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The question is not what you look at, but what you see – Part One: A thru E

On Thursday, I will have been here for exactly a year and to mark this significant anniversary I will be leaving on a jetplane not knowing when I’ll be back again.  As it rightly should, that decision rests with the venerable United States Customs and Immigration Service.

It has been a captivating sojourn in many ways and so as I prepare to depart, I leave you with an alphabetic homage to the melting pot of things that I’ve loved muchly, not loved quite so muchly  and been altogether bemused by whilst living an everyday life in this USA.

Not wishing to tax you, I’ve divided the alphabet into 5 almost even chunks so today we have the Alpha to Echo of ‘Osyth Stateside’:

A.  Let’s start at the very beginning, which is, Miss Andrews tells us, a very good place to start!  A is for American and the first thing you learn here is that being American means  a micro-awareness of your heritage which one is given by way of introduction.  ‘Hi, I’m Delores O’Fanakapan …. my father was Irish-American and my mother was German-American but my Great Great Great Great Grandfather  was actually Swedish-American’.  The builder who is working on this house is Italian-American and always says ‘ciao’ at the end of every conversation but was entirely confused when I spoke to him in Italian.  He’s not Italian.  His ancestors were.  You can buy an Ancestry DNA kit for $99.  I’m altogether tempted ….  Which brings me to A is for Accent.  To be very clear,  I don’t have an accent … I speak what the British would regard as BBC English circa  a distant and all but forgotten epoque, but  here my accent is an object of fascination.  My husband has a Scouse (person from Liverpool) accent, particularly when folded into the bosom of his family,  and sounds entirely different to me.  I  would be ribbed as posh in Liverpool, but here we  collectively have a British accent.   It’s not unsual for people to simply not understand us.  Therefore I have developed a sort of verbal tick – I automatically repeat what I have just said but very very slowly and a little too loudly.  And I smile.  A lot.  As for the language of American English – that deserves a post all of it’s own and it shall get one.  Suffice for now that I speak American like a Spanish Cow in the same way as I speak French comme une vache espagnole

B.  B  is for  Beaver … they live here and are probably no more exciting than a badger is to a Brit but for me they are a source of amazement and delight.  From their tree felling to their lodge building to watching them silkily cutting through the water and stealthily, silently diving under for a quite breathcapturing length of time in the river at the end of the road I am captivated and I will miss them deeply and achingly.  I would include B is for Bear because we have had recent sitings in our town but I haven’t seen one yet so it feels a little like cheating.  Instead I will say that B is also for Biscuits which is VERY confusing for a well dragged up English gal.  A biscuit is what I call a scone and I would serve it with butter and jam and if I was feeling greedily decadent, clotted cream, but here it is served with gravy which isn’t even vaguely brown but palest creamy white and it has bacon or sausage broken up  in it.  What I call a biscuit you call a cookie.  Biscuit means twice cooked, cookie’s are definitely once cooked because they are delectably chewie and often absolutely gargantuan.  Biscuits in my venacular are dry and snappy.  Rather like me.  It’s fine though, no hard feelings – I’m very happy with your biscuits and I’m extremely satisfied with those cookies.  And I do know that you know about scones too … and may I say that B probably should belong to Baking because heavens to betsy you people can bake!

C.  C is for Critters … where I, as an English girl have wildlife in my garden you have critters in your yards.  And they are all SO cute!  C is especially for Chipmunks  with their tails at 90 degrees to their bodies like a flagpole and those squidgeable little stripey faces … honestly and surely, no-one could  say they are not adorable.  I had one in the kitchen on a hot day in summer. I don’t know who was more surprised.  Fortunately The Soporific Bean didn’t notice ….  The critters here include skunks (they walk SO slowly and awkwardly it is hardly surprising that they get rolled over on the roads a fact that is signalled by their singular stench from a great distance) there are turtles and frogs and bullfrogs that belch and groan in chorus all night long in summer, which I find surprisingly restful, and we have a groundhog that lives under our shed, there are raccoons (generally referred to as bandits) with their masked faces and little leather gloved hands and pink tailed oppossums and there are squirrels – big fat bruising greys that are sometimes black and look like they’ve been pumping iron and steroids and little red ones that nip about at a crazy pace and treat me to their finest squirrel pose when they find nuts or corn to nibble.  We also have ground squirrels which I believe to be the love-child of a red squirrel and a chipmunk – perhaps I should try Ancestry.com DNA on one ….

