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It might get a bit windy

HurrianceMention the word ‘Hurricane’ to any southern Englishman over a certain age, and they’ll probably tell you where they were that night in October 1987 when Michael Fish’s famous forecast failed to predict the Hurricane-like conditions that battered the UK almost twenty years ago. (Somebody really should capture it and put it up on YouTube).

Mention it here, and it’s like “Oh yeah, hurricane season is now here” – for the next five months. Oh yay! So that’s something to remember back home folks next time you complain that it’s still a little bit windy and rainy in June.

So on one hand – it’s great that it’s so hot that I just walked out in my bare feet onto the sidewalk pavement outside, and had to come running back inside pronto yelling “Ow! Ow! Ow!” as my delicate pink english feet start to burn up as the surface had heated up to an unbearable temperature – and on the other, I have for the first time in my life now have to live through a period of wondering if the town when I live is going to get ripped apart by severe weather.

A possible seventeen hurriances major hurricanes may blow our way this year. That’s how many ‘major’ named storms the forecasters are predicting will hit the south/east and do some sort of damage somewhere – but on what scale?

The last time a major hurriance came through Charleston was in in 1989, when Hugo wreaked havoc killing 82 people in the process.

HurrianceLast night, the local TV channel were predicting on what date the first pukka named hurricane would be identified. The earliest it’s ever been is June 4th, the latest it’s ever been is August 12th – but it’ll happen at sometime – so all eyes glued to the weather channel then and their new Hurricane Central webpage.

I can’t help but now know what Tami felt like when she was over in the UK last year visiting from New Orleans.

And check out the excellent BBC page, an animated guide to Hurriances – why they occur and when.

On a non-windy note, I have some more food shopping anomalies to throw up. Thanks firstly to iPod contributor Annette, who called me up from Boston last night saying “I’ve found Yorkshire tea bags, Ribena AND Jaffa Cakes in a shop here! Would you like some?” and is now posting me the tea and the jaffa cakes. It seems that Ribena is just to bulky to post.

But I’d like to know what the US equivalent of two things are. 1) OXO cubes, and 2) Bisto Gravy Granules. Both were sorely missed the other day when down my local Piggy Wiggly (note to UK’ers: Yes, there really is a chain of grocery stores here called ‘Piggly Wiggly‘ – I kid you not!) – I didn’t know what the equivalent was, or where to look, or whether similar products to them exisited here at all! Anyone?

22 responses to “It might get a bit windy”

  1. scottb says:

    I think that Bovril is very much the same thing as OXO, although I can’t tell you for sure that it is available in cube form. Knorr also makes a range of gravy-making products, but I find the taste to be very artifical.

    I’ve never seen/heard of/tasted Bisto Gravy Granules, so I don’t know if the are equivalent — that name is a serious laugh though.

    I wonder, do you miss the ubiquitous curry places from home? I would gladly trade in some of our garden variety Chinese food restraunts for good, cheap East Indian ones.

    BTW, you were right about the time zones now favoring me for getting into the comments early. I’m 1st!!

  2. geofftech says:

    Scott, i have bovril here already! i wouldn’t say it’s the same as OXO cubes though.

    There used to be an excellent advertising campaign back in the UK featuring the “Bisto Kids”, who’s catchphrase was “Aaah! Bisto!” – that would have made you laugh!

    And yes, i would LOVE a decent Chicken Tikka Masala right now! and can i get one anywhere? Can I fcuk.

    F5 award to you sir, (doffs keyboard in your general direction)

  3. Lisa says:

    I gotta ask – is OXO just bouillon Cubes? If yes, look around the top shelf on the soup isle. If no, then splain, please.

  4. geofftech says:

    Lisa, well i’d have to say .. “what are bouillon cubes?” but I went and googled it (WTF did we do before google, people?) and i would say YES! that looks like exactly what i’m after .. excellent ..

    soup aisle here i come. thx!

  5. Simon says:

    Unlucky Geoff! I bought some oxo cubes yesterday and have just had a currydown birck lane 🙂 Ribena I wont mention…

  6. Windy…? I told you no good would come of Tofu sausages.
    Did you try the curry place I referred you to previously?
    Of course, Chicken Tikka Masala is a British abomination, as opposed to authentic indian, so that might explain why you can’t get it.

