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[NaBloPoMo] It’s the Little Things That Brought Me Here

This post is inspired by It All Comes Together in the End AKA How I Met Your Father. The post was a list of the series of events that happened in her life that led towards her meeting her husband. Her events started when she was in college, but looking back, I think the events that led me to meeting Tim actually started all the way back in high school…..

When I was 14, I had a crush on a boy named Harlan. Yes, I can admit it now, and let’s be honest – who didn’t know I had a crush on him back then? He probably knew, too (or at least now he does. Hi Harlan! LOL) The internet was slowly becoming popular, but before there was the internet, there were BBSes. And Harlan just happened to run one. I managed to convince my mom that we needed a modem and somehow roped Harlan into coming over one day to install it and show me how to use it. So, thanks Harlan, for installing my modem!

Through BBSing I met a lot of people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. A lot of these people are some of my closest friends, but that’s a story for another time. The important thing to remember is that I met people and started talking with a kid I used to know when I was younger, named Dave. Years later, Dave decided to go by his first name, Malcolm, and he and I dated for about a year. Through Malcolm, I reconnected with some of the old BBSing crowd I hadn’t seen in ages. Thanks, Malcolm.

Flash forward another few years. I was hanging out with one of my old BBSing friends, Mike, when he started to tell me about a new IRC network he and some friends had started. He asked me if I would be interested in checking it out, and suggested I join #schlock_mercenary, a channel for fans of the web comic of the same name. Through this channel, I made friends with even more people. Thanks, Mike.

One of the people I met was a guy named Brent. Brent and I would privately chat about everything and anything and one day he suggested I check out this other channel, #crfh, because he thought I would fit in with the crowd of people there. #crfh was a channel for fans of the webcomic, College Roommies From Hell!!!. As it turned out, he was right. I fit in quite well there. Thanks, Wulfy.

If you’re a girl in a male-dominated geeky world, you tend to wind up dating quite a few of the guys you’ve met. I’ll be honest. I probably “dated” about a half a dozen boys I met through #crfh. Some of them I actually met in person, some of them were online relationships only as they never reached the meeting each other point. At one point, I wound up talking to a kid named Charlie who happened to live not-so-far away from me and he asked me out. We started dating, and at the same time the channel was planning a big meet (BoardieCon) in Seattle. Because I was dating Charlie and wanted to meet some of the people I knew through these channels, I decided to go. While there, I met one of the men I had been talking to for around a year. His name was Tim, and he was British. We hit it off immediately when we chatted online because of my love for the UK and my hope to someday live there. We spent a little bit of time together at BoardieCon, but I was also there with my boyfriend (the above mentioned Charlie), so it’s not like we could have gone off together if we wanted. I do remember getting mad at him and another man from our group for ditching us all to go ride trains for a day while I was stuck making swords out of foam with my boyfriend, though.

Charlie and I broke up, and through a series of miscommunications (to put it nicely), a lot of the people from the chat channel started disliking me and saying nasty things about me. But not Tim. He remained a steadfast friend. I started seeing another guy from the channel, Alex. Alex lived in Michigan, so it was a long drive to see him, but we got along well and for around two years, Alex and I had some sort of pseudo-relationship. When Alex moved out to Seattle for a job, we “broke up” for lack of a better way to describe it. The break up happened right before I was going down to Florida to visit my cousin, Missy, and to go on Ships and Dip III. This Tim fellow told me that he would be there for me and anytime I needed to talk I only had to call (long distance across an ocean, but still!). My cousin told me she thought he was sweet for offering. Thanks Alex.

After I got back from the cruise, Tim and I got closer and closer. His village finally had high speed internet and we started talking more and more over Skype…having real conversations not just typing to one another. Over the course of six months or so, I fell in love.

To be honest, everything that happened after that moment seems to have passed in a blur. I came out to visit for 6 months, thanks to my friend Linz for being able to organize my flight after my first flight got cancelled. I went home. Tim visited me. My mom and I visited him. We got engaged and got married on Bonfire Night. We filled out visa paperwork and I moved to the UK 10 weeks after we got married. Today we celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary, but we constantly say that it feels like we’ve been together longer than that because we just fit.

So looking back, I have to thank a little girl (me) for having a crush on a boy she met through drama club. Isn’t it funny when you look back on things?

