My Memoirs 6 – Larry’s Fourth Week in England

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This past week has been all about sheds! First of all, Larry’s new shed was delivered and erected by Telesheds, in just under an hour and then Larry made a few modifications to make it just how he would like it. In the picture he is making some edging for the corners and once done, it looked very nice. Then of course there was a trip to Homebase to buy some Cuprinol to protect the shed from the bad weather that I expect we will be having soon!

I’ll show you how the shed turned out in a few days time.  Meanwhile, here is Larry’s observations over his fourth week in England:

‘My Fourth Week in England

Shopping carts in England are called “trolleys”. You’ll find them all chained together in front of the grocery store. Apparently if left unchained these trolleys would all escape to the far corners of the local neighborhood. If you want the pleasure of driving one of these trolleys around the grocery store you first have to release the chain holding it to the others. Just insert a one-pound coin (worth about $1.50) into a slot on the trolley – this releases the chain so it is free to roam about as it pleases. You can also use a token made expressly for this purpose if $1.50 seems too much to invest. When your journey around the grocery store is complete you get your coin or token back when you re-chain the trolley to its brothers and sisters. Although chaining trolleys together is an obvious affront to their civil rights, I did notice the complete absence of loose trolleys in the car park (parking lot), and no dings on the sides of the cars where unrestrained trolleys had banged into them. Perhaps shopping carts in America should be re-evaluated and given a little less freedom. In any case I must admit to missing the ones in Krogers with the square wheels.

Speaking of grocery stores, you can conveniently find them in large shopping malls here. Buy an iPad at the Apple store, a new jacket, pair of trousers or new shoes on the first floor of Marks and Spencer’s, then have a sit down for tea and cakes, and finally on your way out of the mall grab a quart of milk, bread, cheese, tomatoes, and other grocery items on the ground floor of M&S – all just in time to catch the No. 9 bus back home. How can you make things easier than that? How many more people would visit their local shopping mall if there was a grocery store there?? BTW if you are on the first floor of a building here don’t be fooled into thinking you can just walk out the door. You’ll find it’s a nasty drop. The ground floor here is for doing that. The first floor is one story up, and the second floor is two stories up, and so on.

This week’s discovery is the word “hire”. In America the word “hire” applies to people but not to inanimate objects. For example Americans might rent or lease a car and then hire someone to drive it for them. In England you can hire a car, hire a caravan (recreational vehicle), hire almost anything whether it’s alive or not. The words “rent” or “lease” still apply when referring to real estate, such as renting a flat (apartment). However the most common phrase for renting or leasing a place to set up a business seems to be “To Let”. There are large signs posted everywhere saying “To Let”. To show you how a tired old brain can play tricks, my mind saw “To Let” and automatically inserted an “i” to make the word “Toilet”. For some reason this mind trick persisted for almost a week. “How marvelous that every toilet in the UK is so prominently marked”, I thought! Then one day I realized my mistake. While there is an ample supply of toilets everywhere I’ve been in England, there isn’t one on every street corner after all.

I had been warned (sort of) before I moved here that there was a poltergeist living in the upstairs portion of the house – not an evil or malicious type, just a mischievous spirit who likes to play pranks on occasion. Being of scientific persuasion I immediately dismissed such notions without a second thought. However, this past week provided first evidence. Moving a computer and printer from one room to another provided the opportunity. All the cables for both computer and printer were disconnected and carefully placed in a plastic bag. After both machines were relocated the process of reconnecting the cables began. All the cables were accounted for, except the gray and orange cable that connects the computer to the printer. After looking for it for almost an hour it became apparent something strange was going on. After another half-hour we found the missing cable on top of the wardrobe in another bedroom, where no one had been during the past several hours. Without question the printer cable was connected prior to the move. So how did it turn up on top of a piece of furniture almost six feet high in a room where nobody had been?

Definition of Paradise – Sitting hand in hand on a park bench under an enormous oak tree by the River Ouse in Bedford feeding the swans, partly cloudy skies and 70F with light breeze.

Watch this page for next week’s adventures in paradise.’

Oma

11 thoughts on “My Memoirs 6 – Larry’s Fourth Week in England

  1. Another interesting episode of your “adventures”, very much enjoying reading through it :)
    Well, at least the poltergeist is just a bit mischievous, and not one of the malevolent ones (which made me think of some books I had read recently about ghost happenings at the Borley Rectory)…

  2. A very entertaining observation of English life! The reason trolleys are chained up is clear around my part of the world (South London). Before they did it you would find abandoned trolleys stuck in hedges or lying in the middle of the road, where the local youths had dumped them after using them to augment a ‘night out’ with a little go-kart type racing. Mind you its a bugger if you turn up at the supermarket without a pound coin or one of those tokens,

  3. Great to hear what it all seems like from Larry’s perspective! I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I am now convinced that the poltergeist is real! :-)

  4. Chuckling at the ‘to let’ signs minus the ‘i’ lol, Smiling away at larry’s Forth week in England, wow time is flying, and good job too he got the groundfloor and firstfloor all sorted .. As for that friendly Spirit who loves to play Hide and Seek, I think he/She is having some fun!…. I would imagine your cottage has many a tale to tell :-)

    Glad the shed is all now set for winter…..
    Enjoy your weekend Oma,
    Love Sue xox

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