When we told people we were moving to the UK, I think most of them assumed we’d start travelling right away, and spend all of our time going to new places. By now we should have seen 80% of Europe, at LEAST!
Now, you might be wondering what gave me that impression. I submit to you the following as evidence:
Friend/Family: So what have you been up to? What sights have you seen?
Me: We saw one cool thing last week, but that’s not important. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT OUR LAUNDRY SITUATION!
Friend/Family: Please don’t.
If you came here expecting epic wanderlust photos, sorry to disappoint. First of all, I’m not a photographer, and my iphone is my camera. Secondly, while being able to visit monuments and historic buildings is very exciting, figuring out everyday life here has been the real adventure. (So just be proud when I tell you I’ve mastered the art of air-drying EVERYTHING, and that I found refried beans at the grocery store.) Life lately has been full of challenges and learning experiences, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include those details when sharing about our England adventures. So here, in no particular order, is a list of what we’ve been up to.
- Laundry – Dryers are not a thing here. At first, I thought we just had the misfortune of renting from a dryer-hating landlord, and surely other people had them. Because who ever heard of air-drying socks and towels?! Up until now, my philosophy has always been to throw everything in the dryer. If it can’t survive the dryer, it’s not worthy of me. But I was wrong. It’s completely normal for people here to live without dryers and air-dry everything. In fact, my coworkers are baffled by my hesitation to hang all our clothes out in the garden. They look forward to sunny days because it means they can do laundry unmolested by the weather. Well planning around the weather is not. going. to. happen. Also there are soooo many spiders outside. Thus far, I’ve been using an indoor drying rack, and hangers to get the job done, and this is unbelievable to my coworkers.
- Missing our stuff– It’s been months since we packed up all our things, and we’re FINALLY getting them this week!! For the past two+ months, we’ve been using a frying pan, two small plates, and two bowls to do all our cooking. I’m so excited [for Andrew] to be able to bake and cook real meals again. 😉
- Westminster Abbey – We toured Westminster Abbey a while ago, and it was awesome! Jeremy Irons narrated our self-guided tour, which gave me the chills.
- Bed problems – When we moved in we had to buy all new furniture. To save on the initial cost, we decided to just buy a bed frame and mattress, and buy a box spring later. Amazon UK’s selection of frames was limited, but we found a cheap one and figured it could hold us over until we had more money to spend on a bed. Well… This is our bed, including the bed frame and mattress (cat for scale). We assumed we’d be able to buy a box spring to make it taller, and you know, look like a bed, but apparently box springs aren’t a thing here. What we realized too late is that bed frames are referred to as “divans.” When we searched “divans” on Amazon.co.uk, we found a wide selection of beds that are basically a frame and box spring combo. Oops. We’re pretending “boho” was the look we were going for, and embracing it. For now.
- Kew Gardens – We went to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew for Andrew’s birthday, and it was glorious.
- Traveling to work – Public transport for the win. I take two trains and a bus to get to and from work every day. It takes about an hour and a half, so I have lots of reading time. Book suggestions anyone?
- Planning to travel and realizing we’re poor – That pretty much sums it up. We’re still catching our breath after paying for furnishings, new phones, and a bunch of other little things that have added up. But don’t you worry. We’re planning to get away for Thanksgiving! 👌