Sorry about my very long silence. It has provoked rumours of pregnancy (I am too old, mentally not biologically), lottery winning (I wish!) and falling down a large pot hole in one of Sicily’s main motorways (I just invented that one actually).
None of this is true, but… Drumroll…. I am at last allowed to announce that I have a job in the UK, and I have left Sicily’s sunny shores. You thought I only knew how to burn the pasta and make fun of Sicilian driving, didn’t you?
Since being offered this job I have been madly busy. I had three weeks in December to find and rent a house in England, enrol my son in a school, furnish the house, set up the wifi and other utility bills, buy two cars and two mobile phones for myself and my Intrepid Hubby, ship over some crates of clothes, lego and my trusty vintage computer from Sicily, and figure out how to use a central heating thermostat dating from 1972.
So how are we getting on in England?
Well, we are living in a small village which is a picturesque cluster of abnormally small semi-detached houses and charity shops huddled around the iconic Asda supermarket building. The vibrant village centre boasts not only a public library with wheelchair access but also a structurally sound primary school and a moderately sized veterinarian centre which caters both for pets and local sheep alike. What’s more, it is mere minutes from the centre of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, where it only rains twice a year on average (once from February to August and the second time from September to January).
My little lad is really happy in English school, and not just because the building isn’t falling down! English culture with its emphasis on not shouting your head off really suits him too.
Hubby has made friends with the local farmers and buys amazingly good meat from them, and seems to be enjoying being a house husband. He went through a period of adjustment. For example, I told him that when you hang up the laundry in Stoke-on-Trent it will still be wet after five days or else have gone mouldy, and he thought I was just joking. He also thought he would be able to buy warm clothes in Sicily and still use them as his “warm clothes” once we got to England. He also thought he would stay indoors till it stopped raining, bless him.
Then one day he suddenly became more English than me and told me off for parking sqiffily and trying to sneak through a light that was just turning red.
England has a way of doing that to people.