D.  D is for Diner.  I worship at these holy temples.   They vary of course but the good ones …. with wonderful staff who fill your cup with coffee tirelessly and cook breakfasts and lunches or that combined wonderment called Brunch … eggs, bacon, sausage, home-fries and a short stack with oozing butter and smothered in maple syrup must rate as one of the finest of fodders the world over.  And the opportunity to eavestrop on the best of intimate conversations ranging from politics to pumpkins and cosmetics to contractors is irrisitible.  Or I could drive by D for Dunkin’ Donuts (‘America runs on Dunkin’ if you didn’t know) but my husband doesn’t.  In fact recently at our nearest Mall and suffering from terrible bun-lag (a condition discovered by my mother many decades ago which is that moment when you are shopping and you start to fade and only cake will revive you), I persuaded him to queue with me at the Dunkin’ (by the way I don’t think there is a single community,  plaza or mall n Massachusetts, birthplace of Dunkin’, that doesn’t sport it’s own, however small) … he is a man of fastidious palette and I don’t think a Dunkin’ has ever passed his lips – I was so sooooo tempted to go for the Reeses Peanut Butter filled caramel topped cream donut but the look of absolute and abject pain and disgust on his face made me volte face and opt instead for a sober plain pumpkin ring.  It was nice.  It was really nice but the regret will live with me ever more (or until I can sneak one on my own and guzzle it in solitary splendour some day over the rainbow).

E.  E has to be for Election (that Presidential one in case you are in any doubt) but only to note two things.  The first is that I have been genuinely privileged to be able to follow the proceedings at first hand from Primaries to President.  And a privilege it is.  I noted once before, in France, that my opinion is of no interest to anyone but I was fortunate to see it with my own eyes – watch entire news programmes, read several newspapers and journals, watch the ‘Town Halls’, the debates and the interviews, speak to people whose country it is and who were going to vote for someone, as the spectacle, a gruesome bloodbath that might have been more fitting to an amphitheatre full of baying Romans watching Christians wrestle lions and Gladiators Gladiating, unfolded.  I feel extremely lucky and my American friends who have been embarrassed by the antics and apologised –  please, there is no need.  To be in a country which is  electing it’s leader rather than in another gathering snippets and thinking you have the facts is a quite amazing opportunity and I am glad I was here.  What I was horrified at was the manner in which the media conducted itself and I do hope that a little less partisan behavior might ensue one day.  Sadly, I think it won’t.  In fact I have often noted that the British have an unfortunate knack of embracing the worst of this side of the Atlantic whilst seemingly being blind to the many wonderful things they could  grasp and cleeve to and it seems the British media is becoming smitten with the same tune so I fear we just have to go with it and try to retain our own faculties sufficiently to understand when we are being beaten round the head with someone else’s opinions rather than being given a plateful of news to sort out in our own sweet way.  E is also for Enormous.  I thought of making B for Big but it simply doesn’t cover it.  Everything is humungous.  Cars, trucks, cups of coffee, meals out, banners (starspangled and otherwise), TVs, houses – everything is just so much bigger than I am used to and on occasion I have felt like Alice after embibing the cherry tart, custard, roasted turkey, toffee and hot buttered toast spritzer and shrunk herself to teeny tiny.  We drive a mini cooper which is possibly not helpful.  And E is for Eggs.  I’ll take mine over easy …

So there you have it a little stroll through a few of my favourite things and a nod to my not so favourite.  Meet me back here tomorrow and I’ll treat you to my F-J if you can stand it.

