Hiya. It’s been a while. I’m writing to say that as I readjust to life within your borders, there are a few things you could kindly do to make this transition a little easier for me. I will enumerate them below. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
1. Please drive and queue (line up) nicely. It’s nice to be organised.
2. Serve cream teas (English breakfast tea + a scone with clotted cream and jam) everywhere. A rodeo, garden center or Jiffy Lube? All good occasions for tea. Because let’s face it … every occasion is a good occasion for tea.
3. Don’t shoot me if I forget and think it’s OK to go for a walk across your privately owned land.
4. Laugh if you like or ask for a translation, but please don’t correct my Brit speak every time I use a foreign-sounding word. My friend Matthew would tell you that the British way is the right way anyway … they had it first. ;)
5. Forgive me if I consider voting for the queen as a write-in on my presidential election ballot. I mean, have you seen her? She’s brilliant.
6. Please don’t think I’m strange or forward if all my texts end in Xs. They’re easier and better than smileys, and more affectionate. Thanks. xxx
Hey, pickle. I realize we only just met, but I really feel like this is the real thing.
It’s too bad I didn’t realize it sooner.
My friends Clare and Gem and I had a sandwich assembly line going the other day for a group of girls we were having over, and we finished the ham ones.
“Cheese and pickle.”
Cheese and pickle. I’m not gonna lie. I thought that sounded straight-up nasty.
Imagine my surprise when she pulled out a brown squeeze bottle, squeezed and spread it around on the bread.
Once again, the British definition bested me.
In the States, I always gave my pickles away, and I didn’t think pickle could have any meaning other than the obvious (pickle |ˈpikəl| a small cucumber preserved in vinegar, brine, or a similar solution).
Turns out here … it’s awesome.
Check out the two main definitions of the word in the motherland:
1. a relish consisting of vegetables or fruit preserved in vinegar or brine: cheese and pickle
2.British informal, used as an affectionate form of address to a mischievous child.
I know you’re judging. Trust me, it’s awesome … and I’m coming back to the States with about eight bottles in my suitcase.
It’s possible I’m the world’s biggest sentimental fool, but if that’s the case, I’ll go ahead and embrace it. As my time in England is finishing up, I’ve been thinking back over some of the biggest milestones and things I’ve learned whilst here … and here are a few, with links included …
Looking for blood. One of the strangest days of my life. I ate chocolate and, after I’d watched the first time, tried to avert my eyes. I really just wanted to yell at them to run away.
When it comes down to seconds. I’ll never forget the day I sat beside a friend near the epicenter of a devastating earthquake as she rocked the infant son of a man killed in a tea shop when the shaking started. The day after we left the area, another earthquake brought down the hotel around the corner from ours. It opened up a lot of questions about God’s timing. It kept me up at night then, and I still think about it sometimes now.
Enduring catcalling for Christ. I’ve wrestled a lot with what it means to give everything up for Christ and the Gospel. Before this trip, I never imagined that might mean constant male attention, of the unwanted kind …
Vampire teeth. Try to go through airport security with a bag full of them. Just see what happens.
For the love, tell me what to do. This one’s pretty much baring my soul from a period in time when I wasn’t sure how to get back to God.
Little town of Bethlehem. Not just a song. I got to meet some people here, and it was nothing like I expected. For one thing, I didn’t realize it was walled off from the world, and not with an ancient Biblical times looking wall, either …
I slept through a bunch of earthquakes. Nobody else did. It made me question how much I must already be shaking from caffeine overload. But it also made me question other stuff.
I met John. He got kicked out of the funeral club, but it was so worth it.
The ostrich ride. 2012′s only new year’s resolution = done.
I’ve been working to get to places ever since I heard there was going to be an end to England.
And one of those places was the end of England.
You just drive and drive and drive past completely normal scenery …
… until there’s nothing left but sea.
Kelsey was here for a few days on her way back to the States, so I forced her to go along with my UK bucket list wishes. She didn’t seem to mind, though. She’s a bit of an Arthur nerd, and we managed to find his legendary birthplace, Tintagel Castle (which is more of an island than a castle).
We also found the place he probably bought his postcards.
And though the Stonehenge traffic tried to keep us from it (people stop to look on a two-lane road … it’s rocks in a field, folks), we made it to Cornwall in time to catch the opening ceremony of the Olympics at the last pub in England … or the first.
And in the spirit of random Olympic events, we decided to have a go at tandem biking. I felt sorry for the other people on the Camel Trail.
All good things must come to an end …