After spending about a week down in Yorkshire I am back in Overijse. It was so much fun to see an overexciting A who jumped up ad down in his carseat when he saw me back and said out loud that he had missed me! But at the other hand every year when I say goodbye at the airport down in Bradford I know that I won't be back for two years. Meaning that I will have to miss the next things for the following 24 months:
- I won't be drinking tea all the time. 'I'll put on the kettle!', was one of those sentences you are thaught in English class and when you hear them spoken out lout more then once you know it for sure: you are in a household were coffee is just not done. On the record, I drank most of the time out of a mug but once I was allowed to drink out of the Royal Doulton China cup!!! Eat that Mrs Bucket!!!
- No Torchwood episodes!!! While being over I ended up becoming a Torchwood fanatic. Okay, I do think that Captain Jack is jummy jummy but those most recent five episodes really made me go wild!!! Long time that I was able to really being caught up in a story! I am even tempted now to get into the so well know Doctor Who-stories. But God, Collin Firth has some competition with a guy called John Barrowman!!!
- Raving on about all the big mansions that I visited!! Top of the bill: Howard Castle!! Once I saw the Atlas-fountain and the Temple of the four winds I just wanted to get into a time machine! The closest I got was buying the most recent DVD of 'Brideshead revisted'!! If you ever happen to be close by then it is worth a visit and many views to kill with your camera. The farmer store is also a gem and the angus beef burgers are just so good on their nice freshly baked pumpkin seed bread!!! And the notorious cat Garfield will agree with me!! He was there to film 'The tale of 2 kitties'! and loved the place!!
- Having three kids running around in one house who just add some color to your holiday. R, who happens to pass by once in while and tries to send out messages with the least amount of words. The very talented P, who celebrated her 11th birthday this week, will get her ears pierced and who is just good in everything she does. And last but not least, T, who won a coconut at her school's fair and ended up dresssing it up and dragging along everywhere. She is just one of these dotting girls who decided one day to put a sign on her bedroom door saying:'T is in Argentina!'
- Trying to understand all these so typical sports that are only played by Anglo-saxons. Cricket lawns and men in white who seem to know the secret of getting grass out of white fabric!!! Rugby, not just a bunch of wild men who are after a ball! They really do have some tactic when they are out one the field:'Crouch, touch, pause, ENGAGE!!!'
- Getting in on the right side of the car and ending up on a passenger's seat. Needless to say that this was rather a tricky one. Was tempted a few times to get behind the steering wheel but then I might have ended up in hospital and wrecked my host her lovely little red car!
- The cat Vince, who ended up not being a Tomcat after all! She is still called Vince and is spoiled to death by all of the B-family. She did talk back when I admited that I had forgotten to bring her a gift.
-English Bookstores at every corner of the street to spend a fortune at! I had to restrain myself when I was in one of them. Walking through WH Smith and Border's was really tough!!!! But this time I did not go over my budget and ended up buying some chicklit as well when I just need a break for the heavy reading. Nicest bookstore that I was in on this trip: the one at the Salts in the UNESCO hallmark village of Saltaire!
- Having to pay with Pounds Sterling. Foreign currency does make travelling a bit more special. Have to admit that it was also nice that this time my checking account won't suffer that much because of the rather low rate!
- No plugs in bathroom and other healthy&safety regulations that English rave about. Yes, I must have seemed an idiot to R when I told him that I couldn't have figured out on my own what the function of that long cord hanging down in the bathroom was for!
- Travelling with BMI!!!! They promise you they will leave at time and they even end up arriving sooner! And you still get a sandwich and a drink on a 45 minute flight and don't have to pay extra for it. Only it would come in handy that they don't forget to turn on the sign of their bagage drop off at Brussels airport!
-Homemade English Cuisine: food prepared with love and some of the best dishes come out the tiniest cookbook I have ever seen. Nice were as well the bags of crisps with rather strange sounding ingredients and the fish and chips! But why does there have to be cucumber in the Pimm's or why is a 99 flake called 99 even A did not know!!
- Being part of the daily life of the B-family! Who dragged me along on many happy occasions: the graduation of A! Who is now a qualified math teacher and ended up winning a prize!!! Or going to P her yearly concert where I ended up listening to some damn good music. But unfortunately did not win one of the raffle prizes!
-Trying to teach some Dutch or typical Flemish words to some eager students like P and A. Top of the bill was the word 'hogedrukreiniger'!!! Very happy to state that some of my pupils had some very nice accents. Keep up the good work!
- Calling the Mexican flu the Swine flu! I must admit that I was a bit more anxious to be at an airport and when one of the ladies in the bookstore (where do you think do I spend the last minutes of my stay in the UK!!!) sneezed very loud and numerous times I did go out of the way. I was also not so happy to get that extra folder with the information they give to passengers returning of country where Mexican flu is going around. It ended up in the bin because it did no tell me anything new!
I also guess that the last lines are not something that I will be able to live without. It is rather getting used to live with the constant fear that you catch that blue bug that causes you to feel horrible! For the moment I still feel fine but I can officially state that I caught something else! The UK-bug and that seems one with rather fun side-effects!! Uhm, I am going to put on the kettle, next I am going to walk through my improvised rose garden, after that I am going to bake scones and perhaps watching some rugby!!!
P.S.: If time won't catch up too much I will get back with some more from across the Channel!
And once more a thousand times THANK YOU to the B-family!!!! You were all fab and created precious memories that I will cherish for a very long time!!!