It just snowed for a second. In February. In London. I love the bizarre novelty of it, even if it never sticks. Although, is it a novelty anymore? I know my family members on the East Coast are pretty over their snow. Poor snow. So ecstatically loved and then so violently hated.
So February… February… I am writing with ellipses to be dramatic. This month marks two years since we moved to London from Brooklyn. Right before we left, my mom and Summer both independently collected good luck and goodbye messages from our friends and family. It was a very touching gesture and I remember at the time I was barely able to read the notes. Our move felt too raw and too uncertain and even after we had arrived, I had to keep the collection of sentiments out of view. But because in time it became so clear to us that moving here was one of the better decisions we’ve ever made, I can now read the messages from our loved ones effortlessly. Amusingly. Smilingly. And I might as well share them, with my editorializations:
- Jeremy accused us of running away from our friends and family. Um… maybe. Jk. Never. Or maybe.
- Becky and Sean (read: Becky) said to send lots of pictures. See, you people should be careful what you wish for. They also said to look right when crossing the street (yes) and eat Indian (yes) and to buy them presents from Harrods (um).
- Summer/Sean (read: Summer) said London doesn’t know how lucky it is. London, are you listening?
- John and Amy referenced the War of 1812 and then said to eat enough black pudding for them all. Not a chance. Not ever.
- Meredith et al told us to reserve a pint and some fish & chips for them. Done and done. Our cramped flat awaits.
- My brother Micah and his dog Lola mentioned that we would make fun of people here, freeze, wouldn’t have to brush our teeth anymore, would get mad cow disease, and that he would miss having a free place to stay in Brooklyn. True. True. False. False. True.
- Josh and Kaci quoted Winston Churchill. As one should.
- Our former downstairs neighbors, the Hayses, gave us a lot of lofty compliments, ending with one about our big screen TV. We miss it too. Jud said to buy a big HDTV here. It’s not so big.
- My aunt and uncle said not to come home with a silly accent or sipping tea. So far so good. But I probably have an annoying new vocabulary now. Loads of new words.
- A few people encouraged us to come home with a new, little person. Hint taken. A child has been spawned. He’s not British though. Don’t think he’ll have the accent either. But we’ll see.
- To answer Sande & Bug- we don’t really root for sports teams here. Bryan pretends he is an Arsenal fan. I did have to laugh though when my father sent me this recent email, subject line “Congratulations!”. “Would you please tell all of your British friends how happy I am for them now that they have finally won a medal at the Olympics. As was the case with the Summer Olympics, it was in a ‘sitting down’ sport where they finally prevailed.”
- Sandra said she would keep the seats warm for Bryan at Shea and the Meadowlands. Both of which are torn down now. Sandra, you failed!
- Anne called us an “international Jewish power couple” (AWESOME) and was certain we would have run-ins with Apple and Kingston. Okay, not yet. But I have seen Apple’s mum & dad.
- Virginia said technology and web cams would keep us in touch. So very correct. If you’re not on our Skype list, who are you anyway.
- Some friends warned us about the different meanings here for “fag” and “fanny” but man I wish they had told me about “pants”.
- My former colleagues were hilariously nonrepeatable. I think right now they’re trying a case in federal court I had worked on before leaving. That breaks my heart just a little.
- Mira said soccer is called football and also to look right when crossing the street. Great twins think alike. She also acknowledged it can be scary and hard moving to a new place. It’s worth all the hard parts.
- Jane et al said her family was right behind us and they don’t want to “reinvent the wheel”. Still waiting, Jane.
- I can’t even repeat all the horrible things people said about the orthodontia here. No comment.
- Many people mentioned tea. Yeah, never have gotten into the milky tea thing. Crumpets though. Amazing.
- Sean told us never to get into a phone booth for a number of reasons, none of which were the real reason one should never enter a phone booth: they are filled with adverts for porn. I said advert. See, I really live here. He also mentioned that beat cops here do not carry firearms. True. And awesome. Try and get me to leave a country where guns are illegal. I dare you. You people can keep your drive-bys and snipers to yourselves.
- My brother said he would see Bryan on Xbox. Yep. That happened.
- Others said we were living large, doing something courageous, they admired us and/or were jealous. Other people just told us to come back quickly. Either way, thanks.
- Quite a few people mentioned all the visitors we would have. And that’s the amazing part. I could not have imagined how many people we would see over here. Far more than had we stayed in New York. It seems London is the center of the universe. Not just the wonderful friends and family that have come to stay with us, but the number of people that are here on business, pleasure or stopping through on the way to a more distant adventure. I stopped blogging a long time ago about the people we have been able to see. It’s remarkable, really. Remarkable is such a good word btw. But our London life is all sorts of blasts from the past and present. Just in the past few weeks we have seen our former Brooklyn landlords (bottle-collecting hobbyists trip), my friend from law school (work) and now Bryan’s best friend from childhood is here (wedding convention). It seems every week there is a different person with a different reason. We take all comers. You know this.
Summer ended her collection of messages with this quote:
By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.
I will end this long, rambling post with a non sequitur. (Although I fear I am using the non sequitur concept improperly.) The 4th season of Friday Night Lights has ended. And so I ask, what do we do now?