And it’s goodbye from me…..

Watcha folks!

It’s been 11 months since we returned to the UK. You can call me a math/maths genius if you like, but I figure that’s nearly a whole year. And repatriation is complete (apart from calling a ‘take-away’ a ‘take-out’ today, but these things will crop up every now and then….. ūüėČ ).

It’s been a while since my last post, and stuff sure has happened, like British politics went into meltdown, I went back to America-land for a week, Andy Murray won the tennis, I got annoyed¬†about the small UK parking spaces, we encountered half term M5 traffic to Cornwall, the England football team confirmed they were shite, we watched outdoor Shakespeare covered in blankets, and it rained quite a bit.

So, yes, I took a trip back to America-land. I wanted to do it before that looney-toon Trump got his hands on it and I had to give a stool/hair/saliva sample before I entered the country to prove I was not a terrorist or related to one or about to give birth to one or whatever.

Anyway, the whole week was hot, fun and American. That’s how I’ll remember a lot of my experience in the USofA. The travel, the people, the endless cultural experiences, turning right on red, and tipping extortionately ūüėČ . America captured my heart and there is so much of it yet unseen; so many roadtrips and experiences for us still to have in the States – I’m not done with you get, Uncle Sam! Mark my words!

And back in the UK, life moves on with pace and Britishness. I remember thinking when I left America I wouldn’t be able to capture the essence of all that I had done and achieved out there. But, I was wrong. America taught me many things, and one of those was to not be afraid, to chase that dream, to make it happen, to open your eyes and your heart to new experiences, and to bloody well get on with it. Nuff said.

And are there things that still baffle me about being back in England?

Of course. Things like this…..

  • The M5. Why does everyone go on it at the same time? Annoying.
  • Pasties. Cornwall or Devon?
  • Sunday closing for shops. 4pm. Is that still church rules?
  • England football team. Why?
  • British politics. WTF?
  • Trains to London from the West Country take forever. Rubbish.

And there are things I love about the UK like this…..

  • The NHS
  • British schooling
  • Eavesdropping in Waitrose
  • Wimbledon (the only reason I will ever sit inside on a sunny day)
  • British humour
  • Tea. Tea. Tea

And there are things I miss from the USA like this……

  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Thanksgiving dinner/piss up
  • Eating out with your kids in the evening and not being frowned at
  • The pools
  • The big roads
  • Turning right on red
  • The heat
  • People commenting on how much they love my accent
  • My Americana buddies!

But, the repatriation is complete. When there is no more culture shock, no more truly comparing and contrasting the cultural differences, then you know you’re back in it. And really that’s all this UK Desperate Housewife from the USA to the UK has to say about that!

It’s been a joy to share my journey there and back again. Thanks for reading.

Peace out peeps. peace

 

 

British history and a Louisiana letter

Right, there’s some stuff that’s working for me back in England right now…and I feel a right lot smarter for knowing it, so I thought I’d share the knowledge and love…

Shepherds’ Huts

Look at this beauty in Somerset. It’s called the Dimpsey Hut (fyi, ‘dimpsey’ is the¬†the time in the evening just before dusk used by folk in the West Country!)

dimpsey2

The history lesson

In the olden days (like 150 years ago), before the advent of artificial fertilizers, distant pastures on many mixed Farms would be inaccessible the to the large farm manure wagons bringing manure from the Farm yard. These would have had a visit from the Shepherd and his flock of Sheep. The Sheep were not allowed to wander freely but were kept enclosed behind wooden hurdles.

This process was called ‘folding’. Once the forage crop had been grazed, the Sheep, Shepherd, his dog and mobile home; his Shepherds Hut, would move to pastures new. The land would then be ploughed, returning the nutrients in the droppings to the land. The Hut contained a small stove, a straw bed over a cage where lambs could be kept (known as a Lamb rack) and a simple medicine cupboard containing various potions. This regularly included a bottle of Whisky to revive a sickly lamb (or Shepherd).

British history lesson over. You can actually win a break to stay in this abode! Awesomeballs! Go here to enter…..

dimpseywin

I’ve stayed in this Dimpsey Hut and it’s like a small piece of heaven. If you want to get all snuggly and secluded, like I do, then it is perfect. And since the balmy November week we just had has turned to a crazy cold, bitter wind, I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. Now that’s spot on British!

