2 Signs You're Turning English

Wednesday, 27 August 2014
It's been four years since I first arrived in England and a lot has changed in that time. I've been married, bought a house and started a successful career. All of this while learning about the habits and the customs of the English.

The culture shock has subsided and with each passing year I find the amount of words getting lost in translation dwindling. Instead of 'eggplant' I now say 'aubergine' and u's are creeping into the spelling of words such as 'colour' and 'neighbour'. Even my accent is becoming slightly muddled.

On my commute into work this morning I found myself wondering if perhaps I am turning English. There have been two recent signs that have led me to this theory.

2 Signs You're Turning English

 Exhibit A) 

Whilst driving past a pub with my colleagues a few weeks ago I stated, "what lovely hanging baskets." My fellow passengers turned to me in surprise because I, for one, had never expressed an interest in gardening. And for another thing, the statement was such a quintessentially English phrase that I'm sure it sounded quite bizarre to be coming from me.

I don't envisage becoming an avid gardener any time soon, but obviously the English's love of gardening is starting to rub off on me.

Hanging baskets
Hanging baskets at The Windmill. Taken by Leonora Enking under a creative commons licence.

Exhibit B)

A week or so ago, one of our neighbours decided to put their rubbish bag over our garden wall, which we promptly returned to the street in front of their house. A day or so later, we found the rubbish bag back and once again promptly returned it. This carried on for several days and by Monday last, my husband and I were quite sick of it.

In a strop, I marched into the pouring rain and placed the two rubbish bags right behind the neighbours' car in a passive aggressive attempt at leaving a clear message. In the morning, the bags were back.

My husband wrote a note, asking them to please stop putting their rubbish into our garden and passed it through the letter box. That evening the rubbish was gone and the neighbour came over to speak to me. It transpires that the rubbish wasn't theirs either. It had magically appeared on the path in front of their house and they believed it to be ours. We had both been playing a game of pass the parcel with someone else's rubbish.

They agreed to stop putting the rubbish into our garden and we agreed not to put the rubbish behind their car. The quintessentially English custom of bickering with the neighbours has come to an end. Now, I can focus on the other quintessentially English custom of peering out the window in an effort to discover who put the rubbish out in the first place.

The front garden, the scene of the crime!

In conclusion, I could never be fully English but I suppose it's only natural after spending so much time in England to pick up some of the habits and customs of the English.

Q: Do you find yourself picking up habits of your host country?

Erin x

Cruising On The River Thames

Tuesday, 29 July 2014
For anyone visiting London for the first time, or just looking for a unique perspective, I thoroughly recommend a cruise on the River Thames. Cruising on the River Thames offers a fantastic view of the best of London, stripped free of the crowds of tourists and traffic. It is a fantastic way to spend a few hours and see the sights!

Two weeks ago, I did just that when I joined a group of my new colleagues for a tropical-themed sunset cruise. And not just any old cruise down the River Thames, this was aboard a luxury yacht, The Silver Sturgeon.
The Silver Sturgeon

We boarded The Silver Sturgeon dressed in Hawaiian shirts and maxi dresses from the Savoy Pier to the sound of a live calypso band i(t was a tropical-themed after all). We set sail at 7:00pm, with mojitos in hand, in the direction of Battersea, passing the Houses of Parliament and MI5 as we went.

Cruising on the River Thames - London, England
Big Ben from the River Thames - London, England
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from the River Thames - London, England
MI5 from the River Thames in London, England

While cruising down the river, we were treated to a fantastic BBQ catered by Jamie Oliver's  Fabulous Feasts! This was no ordinary BBQ, it included hot smoked salmon and roasted butternut squash which were to die for! Our delicious BBQ was finished off with a sweet stall which included the best salted caramel ice cream I have ever tasted!

We turned around just before we reached Battersea Power Station and headed back along the River Thames. This gave us the chance to get another view of Big Ben which I still get goosebumps whenever I see. We also passed perhaps the oldest building on our route, the Tower of London, and the most modern with St. Mary's Axe (more commonly known as the Gherkin), The Shard, as well as The O2.

The Shard from the RIver Thames - London, England
The Tower of London from the River Thames - London, England
St. Mary Axe "The Gherkin" from the River Thames - London, England
Tower Bridge from the River Thames - London, England

One of the things I love about London is the blend of so many historical buildings interspersed with the modern. Never is this more apparent than when you're viewing these buildings from the Thames. Our cruise along the Thames was a wonderful experience!

Q: Have you ever been on a River Thames cruise?

The River Thames Map

Erin x

Sherlock Returns!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014
It's official, the boys of 221b Baker Street are back! Today BBC One announced that their hit television show, Sherlock, will be returning to our screens for a special and three new episodes. Sherlock's return was announced via Twitter at 2:21pm:
The fact that Sherlock is returning for a fourth series will not shock any fans of the show, but this is the first time dates have been put to the series. Filming starts in January 2015 with the special airing in Christmas 2015. So in short, yes we did miss you Moriarty.. but will still have to wait over a year to see Sherlock Holmes on the case!

BBC One's Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

 The game is... ON

Erin x
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