Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 196

Glorious England!

Boy oh boy, let me tell you folks that England is fabulous today – it’s the hottest start to an August here in ten years and the skies are blue with not a cloud in the sky (plus I hear it is raining back in Maryland πŸ˜‰ ). Happy days since I can still sunbathe and keep the tan topped up (I was concerned I might fade away πŸ˜‰ ).

It being such a glorious day, I did something that you just can’t do where I live in the USA. I popped to the shops!

To the chemist (pharmacy), grocers and the local market. To confirm, I WALKED out the door and WALKED into town. Wow! It feels so novel!

Things that I noticed today:

– British gents in hats. There were lots and lots of them, all looking very dapper and smart and British. I counted about 10 of them on my walk.

One of many gents in a hat

One of many gents in a hat

– A bobby van. The British bobby has his very own van. No longer a bicycle, but a van!

A real life Bobby van!

A real life Bobby van!

– British flags are flying proudly! The Union Jack is much more prevalent than I ever remember seeing it before.

The British high street displays the Union flag

The British high street displays the Union flag

– British builders are really friendly and I miss their chirpy banter!

‘Alright love – nice tan. Where d’you get that then?’

‘Thanks! I live in America and I’ve been hanging by the pool. You’ve got a good tan going on.’

‘Arr, yup, not bad. What you up to then, love?’

‘I’m visiting my parents who live here, and this is the church I got married in.’

‘Don’t be daft, you must have been a child bride…hahaha!’


Bless ’em!

The church I got married in

The church I got married in

Long live the British builder chappies!

Long live the British builder chappies!

– The heat here is more bearable and not humid like the East Coast USA. And old-worldy England looks at its finest.

England, ah!

England, ah!

A house on the River Avon

A house on the River Avon

How lush is that view?!

How lush is that view?!

See the red phone box outside the church?!

See the red phone box outside the church?!

Summertime splashing for the kids in the Avon

Summertime splashing for the kids in the Avon

The quintessential British canal

The quintessential British canal

– I am still more comfortable with British money than US money (our coins go in order of size!)

Oh I've missed you British notes!

Oh I’ve missed you British notes!

– I still love real roast dinners!

Yum yum!

Yum yum!

– Ice creams are smaller! Much smaller!

Diddy little ice cream cone!

Diddy little ice cream cone!

– The local news headlines in UK towns still make me chortle πŸ™‚



For more fab UK photos, check out my Desperate English Housewife in Washington Facebook page πŸ™‚

I also stood in a queue behind some locals with strong, strong West Country accents, and whilst before I would have not registered this, I found it interesting to hear them, to observe them, perhaps now with new eyes, or as an outsider looking in with a cultural comparison always on the brain…..

My brother keeps asking me what I miss about the UK and love about the USA.

I told him thus:

Cheap fruit and veg – it’s too expensive in the USA and the UK is far, far cheaper.
The humidity – the East Coast is so humid, but I love the heat. The UK does not have this drenching, soul sucking humidity!
Driving – as much as it is nuts, I love the USA driving and not encountering traffic lights all the time like we do in the UK!!
BBC TV – I miss talking about the dramas on the TV the night before with my gals!
British history – today I saw it everywhere – and I hadn’t really appreciated it before. Observe, see, don’t take it for granted, that’s what I’ve learned.

British history is everywhere!

British history is everywhere!

‘Til tomorrow, folks!

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19 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 196

  1. Claire, you’re making me homesick! Gosh, I wish I was heading over the pond this summer. Have fun!

  2. Amanda says:

    Thank you for sharing all your photos! I spent two weeks in England and one week in Scotland in the summer of 1994, and if given the chance, I would move to England in a heartbeat. I love my United States, but there is just something magical about the U.K. The closest thing I have to it now is watching my British shows on Netflix and PBS.

  3. pak152 says:

    ‘Cheap fruit and veg – it’s too expensive in the USA and the UK is far, far cheaper.” i guess it really depends upon where you buy your fruits and veggies in the US.

  4. Sally D says:

    Loving your observations, enjoy your stay xx

  5. That’s wonderful.. You must be thrilled to be home. You seem so unhappy in America. I’m happy for you.

  6. meowclaire says:

    Glad you are back and having fun. Cannot wait to see you on Monday.x

  7. Cindy says:

    If you miss “Cat Calls” from construction workers, go to any US city.
    About that tan, do you wear sunscreen? The sun ages and kills.
    Vegetables are very cheap here, if you know where to shop.
    I’m enjoying reading your blog. Most days you are amusing, today, not so much.
    A little annoying….actually

    • People keep telling me that veges are cheap in some places in the US but never tell me where! Please tell me and I shall go there on my return!! I am so keen to find somewhere!

      I surely do wear sunscreen!

      What is annoying about it today? Please elaborate?! I feel hurt and don’t understand…….

      • Cindy says:

        I’m sorry. Perhaps it’s me that’s annoying today. I’m starting to annoy myself actually.
        I enjoy reading about the differences in our countries. Most all have been very insightful. Today, it felt that some of your observations were “pandering” to your British readers. That said, even though I’m an American, I would probably prefer the British life!
        Like I said, I’m sorry, I’m in a mood, should have stayed a way from the keyboard.

      • Ah, the trip to the UK is a little overwhelming, you see and it highlights some of the things I have always seen but never observed…it’s interesting to see now through eyes that have experienced America.

        That said, I’m missing the USA already – the space and freedom and the driving and the pools!!!

        My UK readers, and USA readers, I am sure are keen to see my take on the UK now……the places are so different, and the current town I am staying in is poles apart from my American one – you couldn’t get two more opposing cultures!

        I’m missing our county state fair this week – boo hoo. I’d love to see a rodeo and a corn dog stall! Still, there’s always next year!


  8. Fruit and veg is too expensive in the U.S. which is why we have an obesity problem. It’s cheaper to get a cheeseburger and fries than to buy a red pepper in the supermarket. Only if you are lucky enough to live in an area ripe with farmer’s markets do you get a chance at anything cheaper. We have one or two farmer’s markets near me and none of them are accessible to people who do not have a car. And forget about an organic market. I have to drive an hour away.

    Did you watch EastEnders tonight?

  9. Pat and Pam says:

    LOL — I love it! You are listing the things you love about being back in the UK that I listed as loving in my expat interview on your page a few days ago! Go, History! Go, lovely different accents! Hooray for less humidity (although yesterday almost qualified as a Maryland day).


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