Toodlepip

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PS:  The title is from Henry David Thoreau in a journal that he started at the suggestion of his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson.  You cannot, simply cannot be here in this corner of New England without getting immersed in the pair of them.  Thoreau’s impact on modern American thinking cannot be underestimated and it is a further joy to me to have been able to walk in his footsteps on more than one occasion.

The first and last pictures were both taken in Winter when I first arrived.

83 Comments Post a comment
  1. C’est magnifique. I think I’ll set my alarm so I’m up early for F – J 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • Why thank you kindly, sir! Don’t set it too early …. I’ve got to work out what they are first!! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
  2. You know, you could probably sneak a couple chipmunks in your bag and colonize England. Everyone needs to leave their mark on the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • I like this idea … I like it very much. I think I should start with France …. given that I can fly The Bean in as hand luggage whereas to England she would have to travel as freight. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind sharing her bag with a couple of the striped ones!

      Liked by 2 people

      November 28, 2016
  3. Beautifully written, fun, and fascinating. Good photos, too

    Liked by 1 person

    November 28, 2016
  4. You make the great unknown sound horribly HUGE. Takes guts to adapt 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • Honestly Jane it is mahusive …. I found it much harder to adapt to here than to France and I couldn’t understand why until my eldest pointed out that despite having language vaguely in common I am on a different continent ….

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
      • Vaguely is the operative word. There’s a blog I follow, the blogger is a very nice chap and we occasionally converse, but only on the very limited occasions when I’ve understood what he’s on about. The sentences just don’t make sense to me and the subject matter is so alien there’s no help from that direction. Things that Americans take for granted, the allusions to TV shows and adverts, chains of shops etc go straight over my head.

        Liked by 2 people

        November 28, 2016
      • Its an entirely different culture but that doesn’t make it a bad culture. Once I decided to stop dithering on the edge and just immerse I got on much better …. and I will miss it a great deal

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        November 28, 2016
      • That’s the only way to get on—dive in head first. Everybody ends up swimming.

        Liked by 2 people

        November 28, 2016
      • Exactly what I am saying to you 😉

        Like

        November 28, 2016
      • Point taken 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
  5. Kate Nelson #

    Love it! I am on a mission to jot down my SA and Zambia ponderings and was wondering where on earth to start. Ms Andrews is of course perfectly correct so this format might help me put on to paper. Or finger to screen. Whatever. Your observations are insightful and yet hugely respectful to your host nation which is a tactful balance to achieve. Bravo. Greatly looking forward to the next instalment and having fun trying to guess what topics you will pick.

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • Thank you Kate! Get a notebook and separate it into 26 pieces each part labelled with a letter of the alphabet. Then just randomly place words under the correct letters – hey presto bongo … your mémoire will be underway! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and particularly pleased that you recognise that I am respectful of my hosts. Foxtrot-Juliet follows this evening xx

      Like

      November 28, 2016
  6. munchkinontheroad #

    Hope you are back visiting The States soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

    November 28, 2016
    • Me too …. I hope to be back next summer and that will be for longer – at least two years. I just need to persuade the powers that be that they want me too!

      Like

      November 28, 2016
  7. I so enjoyed reading this. I think you are my should sister – right down to loving chipmunks.

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • Bernadette, this makes me VERY happy! I shall miss the Chipmunks SO much and I actually can’t wait to return (hopefully next summer for at least two years) which I didn’t imagine would be the case when I arrived being so wed to France. I’m delighted to be your ‘sister’!!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
  8. I have great trouble deciphering what some U.S. immigrants here are saying….if not the accent then the vocabulary….and local friends say in puzzlement – but you all speak English.
    No, we do not! Well, not the same English, anyway.
    Oddly enough I can cope with the English patois from the Caribbean side of the country far more easily than American – English – as – experienced – here, so chapeau to you for your mastery of its arcanae!
    A short stack? Is that those fat things they call pancakes?