Miss Gloria in Louisiana

I recently got a few emails from a lovely lady in Louisiana and it warmed me cockles, as we say here in England! This is what she wrote to me and I just had to share her words:

Thanks
Hello there Ms. Claire,
(using our southern manner of address and five months ago)
We are¬†going to miss you when you’ve gone.¬† Yes we are.¬† We are going to miss your laughter, your joie de vivre, and your funny (meaning ‘amusing’) writing style.¬† We will feel a hole in our hearts when you’ve gone.
We will miss you showing us the things, we would never have thought problematic for someone until you (or another expat) pointed them out to us who grew up here. РGloria
Hello again (Nov 20, 2015)
Have tried to following you through your repat blog.  Have felt your difficulty in adjustment. Just wanted to say how much you have been missed on Am-soil. Wanted to show my appreciation to your past writings before I forget to let you know or am no longer able to.
About me: (I am old, southern, Louisiana-bilingual-bicultural, former teacher, love to read, used to love to write, but never wrote much.  Certainly never published.  Can appreciate good writers, and thus so attached to your writing.
May never read you much again so took this opportunity to wish you luck.¬†(Probably never got over¬†belief in grading someone’s work and letting them know my opinion.)
Hope all your wishes for your work or/and dreams come true.  I wrote a 2nd note and will send it too.  РGloria
louisiana
Hello there Ms Claire,
Thank you very much for letting me see my country through¬† your eyes.¬† I enjoyed your presence here immensely.¬† I’ve never enjoyed a blog more.¬† I always had much to react to¬†positively when reading you but was always too shy to attach it in responses for all the world to see.¬† And I had once believed I would write.!
Anyhow, just wanted to tell you of my love for what you write, how you write, and how you write it when you write.¬† Perhaps because there’s a sense of humor (or shall I say humour now that you’ve gone home?) reminiscent of mine.¬† It has always been difficult for me to enjoy the British humour in films or television but your expressions¬†were different all together. –¬†Gloria¬†
louisiana12
Wow! Big shout out to Miss Gloria – I love such correspondence and am waving madly and sending British hugs to her from across the pond! I hope that one day we will meet! I hope that it will be in Louisiana, one of my favourite states! And now her lovely words are immortalised in my blog. Awesomeballs.
Stay warm one and all!

 

Bond, pussies and parties. You’re welcome :)

So, this week it’s all about British/ American differences in eating habits¬†and at school.

Eating etiquette

First up, the Guardian published an article about the different ways of eating in the UK and the USA. You can read it here

It basically says ‘Lots of American customs have invaded British culture over the past few decades, but I wouldn‚Äôt have bet on this one: apparently, British people have begun to brandish their forks in the American fashion.’

I was brought up using the method of cutting with my knife and keeping the fork in the left hand (as I’m right handed). I never adopted the ‘cut and switch’ method of many Americans, but I did enjoy certain meals, like salads, where I could just eat with my fork in my right hand not have to cut at all.¬†It’s more relaxed.¬†Prior to my American experience I wouldn’t have dreamed of eating like that (yes, the wrath of my Very British father played heavily upon my table manners!).

In the States I became a bit fascinated by how people cut/ate their food. I would watch to see how they held their knives and forks and sometimes try it their way to see if worked for me. It didn’t. I have a dinner party tonight here in the UK and I bet everyone just eats ‘the British way’. Simples.

fork

But let’s not get to the stage where we judge people on how they hold their cutlery, shall we? Rather, let’s enjoy their company and the conversation and the food. After all, many cultures prefer to eat with their hands. Personally, I think it’s just darn wrong to eat a pizza with a knife and fork – pick up that slice and whop the bugger in yer gob before it all flops off! That’s how to eat pizza!

School’s out

In the States we could take Harry out of school whenever we jolly well pleased for our roadtrips and wotnot. And we did. We probably did it a little too much, but when you ‘visilive’ somewhere it’s going to be that way to make the most of it.

In the UK you can get fined lots of dosh for taking your nippers out of school and have to get sign off for attendance at funerals and the like, and they restrict the number of days they can be off.  That bit annoys me. Close family member dies: have one day off to attend the funeral only, if you please. If you breach this in anyway you get fined and then the Daily Mail runs a story about you heading off to Malaga for a beach holibobs with your kids in school time (bad) or the Guardian runs a story about you taking the kids out for an educational trip to the Galapagos Islands (good).

