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Laura Corin

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Everything posted by Laura Corin

  1. ECCO Gore Tex. Something like thishttps://www.eccoshoesuk.com/ecco-cool/p8847
  2. An Oyster sounds good. You'll be tired at the end of the day, and queuing for tickets isn't fun. Any special reason to go to London Bridge? The Tower of London is my favourite place.
  3. This page is good on Oyster cards https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/visiting-london/visitor-oyster-card#on-this-page-1 Let me know roughly where you will be staying and what you want to see. Most sights are fairly central and you may find you mostly walk. Be aware that the Tube map is stylised so it doesn't represent distance on the ground. For example, Covent Garden and Leicester Square stations are only 4 minutes walk apart. It would take longer to take the train by the time you have trekked through the stations. Most Tube stations used to have vending machines that sold useful folding street maps. I hope they still do.
  4. Yes, try to get chip and pin for the UK. All our cards are set up that way. Layers of clothing, as UK weather can be unpredictable. I recommend Gore-Tex walking shoes as there's nothing fun about wet feet. These self guided walks look like funhttp://www.walklondon.com. If you need to cross London by Tube with your luggage, a backpack would be good, as many stations are old and have lots of stairs.
  5. No. For reference, I have never heard this idea outside of North America https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/2154152/
  6. For reference, most people when talking about the UK system are actually describing the English system. Scottish students carry on studying five subjects to the end of High School (there is more class work assessed too as well as exams), then study three subjects for their first two years of university. There's more time and more flexibility. The 5 university entrance choices still apply. There are no fees for Scottish residents and full living grants for low income.
  7. When I was growing up in the UK, we all ate the evening meal together at the table at 6pm. When my kids were small, my husband was working long hours, so I fed the kids at 5, then bathed them and he was home for bedtime. Then he and I ate at 7.30 or 8. When his schedule improved, we all ate together in the evening.
  8. You don't see much open plan in Scotland - maybe kitchen-diner, sometimes diner-sitting room. It's just too expensive to heat. Where you do see open plan, it's where the overall space is fairly small and the ceilings not too high, for example here: https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-60819693.html
  9. The men wear dinner jackets (tuxedos) with black tie. The women wear long-sleeved black tops/blouses and long skirts or trousers. Not everyone in the choir has a lot of disposable income, but everyone can borrow black clothes. The choir bought artificial corsages that all the women wear for a splash of colour, similar to purple one on the left of this range. https://www.bloombloom.co.uk/weddings/buttonholes-corsages/ They are all in this range of colours but subtly different. They come with magnets, so they don't damage the fabric:
  10. It looks as if the UK has an agreement with the US that means I am eligible as a British passport holderhttp://www.crevelingandcreveling.com/blog/what-expat-americans-foreign-spouses-need-know-about-social-security
  11. Thanks, @Lanny. I'm not a US citizen. Husband and I were married in the US but lived there together for less than two years. He subsequently worked for Citibank in Hong Kong and continued to pay SS during that time. He files US taxes each year but I do not, as I'm not a citizen and have never had a permanent Green Card. I have an SS number but only worked in the US for those two years. I'll look into the site you mentioned.
  12. @Lanny do you have any experience of US SS spousal benefit overseas? I've just realised that I may be eligible on retirement based on my American husband's contributions when he worked in the US (we now both live in Scotland). I know that his benefit (and therefore my potential benefit) will be reduced for WEP. Are there any other barriers? We already know that he has enough contributions for some SS for himself. I believe that I might also be eligible for Survivor Benefits if he dies before I do (he's older by seven years and my family's women live long). Thank you
  13. Not quite. We are getting the estate agent to take pictures of the garden/yard this summer, and we intend to put our house on the market in early 2020. Once it's sold, we will rent for a bit until we find our next house. The current house is four bedrooms and three acres. It's hard to heat and not on mains gas or sewage. Both boys are at university now, and even if they come home again, it's unlikely to be for long as local employment is not great. It isn't walking distance to anything really (although there are nice leisure walks). We hope to find something that is cheaper, three bedrooms, in a walkable village (but still commuting distance to my work) and with a more manageable garden, as I want to have time in the summer to do more than just work in it!
  14. We put aside a chunk of money many years ago when Husband had some good years. Then we moved back to the UK early enough that we qualified for domestic fees. It's around £9,000 (USD12,000) per year for Oxford, and the degree is only three years long. My own education was taxpayer funded and I was also given a bursary to live on.
  15. I've worn the same pair of grey fine wool trousers twice a week for the last five years. They are good trousers and have worn incredibly well. I'm not in the least ashamed of this. They are just starting to wear on the seams and I hope to replace them with something of equal quality. I have more than four tops but there are four that I probably wear every fortnight at least once. I have no interest in clothes, so having few of them reduces the stress. It doesn't make me unprofessional - I look put-together and unobtrusive. I wear the same pair of silver earrings most days and never take off my white gold necklace.
  16. The first time I took the new bridge to Edinburgh, Google Maps was freaking out. 'Turn around, turn around!' Calvin, who had my phone, could see that Google thought we were in the middle of a field. It took six years to build and it was a much-talked-about project. Surely Google could have worked it out in that time!
  17. Thanks Ok, that sounds fine. Which Club thread should general chat go into?
  18. Thanks, I signed up. Do we need a general chat and check in thread over there too, or will that continue here? I'm down this week's half kilo, so more than half way to goal, currently wearing some undies that I bought a year ago that didn't fit then. Is anyone working toward a particular event? I mostly just want to get back into healthy eating and a fitter body, but I also want to arm myself for my 'beloved' stepmother's seventieth birthday in April. Yes, she will be 70 and my eldest brother is 63. Some history there.
  19. Sorry, weird formatting. Redbush is the South African herbal tea also called rooibos. Well done for resisting temptation.
  20. It was a very simple version: just a little olive oil, a few smashed garlic cloves and some chopped cabbage. Saute slowly until tender. If it seems dry or looks as if it's going to catch, add a little broth/stock. I often add fresh ginger at the beginning too, but strong tastes are catching in my throat at the moment.
  21. Thank you. The board was taking too much space in my head and I needed to step away. We'll see how it goes.
  22. I remember an elderly doctor talking about the rise in asthma diagnoses. He said that in his earlier career, much of what is now described as asthma was written up as 'non-specific bronchitis'. My brother has been diagnosed with ASD in his sixties. As a child in the early Sixties, he was just that awkward kid who didn't fit in.
  23. I've had a cold for almost two weeks. It's rotten but i'm getting slowly better. It wouldn't occur to me to see the doctor. They would just say it was a virus and tell me to rest and drink a lot of fluids. If I start to get better and then get worse in a very identifiable way - sore chest, throat, ears - then a bacterial infection seems possible and I might see the doctor or practice nurse.
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