11 November 2012

More About Me

Thank you for all your questions last month

To be honest, I wasn't sure anyone
would have any 'wonders' about me

Over time I will answer more questions...

What do you miss most from the US?
What have you enjoyed the most in England?

The people: I miss the important people in our lives in the US
and miss being there for them in their time of need and celebration
I miss being a part of my friends' daily lives

On the flip side, I adore my new friendships here
that I will treasure for a lifetime;
I am savoring our time together,
knowing we will not be here forever

But I know you were asking for more :) So,
I miss owning a home - someplace we can truly make our own,
paint the walls, choose our own curtains, feel really rooted
Yeah, I also miss my American washer & dryer

I miss affordable, stylish, one-stop-shopping Target,
everyday conveniences (drive thrus)
and great customer service

Sometimes I miss biscuits & gravy like mad
(like, yesterday - big time)

I don't miss all the bossy billboards in the US
telling me who to call, what to buy, etc

This is my drive to school, billboard free
It's a nice way to start the day :)

As a visual person, I LOVE ENGLAND
It is just so beautiful at every turn
- the gardens, the villages, the architecture -

I love the accents (I'm shallow like that)
and I love that I'm surrounded by history

Of course I love the accessibility to so many other interesting places

It is fascinating to live under
a government with different ideology
as well as be a part of the European Union and all that that means

But on a deeper level,
England has provided a place for me to step out of the known
and reinvent myself

I walked away from my old routines and sought out new ones

With blogging, I'm exploring the writer and photographer in me

While my days were just as full as in the US,
they look different

With excellent brain food,
my mind is always whirling
witnessed just the other day as I turned on my empty dryer

- all photos by me -


Robyn said...

lovely to find out more about you, laura. things we love and miss and that constant feeling of guilt whereever we are...that is the life of an expat. but-what a gorgeous school run you have!

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Your posts always make me glad I live in this beautiful country, so I for one am very glad for your perspective! I too would find it very hard to be separated from family and friends! :)

greenthumb said...

So lovely to find out more, I stay and worked in England for 3 months and had the best time.

YONKS said...

Lovely insight Laura. Reminds me of that old saying " you don't know what you have until its gone" but I don't think that is true of you. You seem to really appreciate your time here, but I bet you will really miss it when you go back to the USA. How much longer do you have here?

Happy Homemaker UK said...

We aren't sure how much longer... so savoring it all :)

Naturally Carol said...

The English and Australians are probably wondering why you are missing 'biscuits and gravy'. I have learned from my American daughter in law that biscuits are what we call scones and you often eat them as a savoury snack or meal rather than mostly sweet with jam and cream as we would. Biscuits here are like your 'cookies'..sweet and buttery. What a difference a name makes in another part of the world!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I was wondering if anyone would catch the double meaning of biscuit :) Yes, in southern US it is scone-like, but not sweet at all. We put a flour based gravy with pepper and sausage all over our biscuits. Delish!

ann said...

But you have bangers and mash, kidney pie, fish n chips. My friend, a vegetarian, was always trying to get me to eat the local foods as we traveled England and Scotland, where she had lived as a child. Blood pudding. ugh. I would miss Target, but England has not killed off the little shops as so many have died here. And I love your drive to school. Best, your children will be exposed to a great history and literary tradition. I hope you visit the places where the great literature was created: Grassmere for William Wordsworth and Beatrice Potter where you can walk the Roman wall or Haworth home of the Brontes and Chawton, home of Jane Austin. Given you literary background, you'd love it too. And I wish I could join you. BTW you can youtube the Emily Dickinson video I showed in class. Voices and Vision Emily Dickinson. You will enjoy it.

Linda Metcalf said...