What do I think? I think a few days out of school for kids, especially for emotional reasons, or highly educational reasons, isn’t going to damage them. To be honest, Harry learned a lot more in historic Savannah, the Cherokee reservations, and watching elephant seals in California than he would have at school for those days. Fact.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Savannah!

We are now constricted to school holidays for our vacations in the UK and that’s been a hard adjustment, but it’s the law innit, and I don’t really want to end up in the Daily Mail just yet. ūüėČ

Happy pussies

Interestingly my cats are infinitely happier here than they were in the USA. It might be the weather was too hot or too cold there; it might be they just love being in the house they grew up in, but it’s defo true to say my cats are totes British!

She might not look happy, but she is actually v v happy!

She might not look happy, but she is actually v v happy!

Gawd love the interweb

When your hilarious drunk American friends phone you via interweb technology at 630am British time on a Saturday you know they’re missing you. And boy do I miss them. Like oodles. Like so much I never realised that it’s possible to miss people this much. So many memories, so many laughs, so much joy. When people ask if I miss the States, of course I do, but really I miss the people the most.

friends

James Bond fever!

Well it’s all about James Bond here in the UK. How proud we are of him! How British we are when we talk about him! How much my dad looks like Roger Moore! How much do I think of Russ Abbot’s take on it and Miss FunnyFanny from the 1980s?!

Anyhow, here are some delightful Bond facts for you so you can be all smart and smug about Bond at your next dinner party.¬†You’re welcome!

Bond Infographic no logo 01 Battle of the Bonds: Kisses, Cocktails, Kills, Cars & Cash
Battle of the Bonds: Kisses, Cocktails, Kills, Cars & Cash ‚Äď An infographic by the team at GB Show Plates

Read more at: http://www.gbshowplates.co.uk/battle-of-the-bonds-infographic/

Size isn’t everything….

My little British house

When I first went into my little British house last week I was shocked by how small it was. Small and narrow. After a few days it just felt totally normal. And actually rather nice. It was the one bit of coming back to the UK that I was not really looking forward to and now it makes me smile.

But, of course, everything is pretty good in our little house. Our small loo, our small sitting room, our small bedrooms. We managed before and we’ll manage again. And it made me realise that, whilst everything is much bigger in the USA, size really isn’t everything (and many previous boyfriends had told me that in the past…).

Typical British house!

Typical British house!

Admittedly we’re on suitcase rations at the moment, since our shipping has yet to arrive, and I’m sure when I encounter frustrating storage issues I’ll be thinking entirely differently, but right now I’m at peace with my little British house.

Our American house was almost too big. We had to yell to each other to communicate in the house, I could never close a door downstairs and have some space to myself, and it was a frigging nightmare to clean (so I basically didn’t – I know, dirty British housewife!!).

With smaller British roads, I’m re-learning driving etiquette and the courtesy of ‘giving way’. How cute –¬†everyone gives that ‘thanks’ wave!

Cheering enthusiastically

That heading should read NOT cheering enthusiastically. It’s become very apparent that the wooping and cheering between Brits and Americans extends to many things. Like Americans do it for everything and Brits do it for bugger all.

Like at Zumba class: ‘How are you all?’ says the British instructor to the British Zumba class. No one replies or they stare at their feet and hands or they just mumble and hope she doesn’t ask them directly. The awkwardness of it all!

However, if this question was asked by an American instructor to an American Zumba group,¬†it would actually be kind of shouted with an expectation of a response, like this: “Woooooooo! How y’all doing’?!? Yeah!’ And then the enthusiastic group of folks would woop and cheer back and perhaps hug or high five one another in a frenzy of anticipation.

Americans love to cheer!

Americans love to cheer!

I like the frenzy. I almost shouted “Good thanks, woohoo!’ at Zumba last night, but I would just have looked like a knob, and even though I really wanted to do it in order to show them it can done, I just couldn’t do it in the end. Shame on me!

Next time, chaps!

Cultural Discombobulation Innit!

DISCOMBOBULATION
verb (used with object), discombobulated, discombobulating.

1. to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate:

As in ‘The¬†British expat¬†was completely discombobulated by the return to her own country.’
Yep, that is me right now. It’s been a crazy return already, and I haven’t stopped because tomorrow I start work and there is sooooo much to do!
So, this is what’s occurring, in no particular order:
1. My cats are well happy to be back. They’re looking at me with big yellow ‘thank you’ eyes.
Happy cat!

Happy cat!

