Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Note to a small island

By: Lindsey

“Let me guess… Australian?”

“Ummm, no, English.” 

“Oh, I thought so. I really have an ear for accents you know."

Really? I sound really English to me. Which doesn’t sound very Australian, but apparently there isn’t much in it if you live in Maryland. 

I blame Nicole Kidman for confusing everyone with her English/Australian accent in Australia - the film that is. It certainly wasn’t a question I was expecting to be asked once a month when I moved to the US, but I guess in the enormity of moving overseas, it’s not such a big deal.

I’ve become one of those ex-pats who moans about the fact you can’t buy ‘proper’ teabags here. You can buy UK things here, it just costs a bit more. And with the food packages from family and friends, I have no right to moan about that. I still moan about the money though. Why are all the notes the same colour? And why is a five cent coin bigger than both a dime and a quarter? 

Going on an American bear hunt. 
I miss my family like crazy. The world is small, but it could still be a little smaller when I want to give my Mum a cuddle.

There are so many things I like about living here. I like the heatwave we’re currently having; especially while the UK bathes in, well, rain. It’s Wimbledon isn’t it? Is it really a surprise it’s raining? 

I’m growing tomatoes! And chili and broccoli and radishes and potatoes and a whole range of other things! They will mainly get eaten by deer and groundhogs and rabbits and chipmunks, but at least they would have a chance of growing big and strong, not like my pitiful attempts at tomato growing in Glasgow. 

So far we’ve had a snake in the basement, a groundhog living under the porch, a black bear in the neighbourhood (the black sunflower seeds in bird feeders are apparently crack to bears) and of course the family of deer who forget they're meant to be scared of humans and eat everything in their path (not humans thankfully).

I love the fact my babies are happy. Boy 1 has grown confident and brave and continues to amaze me day after day. Boy 2 is American, born but not bred, so I guess he will still have some roots in the UK. 

I do wonder a lot about things. If we stay here, my boys will identify with being American. I will always identify with being British. I don’t know how I’m going to feel about that as the years go by, and they don’t realise that you should offer a cup of tea to every visitor who comes to the door. 

Will we stay here? Who knows, but it is a good life for my family. We smile a lot more and do a lot more, and we all have a lovely tan.

~ Part of Strangers in Strange Lands. Lindsey is a doula, tea drinker, and forensic biologist, which means she spends a lot of afternoons wondering if snails need doulas. This being the 4th, she is obligated to attend some sort of BBQ thing, after which she is entitled to a restorative cup of Yorkshire Gold. 


  1. Bavarian Sojourn5 July 2012 at 17:14

    Lovely post. I am an expat that moans about a lack of decent tea, and someone asked me if I was Australian just this very morning! :D

  2. I get taken for Irish sometimes...which actual Irish people find very amusing.

  3. I always get the 'where in America are you from' question. So confident and sure that they have identified my home country. I've taken to enjoying the look of terror that crosses some people's faces when I say I'm Canadian. They always profusesly apologise. I honestly don't know any Canadians who would get that upset for being misidentified as American.

  4. One of these days I want to pretend to get really offended when someone misidentifies me as Canadian...just because in all of history an American has never done that yet :)

  5. I've got to admit I very rarely can tell a Brit from an Australian from a New Zealander... I just haven't got the ear, but I generally can tell an American from a Canadian...
    It's funny I always wonder how I'll feel about my children identifying themselves more as Italian than as American if we stay in Italy... I'm hoping they learn a bit about all the cultures that surround them daily.
    And your children will surely know to offer tea, they'll be following your example after all!

  6. I'm jealous - I wish I could legitimately identify myself as Italian.

    I get this suspicion that my kiddies will identify themselves as Martian when they grow up. Oh well.