    Liked by 1 person

    November 28, 2016
    • The New England accent is a cracker …. in the same way as the Cantalien accent is a cracker (almost impenetrable) … the difference in our language will be a post all of its own. Stories of Rest Rooms and Bonnets abound! A stack of wheat is 6 of those chubby pancakes and a short stack is 3! Everything being vast here I am a lightweight in only managing the latter ….

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
      • Thank you…I saw those pancakes when meeting cousins here at a hotel aimed at the gringo market and thought…ah, oversized drop scones.

        My mother was asked for assistance by an American tourist in London in the late sixties…he wanted, she said, directions to the men’s powder room. My mind has boggled at this off and on for years. Was this how he would normally have expressed himself or was it some convoluted way of avoiding using basic words like toilet in the presence of a lady?

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
      • They absolutely NEVER use the words toilet, loo or bathroom …. rest room, powder room or most confusingly bathroom (what I call a cloakroom is a half bathroom which basically means a bathroom without a bath or shower) … rather twee actually. Yes, huge drop scones but always made with buttermilk

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
  9. I see my skies graying at the thought of you leaving.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 28, 2016
    • I’l still be here just an annoying time difference away! I fully intend to be back next year for at least two years so be careful what you wish for! And send some positive thoughts USCIS’s way!!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
  10. Very interesting. It is always fascinating to live in a different country and observe the differences. America is indeed a huge place and I think that there 350 millions different Americas. It is a very complex place with lots of regional differences…looking forward to reading the rest of the alphabet. (Suzanne)

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • You are so right …. if one accepts that like Europe it is many different places it works much better. We don’t expect a Swede to have much in common with a Spaniard or a German with an Italian and in Britain the Scots feel very much identified to their own land and not England so why would one imagine that New Englanders are the same as Hawaiians or Texans like Californians? I have barely scratched the surface of New England. When, as I hope, I return for upwards of two years next summer, I will be open to exploring much further and of course over the border to Canada too!

      Like

      November 28, 2016
      • Good luck with the paperwork and I do hope you can come back to explore America & Canada in more details…

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
  11. A great list dear Osyth and I see the next installment is waiting for me to read. I am running behind on everything due to being out and about and having some fun. Sounds like you may miss a few of these delights when leaving later this week. Even though you are just an online throws away, I will miss you not being in the states. Safe travels – I should be able to catch-up soon on all my reading. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    November 28, 2016
    • I’ll post one each evening (ET) until Thursday and when you have the time I’ll be delighted to hear from you. That’s the thing with friends, isn’t it …. we are side by side in spirit wherever logic tells us we actually are!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
  12. Arby #

    I love the critters – did not appreciate how big squirrel eyes are. Looking forward to the rest.

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • They are rather gorgeous and those big eyed squirrels are my favourites, Arby!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
  13. I do hope you will be back soon, Osyth, unless you don’t want to return. If I had 5 cents for every time someone commented on my accent I would be very rich. Everyone has an accent in America (even those who sound like the queen 😆) Torturing people from Boston is my fave activity – “Please say paaaark the caaaar”. I adore diners, too, especially with a red booth. I think we are all obsessed with our lineage because we are mostly immigrants and need a sense of belonging.

    A man from Benin came back to ask me a question at the airport and he apologized, saying he just wanted to hear my brogue. When he told me was from Benin, I responded, “Bonjour, ca va?” I swear he whimpered…

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • Your observations are absolutely spot on, I know. And I do understand the ancestry thing … after all in my ‘Who I Am’ blurb I claim every stripe of the Union Jack, Norman and a dollop of Guyanan Slave but one has to keep one’s tongue in that cheek, don’t we find 😉 Boston Accents are special indeed …. I was not prepared!!!! Love the guy from Benin – weak at the knees M’selle!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
      • Guyanan slave – fascinating! Will have to read the Who Am I.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
      • I used to reassure my father regularly that it was not his fault that we had slaves …. I don’t think he ever really came to terms with it!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
      • I would imagine that a number of my family had slaves, too. My punishment for that is to live in a Trump America 😆

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
      • Like slavery, these years will pass and the historians will make of them what they will ….