2. Harry is super happy to be back too. He loves our little house and our little cabin in our garden and he doesn’t care how small they are because they are his. He also has no idea what a radiator is. So much to learn.
3. I did not know how to fill up with gas (ugh, I mean petrol!) at a British petrol station and had to phone my mum to ask her. Britain, let’s do the pay at pump machines more – it’s so much quicker and prevents me from having to go into the garage shop and buying Cadbury’s Buttons as well. Yes, folks, REAL chocolate!
4. Fish and chips taste like they should do, but they don’t come in paper. Sad news.
No paper, folks

No paper, folks

5. I feel like Gulliver in Lilliput. At first I thought someone had shrunk my house, after all that big American stuff I was used to. Forty eight hours later it just feels normal.
6. People in England are much friendlier than I remembered! Everyone’s so helpful and smiley. Who’d have thunk it? ūüôā
7. Some people appear to be disappointed that I haven’t picked up an American accent. I am not Joss Stone FFS!
8. The Gloucestershire accent is making me smile. It’s so bloody West Country – oohaarr!
9. I have only got into the wrong side of the car once. I have yet to drive on the wrong side!
10. Traffic lights. There are lots of them and it sucks that you can’t turn left on red. This needs to happen, Britain!
11. My parents are amazing. They’ve totally helped me out massively!
12. I can’t find any of my Boots or Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s rewards cards and it’s doing my head in. I need my points!
13. I think I appreciate the higgledy piggledy joy of England a little more today than I did yesterday. It will grow on me.
My garden needs some TLC!

My garden needs some TLC!

Cheers y’all! Onwards with the cultural challenges!

Trying to make the repat process fun: online Tesco order (yes really!)

I’m finding the UK repatriation thingymabob slightly tough. There is so much to sort out, and to be honest I really just want to be making the most of my time here, not packing¬†and ticking off lists and planning bits and bobs. It seems endless, and is not helping my insomnia!

However, after a frustrating day attempting to tick of various repatriation to-dos I decided to do something fun in my repat-list. The online food order for our return! I remember that when I did the USA one it was fascinating and weird, since I had to Google various items using the British words to find out what the US alternative was. You know, stuff like ‘kitchen roll’ = ‘paper towel’, ‘washing powder’ = ‘laundry detergent’ etc.

food_USA-vs-UK

This time round, on the Tesco website (Gawd Bless ‘Em, they remembered me and my ClubCard points after three years!) it was super fun inputting all the British groceries! I was mentally re-stocking my cupboards with all sorts of British items. And BOOZE – let’s not forget the joy of ordering booze on your weekly shop!¬†The food is generally slightly cheaper, I think, than in the USA.

oxo

Rich Tea biscuits, jam, bacon, teabags, crisps (Monster Munch and Skips!), Cadbury’s, OXO cubes, Bovril and a load of other things made the list.¬†And I haven’t finished yet! I’ll still be adding, since I don’t need it delivered till August, obviously! Suggestions welcome!

It’s The Final Countdown (doodoodoodoo!)

I haven’t written on this blog for a while cos much has been happening still in the USA (like roadtrips and cool stuff), and, quite frankly, I’ve been slightly resenting having to spend my precious fun time packing and sorting and sorting and packing. But needs, must, cos we head back in just over 3 1/2 months.

We've been having USA fun roadtripping!

We’ve been having USA fun roadtripping!

I’ve got yard sales to do, volunteering to build houses to complete, holibobs to have, parties to organise, summer camps to attend, festival to get drunk at, and all sorts of fun stuff to be getting on with over the next three months, as well as the dreaded mundane sorting and packing. Bleurgh.

But also, we’re looking ahead to the UK (at least I am) since I need something called AN INCOME. I love working, so that’s a bonus, and I want to use my new found travel bug and writing skills, and, By Jove, I only went and bloody well blagged¬†myself a job doing travel PR for a coolio company in the town wot I live in. So, double thumbs up for me! I can cross ‘Get a job‘ off the To Do List. But that only reduces the list by a teeny-tiny percent.

Back in the PR game!

Back in the PR game!

There’s shed loads to do UK side: book camps to keep our son occupied whilst we’re at work over the last weeks of the summer in the UK, sort our tenants and our house and all that needs doing in the garden which is ramshackle, find a ruddy school because the English school system is (how do I put this politely – oh, I can’t) slightly f*cked and there are no places for 7 year olds in Cheltenham cos everyone got jiggy with it in 2007/8 and now there are too many kids and not enough school places. ¬†Etc etc.

