It has been a year since this blog took a rest. Now in the depths of winter, it is out of hibernation earlier than our neighbourhood squirrels and foxes.
Husband, dog, cat and myself now live and work in London. The paperwork and implementation of our dream to move to the UK took 18 months. Settled with all the right daily-life aspects in place, such as a barber, a groomer and a hairdresser, registered with authorities across the island and with bank accounts (a complicated matter), happily, we are in the plateau phase. If you lack resilience, have tissue-thin skin and cannot complete forms, this is not your journey. If you will not be able to hurl yourself and your bags into a crammed tube before the doors close, perhaps you had better stick to your car in another county.
It is intriguing to be living in a country with pints, miles and stones, and litres, kilometres and kilograms side-by-side. Where the morning milkman leaves (organic) milk bottles outside our front-door and nobody nicks them. I peacefully walk to the tube station in the dark and walk home in the dark after over 9 hours at the office. I spend 1 1/2 hours a day traversing the city in tunnels, squashed against strangers and bashing into and under armpits, or I get to stare at nose hairs.
London is a significant city in many ways, which bustles with activity despite Brexit. There are walks through Victorian pet cemeteries, afternoons being dragged through woodlands by Ivy and morning frost on cars so thick it could be snow. As the crow flies, everything is on our doorstep. Try getting there and it takes time. In the week, London is in a rush. On Sundays, stores only open at 11h00 and the Brits love to sleep-in. We are up before the sun appears, if it appears at all. There is no stopping the hungry radiator junkie cat or the dog who argues with the Tooting owl. How I do long to sleep past 05h00.
We watch endless programmes on the telly on UK history, we have welcomed the functional postal system, the free newspapers, online shopping at its most efficient, appreciate English tea, cheap data, winter flowers in bloom like daffodils, driving around roundabouts, navigating a UK keyboard and having the lights on while running a bath full of hot water. Perhaps this is normality. Whatever it is, we are happy to be here.
We are off to the Cotswolds for a night. A real gem of an area. We have a deluxe dog-friendly hotel room booked while Italy is off to a garden cattery. Warm bliss for all although the radiator junkie may not agree.