So I think we’re beginning to process what we’ll miss when we go (that’s my excuse, anyway, for the reasoning behind 2 giant bars of Fruit and Nut in my pantry to nibble away at – yes you can get it in Canada but my parents say it’s not the same). There’s quite a few things that I already miss as a result of living where we do and not really getting into London anymore – the views from the 36 bus from Victoria up to the Harrow Road, the groove I got into when I realised I was part of the flowing commute on the Underground and no longer a tourist standing in the wrong place. Although this morning, with the sun shining on the fields, and a stag deer standing staring at us on the other side of the fence, I kind of liked the countryside today.
But I’ve thought of a few other things I’ll miss too…
- cheap paperback books
- chocolate box villages
- the constant sense of history around you in most places (not Milton Keynes, that’s for sure) – old houses, castles, churches, estates, ruins, etc. Victorian buildings, Georgian buildings, etc.
- so much choice of cheap clothes shopping – especially the disposable (e.g. Primark, New Look, supermarkets, etc.)
- the constant barrage of chefs and cooks on television
- cheap and easy access to mainland Europe (‘let’s go to France for the weekend’ ‘Okay’)
- crazy tabloids and magazines fostering a celebrity news addiction (waaaah I just bought my last Heat) — also the freebies that come with magazines and newspapers (DVDs! CDs! Shoes! etc.)
- Eastenders (it’s like years behind in Canada)
- how people really care, for the most part, about where their food comes from (this is a result of scares like BSE) and how consumer demand has changed supermarkets even in the short time I have lived here
- the temperate climate (I like that it’s not too hot or too cold) and how there’s tropical plants growing outside (still amazes me)
- panel game shoes that aren’t actually competitions but are just excuses for British comics to get on tv and be funny (’cause they are) – e.g. Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Qi, etc.
What I won’t miss:
- intolerance of different kinds of people freely expressed in many media outlets and by many average British citizens (you know what though – in Canada I think people are the same, but they don’t speak out about it so much and not in the media)
- large gatherings of football fans (too much testosterone in one place) – match day for West Ham near my first house here used to scare the hell out of me
- aggressive drivers and certain driving situations (e.g. Hangar Lane Gyratory on the North Circular – when Mark drives through it I have to close my eyes and hold my breath)
- instant coffee everywhere!
- too much lamb and duck on menus (just me being picky)
- the rain? no, guess what, it doesn’t actually rain that much here
I’m sure there’s going to be more and we just haven’t thought of it yet.
Everyone here has been asking if I am excited about going, but I think I’ve been too caught up in the stress of making sure everything is going to plan so far. Also, I’ve said this before, but I am leaving the place I have made my home just like Mark is. Obviously I’m not as deeply ingrained as he is, but a lot has happened since I have moved here and it’s almost as big a change for me. Of course I am really happy to be with my friends and family, but I share the upheaval, feeling of risk, and stress of not knowing what is ahead.