English is not always English. Check it out!

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Well, it is, but it isn’t. If you’ve ever made a visit across the pond, or, like me, lived there, you know there is British-English and American-English. For those of you who have never been or are planning to go, here’s some words that do not mean the same thing in the England as they do in the USA. No doubt, you will know some of these. But you should see a few surprises as well!

The first word you see will be the American use of the word. The second is the British use.

American/British:

  • truck/lorry
  • fries/chips
  • chips/crisps
  • 2 weeks/fortnight
  • 2 doors down/next door but one
  • gas/petrol
  • beer/lager
  • egg salad/egg mayonaisse
  • cookies/biscuits
  • TV/telly
  • cup of hot tea/cuppa
  • buggy/trolly
  • buck/quid
  • unemployment/dole
  • stroller/pram
  • diaper/nappy
  • faucet/tap
  • Santa Claus/Father Christmas
  • stairs/apples and pears
  • leftovers/bubble and squeak
  • soccer/football
  • football/ n/a
  • crush/fancy
  • rain boots/wellies
  • trash can/dust bin
  • shag/…..
  • sofa/settee
  • sprite/lemonade
  • closet/wardrobe
  • bathroom/bog
  • dumpster/skip
  • President/Prime Minister
  • yard/garden

It took me quite some time of my 5 years living in England to learn these. They also spell many words differently than we do. Another blog, another day.

#1 tip about visiting England: Go in the SUMMER. I know it costs more, but the weather is so much better, it’s worth a few extra bucks.

Bonus tip: Give yourself AT LEAST 10 days to visit (not including travel). Jet lag is terrible going to England (you lose 8+ hours) and not so bad coming back (you gain the same amount of hours).

Extra Bonus tip: Don’t ONLY visit London. You don’t want to miss it, BUT the countryside is “greeting card” beautiful and the whole country is full of history. Take it all in!

I will never live there again BUT I cannot wait to go back and visit for a while!

Talk to you again soon! xoxo

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Blog Series: Letters from Russia – Introduction

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Does anyone remember this video? It was so long ago…17 years old in fact. I remember seeing it live and when I need a giggle, or a warm fuzzy, I still keep this video at hand. Take a look.

Things are so different now.

With all that has transpired in Russia recently, many news outlets have been reporting daily with updates. Russia vs. Ukraine with Crimea being the prize, has taken center stage as a worldwide concern. I know that many people here, in the USA do not particularly care about the activities in that region of the world right now. But it is important.

I have always said our nation’s security is our #1 issue because without it, nothing else matters. With this in mind, I have made it my business to read and study about the current situation regarding Russia, as well as its history. I have learned a lot. My greatest resource has not been from watching the news or reading the paper.

My understanding of Russia has come to me quite by chance and it nearly did not happen at all. I commented on an article I read in social media, and someone replied, challenging my statement. She was quite snippy with her remark and I answered back equally snippy. I wondered who this person was and realized she was from and still lived in Russia.

In an instant, it occurred to me, with the power of internet and social media, we can connect to the world like never before. Couple that, with watching our governments continually clashing, why not then, should the people attempt to bridge the gap between us? Even if it is only one person at a time,

After all, ignorance leads to fear. Just as education leads to understanding. Fear + ego = global unrest. We are seeing this over and over again, all over the world.

So, even though she and I were a bit snotty to one another at first, I asked her if we could talk further. I wanted to know her story and, as it turns out she wanted to know mine. We have become fast friends. She is a lovely young lady. She is well-educated. She is curious. She wants to know the truth and has no problem expressing herself. Though we have only known each other a short time, I have grown to care deeply for her and applaud her for entertaining opinions that differ so much for her own. We talk daily and they are good, productive conversations.

I know I will probably never get the opportunity to meet her face-to-face. But that does not mean our friendship is any less. It is incredibly interesting and sometimes a little sad that her opinions are so strong. But she is open. She’s no dummy. In fact, she’s really wonderful.

She and I will continue to talk. We will ask questions of each other and offer opinions. With her consent, I will share much of our conversations with you via my blog. Her only condition was that I not report Russia in a negative light. I also assured her that I would not divulge her identity. I would be crushed if our friendship ended because of this. Plus, I must make sure I keep her safe.

And so, I will be writing a blog series titled, “Letters from Russia”. Each conversation/blog will be numbered, much like a book. Consider this blog entry as the introduction to the “book”. Following this will be Chapter 1, then Chapter 2…you get the idea. What you will see is the genuine dedication of two friends learning and understanding each others world.  You will have a better understanding of both of us as the story unfolds.

