Friday, 26 February 2010

Troy. Michigan-Style

I think I have just about reached my snow limit. No offense intended dear Michigan, but really, the weather you greeted our arrival with has much to be desired. It is also playing significant havoc with our healthy eating. With nothing more than snow and more snow and that cold sharp sleet thing going on outside all I want to do is get cosy with my bimbo and pump out baked delights. And I don't even like baking. Till this week that is.

I am now on my fifth day of domestic pirouettes in the kitchen. That's what you get when you move into a ground floor apartment that looks like one of the Golden Girls just moved out and left the furniture. 1988 gold wall clock included. Also plastic fauna. Lots of them. We have a fat sofa, many lamps, a full size dining room table, an army of closets and two bedrooms. We are, it would seem, playing house. I have taken on my homebody role with gusto - for three weeks that is. I always throw myself into my roles, this much I knew already, and, as with all acting jobs, the end is very much in sight. Now, if this whole cookie baking, brioche braiding had an indefinite nature I would be running up frozen trees and wailing like an imprisoned banshee. That's why Cory sits back, scoffs what he can (roasted a chicken 10 litres of chicken soup created yesterday). He knows these waves are intense when they come and dissapate as quickly as they rear their, mostly garlicky, heads.

I spose there is something to be said about really experiencing an entire winter. When I woke this morning around 5ish, and found myself lying next to Sam in his bed, and had a. the sudden remembrance of his 11pm bedtime having had a fat nap late afternoon and b. the pleasure of taking a moment to look out of the window and notice the tall fir tree being blown by mists of snow flying through the air off the roofs in the midnight blue of a pre dawn wintry sky. It was beautiful. A watercolourist's delight. Not so beautiful was the sound of the glass pane in our bedroom knocking against the frame in the gusts or the whistling of the wind through the tiny gaps. I have been doing my P90X bouncing around there and I fear I may have caused some irrevocable structural damage. I'll send the bill to Tony Horton (he's the man with triceps whose name is synonymous with this three month extreme fitness malarky).

The highlight of my week was most definitely finding out that my family and I were about to move into the city of TROY. Yes sir, for but a few hundred dollars you too can time warp yourself back into that tumultuous era and hide yourself in a wooden horse. I have insisted Cory call me Diana for our stay. Turns out the town isn't so ancient after all. Our complex is much more 80s AD. Still love to look at the sign when we drive down West 14 Mile Road. 14 miles to where? Nobody seems to know.....

Our travel day was as long as predicted. After two flights we arrived at Detroit, grabbed our 700 suitcases and then via several elevators finally found the rental car shuttle. Kind driver then mounted our 700 suitcases into said shuttle and shuttled us, with information blurb to rental car office. All 700 suitcases made it onto the pavement whilst Cory signed bits of paper and looked serious. Car arrived, eventually (we had to ask for one that would hold all 700 cases) and we piled 700 cases and us into it. 45 minute later we had shifted all 700 suitcases into new home, whilst boy, in true travel day style, slept it off in his car seat. Quick about turn and we were on the road again to meet our cousin Jess (you may remember mention of her back in Chicago's November) at Sweet Lorraines. It is always so great to see a familiar face when you are utterly new in town. We scoffed in true weary traveller's style. You'd think we were notching up calories for a marathon the next day. The best bit about the place was the fact that it has been owned and nurtured by the same family team for 25 years. After a jaunt around their varied menu we finally settled on a veggie Jambalaya, rainbow tilapia and tuna fajitas. Our boy uncharacteristically opted for the peanut and jelly sandwich (when in Rome) and gobbled up the home made corn bread and houmous. Mum had a sip of wine. Espressos capped it off. Happy people went home for fat sleep.

