Homesick

Every once in a while I get homesick. I used to say it wasn’t the country I missed, just the people in it, my mother, my brother, my sisters, their children, and the friends I left behind. But more so lately, I’m missing the country as well. I miss simple things like walking to the corner store, or to the doctors office, getting the train or riding the bus home from town on a wet and windy day.

I miss the architecture, the cobble stone streets, the old cathedrals and the sprawling green countryside, dotted with ancient artifacts. I miss the seaside towns with their old carousels and piers lined with visitors holding their raincoats close to their bodies, but still enjoying their 99’s with flakes and strawberry sauce!

I don’t think I’ll ever live in England again, but I’ll enjoy every visit. I’ll go wherever Curtis goes for work, and England sadly pays their fire fighters pennies, the public servants in general, are treated pretty poorly in comparison to here. Wherever I am with Curtis and the kids, I’m home.

 

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Anglophiles

Maybe this post will come across as petty, but sometimes I am genuinely offended by self described Anglophiles and the way they represent British people and their culture. I’m a British expat living in America, and I wouldn’t align myself as being a fanatic of Americans or American culture. I love my Americans, I love where I live, and I like the culture, but I don’t make sweeping assumptions about the people of this great land, or the ways that they live.

I don’t have a problem with Anglophiles or Anglophilia in general, but it hurts my heart when I see narrow views or misrepresentations of my home country. I see it on YouTube channels, on Buzzfeed articles, on blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and printed across garish items of clothing… Words, imagery and ideas that are somewhat offensive.

Let me clear something up. Television representation and I’m referring to tv series (other than documentaries, although there are exceptions) and feature films, are not always accurate depictions of British life, as they are not accurate depictions of American life.

If the stereotypes were true, all British people would live in London, have terrible teeth, be completely emotionless and utter phrases like “Pip pip, cheerio!” and of course, we would all know members of the royal family.

It’s akin to people outside of America viewing all Californians as blonde haired, blue eyed, tall, tanned, somewhat unintelligent, stoned surfers who talk like this “Did you see that sweet wave, dude? It was like, totally righteous!”.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this, other than to say, if you meet a Brit on your travels, perhaps put the stereotypes aside and talk to them before assuming that wherever they are from, it must be part or close to London, and for the love of God, please don’t try to imitate the accent, okay dude? 

Limbo

I’ve been trying to write something here since my dad passed away, but nothing feels natural. My words feel hollow, written or heard, they aren’t resounding with my true feelings. I feel like I’ve reached closure, but at the same time feel in limbo. 

I’ll be going back to America before the funeral. It’s not that I don’t want to be here, but that right now I need my husband and my babies. I need the sense of normality that comes with being home. 

Rough Day

Today has been a rough day. The past three weeks have been bittersweet. My parents, my younger sister and her boyfriend came over from England to visit us for the first time. I’ve been living in America for almost six years and during that time I’ve seen my family for several weeks a few years ago when we visited England and Calvin was only four months old. It’s hard to travel back and forth, it’s expensive and with children, made even harder.

It’s been a blessing and an absolute joy to have them here, especially when my dad said he’d never travel again with his health issues and age. Just writing this post is difficult, because I choke up thinking about them and how quickly these past few weeks went by.

They left this morning at 4am for the long drive to LAX and the first leg of their flights back home. Mia was awake, but of course won’t remember them leaving, but Calvin was asleep until 6:30 and when he woke up… Well my heart broke watching him go from room to room searching for them, and when returning from the park this morning, asking when they’d all be home with us.

On the lighter side of today, I’ve been able to sit and look through all of the photos taken whilst they were here. Photos of us at the beach, in the Bay, visiting Yosemite and even the ones of us just doing mundane things like shopping and having coffee… All precious memories.

They are in the air right now and won’t get home for quite some time. Meanwhile I’m trying to carry on as normal, but I have cried making tea, loading laundry and even just snuggling the kids today and smelling my moms perfume on their skin.

My dad says that it took ten years for him to not feel so homesick and miss everyone as much when he moved from Canada to England. I’m sure it will be less painful over time, but I don’t think it will ever be easy. Right now I’m thankful that they made it here, I’m thankful for a husband who loves me and my family, and I’m thankful for technology, so that I can Skype with them.

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God Save The Queen?

Turns out I do have something to write about today. It’s not my usual life/parenting/baby post and hopefully it won’t come across as a rant/moan.

I realized today that the longer I live in America, the more protective I become of my English heritage. I’ve never been patriotic, in fact, I would go as far as saying that I am pretty anti monarchy and whilst I miss my family and friends, I don’t really miss the country. I am also aware that there is something kitschy about using a countries flag/language and emblems. But I find myself becoming very protective of it all.

It began with a local derby team using the Union Jack helmets, I got the reasoning behind using them, it fit in with the teams name/image and it has bothered me less over time. But more recently there is the whole “Keep Calm and Carry On” bandwagon every Tom, Dick and Harry have been manipulating, it’s been done over and over again. There is nothing unique about this, it isn’t even kitschy anymore, it’s just… annoying.

What is almost insulting to me though is the use of the Union Jack. I would’t think of plastering the American flag over everything, I’d think that would come off as very disrespectful, especially from someone who isn’t from here. Am I being over sensitive? Probably.

Don't be a tit head.

Don’t be a tit head.