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England

We’ve Landed!!!

Yes, we are officially residents of Ashby-De-La-Zouch in Leicestershire England!   The movers have delivered our “goods” from Minnesota.  I’ve unpacked, rearranged, rearranged some more and am doing my best to settle in!  It doesn’t quite feel like home yet…feels more like I’m playing house…but overall life is positive!

As you might imagine not everything has gone smoothly.  Getting TV and internet services here in the UK has been frustrating at best and infuriating at its worst.     Long story short….it will be nearly a month before we will have internet services in the flat!!!  We were led to believe it would be a week to 10 days but a MONTH????!!!!   Oh well….I now own a Dongle so I am saved.  What is a Dongle you ask?  It is a device you insert into the usb port of a computer or i-phone and voila…you are connected to a wi-fi somewhere in the internet universe.  It is a relatively inexpensive alternative to the maintenance of my sanity!   Unfortunately, it is a “pay as you go” device so I am trying to limit my usage to simple browsing…no Slingbox or picture downloading…to try to spread out my remaining gigabytes over the next MONTH!!!    Did I mention it is going to take a MONTH to get a landline and internet service?

Because of aforementioned internet delays I won’t be sharing pictures for a while but I assure you I will have plenty of pictures to share.  Ashby is a lovely little community of about 11,000 nestled in the National Forest (of which I’ve seen very few trees)!   We are living in the Town Center and can walk to the market, leisure center (gym), many restaurants, more pubs and even the cricket club in about five minutes.   There are many beautiful churches and even a castle!!  I’m feeling quite British actually! 

So what have I been up to?  Well…

I’ve yet to eat fish and chips but did have a jacket potato last night at a local pub.  I stopped at the butcher shop to buy steak and kidney pie only to realize later the kidney wasn’t kidney beans but really kidney!!  It wasn’t awful but mind over matter prevailed and Craig had the kidney pie and I had the chicken and mushroom version!

Speaking of the butcher shop…every time I pass the shop he knocks on the window and waves at me! There aren’t many Americans in Ashby so I think I am a novelty.  

We have a Convenience Store (yes that is the name) with the following hours:

                Monday – Saturday:  7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

                Sunday:  7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

I wonder if anyone thinks it is inconvenient they are open 30 minutes later on Sunday. 

Speaking of the Convenience Store… I was curious what they actually sold so we wandered in on Sunday (after 7:30 a.m.).   After dropping a bottle of spice on the floor, kicking the broken glass under the shelves, placing the broken bottle back on the shelf, buying some British gossip magazine out of sheer guilt and hustling out I assure you I won’t ever go in there again!!! 

Lionel and his 16-year old dog, Kelly (makes me smile because my niece’s name is Kelly) plopped down at our table at a local pub where we were watching the Manchester United v Chelsea football match (soccer for you Americans out there).  Lionel was very pleasant until the game started at which point he states, “I’m done talking now”.  And he was, until he needed to grab another pint and asked me if I could hold onto Kelly for him.  

We drove to IKEA in Nottingham on Sunday (yes, it is Robin Hood’s Nottingham – pretty cool, huh?).   This driving on the wrong side of the street is kind of interesting….I managed to drive over two curbs (in parking lots at least) and hit the left side rumble strip at least once in the 25-mile drive.  Just imagine…the slow lane is the fast lane…you pass on the right…you exit the motorway on the left…your rearview mirror is on your left…in order to make a right turn you have to cross traffic so you better look both ways…a left turn is easy, unless you are in a parking lot with curbs…pulling into parking spaces presents challenges I remember only as a 16-year old driving student…parallel parking is NEVER going to happen…other than that it is just like driving in America.   

In yet another “it can only happen to Cindy” moment…I had just finished a work out at the leisure center and was making my way into the women’s locker room when I met two giggly teen-aged girls.   I’m pretty sure they were giggling about their friend in the locker room engaged in a romantic moment with her boyfriend!   Let’s just say they were a bit red-faced and scattered faster than I did leaving the Convenience Store! 

Please keep checking back…I promise to get into the groove and you won’t want to miss the pictures when the internet is installed in a MONTH!!!!!!

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Words of Wisdom

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. - John F. Kennedy
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