Sunday, January 31, 2016

Two Months in...

So I've been in the United Kingdom now for just over two months and I've got a few things to share:

  1. My accent, while still most definitely NOT British, is more akin to Canadian now than American (much less Alabama). I take it as a compliment!
  2. I'm STILL learning a lot of cockney slang. Who knew that if you said you were having a Ruby Murray that it means you're having a curry?
  3. Yes, I do experience some homesickness. I miss my friends, especially Eli and Don, Will and Ron and all my Grace friends. 
  4. I am really not getting used to all the rain we've had. It's been a LOT. Winter? WHAT WINTER? It's barely gotten to freezing temps here...just barely.
  5. I'm still not used to the whole driving on the left hand side of the road although I'm getting much much more used to it riding my bike around.
What else? Well, I'm becoming an official productive person here. I've got my national insurance number, which is a lot like a social security number in the states. I've also got my bank account set up here. 

I LOVE the food here. Granted, some things like KFC not having mashed potatoes and their coleslaw not being like the KFC in the states... that I could never get used to. Oh yes... I haven't had McDonald's food since I left Kentucky... which was almost four months ago! Do I miss it? Yeah I do. Just the fries though. The rest I can live without. Speaking of food... evidently, I'm a good cook according to Richard and his parents. I haven't made a bad dish yet! (from scratch). My Mexican bean salad seems to be the big winner.

Also, since receiving my national insurance number, I've gotten tentative approval to work behind the post office counter as an actual postal worker instead of working retail... and the only thing I had been doing thus far is what's called drop and go (where the customer leaves their parcels and a manifest and we take care of doing all the postage out of a prepaid account), but Saturday, Richard was the only one behind the counter and it was getting massively busy. I decided to try my hand at doing the real-time postal stuff. With Richard's help, we powered through a massively busy half day's worth of customers. It felt really good to be able to do as much as I did. So really for the first time since I've been here, I felt like I was really needed to do something and it felt great!

I've also gotten my photography page renovated so go visit!

And the best thing of all besides Richard since I've been here? One of the posties (post carriers) being a HUGE AUBURN FAN! Yes, he's a British citizen and he was simply amazed that I attended Auburn University. WAR EAGLE!

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Post Christmas Update...

I'm dreaming of a WET Christmas!

Yeah yeah yeah... I was warned. It would be WET, but DAMN not THIS wet! When I arrived, it was somewhat cold and very windy and wet. Today... same thing. We might have had a total of 96 hours of actual sunlight since I've been here. Ugh.

Good news... it's definitely getting colder an Winter seems to be arriving. Thank God I say, because we can't take much more rain, and I know that Cumbria and Scotland can't take much more either.

So for Christmas, I was a very lucky ginger, because I received a nice Trek 7200 bicycle (got a really good deal on a used bike in excellent condition) and I also received a SodaStream (which is freaking AWESOME!). It was especially nice having my first ever authentic British Christmas dinner (yes, crowns, crackers and all).

The Christmas season at the post office was very busy as expected... and we are busier than normal because of my oh so very charming southern American accent... oh wait, I meant Canadian!  Yes... the first few days I was at the post office, I had no trouble being identified as American, but now, I get asked 19/20 times if I'm Canadian! My accent has definitely shifted!

We are moving into new territory at the post office... mainly because we are going to start adding services that we've never done before to earn extra money (and compete with those around us). It's very exciting!!

Other things that I've done... yes I like the rest of the world went to see Star Wars and it was AWESOME! I've walked and biked along the beach (great paved paths going down the seafronts!!) and I've also tried new foods to me including pork pies, anything Piri Piri, many many new cheeses (and authentic cheddar cheeses) and my new favourite... PRAWN CRACKERS! Oh. My. God. For you Americans out there who have no idea what those are... imagine shrimps that have been minced up into a paste and starch added to help it stick together, then cooked into chip-like forms. There's also a really nice bakery just a few doors down from the post office and while their sweets aren't the best I've ever had, the savoury items are! They have some wonderful curry pies, Mediterranean pastry and Cornish pasties are just FAB!

Oh yeah... and Richard. God bless him. He's just the best thing EVAH. (gush!!!!!)

Can you tell I'm loving it here?