Posted on | July 15, 2012 | 2 Comments
* that’s vacation to you Yanks
1. Restored my faith in print journalism. Inhaled The Guardian - the real one, that is, not digital version - a newspaper that proves good writing and research is not dead. Yes, it’s thin, but it’s there. That is good.
2. Discussed the weather, like a true Brit. In Tucson, let’s face it, it’s kinda boring. In Britain, it’s almost exciting. After almost 2 weeks solid of rain (the first week was nice and sunny), with faint glimmers of sun, but mostly bad flooding, outside music festival washouts, and ruined crops, you realize why the weather and discussions about the weather and working the weather into simple human interactions (eg. “Morning! Bit nicer today!”) happen. I mean, gosh, when it’s been a whole century since rain fell so hard in a summer, weather becomes the top news story.
3. Celebrated my genes. Stared into the face of my 92-year-old gran and marvelled at her lack of wrinkles and soft skin. Held her hands in mine and stroked them and remarked on the softness of those too. Then soaked up the similarly line-free face of my 71-year-old mum and praised God and hoped I would look as fab in my old age.
4. Did not celebrate my jeans. Cos they are tight, that’s why. Cos I have eaten some form or British confectionery (there is none better) almost every day for 3 weeks.
5. Therefore, was bad dental health role model to my kiddos. They guzzled too many sweets as well. We have packed a portion of our cases with the stuff. Which leads me to believe that the planned yoga and swimming on our return to Tucson this week may not counteract the confectionery excesses.
6. Discovered Stacey Orr… at a village fete, no less. [Spoiler alert: if W or C are reading, please stop, as these are your prezzies from me.
... screen pause whilst W and/or C scuttle away from their respective screens feeling sweet swells of anticipation...
Gorgeous, eh? Fabric purses (she does wallets, lunchboxes and bags too) with the lovely name Sweet Bag of Mine. And how sweet they are, at only $16 each. Nice to meet you, Stacey!
7. Missed my pals/felt displaced. I cannot survive without my friends in Tucson. Quite literally, they are my lifeline (you know who you are). But when I return to the U.K. I miss my British friends so badly it hurts (you know who you are too). A case in point: hopped a train to Glasgow last Wednesday to see a friend I have known since the age of 8. I was in need of conversation, and went to the right person (G barely stops to draw breath, and I love it). We gabbed for eight hours solid. Brilliant. Same this weekend, catching up with my best pal from Uni. Would it be the same if I lived here again? Wouldn’t we run out of conversation? Happily, I think not. I think good pals just keep on going, and that is what makes it so satisfying, fun, therapeutic. And now back to Tucson to do the very same: catching up. Do you understand now why I feel displaced?
8. Loved British supermarkets. As well as buying too many sweets (see 4. and 5.), made the most of the cheaper-than-cheap prices of British produce (eg. boxes of Scottish strawberries for a pound), due, no doubt, to the fact that there is a rain-soaked glut of berries and suchlike. Oh, and loved this, a way to remind yourself to take your supermarket coupons with you.
It’s not something you buy for that purpose, it was invented by my pals D and D. They took a pretty painted peg, attached it with Blu-tac (or other poster putty) to the exit door of the house, and thus created a storage system for coupons.