My business cards say London, but I live in Oaksey, Wiltshire. Even my office doesn’t “live” in London. My office is in Swindon which is about an hour west of Heathrow (but Swindon doesn’t have much of a ring to it). Oaksey is about another half hour west of Swindon.
I’ve been to London several times and I love London but I’m truly much happier living out here in The Cotswolds. Because Swindon is to London what St. Charles is to St. Louis and Oaksey is like living in Defiance or Cottleville thirty years ago. So it’s more “my speed”. Quiet country living. Wide open spaces. The occasional sheep. Even so, all of this will still take some getting used to.
Today we had a little setback trying to get to Saint Peters Catholic Church in Cirencester for Mass. The road (the only one that I knew) was closed for repaving. We tried to figure another way around but we were unsuccessful and soon headed back to Oaksey (not necessarily on purpose). I’m sure God has already forgiven us – next week we’ll try again. This afternoon I walked around the village and was able to be with God in a special way – that’s sacrament, too.
Deb and I are learning new things each day – for instance a trolley is a shopping cart. And the cashiers at the grocer aren’t all handicapped. They’re allowed to sit down to do their job. And you have to go up to the bar to order in most pubs – they’ll allow you to sit at a table but no one’s going to take your order. And a truck is a lorry. And signs that say “Give Way” mean yield. (And you should particularly “give way” when a lorry is speeding up to you on the right!). So much to learn!
I’m very happy that we’ve landed in Oaksey and we will be able to learn at a slower pace out here in The Cotswolds (think boondocks) than if we were plunked in the middle of London. So we’ll keep exploring the countryside and the villages and each day will get easier and we’ll get smarter (or at least Deb will). Plus we can always take the train to London if we need some city life.
In the meantime we’ll just be known as the Americans in the grey VW Golf (so watch out!) Oh, I’m sure we’ll probably embarrass ourselves from time to time. We’ll likely say or do something that the locals will find amusing but that’s okay. We’re heading into our second week now and all is well (almost).
How long before I stop missing sweet Charlise, Anna and Noah kisses and hugs? Probably never (I hope).