Some of April and most of May 2015!
First time in the United Kingdom and I’m stoked! Believe it or not (and I wouldn’t), there was even a sign at the airport that read: “Welcome to England: Land of the tyre (tire), pound (£), stone (14 lbs), queen (Liz the II), and many more, init.” I know, I know, I thought so, too! It was all rather informal.
Well, Lizzie and I have temporarily moved (for the next two to three months, that is) to Ickleton, United Kingdom. It is a tiny wee village of 709 inhabitants in the heart of the English countryside. Actually, Ickleton is where Lizzie grew up (ha! Get it?) before moving to Austria. So, until July or so, we will reside in the annexe of her old home, which still belongs to her grandparents who live in Australia. It’s cool, though, because the annexe connects to her old home, which is being rented out by a wickedly fun family! They have had us over a handful of times for drinks, snacks, and a picnic just last weekend!
Since April 26th (happy birthday, Britta!!), we have been busy in both the garden and the annexe; garden work, carpet removing, carpet replacing, and hardcore relaxing will be taking up our time betwixt the all-important spring cleaning. Originally, the plan was for me to take an English as a foreign language course, extract a certificate, and voila, have an overseas career option for temporary purposes. As fate had it, I was not accepted to the hoped-for course starting on the 27th of April. Clearly, I was not expecting this denial, as we bought last minute airfare a mere three days before leaving! The day after booking our flights, they told me my English grammar ain’t good and stuff. Man, it’s still raw.
But, it has been a fantastic ride since then! The English countryside full of lush greens, bright yellows, rabbits, pheasants, and songbirds is absolutely astounding.
The weather has been nothing short of English with a few delightfully sunny days. I guess it’s really no surprise that thatched roofs still dot the village-scapes here!
The spring cleaning has been going well. The first night was a shocker, though! Because the annexe has been largely unoccupied for a few years, Mother Nature has moved in. A thousand moths inundated our faces when we first entered. Lot of evidence of mouse exploration was also found. In fact, when we folded back the covers of our bed that first night, trying to convince ourselves the moths hadn’t… we were delighted to find that nope! The moths hadn’t ventured so far. Oh wait but a mouse had:
We still think he’s in the house, though. At least I’m convinced. (Turns out I was right. Look what we later found:)
Also, most terrifically Lizzie and I have the use of her grandparents’ car. It’s wonderful and a real life saver! Except that… They. Drive. On. The. Left. Side. Of. The. Road. No matter how many times I tell myself this, it doesn’t make it any easier. I have only made one mistake so far – and a pretty scary one – but that’s it! Still though, it is beyond strange. Oh oh, and the roundabouts go clockwise!! Horrifying. Additionally, we have bought two new used bikes for when I’m too scared to drive. They’re real sleek. We often ride into the nearest big town, Saffron Walden, from where many of you may have received a postcard!
Another recent event was a visit from Lizzie’s father, Paul, at the first of May. We had a great time with him here, though he was primarily busy with his Catalina flying boat! In fact, Paul graciously invited me along for a quick ride one day. That was really quite phenomenal.
I will close this post by quickly mentioning my two new favorite hobbies: gardening and bird watching.
I will write again very soon. For now, I wish you great health and happiness!