UK-Education

I shan’t bore you with the rest of my list, because you don’t need to know things like: ‘Do a massive grocery order for delivery the day after we arrive’, but now you do know that, and, fyi, it will be with Tesco because I wish to resume my ClubCard points and I’m not a supermarket snob really and truly (tho I did feel slightly smug that my new offices are near to Whole Foods ūüėČ ).

Anyhoo, in addition, our cats are booked on the flights back to the UK now, so we need to practically remortgage the house so they can come back with us cos of all the injections and wotnot that are needed too. My husband was kind of hoping they’d pop their clogs out here, since they are 13, but no such luck for him. Back to Blighty you go, wee mittens whom I love!

So, yes, we are on countdown and I am going slightly crazy living between two worlds, but with today being St George’s Day it’s been nice to see a fair bit of patriotism about England which warmed me cockles, so it did. And yes, by George (pun intended), I will defo miss the USA loads and my heart will yearn for it, but I rise to the challenge of repatriation and I will slay those dragons that get in my way (I’m not a junkie, I’m just trying to carry on the St George metaphor…).

stgeroge

So, toodlepip and happy St George’s Day to you!

That Crazy Little Thing Called Spring

My sources in the land that is Eng across the waters have told me they are experiencing something called ‘Spring’. That must be very lovely for them.

Bootiful!

Bootiful!

Mother Nature has so far decided to keep Spring from us in this part of America, and instead is ‘springing’ us little surprises in the form of freezing rain, snowstorms and wind chill factors, the likes of which I have never experienced before.

My parents back in the UK Skyped me the other day and showed me the sun shining, flowers emerging from the soil and I could hear birds tweeting about the joys of spring (that is they were singing, not sending social media messages).

Here on the East Coast, during the Winter of my Discontent, the sun shines, sure, but not long enough to melt the snow that is currently on the ground before the next dump comes along; I haven’t seen a flower in about five months; and I suspect the birds I¬†hear are probably having a right old moan about the weather to each other too.

‘But it’s cold in England,’ cry my friends. Oh, you have NO IDEA!

This.

This.

Number One Thing I shan’t miss from the East Coast of the USA: Effing Winters!!!!

I can’t wait to reacquaint with that crazy little thing called Spring! Never more shall I cast you aside impatiently for the Summer!

British Charm In The UK: It’s A Thing!

My last post about being back in the UK, if I may be so bold to say so, read slightly glum.

So, I got to thinking – what did I love about being back in the UK, and what surprised me?

The thing that really made me go ‘Oh, I don’t think I ever clocked that before’ was how jolly friendly many of the British customer service folk were. Honestly, they weren’t all miserable and down in the dumps! They were super friendly and chatty. For me that was a certain¬†thing that took me by surprise. Yes, really.

Happy Britain!

Happy Britain!

The reason this surprised me was that I am v v v v v used to the American way of customer service – all smiles and ‘How are you?’ (and in the USA they are not really wanting an answer. FYI, just ‘Good’ as a response will suffice, and on occasion ‘Good, how are you?’, but you don’t really care for an answer at this point cos they are smiling in their customer service smile way anyway and they’ll just say ‘Good’ whether things are good or not…).

(Side note: The exception to this is Tom in Walgreens, Clarksville, USA, who is the cheeriest, most sincere chap I have ever met, and who, if you go into Walgreens with your sunglasses on, shouts ‘ Welcome to Walgreens – oh my, it’s a celebrity!’ (Cue you to take off glasses.) And then ‘Oh no, it’s not, it’s you! Well, welcome to Walgreens anyway!’ Tom is a diamond ūüôā

Anyhoo, yes, charming the Brits were! The lovely chap and his ma in the local corner shop, who called everyone ‘darling’ about 50 times in a sentence. ‘Oh, darling, the Maltesers are out of date, you know, darling, so help yourself, darling. And if you need any bread, darling, the delivery is tomorrow first thing, darling, and I always want to make sure you have a fresh loaf, you know, darling.’

And the lovely train conductor who asked where I was heading and had I had a good weekend. I was so surprised that I almost didn’t know what to reply. I had, of course, had a smashing weekend in Bristol.

