names of the battles, so that will be interesting to look at someday. I especially like it when I find details about the people's lives. I have also found photos of Ron's great-great grandparents and his great-great-great grandparents. He does not think that anyone in his immediate family has photos of those people.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Can I do this???,---- or, English grocery stores

OK, here goes! I don't have a good memory, so it took me a little while to get to this spot! We will see if I can do the blog. Somehow doing the blog looked so easy when Steve showed me how!
I have just sent out a long e-mail, so I don't have much more news, but I thought you might be interested in the grocery shopping here.

There are several big grocery stores in Yeovil, one of them owned by Walmart. You would think that would make it almost like home, but it is just not the same! For one thing, there is no Mrs. Baird's Bread! And there is no diet-type wheat bread----you know the 35 calorie type! (In fact, people here don't seem to be worried too much about calories or carbs----and I haven't seen any really obese people. ) The bread is very heavy and dense. We have found hot sauce,
Dorritos, tortillas, and chili----but no Rotel----how do you cook without Rotel? Many of the foods are made by familiar companies, but a lot of the packaging looks really different. For instance, there is Quaker oatmeal, but it is in a square box, not a round box. Baking soda is in a round container. Salt is in a tall canister-type container that is about twice as tall and half as big around as our salt containers at home. There are no big packages of frozen food---really not much comes in big packaging. The food is all about twice as expensive as in the US. Yesterday I saw two packages of ground (they call it minced) meat for 4.65 English pounds (money)------that made it about each package about $4.65 in US money (each with a weight of about 1 pound US) Kind of high for ground meat!! There are no labels designating ground round or ground chuck, etc. There is lots of lamb for sale. And there are lots of food items with strange names---I don't know what they are! There are no Oreos, no Vanilla Waffers (how do you make banana pudding??), and no NutterButters, but we are managing to find some other cookies that will do! Also, another biggy, is that there is no Crisco or anything similar---think of all the recipes that will affect! I don't know how to substitute for that in baking-----anybody know?? There is very little of each item on the shelf. The canned vegetables take up very little shelf space, because there is just not much to choose from---maybe one name brand and one store brand----it is the same with every product. I only saw one kind of cake mix, a chocolate cake mix, and one type of frosting ---also chocolate. I am just happy that they know about chocolate!
The best thing about the grocery store, though, is that all the words are English!