I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to the UK a few times for vacation. My thoughts are that in the US we seem much more materialistic than those in the UK...I mean nothing bad in this perception but the deep history of the UK seems to be more important...the walking and trecking to see all the historical monuments and sites....I felt very much more peaceful and relaxed while there....I love my biscuts and gravy also but adore the foods in the UK and Ireland ...I am ever so grateful for the experience....I have always said that if I am ever alone and on my own I would very much like to retire to the UK or Ireland...the only drawback is that my retirement income would not go as far....:)

Rosemary said...

This is so interesting Laura - and I applaud you for really making the most of your time here.
My son and family have lived in Paris and now Norway, and each time they move they then miss certain things in the country that they have left behind.

Gillian said...

You have such a unique perspective on British life, that's partly why I love your blog. My husband and I have always day dreamed about living in the US for a few years, we both love that country a lot, but I don't know how it will ever happen. (biscuits and gravy - I need to make this!) x

Sandra said...

It's amazing how we all miss things from our home countries when we live abroad. It's only natural. There are other compensations and things that we would never have experienced had we not travelled and lived in another country for a while. There are still things that I miss from England: the green rolling fields separated by hedges, the friendliness of the British people. I have learnt to love lots of aspects of my country of adoption and when I return to my birth country there are aspects that I no longer appreciate too! One of them is the plumbing!!

It's nice to see that you are making the most of your time over there and doing lots of things to get to know the culture and history. Think how enriched your children are becoming too! Maybe they are getting British accents at school?!!!

Down by the sea said...

Hi Laura, It's nice to find out more about you and I find it so interesting to read about your experiences of living in our country. I spent most of my childhood in Germany and those experiences are part of me and I will always regard it my second home.
Sarah x

Wendy said...

Oh I could do without the Billboards when going to town, sheesh!! Now on another note...American Washer and dryers? I think this calls for a blog posts on the differences of washers and dryers in American and England, lol...

A little bit Country said...

It is always great to be able to experience life in another country. I think it always makes you appreciate what you have left behind that little bit more. Elaina xo

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Thanks to you, Ann, I have been inspired to visit all those literary locations. I'm working my way through them - there's so many!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I think Europeans have less stuff than Americans for lots of reasons - their houses are smaller with no storage space (to hold all that seasonal decor Americans have) and everything is really expensive although the quality may be the same. My American family is always surprised to open our kitchen cupboards and find some empty - we have learned to do without some of the contraptions we had in the US :) Sales tax is a whopping 20% here!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Size matters :)

Gesci said...

I was having a rather pity-party of a day last week and, as we were driving down the NC state highway, I whined "It's just so UGLY here!"
Really, I know it's not. I know NC is a very pleasant state with pretty scenery... but this whole dead trees, dead grass, brown and dull orange color that's all over is just horrid after the green hills of Yorkshire! One of my favorite things there is that the grass is ALWAYS green; year-round. That was a definite 'win' for GB over America-land.
Love this post!

Karen said...

I envy your views on your drive to school! And I came to understand what you miss from living in the states. Maybe those are the things we take for granted....even Target! :)

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Great post! Nice to learn more about you! Having lived in the UK myself, I totally understand and agree with everything you said. I think one of the reasons I fell in love with New England is because it reminded me so much of England. Much greener than most of the US, moss over stones and tons of trees. Also, in New England, we don't have all the garish, ugly massive housing developments like most of the US. Much more of a UK feel, but with Target! :)

Emm in London said...

How lovely to learn a little bit more about you and your expat life. I miss so much but try not to dwell on it as we don't intend to move back, but rather intend to move on or stay here. Anyway, a lot of what we miss doesn't exist anymore. Things have changed so much.

Tammy Chrzan said...

Laura, that was lovely. I'm glad you shared... when you do return to the States, I warn you now... you will pine for England, truly pine for it! You are so blessed to be where you are in life right now. I'm off to London this afternoon... Much love, Tammy xx

PURA VIDA said...

You have done such a fantastic job letting us live in your world!

A Tale of Two Cities said...

I'm identifying with everything you said--so much to be missed, but so much to be gained by living here in this beautiful country of England. Enjoy it while you (we) can!