Wednesday, January 14, 2015
One month ago today we arrived in the UK...wide eyed, cold and excited. And...four weeks later, we remain, wide eyed, cold and excited. It's a strange thing moving to a new country. Things you find so endearing at first become annoying later; I suppose not unlike a marriage really. When Joseph and I were dating he used to gaze deeply at me, almost hanging on my every word. It was so romantic. Now years later I see that he uses my face as a sort of mental canvas for him to calculate his to do list. After holding my glance he now says, "did you find the dry cleaner?". I'm pleased to be the place with which my husband launches into the world and well, England is kind of the same way. I love the people, mostly. I find them refreshingly honest and ridiculously polite but then at the end of a long day at the grocery check out, I don't care what the weather is outside and I am too tired to hear how your son's wedding went. How endearing that so few people use their cell phones because the wifi and mobile signals are slow and yet, when I need to call the doctor from the parking lot, I would have better luck with two cans and a ball of string. How lovely that everything is closed on Sunday so families can spend them together yet I needed coffee and I was a miserable bitch on Monday morning. I have to pay a pound to park at the market and pay another pound to rent a cart - all money goes toward the keeping up of the uber sparkly clean community streets and parks - collective "awwwwwwww" and yet I didn't HAVE a @#%@ pound so I carried all my groceries in my arms like a pack mule and endured the stares of British patrons thinking I was either too poor for a cart or too cheap to contribute. The good news is I now keep a box of pound sterling on me at all times in case I need to park or use the bathroom, blink or walk upright...it all costs money. And yes, the streets are clean and lovely and the plants along the freeway, nice, blah, blah, blah. There, ya happy? The good news is we found a fabulous house - a Victorian period home that has all the lovely British accouterments that we love with new appliances that we need. As much as I appreciate the percolator in the "parlor", that ain't stayin'. And yes, we have a parlor. A parlor. Where young men can be received for my two teenage daughters whilst I needlepoint over the oil lamps. See how sweet this all sounds? That's the best part of England! I love the ceremony and tradition and slower pace and beauty but dammit, with slow wifi, no drive thrus (as in anywhere), I need to be better prepared to take my coffee with me, make all the calls and emails I can during a "hot spot" and always keep an emergency Starbucks bag on stand by. See? This is really just about preparation. And driving...I am doing well but with the lack of shoulders on the road, I publicly apologize for saturating an older gentleman with rain water who was walking alongside the road. I hit a puddle, at 50 mph. I can still see the back of his wet head. I stayed sorry...all. damn. day. We have managed to have a lot of fun from touring Warwick Castle to cathedrals to parks to monuments...London, Cambridge, Elly, Peterboro and next weekend, Scotland. We move into our new house on Feb 12 - yes, a month from today and our temporary two bedroom has been reduced to a one bedroom for the next two weeks. Don't ask, just pray we don't kill each other as we head back to the Big Gulp cup to live. By the time we hit our new house, we will be like felons on a stay of execution...mania, everywhere. The food, for the most part, sucks unless you have a few of the token dishes like bangers and mash, meat pie or fish and chips...it's a vegetarian paradise. The tea is amazing, no wonder they love it and I have had enough clotted cream to harden my AND your arteries. I still ask for the restroom even if they call it a "toilet", I still say "thank you" even if they say "cheers" and I still drive and honk, even if they politely and fanatically blink their headlights, which incidentally in the dark looks like the mother ship is landing behind you. It's only been a month, I'll get there. Looking forward to more family fun, coming to you live from the new hotel room as we venture into the next chapter...Cheers!
Posted by Dawn Smith