Most of June 2015
Our short stint here in England has been unlike any other stint we have yet experienced. I thought that such a profound introductory statement would do this post some good. Really though, our motives for moving to England altered significantly within the first few weeks of our being there. Thankfully, Lizzie’s parents and grandparents charged us with a few tasks to complete while were were squatting on their land! In addition, of course, we have made wonderful memories, shared great moments, and have toured some phenomenal places. England is a terrific country with so many places to explore. I feel as if I have only just scratched the scratches on the surface of this grand land. But don’t let my feeble words cast a prejudiced poor light on our adventure in England. Check it out:
The last two and half months have left us with many tales to tell and memories to remember. This world is full of many wonderful things. For us, England is one of those things. England undeniably carries a certain charm. It’s not something I can yet put my finger on, but it’s unmistakably present. It could be a combination of the accents, lifestyle, humor, and environment, but all of those together still don’t encompass the English charm for me.
Lizzie and I spend quite a bit of time trying not to get on each other’s nerves. So, when we’re not preoccupied with that, we are trying to beautify the gardens, stay fit, and bake brownies. Seriously though, we have acquired a few skills while being in England. Besides the gardening and bird watching which I have already mentioned, I’ve learned to drive on the right side of the road here. Which is the left. That’s right, not right, but left. In fact, I’ve conquered the roads as far as I’m concerned. Except for yesterday, though, when I took a left turn and started on the right side of the road, which, here, is not the right side of the road. Lizzie saved the day.
In my last post, I mentioned our cool neighbors, who immediately live next door (as most neighbor’s do) in Lizzie’s old house. Because of this proximity, we have grown quite familiar with Sam and Hannah and their four kids aged 5, 3, 2 and 0. They’re brilliant! Sam has taught us everything we know about French wines and good port with what cheese and what not. Hannah, we must say, is an expert on Pimm’s and has shared the art of preparation on a few occasions. Also, her middle name must be Rosé. The oldest, Bertie, has taught me everything I know about football in Great Britain. And the other three have trained and toned our arm muscles to an impressive degree. As far as their doubtless clear instruction on the game of cricket… I’m completely batted, bowled, stuck in the wicket, and I don’t know how many runs are in or out! But it’s okay. In the meantime, we share with them the one thing we can: our cakes, brownies, and cookies. 😀 We bake quite often. As I write this, I’m eating a fresh, dark, soft brownie. Go on, be jealous.
Just last weekend, we returned a kind gesture and had them round for a barbeque. It was a fourth of July barbeque! Well, that was what it was in my mind. They were all Brits, so I was significantly and unfairly outnumbered. Not so coincidentally, Lizzie’s parents joined us for the event. It is quite confusing so I won’t bother explaining it to you, but Lizzie’s parents were able to make it up from Austria for the weekend. They stayed in the spare room in the annex. It was all such great fun. We watched a wee bit of Wimbledon, explored through an illegal walk, and on Sunday took Kathy to the airport, which was followed by a delicious brunch in Saffron Walden with Paul, Lizzie, and me. We also explored the Saffron Walden maze. It was very cool, and thanks to Lizzie’s maze secret, we didn’t get lost for a second. Well, not until we couldn’t find the very well hidden exit from the arena, that is!
Another great thing about living in England are the frequent phone calls from Lizzie’s grandmother who now lives in Australia. She’s always sure to point out what to expect next in their beautiful garden full of birds, flowers and surprises. It wasn’t long until we had swallows nesting in the garage, red legged partridges walking about, and a hundred of other birds.
You may remember that I told you about the carpet moths that had moved into the annexe. Well, the carpet was in bad shape, even with us living there. So…
It is of others’ utmost generosity that we are able to stay here essentially for free. And, I feel deeply indebted to those people. While some may feel I’m off in England gallivanting about, well, I am. But it is not without great mental and emotional struggle. Being so far away from family has been really hard. But, I feel very grateful to those who particularly try to understand our situation. Anyhow, I love you all. And, stay tuned to my next post about our rather spontaneous trip to Venice, Italy!
Peace and love