It’s 3:42 AM, and I can’t get to bed. Not because I’m jetlagged mind you. I actually think I’m doing quite well on that front (right now it’s 10:42 PM in Toronto, so I would never have been able to get to bed in the first place if I was actually jetlagged). Rather, I’m up because Avery couldn’t figure out what exactly he was sleeping on due to the puffy duvet we have, and so he wound up sleeping (with me sleeping on my back) right smack dab in the middle of my hips. Fine for a good while, am sure, but eventually I woke up pretty uncomfortable with the pressure.
And since I’m a light sleeper and have a hard time falling back asleep… well who knows when I’ll be tired enough again to get to bed. So here we are.
My first impressions of the U.K. are pretty biased considering Thomas had told me enough about the place (over years!) that I feel as though I’d gotten a good picture of it even before I’d got here. Nonetheless, these are my initial thoughts:
The people –
- Straight answers and always to the point to the best of their ability. Love this so much, especially coming from a place where it irked me how much beating around the bush was done.
- Because of how straight & to the point they are, this makes Brits a lot more clear, concise, and in my opinion, helpful than Canadians, especially when it comes to customer service.
- Now if I’ve got something to say about dilly dallying and taking your time, it’s that I really don’t like it, and there’s a heck of a lot less of that here. Even just walking down the street, people walk with purpose, walk more quickly than in Toronto (am not even in London and am still saying this), and that serious lack of delay translates into getting things done smoothly in places like check out lines at shops.
- I spent no time in London besides landing at Heathrow. Went straight to Bournemouth, and coming from Toronto; well – the distinct lack of a plethora of ethnicities mixed in together weirds me out a little. Will likely not take much time for me to get used to it, but it’s certainly a shock to not see so many Chinese & Korean faces!
The food (in grocery stores) –
- So much better here for the types of food I like to eat. Sausages, cheese, fresh bread & cured meats? I could live happily off these alone for the rest of my life, and the quality to price value of these items is so much higher here. Yum.
The landscape –
- It’s weird seeing a distinct lack of maple trees everywhere ;)
- Ivy, gorgeous ivy! Could there even be more? Not sure it’s possible.
- There are moths literally flying around everywhere. I now understand why moth balls were invented.
- Wild horses? A sight to see. Wild cows?? Even better.
The weather –
- At the moment – warmer! Love.
- Very humid when it rains and just after it’s rained for some time. This will take me serious getting used to. I think I may have to grow out my bangs so I’m not so hot when it takes a turn for the humid.
- Yes, cloudier than Canada, but I will most certainly not complain, especially since the majority of today was very sunny, and the trade off to me (no snow in the winters?) is hands down a win in this case.
- It’s spring here for longer than 2 minutes? Amazing! I love spring, but it does seem that in Canada the whole season doesn’t last longer than a couple weeks to a month at most. Here, everything is in full bloom (smells amazing by the way!), and it’s been that way for a while, and it’s likely going to be that way for some time.
The residences –
- These old houses are amazing. They’re gorgeous, well built, and I must say, I do fancy them a great deal. I prefer them to Canadian houses, have to admit. Will not be missing things like central air and so much drywall – very happy to trade those off for radiators and thick brick.
But of course there are things I’ll miss about Toronto being here. So far I’ve pinpointed that those are –
- Some of my favourite people (but I can’t very well take them with me can I ;)?).
- Those ethnicities mixed in together sure do mean a lot of great cultural food. While I’m sure if I head over to London, everything I’ve ever eaten can be topped, here in Bournemouth, I won’t be getting a slew of different types of food. Goodbye bibimbap & congee for now, though hello fish & chips and tikka masala (note: I’m sure you can get any of these dishes in either place, but I’m sure the Korean & Chinese dishes are better in Toronto and the Indian & English dishes are better in Bournemouth).
- Those gorgeous summers. I am a sucker for a heatwave. While everyone else in Toronto moans about them, I adore them, never turning on the A/C just to get the full extent of ’em. Dig those Canadian (okay, Torontonian) summers so much, no matter how short they are!
- The subway. Hah! Just kidding. Never going to miss that dreadful thing in my LIFE.
So that’s it for now. Glad to be on the other end of that flight with Avery almost completely back to normal. Flying with a cat in the cargo is not fun! Do wish we could take him on the plane with us but since it’s not allowed to do that to enter the U.K., I suppose if we ever leave the country with the cat again (to go anyplace in Europe) we’ll be taking a car. Certainly don’t want to relive that experience, although getting Avery’s paperwork exchanged for a pet passport here in the U.K. will make travelling in and out of the country much easier. More on that some other time. Now to try for some more shut eye.
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