And the lovely young waiters and waitresses who asked why I needed a take out bag – was their sitcky toffee pie not good? And me having to explain how it works in America with take out bags, and that they’re a good thing; my son just can’t finish it right now, and no, I don’t think we’ll take the clotted cream with us, but thanks for asking!

And the charming waiter in Bill’s in Cheltenham who was very happy to take pictures of me and my friends, and chat to my friend Rachel about her cats (many pussy jokes cackled about, of course).

Me and my gals have our picture taken by v v v friendly waiter (think he actually fancied Rachel ;) )

Me and my gals have our picture taken by v v v friendly waiter (think he actually fancied Rachel ūüėČ )

I wonder, thinking back, if this has always been the case in Britain, and perhaps I just didn’t acknowledge¬†it before, or does it just feel genuine in comparison to the American way? Or is it a new thing and folks in the UK are realising the benefits of being cheery?

Anyway, whatever the reason, I like happy Brits. Let’s keep it that way ūüôā

Britain is Bloody Brilliant…

‘Bloody brill back in Britain!’

So says Ben Barker, who’s a British expat in the USA and who has just returned to the States with loads of top banana things to say about the UK.

He’s so cheery and upbeat about Britain, I almost can’t wait to get on that plane this week and head on over myself.

(FYI: confession……I just watched the movie¬†Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and there are some great shots of London and when we saw it Harry and I were whispering to each other going ‘Ooooh, doesn’t London look faberooni!’) ūüėČ

Anyway, enough Hollywooding of the UK, this is….

Ben’s Brilliant Britain ūüôā

I’m just back from 12 days traveling in Britain. I hadn’t been back in a few years and a few of my expat friends had warned me that I might be surprised how things had changed. Mulling it over on the flight back here’s my ‘top 10’ of what I noticed and had reaffirmed while I was there.

1. We British have humour as part of their DNA. I had light-hearted banter with shopkeepers, pub staff, strangers on the street and immigration officials – it’s just a way of life.

I might be biased, but British humour is the BEST! ;)

I might be biased, but British humour is the BEST! ūüėČ

2. Britain loves history. Sitting in a pub dating to 1460…I could see the concept of time sinking in to my teenage kids. There’s nowhere like it for discovering your ‘place’ in history.
3. Who knew: British food is really good! Not just the traditional stuff, now there are cafes and restaurants cooking really good stuff with all kinds of international influences.

It's not all Spotted Dick, you know....

It’s not all Spotted Dick, you know….

4. Public transportation in Britain is better than ever – clean, fast and generally on time – and people use it and trust it and love it.
5. It seems like there are ‘development’ and ‘projects’ and ‘schemes’ being invested in everywhere. The place seemed exciting and brimming with ideas on how to get things done!
6. Here’s an important one – the beer selection ‘on pull’ in pubs has really improved. The regional choices are varied and tasty.

Beer British-stylie

Beer British-stylie

7. I people-watched a lot and chatted whenever I could: the British public are diverse and interested and opinionated and knowledgeable and eccentric and different and concerned and charitable…and outward looking. I enjoyed every conversation.
8. The British countryside is still truly stunning. From coast to stream to farmland to moor to woodland to mountain it’ll still take your breath away.

Beautiful Britain

Beautiful Britain

9. I was struck by how ‘techy’ Britain is and how well ‘engineered’ everything is – from credit card systems to football stadium ticket scanners to hand dryers to sim cards to solar arrays to Sat Navs etc. Hi-tech is the norm.
10. Last, but not least, Britain remains a nation of dog lovers! They’re everywhere – all shapes and sizes. I used to think that a nation that watched the same TV shows at the same time always had something to talk about…or a nation obsessed with the weather always had something to chat about over the garden fence, but I now have to add the common bond of strangers discussing their fidos…and they do – a lot.

Now, I know Britain has problems (while I was there, there were headlines of inner city murder and child abuse cover ups and NHS emergency room waiting times and terrorist threats) – I’m not blind to those problems – but the good news is, no one in Britain is blind to them either. My sense is there is a normal, high level of work being done to fix the problems. The truth is I was interested to see what had changed to the Country I love and I am more than happy to report that what is fundamentally British hasn’t changed and may well have actually improved.

In short, Britain, in my opinion, is still brilliant and beautiful and this expat will try to get back as often as possible!

British bits

British bits

You can see more of Ben’s stuff about Britain, British pubs, pub banter and all sorts do with Britain stopping by his site BarkerBites ūüôā

I’m super excited to get on over to Blighty now for that visit!