PLEASE: If there is anything specific you would like me to ask her, just add it to the comments.

This will not be the only subject I will be writing about. I will continue to write about the same types of things I have blogged about in the past. I’m thinking I will write this blog series once a week, depending upon your interest. I really hope that even if you feel this would not be the right blog for you to follow, just give it a chance. We cannot fix our governments, but we can help each other to a better understanding. Hopefully it will be contagious.

Stay tuned for Chapter One, “Letters From Russia” very soon.

Enjoy your weekend! xoxo

Ukraine Standing Tall For Independence – Who Will Stand With Them?

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Before I begin, I would like to say that the view you read here is my own. I am not speaking on behalf of anyone else. I encourage you to comment on this piece. Your opinion matters.

Ukraine is showing the rest of the world just what measures it will go to in order to preserve their independence from Russia. Their democratic ideals are impressive and the strength they are showing to maintain their freedom is unbelievably brave. Their own people, rose up and overthrew the pro-Russian government in Ukraine. It’s ousted President, Viktor Yanukovych, is now residing in Russia, where he is firmly in the pocket of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

This whole situation is very complicated and disturbing.

At the time of the fall of the U.S.S.R., (now known as Russia), Ukraine held nuclear weapons of its own. Russia, the USA and the UK signed an agreement called the “Budapest Memorandum”. This agreement states all three countries will insure Ukraine’s independence from Russia, provided it turned over its nuclear weapons to Russia (which it did). Russia was to dismantle the nuclear weapons (which they did) and everyone lives happily ever after.

Ok, so the happily ever after part is my own wishful thinking.

The truth is, fundamentally, Russia does not like or trust the West and is not happy Ukraine has become so “westernized”. Putin has gone so far as to say the westernization of Ukraine has caused anarchy. The Ukraine has expressed interest in joining/aligning with NATO. Their resolve is so strong. However, alone, what chance does Ukraine have against the mega force of Russia?

Further, Russia needs the heavily Russian influenced Crimea, for agricultural and logistical reasons. Russia has gained strength by housing Ukraine’s ousted President, who says he is still in power. This gives Russia the “in” they are looking for to go back on their word of the Budapest Memorandum. Russia is planning to take control of the Ukraine once again, with an eye on several other countries in the region..

Where do the USA and the UK come in to play here? They are directly involved because both also signed the Budapest Memorandum insuring Ukraine’s independence. My understanding is the agreement states that if one of the three countries goes back on its word, the remaining 2 will step in to assist Ukraine.Though it is an agreement and not a treaty, it is conceivable, though not likely, that the USA and the UK do nothing and stay out of it.

The problem here is two-fold. Whether you call it a treaty, a memorandum or an agreement, it is still a binding document. For the USA and UK to not uphold the agreement shows the rest of the world that they cannot be trusted. This would be disastrous as both have treaties and agreements with many other countries around the world. Trust is the critical part of any agreements, treaties or otherwise.

The second issue is that both the USA and the UK somewhat loosely subscribe to the same ideals. Democracy, Freedom and Independence. How then, could either country turn their backs on Ukraine and it’s people?

The options here do not look good. Russian forces are already in the Crimea and will easily take it over, as it is already heavily Russian populated.

UPDATE: Warning shots have been fired in Crimea, though Putin incredibly says he has no intention of battling Ukraine. Meanwhile, troops are on the move and getting in position to do just that. Russia has a military base there so Putin is using it as an excuse for the movement..

That said, I very much admire the Ukrainian people for having the courage to stand up to and overthrow its eastern leaning government and demand their freedom. If this is not the definition of a democracy, I don’t know what is.

It seems to me the USA and UK must step in and hold up their end of the Budapest Memorandum. They must align with an independent Ukraine.

But how? That is what scares the hell out of me.

USA’s President Barack Obama does not, in my opinion, have what it takes to do what is necessary as Commander and Chief of its Armed Forces. A first step would be to create sanctions against Russia. You can see where, from here, this could get messy, very quickly.

I do not have the solution for this. That’s why my name tag does not say “President Barack Obama”.

I am very curious to know what your take is on this serious situation. Please comment below. Let’s get some dialog started. Who knows? Maybe we could even make a difference. Do you see the issue with the Ukraine as I have explained it? Do you have another view? What options do you see for all 4 countries?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. I will approve and reply to all comments left. Please remember to keep it clean and no name calling.

Talk to you soon! xoxo