The next day we ventured out for a Grocery Shop. It becomes very much an event when you don't know where you are really. Having been presented with a full size kitchen, I will be the first to admit I went a little overboard. Or, as I prefer to think about it, bought exactly enough for three weeks, thank you very much Cory's raised eyebrows! Sam was in overdrive packing the bags, he hasn't seen me shop like that since a tesco run before our farewell barbecue at the flat in London back in August to which about 40 people came. The irony was that after this enormous shop we were all hitting a major sugar low and had just enough time for lunch before Cory had to go in for sound check and so ended up eating out. On the strip mall closest our apartment (the main road is littered with them) we came across a Medittarranean grill. Basically this means stepping in from the cold and into a be-lanterend middle eastern taverna just like the ones down Cricklewood back home. Double dose of what the homesickness doctor oredered. There was nothing more comforting to me at that moment for some proper homemade marinated chicken Kebabs with authentic homous and freshly made rice, with the little noodles in it, just like uncle Pierre makes back at the cafe. I don't even eat it that much at home but on our first day out it was just perfect. Even the waitress looked Polish (until she spoke that is) just like in the bakery by the number 16 bus stop opposite the Crown pub, stuffed daily with pastries and huddles of Arabs and Irish putting the world to rights. And the odd, post dance class Anglo-Yank family inhaling amazing coffee and oversized buttery-ness.

Back to the present....since our shopping foray, we have been very much homebodies, our days spent enjoying the space and dipping our toes out in the snow. I did take the time to discover an Aveda Institute however and took myself in for a haircut. This was quite an event. Being a school, the prices are seriously low and I was asked to sign a form which stated that I understood that the services would be given by senior students and that I would not be tipping. Call me British. Call me English. Call me stingy. Call me a gal from Golders Green. All I know was that for $33 I had be a chic new crop and eyebrows that no longer looked like Mr Groucho (I also bid farewell to the kind of facial hair that reveals my close relation to the ape but I am too vain to mention that in the blog). Course with that fat saving I had to go and splurge on a few of the products. Sucker yes. Or maybe just human. They're all plant based organic goodies, post consumer recycled plastic and all the other check boxes that co-erse you into guilt free spending. Enough already, suffice it to say that the place was quite an experience. I don't think I have ever seen so many hair stations in one room. There were literally thirty or more young women all with Hair Do's shimmy shammying with hairdryers and combs and scissors. The young lady who snipped me was very sweet even if she did cut every hair individually. As did the waxer. When both had finished they called their supervisors to get the A.Ok. My hair inspector opened with "Hi! Oh you're hair looks so cute!". A few minutes earlier I heard her colleague say the same to the girl next to me. With exactly the same tone. That's what I call training. The lady who inspected my face was a little more discerning, so much so that she shoved a flourescent magnifying mirror into my chin and, with the forced calm and slightly hushed tones of a surgeon mid eye surgery, explained to her student that there was a very wirey short white hair still embedded in my skin. She continued the rest of the operation without anasthetic deftly bringing the culprit to a tidy end. Phew. Don't want to be sporting a white wire on the end of my chinny chin chin now do I when we go to the theatre tomorrow?

This is the plan. Sammy and I are going to Anne Frank it in Cory's dressing room, a term coined by colleagues who have smuggled various friends and partners in their rooms after the half hour call. I know Sammy is the mascot and all but we both fear burning of bridges seeing as the gestapo, I mean company management office, is literally next door to Cory. We're taking the chance. Lets hope for the best. The theatre has already been hot with upset this week,wouldn't want to compound it. Roger, who had to fly to L.A for a screen test was replaced by his understudy, this has caused a great deal of commotion. After two nights of understudy 1, understudy number two is going on tonight. The undercurrent to this is the ominous air hovering over the crew with growing unease rooted in various issues. Our flyman Squatch jumped ship some time ago for a better deal elsewhere and for a few weeks there has been a palpable malaise about the merry band over and above the tiredness that a month of one weekers brings even the most energetic soul!

Tonight I plan on finding out about what Detroit can offer a 3 and 33 year old of a (snowy) saturday afternoon. We won't be going ice skating that's for sure, mum made the very wrong choice of hiring hockey skates this morning because the figure skates were gauging a hole into her ankles. I couldn't even stand up on the ice. What happened to my best olympian impression I had down pat last week in Kansas City?!!!! I am looking forward to our city jaunt. It is only 16 miles away, but the little snowy Michigonian bubble we have been floating in makes it seem so very far away to me. Perhaps I have connected to 3 year old sense of time and space. Not a bad place to be I spose.

We're living the suburban dream people! Yihaaaa!...I mean, cookies are up boyssssss!

.........If I start to mention frilly aprons you can call in the heavies

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