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
  14. Wonderful piece… I loved the “Badgers and Brits” part, it made me smile. I spoke to my friend about you too today… Wonderful people out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    November 28, 2016
    • Always happy to make you smile! And I’m flattered that you spoke to your friend about me …. I could almost blush 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
  15. Since I moved to Britain, I’ve had to start calling biscuits “baking powder biscuits.” I have no idea what my friends think I’m talking about, but at least it keeps them from expecting those things I call cookies.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 28, 2016
  16. Fascinating, entertaining and beautifully written, as usual. I am very much looking forward to the subsequent posts – and what a good idea to do an A-Z. I have very good American friends but I am always struck by the fact that we really are two countries divided by the same language. Vernacular terms just don’t mean the same thing (never say in the States that you’ll knock someone up, as I once did…). And never ask for a rubber, when you mean an eraser. But these cultural collisions are what makes the world such an interesting and vibrant place – as you show to great effect in your posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    November 28, 2016
    • Thank you so much Nessa … that is such a thoughtful and flattering comment. I worked for a US company in the 80s and remember saying to a colleague in Beverly Hills ‘hold for me while I light a fag’ …. his tangible horror fizzed down the line and prompted me to give up smoking shortly afterwards!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
  17. Lovely post. Off to read your next one. I confess I have never had a dunkin’ donut, but I have heard they are not your run-of-the-mill type.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 29, 2016
    • Even the tiny stores will routinely sell at least 20 varieties …. and they are pretty nice though how on earth people here consume as many as they do and don’t keel over with cardiac arrest I know not. I am a little more frugal in my allowance!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 29, 2016
      • I would be way too tempted 🙂

        Like

        November 29, 2016
  18. What a brilliant idea, and oh the accent, I cannot tell you how many times I said, but I don’t have an accent, and then I gave up trying to explain! Every day someone would say, “I love your accent!” We used to play games with friends of the children when they came to our house, we would say a sentence completely in English terms and see if they understood, they would laugh too, it was as if we spoke another language. “Can you put the rubbish in the bin and go to the loo before you have a quick bath” OR put the trash in the trash can and use the bathroom before you take a soak in the tub!!! I could go on and on. It was hilarious, and there were many times they had to educate me as I had to learn so many new phrases. It took me four years to be able to say Math instead of Maths as in the class, and now I cannot get back into saying maths instead of math!!! Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    November 29, 2016
  19. Gravy on biscuits, what, are they mad?
    This is brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 29, 2016
    • It’s more like a lumpen sausagie, bacony (spell check REALLY doesn’t like those two words) but not desperately thick béchamel … I’ll leave you to decide whether you could stomach it. I have not been brave enough and in fact I have had to sit with my back to entirely decent people in the diners who are tucking in ….

      Liked by 1 person

      November 29, 2016
  20. ‘Les grands esprits se croisent’…as ever, Osyth, you and I are on the same wavelength. Have been humming my way through Miss Andrews’ favourite things all day and then read this. Clearly one of mine is this blog, which seems to be trilling all my favourite tunes these days. Very much enjoyed this and looking forward to the sequels. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    November 29, 2016
    • Whiskers on Kittens to you (and warm woollen mittens if required) …. I’m very delighted to be on your wavelength and flattered to be one of your favourite things (as you are mine, but you know that!) x

      Liked by 1 person

      November 29, 2016
  21. Oddly, like your good self, I too left the country on a jet plane on my first anniversary of being in the States. I did return however, eventually.

