England is enjoying some spectacular weather at the moment! Yes, I did say that. Unusual, I know, but we have had hot, sunny days for a while now and more to come. Is it a coincidence, I wonder; that my husband is arriving from Tennessee next week? Is he bringing his weather with him? I rather doubt it because where he has been staying for a few weeks in South Carolina, there has been thunderstorms and heavy rain every day. Perhaps he’ll bring those too.
I have been preparing the cottage for his arrival. There are lots of differences to life over here. I wonder how he will cope? What will he notice first? Our lack of air conditioning perhaps? The birds are different here. They look different and they sound different. There are no mocking birds, humming birds or cardinals. Instead we have blackbirds, who sing so very beautifully, wood pigeons, little English robins and tiny wrens. I’m just thinking of my own garden now. With two cats, the birds like to keep away. We have no cicadas or poisonous snakes and our butterflies are smaller. There are no fireflies either.
From my own observations I can say that the trees are different. Ours are not so tall and they are more gnarled looking. We have miles of hedges. Did you know you can tell the age of a hedge by the number of species of plant and tree in it?
We drive on the left hand side and there are many, many roundabouts. We are allowed to park cars on the side of the road so driving becomes a bit like an obstacle course.
We have double-decker buses. Ours are painted turquoise. We use public transport a lot because our petrol is very expensive. Because I am over 60 I travel free on the local buses, whether they are in my own town or someone elses.
I don’t pay for my prescriptions because I am over 60 years old. Our National Health Service is free at the point of use.
Time for another picture:
I am more than excited about L’s arrival and have been ‘nesting’ for a few weeks now. Only a few more days now…