Things I Never Want to Forget about England

My mother jumping the immigration queue of 200 people because we were late for our bus.

Because they use traffic roundabouts, there are very few stoplights. A much more efficient system. The traffic lights turn yellow before they turn green, sort of saying, “Wake up, we’re going now.”

All puddings, including every bakewell tart, bramley apple pie, and apricot sponge, taste better smothered in custard.

Getting up early and pulling my still warm duvet from the bed into a wing chair by the bay window with a hot cup of tea in my hands to watch the town wake up.

Cider has now passed beer as England’s favorite beverage. It is as good for you as red wine, full of antioxidants.

These are actual crisp (potato chip) flavors you can buy at Marks and Spencers: feta, chive, lemon and thyme; ham; sundried tomato and basil; cheddar and caramelized shallot; yogurt and mint.

The sweeper on the Prom does not beep when it backs up, a recorded voice says in a sing-song voice, “Look out! Don’t get behind me.”

My sister, Lisa, came across a herd of cattle staring at her. She lifted her arm and said solemnly, “I come in peace.”

Wandering through meadows, completely lost, singing with the family, “Do-Re-Mi.”

Early one morning I was the only person in the Happy Valley gardens, where the goats were eating the flowers. I switched back and forth between chasing them out and taking their pictures.

The sign on a very low header over a doorway that read, “Duck or Grouse.”

Walking on the Prom when all the seagulls in the whole town went on a massive collective freak out.

Punch and Judy went off about five times a day, starting with an obnoxious voice so loud that you could hear every word in our flat with the windows closed. He repeated the same lines every time. “Will you do that for me, Boys and Girls?” and “Are you sure you’re sure, you’re sure you’re sure?” We would immediately find a reason that we needed to go out.

The water there is extremely hot. They use 220 amp compared to our 110. Everyone uses electric kettles and they boil a full pot in about two minutes.

We had three seagulls who would visit everyday to eat whatever we would share: bread bits, strawberries, licorice. Their names were Seymour, Seymourella, and Gertrude.

People really greet you with a friendly, “Hiya” and say, "Cheers" for good-bye.

The traffic wardens write down, by hand, every license plate of cars parked on the street. Two hours later they come back and re-read all of the license plates to give out tickets.

An advertisement in a tuxedo shop window, reads more like a headline, “Groom Goes Free.”

The prices are out of control. Jon paid 65 pounds ($130) to fill up his small Volvo. On the menu of a pub a single scoop of ice cream was 6 pounds ($12).

Quiz night at the pub: 5 things you blow up (Lisa: a building, a bridge, a plane), what is a bum nut? (an egg), What is Brussels lace? (froth on a glass).

I found out that a gigabite memory card holds exactly 908 photos at the M1 setting. It got filled up on the very last day.

England has not become homogenized, or Americanized. There is not a Starbucks in Llandudno. It still has all of those lovely, essentially British quirks.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for capturing the memories. I laughed out loud at many of them.

Heather said...

Hi Cathy, I found you through you finding me through the postcard swap! you have a lovely blog, great photos and I love what you've written here about your trip to England. I look forward to reading more!