    Being a fellow Brit I can relate to all the above; and I read this with great mirth. The confusion with chips here won’t be getting old any time soon. Even the staff at our local deli gets confused with that one. I think it’s a case of overcompensation on their part for the fact that I’m obviously from across the pond. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked for fries with my humumgoid sammich, and got chips!!

    Enjoy your trip, Osyth, wherever you are off to, and I shall look forward to tuning in again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    November 30, 2016
    • Thank you so much …. I’m quietly concocting a language post which will cover all the bloopers and faux pas I’ve made in a year this side of the sea. I’m off to England and then France for 6 months but we hope to be back for at least 2 years thereafter for more stateside frolics!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 30, 2016
      • I shall look forward to said post. The bit about having to repeat yourself rings true with me too, especially with my in-laws who both have a very thick Virginian accent. My saving grace is that I look Hispanic here in the States, and as we have a fairly sizeable Hispanic community where we live here, most just assume I speak Spanish, which is handy because I do, thus saving me the embarrassment of having to say things more than once in English. I refuse to lose my accent, though softening of the consonants is sometimes necessary if one wants to get anything done here.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 30, 2016
      • Speaking French is no use to me until I go further north to the Canadian border but if I tell people I live in France ((which is true) they will often assume I am French (even though I am far too tall) which can save humiliation! My husband has a project in Norfolk, Virginia or more accurately a project in Greenland that requires time spent in Norfolk … if I get to accompany him down the line, I’ll take not of the advice on consentants!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 30, 2016
      • It’s a good thing my mental map of the world is very malleable! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        November 30, 2016
  22. So… why break character now? I read the first paragraph and couldn’t continue. I will continue reading when the ‘want to’ overrides my emotions. I wish for you and your family a glorious Christmas Holiday and the best that life has to offer you.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 30, 2016
    • That’s just it … I really hope I will be able to return. Our plan is to be back next summer for at least two years but the powers that be have to allow that. So send powerful thoughts to Nebraska that they will see fit to embrace me and grace me with a Green Card. I have not covered the emotion I feel at leaving. That will come after Z

      Like

      November 30, 2016
  23. One more thing. I will not attempt to comment on any future posts. It’s all about making life easier. No worries-

    Liked by 1 person

    November 30, 2016
    • But you should. Distance can make the heart grow fonder … I’m not going 4 million light years to the nearest star in the sky, I’m going 3,000 miles to France and I will still be here writing.

      Like

      November 30, 2016
  24. Wow allot of cool things that you have done and eaten as far as donuts! Yumm that one donut sounded amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    December 3, 2016
    • No donut is ever wasted on me but I have to say I have dreamed of that particular one, Lynn!!! Xxx

      Like

      December 4, 2016
  25. It’s the critters and wild nature which always connects me and grounds me to the natural surroundings, Fiona. ❤

    Like

    December 9, 2016
  26. LOL I love this….can’t wait to get to the next part of the alphabet…..and sorry I am with your husband, dunkin donuts to me is nothing but fried lard….sorry…..and oh my you were soooo lucky to be here to witness the big election of the century……I am still shaking my head in wonder….and quietly praying for all of us…..on to the next post….xxxkat

    Liked by 1 person

    December 9, 2016
    • All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well – Sister Juliet of Norwich. I agree with her. The world needs to pipe down now and wait to see what happens. Here in Britain it is clear that the shouting and bellowing is to no avail and that she will exit Europe and there will be tears and then it will be over and who knows what is next because my crystal ball is quite chipped and I can’t quite see that far! FRance next – elections next May will be interesting and by that time Mr T will have had his first 100 days and it’ll be something. I’m too old and warty to get too het up really and I never cease to be surprised. HB2 will be happy that he has an ally. He claims never to eat junk but last night on the phone fresh back from Hawaii he announced he was off to a hallowed Pizza emporium which I grant you is not junk but nonetheless is not health food either 😂 xx

