Eng-er-land

by | Apr 13, 2023 | Travel & trips | 0 comments

Greetings from the UK, where apparently everyone wishes to cough and splutter on me. Seeing as I’m on a mission to not catch COVID for once – I’ve had it three times in total, twice in the last year, and every single time I’ve caught it, I’ve been in the UK – I’m not impressed. It’d be nice to avoid COVID on this trip. You know, just for a change.

So, yes, I’m here, leaving Rob back in the Bulg, in charge of the seedlings and cats. Our daily calls generally go something like:

Me: How are the cats?

Him: They’re good. Annoying.

Me: How are my seedlings?

Him: No change since you last asked.

Me: And you’re watering them?

Him: Yes!

Me: Including the ones in my office?

Him: *hangs up*

Occasionally, I remember to ask how he’s doing.

In fact, he’s doing a very exciting job this month – digging out a little bit of our garden ‘hill’ to create another flat area. It’s already partially flat, just not the whole way across the width of the garden, so he’s digging along and extending the flat area to make more space for growing. It’s hard to see from the pictures, but the area is directly above our flower garden and veg garden, so I’m picturing lovely trailing plants draping over the stone wall below, a little place to sit and look down over our garden, and definitely a few more fruit trees. Watch this space…

As for me, I’m over here for a couple of family things, and doing a bit of work while I’m over. But I’m mostly getting out on walks and runs, and playing my daily game of ‘dodge the rain’.

I wish there was exciting news to report, but life in Blighty seems much the same. Strikes. Rising prices. Fickle trains (I’m reliant on public transport whenever I’m here so train nonsense makes me instantly furious). There are busy, busy people everywhere. But to counter all that with some positives, the trees are in blossom, I’ve enjoyed some lovely seaside walks, and I very much appreciate the convenience of finding vegan food everywhere I look!

It’s a shame to miss Bulgarian Easter, though (which is this weekend, a week later than in the UK). We don’t really observe Easter – either Easter – except to make some sweet, fruity bread (hot cross buns or a kozunak-style loaf) and make a nice meal. Maybe we should have a fake Easter when I get back? Minus the eggs, meat, chocolate and religion, though. So, basically, just a normal weekend…

It’s been a while since I was here for British Easter, but it seems to be a much bigger deal than I remember. I recall getting millions of Easter eggs when I was a chocoholic child, but these days people also have Easter decorations, Easter trees, and Easter cards. It’s a whole thing.

And there’s coronation guff everywhere. Not that I particularly begrudge a coronation. (I regard the royal family as a slightly fancier version of those Real Housewives programmes. Real Housewives of Windsor. I can see why people find them oddly fascinating. It’s just not for me.) But do we really need to buy a commemorative mug, tin of biscuits and plastic bunting with Charles’s face on? Where will all this stuff end up in five years’ time? I mean, I know some things become collectibles, but probably not a mass-produced coronation tote bag, right?

Don’t mind me, judging high street crap when I’ve been busy buying crap of my own to take home (albeit second-hand crap). Rummaging through charity shops is my favourite pastime when I’m over here. (Don’t tell my friends and family. Catching up with them is very nice, but it’s the charity shops that I’m really here for. Shhhh.) Some of my second-hand finds this time include old records (Johnny Cash, The Beatles), books on wild flowers and mushrooms, and a white Zara shirt with a HUGE flowery collar which makes me feel like a hippy with an office job. Little joys. So I guess if people find their joy in a King Charles teddy bear, good for them.

Well, isn’t this a random post, bouncing from one topic to another? Let me leave you with a picture of a local landmark from my neck of the woods: Portchester Castle. Cute, innit?

Normal service – i.e. me wanging on about the garden and food – to resume next time.

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