Well, we’re back from another whirlwind trip to the UK and I’ve been trying to form my impressions into a coherent and profound blog post, but so far I have nothing. So I thought I’d just blob out the things I noticed and wait for the rest to coalesce into something more useful.
It rained. A lot. Sometimes it was a gentle drizzle, sometimes a torrential downpour and sometimes what we in Yorkshire call a mizzle – that light wet mist that soaks you slowly. Fortunately, this rain did not put us off and there’s definitely something to the idea that being deprived of something makes you value it more. On the rare occasion when the sun came out – a warm afternoon strolling around Ilkley, an early evening conversation out on the balcony, a beautiful afternoon looking out over Coniston Water – I found I appreciated it far more than I would back here.
It’s not cold in England at this time of year. In fact during the day it’s very pleasant, but it does turn chilly at night and a sane person would turn on the central heating in response. Most British people, however, are not completely sane and therefore they don’t think this way. Instead they take pleasure in braving the cold for as long as possible before permitting themselves a little heat. Don’t ask me to explain it, I can’t. I will just say that when we return, our house will be the warmest in Britain.
I’ve gained one pound in just one week. From gourmet restaurant meals to cafe breakfasts to English chocolate, the temptations were everywhere. And don’t even get me started on the fish and chips. When we move back, I cannot carry on like that or else I’ll gain 52 pounds every year.
England is lovely. Not all of it of course – we passed through some pretty grim town centers – but huge swathes of it are just lovely. When you live there, you take for granted the cobbled streets and the winding country lanes and the vibrant green countryside all around, but we visitors see it all.
Talk to an Englishman for more than 5 minutes and you’re bound to hear how the country has gone to the dogs and everyone is rude and there’s no such thing as service anymore. We haven’t experienced any of this on our two trips to Kendal. In fact, we’ve been bowled over by how nice people are.
Friends and Family
There’s never enough time on these short visits and we always leave someone out. And even the people we don’t leave out, we don’t see enough of. It adds a level of stress and guilt to each trip and leads us to try and cram too much in. But the time we do spend with them is so precious and I can’t wait until we can do it more often.
We’re so fortunate to have discovered Kendal last year. It’s the perfect place for us to start out our new life back home. Pretty, safe, surrounded by wonderful countryside, and with lots to see and do. I thought maybe we might not like it as much this time, but I’m glad to say that isn’t true.
We’re still going
I suppose there was always a chance that this trip would change our minds and send us scurrying back here determined never to leave again. Especially with the weather we had. But that didn’t happen and so we will now start serious planning in the next few weeks, slowly crossing off all the many many things we have to do before we’re ready to leave for good.
But first, I need to go rest from all the exertions of my “holiday.” Just a short nap ….