      Like

      December 10, 2016
      • LOL Pizza is a staple food I thought..my kids thought so growing up….LOL I am right there with Sister J…I am sitting back and giving him credit for winning…not sure he did without cheating, but never-the-less he came out on top…so being a lady, I am keeping my big mouth shut, LOL and just waiting and watching, not surprised so far at his choices, millionaires and generals…..he is not a stupid man, just dumb!!! it is what it is and all the ranting in the world will not change…so might as well sit back, hang on and try to enjoy the ride…..bet your happy to be home…!!! Hope you enjoying the holidays, I know I am….LOL off to a light show parade tonight…xxkat

        Liked by 1 person

        December 10, 2016
  27. Gosh… your life’s observations are so keen… so succinct, so you!
    I can almost smell your American experience… and, I have NO sense of smell! Pity I began reading part four first. I’ll just wind my way through the series in the correct order. I can see why you enjoyed your stay… but then, I can see why you’d enjoy a stay… anywhere on the planet!
    Sharp-eyed wanderer’s wonder! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2016
    • That makes me smile and blush and generally feel rather amazed. Thank you, kind sir. Thank you so much. Really. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2016
  28. The Sound of Music – one of my early childhood wonderful memories was going to see that in St Annes near Blackpool with my Grandma.. and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it since.. it always makes me cry.. And then there’s ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’.. we used to sing that with our next door neighbour who strummed it out on her guitar.. happy days and happy memories evoked from this post…
    Wow – what amazing memories you’ve created too in that time you’ve spent in America.. ‘What a Wonderful Life’…
    Hope you’re well Osyth and aren’t missing the chatter of your 4 daughters too much (probably a stupid thing to say cos I bet you are!.. sorry..)
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    January 8, 2017
    • What a lovely message – thank you! Yes, I’m missing those girlies but I promised them roots and wings and it makes it extra special when we ARE all together xx

      Liked by 1 person

      January 8, 2017
      • What a beautiful promise.. roots & wings.. perfect! I’m glad you had such a special time together Osyth and I wish you many more.. xx

        Like

        January 8, 2017
  29. Oh, I sooo much enjoyed reading this post!! 😄 My aunt also speaks that BBC British!! It’s been so perfect for me as I have absolutely no difficulties to understand her (well except if she used words I didn’t know yet). My cousins though adopted one, I’m not quite sure where to put it but I guess it’s somewhere from London. But apart from how easy it is to understand BBC English I actually love all the different access and am particularly fond of Scottish ones 😉 Or Irish.
    Ahh, and the lovely chipmunks! I so wished we had them here too! They’re unbelievably cute!! 😍
    And I had to laugh when you described your husband’s disapproving of fancy doughnuts 😄 I think the peanut butter one sounds like heaven! Too bad you didn’t take it😂 xxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    January 12, 2017
    • Well done that Aunt! When I was growing up I spoke BBC at home and like my friends when at school by which I mean it was a Southern accent which makes it London-ish. I’m an unashamed mimic so I tend to pick up the accent of where I am and it is only later in life that I have embraced the BBCness as an asset! I too love Scottish and Irish accents (I lived in Western Ireland for a while and the lilt it gives is lovely) and I also love Scouse (Liverpool) and Georgie (Newcastle) particularly. So glad you are enjoying these posts … I still need to do the last one! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      January 13, 2017
      • That must be great to be able to imitate different accents! I fear I will never loose my german one which isn’t as popular an accent as say french. And I blame our schooling system a bit for it because english isn’t taught by native speakers but by germans. After school I learned Spanish at the Instituto Cervantes where there are only native speakers working and as a result my Spanish luckily does sound much less German. I have at times even been “accused ” of an French accent when in Spain 😉 Most likely because I stubbornly pronounce “croissants ” the French way 😉 xxxxx

        Like

        January 15, 2017

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