It is overcast and drizzly here today, I was right about the fog apparently. I don't think this is rain, I believe it's what they call 'heavy marine layer'. Whatever it is, it's making me think about home. That and the projected health insurance increase that's sitting on my desk at work. Socialised medicine certainly sounds appealing right now. I'm thinking about sending Anna back to the UK for her routine physicals, the plane fare might be cheaper than my premiums.
So, before this post becomes any more miserable, I'm going to think cheerful and list twenty things I'm looking forward to on our trip home to Blighty in May. In no particular order might I add..... just in case you think you fall below 'mushy peas' in my standings..... (it's highly likely you do though).
1. Chips and mushy peas. My dear old bro just moved next door to a killer fish and chip shop, so I'll be spending lots of time round there pretending to visit him. LK is not such a fan of fish and chips, but that's because I ridicule him about;
a) saying 'fission chips', and
b) for saying 'I'll have the toona' the first he time ever ordered at a chippy. You can take the boy out of California......
2. Taking Anna to the duck pond. You can't feed the ducks here. I'm sure they're all on the 'Zone' diet or at least something macrobiotic.
3. Going shopping with my Mum in York. Thinking all the prices are in dollars and are therefore half the price that I'm actually paying. Plus, I haven't been to an English shop in well over a year, so even Next might have something new in stock. Plus I can buy stuff at M&S and no-one in SB will be any the wiser.
4. Curry and booze with my friends from school.
5. Proper adverts on the telly. I know everyone in the UK is probably sick to the back teeth of the latest KitKat advert or whatever, but dear God the 'commercials' over here are total and utter crap, and they're on more than the shows, and they slag off the competition outright, which doesn't seem very sportsmanlike if you ask me, AND they make you think about haemorrhoids whilst you're eating your tea in front of the telly.
6. Free babysitting (hi Mum!)
7. Weather! I know it sounds ludicrous, but actual weather. Brilliant (briefly).
8. Being thousands of miles away from our tenants, our mortgages, our childcare situation, our jobs, our condo conversion project.....
9. Seeing my entire extended family for my Mum's 60th birthday.
10. Going to Oasis and seeing the Lake District.
11. Woolie's pick-and-mix. American candy is rubbish, the chocolate tastes like it's been left unwrapped overnight and they don't have pick-and-mix. Philistines!
12. Watching British news and documentaries.
13. Going to Paris for the first time.
14. Being away from the bubble that is Santa Barbara for a few weeks.
15. Getting my accent back, however briefly.
16. Meat pies. Pickled onion monster munch. Salt and vinegar hula hoops. Poppadoms with mango chutney. Wensleydale cheese. Pork scratchings. Gin and tonics. Sweets. Bitter lemon. Dandelion & Burdock. Sausage rolls.
17. Going for walks; stiles, fresh air, clouds, wellies, someone saying 'just look at that view', getting lost, my Dad having to consult the map, finding pubs and tiny old churches with overgrown graveyards, wondering where the chuff we parked the car. Having Thornton's toffee half-way round, for energy.
18. Taking Anna to Harlow Carr gardens where she can run around and pick shadows to her hearts content. As long as nobody sees her.
19. Buying Anna lots of things that say 'I love Mummy' instead of 'I love Mommy'.
20. Not having to start all my conversations with 'no English actually. North Yorkshire. Near York. No not New York. Ha ha. Really, how was your trip to London. Oh, dear, no ice in your drink and it rained for 5 years solid. Gosh, sorry about that.' Ha bloody ha.
On the other hand, after that little I heart England love-fest,
Things I am not looking forward to:
1. Driving in the rain. Driving a 'stick' on the 'wrong side of the road'. Narrow roads. Having to overtake tractors. Paying for petrol. How dirty cars get.
2. Remembering to be quiet during the weather otherwise my Dad will give me one of his Paddington's hard stares because they don't have the 'weather channel' 24/7 with Doppler radar like we do.
3. OMG the flights. 3 stops (at least!) each way seemed like such a small price to pay for free air-miles tickets back when I booked the flights in October, but now it's March and I have a toddler, and someone please pass me a brown paper bag.
4. Going to Oasis and having to stand next to my brother's fiance while we're both wearing bikinis.
5. Teaching Anna about jet-lag.
6. Knowing we can't afford any of it.
7. Putting on 10lbs each week I'm home.
8. Being dressed circa 1997 which is when I emigrated, having to borrow my Mum's clothes.
9. Wondering what the chuff people are talking about when they mention mobiles, broadband, Shilpa Shetty, Big Brother etc etc. Realising I've missed 10 years of UK culture (maybe not such a bad thing!) but knowing that I've become an ex-patriot and that I don't belong there anymore just as I don't belong in California.
10. Knowing that I have to fly back to California. Knowing LK is going to get upset at how much I miss home.