Some Observations, 18 Months In!

I know… I may have set a record for most belated update.

* In Texas I would eat Tex-mex of some variety at least weekly. (I probably still do here, just minus the corn tortillas.) But here I eat curry at least weekly. The Pakistani and Indian community centre luncheons are my favorite, but I’ve also been fortunate to learn how to make some dishes from friends sharing their culinary expertise.

* Grocery delivery is so, so wonderful. For a £1 delivery fee they bring it right to your door, and you don’t tip (I offered a few times, they always declined.) But despite this, I still hit the grocery store at least weekly – there are little shops every few blocks, three are a quick walk from our house, so it’s easy to pop in and get fresh produce or other perishables.

* We have the older two down at Nottingham College in their GCSE/pre- program, though one may be transferring to another college come fall for his A levels and our third will be starting the pre-GSCE program. It’s specifically for home educated kids, so they’re just on campus for certain class periods Mon-Thursday depending on subjects they want to study, and they ride the city buses down there.

* This place is so much more temperate in climate than DFW – never as hot, but never as cold. And while we seem to have quite a few rainy days, it’s often just light sprinkles – not like the torrential downpour of Texas. We also see blue skies most days, for which I’m so grateful.

* The bigger challenge is the SHORT winter days – daylight from 8:30am to 3:30pm, and it’s DARK by 4pm. A sun lamp is crucial.

* I love being in a city with all the perks and activity and restaurants and resources. I struggle with the crowds and traffic, I’ve still not adjusted to that… but when I’m inside my house, with my lovely garden all around, I can feel like I’m in the country and you wouldn’t think I was in a city this size. It’s very cozy and tucked away.

* When I was in London one day showing a visiting friend around I realized I had not taken my phone out to take a single picture of any of the major sights – I did get photos of my friend & me, of course. But that’s when it hit me that I was no longer coming to London as a tourist, I was coming to just have time with my friend and have a lovely day out & it didn’t feel foreign anymore. It felt local. Which was lovely, but I also don’t ever want to take for granted how extraordinary it is that we are able to live here! When I can jump on a train to have a day out with a girlfriend in London, or we can have family field trips to the National Art Gallery & Tower of London, or when I can hopefully have an overnight anniversary stay there with Kit someday… 🙂 I am so, so thankful we can have these opportunities.

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