  7. Fimb says:

    We are currently investigating ways of posting ribena not-in a bottle. I found what I thought was a solution in Tescos, but I don’t think it would withstand the journey *L*

    For bisto, you’ll need to look for gravy browning I think.. And Oxo are indeed boullion, or stock, cubes.. just, a little different (Friend in US uses a beef boullion cube, and adds a little bovril to make it more Oxo like).

  8. Chz says:

    Knorr does both gravy granules and stock cubes, and I actually find them a bit better than the OXO branded stuff. Should be available at most good supermarkets there.

  9. Ciaran says:

    Why oh why do the yanks build their houses out of wood in areas where they have hurricanes? Have they never heard the story of the three pigs and the wolf? Its a true story actually. Happened in Mile End about four weeks ago.

  10. Lisa says:

    Yanks have hurricanes?

  11. geofftech says:

    Oooh! Ciaran! Mind the north/south divide here… we brits may refer to ALL americans as ‘yanks’, but I believe here that southerners go with the notion that only the north east states/areas (Boston, New York, etc..) are referred to as ‘yanks’. Correct me if I’m wrong – anyone?

  12. Bumble says:

    Piggly Wiggly? Lmao

  13. geofftech says:

    Oh, here we go – Wikipedia to the rescue (as normal)


    To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.
    To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
    To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander.
    To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
    And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.

    But … is the word ‘yank’ or ‘yankee’ offensive to anyone in certain circles? ’cause Brits do use it all the time to describe all Americans in a friendly way.

  14. Ciaran says:

    Ok, if I call them septics that may ease the hurt a little. Should I call the southerners Johnny Rebs? And why did they ban the confederate flag in America? I read somewhere that it is an offence to display it… is this true?
    Bit like the Union Flag over here… 🙁

  15. Lisa says:

    Southerners do call inhabitants of those states who participated in the war of northern agression as Yankees and sometimes as Damn Yankees. The reverse, I believe is not true. I have never heard a Yankee in my lifetime call a Southerner a Johnny Reb. Other derogatory slang, maybe. Backwoods, yes. Slack-Jaw Yokel, perhaps. As for the the confederate flag – SC did take it off her capitol building in 2000 and place a similar one at a memorial on capitol grounds. NAACP is still taking issue with us…… Displaying is can be offensive, but I don’t believe it is an offense.

  16. Hawaii’s hurricane season also started today, June 1 and runs through November 1. In 1992, we logged one of only a hanndful of Cat. 5 storms to ever hit U.S. land (Kauai)… It has been a few years since we had to worry, but it used to be a summer pastime to get a storm tracker map and chart the course of one, two or three headed toward the Hawaiian Islands in any given hurricane season. It’s said that our two large volcano summits, both measuring almost 14,000 feet, create the lee conditions on our West side and protect us from mnost deadly hurricanes.

  17. Paul says:

    Speaking of food have you tried Stove Top Stuffing yet Geoff? Its a taste sensation! I get it via a family member and the stuff tastes divine, compared to the Paxo rubbish you get over here. You can’t buy it in the UK however, cos it has something in it, thats illegal over here! … stove top …

  18. Mikey says:

    ah, trusty old England, not a hurricane in sight, normally…

  19. Lisa says:

    14 – What’s the deal with the Union Flag? The only ban I can find is on civilian boats and issues with hanging it upside down.

  20. geofftech says:

    Have not seen ‘Stove Top…’ Paul, no! A trip to Earthfare is very much on the cards this week though, where I can induldge in everything that has been spoken about over the last week.

    On the way there, we also pass my nearest indian restaurant (thanks Ian), so a curry is very much on the cards too! Yay!

  21. daniel says:

    Unpaid endorsement: The lunch buffet at Nirlep (Savannah Highway) is affordable and so good I blame it for packing at least 10 pounds around my middle in the space of about two months. Runs until 3 p.m.

  22. Heather says:


    There is something better than bouillon cubes. It’s called Better Than Bouillon, it has lower sodium, no MSG, and an overall better flavour.

    It will be next to the stocks and bouillon cubes, but you might have to venture to Publix or Harris Teeter. My Bi-Lo carries some but not all and I’ve never looked at the Pig.

    Good luck, as far as the gravy, I’ll second that Knorr makes fairly decent instant gravy. I use it when I’m too pressed to make homemade.

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