(There are also probably several other previous relationships to thank for where I am now, but if I start listing everyone we could be here for a while…..Greg, Dave H, Dave S, Dave G, Dave McN, Dave who’s last name I forgot, Tom, He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named, That kid who was in jail, That one I don’t want to admit to having been with, that other one who’s name I’ve actually forgotten, the first boy I dated when I was 14…was that Stephen?….John, Jason, James, at least one guy named Mike…Uhm, did I mention this would get to be a long list?)

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

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Traditional English Trifle Recipe

For the BBQ on Friday at N and P’s (that we wound up having inside due to rain!), I wanted to bring along something for pudding (US: dessert), since we were told we didn’t need to bring any food for grilling. Tim suggested a trifle and I immediately started giggling. All I could think about was that episode of Friends where Rachel made a trifle and it had “a layer of lady fingers, then beef sautéed with peas and onions” because two pages of her cookbook stuck together. Here’s a link on YouTube to watch the clip. Unfortunately, the uploader didn’t have an option to embed it and this was the only full clip I could find, short of splicing it together myself: http://youtu.be/Mx5Wpqf4-OM.

The last time I tried to make one was in 2008 when I was visiting. We bought a boxed trifle mix Bird’s makes, and it didn’t turn out well. We only had a plastic bowl to make it in, and the jelly never quite set, and then the custard was runny and it was just awful. I never tried making one again….until Friday. And it turned out this time! :D

From what I can figure out through googling, there isn’t really a set way to make a trifle. It basically has four layers – sponge cake, jelly (Jell-o in the US), custard (US: pudding), and whipped cream, but it looks like you can add layers of fruit or jam, and even add multiple layers of the jelly, custard, and whipped cream if you’d like. And of course, if you’re obsessed with Friends, you can add beef and peas, but don’t expect anyone to eat it!

So here’s my version –

You will need:

-Sponge Cake (I used two pieces of leftover sponge from our steam-up)
-Jelly (US: Jell-o, in fact, I used box of jell-o my aunt sent me)
-Custard (US: pudding) (I used instant just-add-boiling-water custard)
-Whipped Cream
-Bananas
-Strawberries
-Chocolate for garnish (I used Buttons)

1. Break up the sponge cake and put it in the bottom of your glass bowl.
2. Cover the cake with your jelly (Jell-o) and set in the refrigerator to set (about 3 hours)
3. Meanwhile, make the custard and cool it off (or it will melt the jelly!) in the fridge.
4. After the jelly is set, spoon custard over jelly. At this point, I decided to add a layer of cut bananas to the trifle to give it more flavour.
5. Whip the cream or make your dream topping and spoon it over the custard
6. Top with strawberries and chocolate

The verdict? Yum.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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Ships and Dippers Invade Liverpool

Yesterday, Tim and I drove across the country to meet up with some of my fellow Ships and Dippers in Liverpool. Our plans were to meet at 3 at one of the pubs, do some sightseeing, go to more pubs, then go out to dinner. Of course, plans never quite go as they should.

Tim and I managed to get slightly turned around on our way into Liverpool thanks to an ambulance Tim got out of the way for, so we wound up taking the long way into town instead of the partial bypass, so we were about an hour behind schedule before we finally made it to the pub. Drink #1 was a lovely IPA. My friends decided they had to take me to a store called Quiggins, which is basically Hot Topic’s older and cooler sister. We had so much fun looking around. I wanted to buy a T-shirt, but sadly it wasn’t in my size. We decided to move onward to an Irish pub, where I had real Guinness. The next few stops became a little blurred. I remember an Irish-American pub, an American pub that had a statue of liberty outside of it, and we tried squeezing into the pub The Beatles used to play at before heading over to our dinner reservations at the Liner – a themed hotel made to look like a cruise ship.

Dinner was fantastic, though I think we might have really driven them a bit crazy with the different dietary restrictions in our group, but we managed. The picture on the wall behind us was a beach scene/water scene with a cruise ship and a naked person (behind shot). We decided that since we were the Ships and Dippers, we had to get our photo taken with the naked person before we left. Out group was actually the last group to leave the restaurant, but the staff was nice and didn’t really try to kick us out. Instead of trying to figure out what everyone ordered, we just decided to split the bill evenly, and then we asked to get our photo taken. We offered to explain why we wanted the naked person in the photo with us, but the Maitre D’ didn’t seem interested. Instead, he told us we could also find an exposed breast in the bar next door, so of course we had to go get our photo there, too.

