You've changed my life forever.
A place where blue damaske wallpaper is perfectly acceptable.
A place where the roses grow wildly, everywhere...
A place where I learned to quilt.
A place where sealing letters with wax seals is still happening.
A place where I learned to make homemade chocolate truffles, among other things.
A place where I learned to make my own clothing, and people weren't bothered if I matched my olive drab sateen dress with a faux fur red shrug.
Where friendships were made.
Where there was enough time to slow down and experiment with projects and recipes, like these marshmallow pops.
A place where a cuppa tea cures all.....
It's been grand.
It's been wonderful.
It's been such a lesson to me, on life in general.
People say they understand the "world view"--but let me just say this:
I "thought" I understood how life was different outside my bubble in America....
I didn't even come close.
To be truly aware of the differences another country or culture lives by I think it's paramount to actually live there. We (the US & the UK) speak the same language, and yet the culture is so completely different. After six years here, this is what I notice most:
1. European clothing. Cut closer to the body, slimming, more attractive shape. Even thought bodies are not super skinny, even if the person is plus size-they wear clothing made for their body size. The dreaded baggy look is not done here, daaaaarlings.
2. People work to live, not live to work. They live for their holidays, period. Everyone I've known goes on Holiday somewhere, be it Cornwall or Rhodes. They make it happen.
3. In general, I see people are much more frugal and wise with money and "stuff" like furniture and clothing. It's not as throw-away as it is in America. That being said, it's expensive as sh*t here! Usually double the price of whatever it would be in the USA.
4. In the UK, people are super super polite. "Please" and "Thank you" are a must, no matter what or who you're dealing with.
5. Please, no awkward body contact if you're British. LOL The number of times I would go to hug and get a stiff board as a response--I didn't realize it until much later, they don't. want. to . be. touched. hahahhhhaha Much different than San Antonio, TX. ;)
6. One drink at a meal. That's all you get sucker. If you would like more, then pay for it. **I was such a guzzler of fizzy drinks before coming here-loads and loads of Diet Coke at meals. That stopped in a hurry!!! I don't think I've had a Diet Coke in ages and ages.
My six year old just reminded me an "age" is approx 2150 years.
I Googled it, and she's right.
7. Quizes are social events. For real. Held in the local pub usually, they are quite the event. ;)
8. Dress up. Even if it's your neighbor's Xmas party, dress your arse up. I made the mistake of going in my gillet (puffy vest by Northface) with skinny jeans, I thought I was fab,.....boy did I get an earful! Lesson learned.
9. I learned Americans in general are happy smilers, and if you walk around smiling in London it will get you the ugly eye. People might wonder if you're slow. Just my experience, could be nothing...could be me.
10. The UK can take you through four weather seasons in ONE single day. No kidding. Pack that puffy coat, a furry hat, a rain coat (Mac), wellies, a tank top (vest here), jeans, possibly a skirt or shorts if your legs are shaved, and maybe even a swimming "costume". No kidding. And if it's sunny and hot when you wake up, it's sure to be cold as hell by afternoon.
Just my experience, again--it could be just me.
I hope you can travel or live somewhere other than where you were brought up. It is eye opening and wonderful if you let it be. Thank you to all my friends who have helped me, supported me, dealt with my craziness, and everything else in between. Every single person was right on time. ;)
Thank you readers for following me through this journey as well. I'm signing off for a while.
See you next year.