We hung around for several hours chatting and having a good time before we had to break things up. Tim and I headed back to his car, and our plan was to just grab a hotel room at one of the hotels nearby. Unfortunately, there was a football (Soccer for you Americans) game the same day and all the hotels were booked solid. So, we headed back to the car and decided we would just start heading home and stop to nap along the way.

We broke down and stopped at a McDonald’s around 6AM for some coffee, as it was the only place around that was open and had public toilets that early in the morning. We rolled back into Lincoln around 8AM and promptly went to bed for a few hours.

The rest of today has been pretty relaxed. We wound up finally going to Tesco to get stuff to make dinner with, and then we’re going to plan out the rest of our week.



rainbow along the way


Our group


sunrise on the way home

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Attn: UK Friends!

As most of you know, I leave in TWO WEEKS for two lovely months in the UK (17 Oct – 22 Dec) . I will be spending my time in Lincolnshire with Tim, but I also would love to get to see some of you!

The first two weeks I’m there (17 Oct – 31 Oct), Tim has taken off work to take me around to various places. I’m not entirely sure of our schedule, but if you live near where we’ll be I’ll do my best to contact you so we can work something out.

Otherwise, please leave me a comment on this and let me know where you live and I’ll see what we can work out. Tim returns to work on November 1, so I will be in need of entertaining myself during the day. If you live near Lincoln, perhaps we can spend a day together!

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Say Goodbye

Tonight was my “going away” of sorts. C invited me over for dinner with her, J, and baby C and also invited over B, L, and their kids. After dinner we had a cake because B & L’s oldest son turns 10 on Tuesday. Imagine how touched I was when L told him he was sharing his cake with two other people – J, who has a birthday this week also, and *me* as a going away cake. It really made me feel fuzzy to know that I was being included. After cake, we played a rousing game of 3 on 3 (girls vs. boys with L and B’s oldest as the extra boy) Canasta. and played, and played. It’s 2AM, and I stumbled into the house about 10-15 minutes ago. But it was loads of fun, and even if I have a lot I still need to do…I’m so glad that I went over and had the chance to see everyone I’ve met here.

I gave L my contact card. They don’t have internet (I know, I was shocked too), but the boys might send me letters :). I’ve been told when I come back they all look forward to seeing me, too.

So it was a really nice send off. I do sort of hope I get to come back someday.

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*Whew* Good News!

(X-posted)

I seriously have an awesome friend.

My friend’s mom works for an airline and gets “buddy passes” that can be used on any flight. She talked to her mom, and her mom offered me buddy passes to go to the UK, and for less then what AirIndia was charging me…..AND she’s letting me pay her back after I get my refund from AirIndia.

The caveat is that I have to fly out of Dulles, which is farther from the house than PHL or BWI, but…I already talked to my mom and she’s willing to do it, so I also don’t need to use trains and shuttles anymore to get to the airport (As far as I know, there isn’t a train to Dulles, other than going through DC anyway), which will save us money, because Train+shuttle was going to probably run $100 extra anyway!

God, I love them both so much right now.

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City Girl* on the Prairie

I spent this evening outside with the killer mosquitoes, assisting my new friend C with her vegetable garden. I braved the prickly raspberry bushes and picked a pretty decent bowlful of raspberries while she picked carrots, pea pods, and purple string beans. Then, I helped to shell peas. I really don’t think I’ve ever done something like that before, unless it was when I was really small. I had a good time, and I told C i’d help her out more if she wanted. She said she had weeding that needed to be done, and I told her that probably wouldn’t be a good idea, as I might not know what was plant and what was weed!

I came away with some fresh raspberries, cucumbers, apples, and carrots. And I really think the raspberries taste better than even the raspberries I bought at the farmer’s stand…..of course, this may have more to do with the fact that I picked them over anything else.

Oh, and purple string beans? Taste just like green ones. C told me they turn green when you cook them, and I was a little disappointed to find that out. I mean, how cool would it be to serve up a dish of purple beans at your next dinner party?

*I’m not really a city girl. But where I grew up, there wasn’t really room to have a garden. I think my mom had a rose bush for a while, but that’s about it. Oh, and my dad and I planted wildflowers when I was 8 or so. Now that mom and I live in a place where we have our own yard to grow stuff in, neither one of us really knows what to do to start a garden.

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