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-   -   Why did I not love this country before??????? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/back-home-158/why-did-i-not-love-country-before-917533/)

Jensmate Sep 21st 2018 3:43 pm

Why did I not love this country before???????
 
Backstory...left UK in 1977 for Pennsylvania, Florida and Vermont. Retired and came back five months ago after 41 years.

I love this country! I love walking down to Folkestone Harbour, buying a £2 pot of cockles, dousing them in vinegar and eating them while watching the fishing boats dip and sway in the tides.
I love the fact that I can walk to anything I need: doctors surgery, optometrist, library, bus station, Folkestone Centrai railway station, Boots, Debenhams, TK Maxx, Bon Marche ,Sainsburys, Asda, Lidls, , WH Smiths, Waterstones...especially Waterstones!
I love the fact that I don't need....nor do I want....a car.
I love going apple and plum picking on a sunny afternoon.
I love sharing an allotment and eating my own butternut squash, Blue Lake beans, Pink Fur Apple spuds, red and blackcurrants and rhubarb
i love sitting on the top deck of the bus and seeing the Kent countryside, the sheep, orchards, woods and meadows on the way to and from Canterbury.
I love the fact that Ottinge Court Farm has a machine that dispenses raw milk into one's own containers for £1.00 per liter!!!!!!!!
I even love the seagulls who, nightly, roost on my apartment roof, preen, pull out their loose feathers and spit them with deadly accuracy onto my bedroom balcony.
But why did I not love this country before I left?

The callousness of youth. Not seeing the wood for the trees and thinking that the grass was greener......

I missed a lot. I missed seeing a pessimistic country mired in gloom, strikes, power cuts and mismanagement bloom into a country that is, for all it's faults, pretty forward thinking, efficient (in it's its own wierdly inefficient ways) and, despite the shadow of Brexit, thriving.
In a huge number of ways the grass in the US was greener on 1977. I went to a country that was forward thinking, optimistic, and happy. I went to a country that was inclusive; which fostered the belief that anyone could get an education and achieve anything they wanted if they worked hard. I lived in a country that had such promise only to watch it slowly disintegrate into the realm of racism, sexism, homophobism and third world ideas governed by a lunatic that is the US today.
​​​​​​
Anyway, 41 years of water under the bridge and I'm thrilled to be home. Unlike many Brits who completely lose accents, settle and become truly American I never assimilated. Rather like Herdwick sheep, I am hefted to this countryside and this country. My accent and inflections do give me away and I find that embarrassing but given time they will fade.

Well this all got a bit deep, didn't it?
Time for more tea and Hobnobs......

fulwood Sep 22nd 2018 11:09 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
Lovely posting..

Bo-Jangles Sep 22nd 2018 11:25 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
Very heartwarming post, Folkestone is lovely and there's a lot to be said for simply being able to walk to the things you need. Hope you continue to love it.

Downton Gabby Sep 23rd 2018 2:00 am

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 

Originally Posted by Jensmate (Post 12566148)
Backstory...left UK in 1977 for Pennsylvania, Florida and Vermont. Retired and came back five months ago after 41 years.

I love this country! I love walking down to Folkestone Harbour, buying a £2 pot of cockles, dousing them in vinegar and eating them while watching the fishing boats dip and sway in the tides.
I love the fact that I can walk to anything I need: doctors surgery, optometrist, library, bus station, Folkestone Centrai railway station, Boots, Debenhams, TK Maxx, Bon Marche ,Sainsburys, Asda, Lidls, , WH Smiths, Waterstones...especially Waterstones!
I love the fact that I don't need....nor do I want....a car.
I love going apple and plum picking on a sunny afternoon.
I love sharing an allotment and eating my own butternut squash, Blue Lake beans, Pink Fur Apple spuds, red and blackcurrants and rhubarb
i love sitting on the top deck of the bus and seeing the Kent countryside, the sheep, orchards, woods and meadows on the way to and from Canterbury.
I love the fact that Ottinge Court Farm has a machine that dispenses raw milk into one's own containers for £1.00 per liter!!!!!!!!
I even love the seagulls who, nightly, roost on my apartment roof, preen, pull out their loose feathers and spit them with deadly accuracy onto my bedroom balcony.
But why did I not love this country before I left?

The callousness of youth. Not seeing the wood for the trees and thinking that the grass was greener......

I missed a lot. I missed seeing a pessimistic country mired in gloom, strikes, power cuts and mismanagement bloom into a country that is, for all it's faults, pretty forward thinking, efficient (in it's its own wierdly inefficient ways) and, despite the shadow of Brexit, thriving.
In a huge number of ways the grass in the US was greener on 1977. I went to a country that was forward thinking, optimistic, and happy. I went to a country that was inclusive; which fostered the belief that anyone could get an education and achieve anything they wanted if they worked hard. I lived in a country that had such promise only to watch it slowly disintegrate into the realm of racism, sexism, homophobism and third world ideas governed by a lunatic that is the US today.
​​​​​​
Anyway, 41 years of water under the bridge and I'm thrilled to be home. Unlike many Brits who completely lose accents, settle and become truly American I never assimilated. Rather like Herdwick sheep, I am hefted to this countryside and this country. My accent and inflections do give me away and I find that embarrassing but given time they will fade.

Well this all got a bit deep, didn't it?
Time for more tea and Hobnobs......

How beautiful! This gave me goosebumps....

BEVS Sep 23rd 2018 3:46 am

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
I love your post .

brits1 Sep 23rd 2018 8:20 am

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
There is nothing nicer in this world than knowing people are happy..thank you for your lovely thread it really made me smile. All the best x

rockymountains Sep 24th 2018 3:08 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
Beautiful words.
Home. We appreciate so much more when we have been away for so long. Keep enjoying it, I can’t wait to do the same one day.

aries Sep 24th 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
When we are young, there is always a big desire to see and experience more than the little world around us. It is our nature to spread our wings and fly to other pastures, and like migratory birds, many of us keep coming back. As we change our outlook in life, we also have different needs, and circumstances and relationships will play a part in where we want to be. Nothing is cast in stone, and we can float with the wind.

BEVS Sep 24th 2018 10:01 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 

Originally Posted by aries (Post 12567550)
When we are young, there is always a big desire to see and experience more than the little world around us. It is our nature to spread our wings and fly to other pastures, and like migratory birds, many of us keep coming back. As we change our outlook in life, we also have different needs, and circumstances and relationships will play a part in where we want to be. Nothing is cast in stone, and we can float with the wind.

I must try to keep this in my mind if I can.
Some days the thought of living in the UK seems an impossible dream of too hards and too far.

Downton Gabby Sep 24th 2018 10:20 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 

Originally Posted by brits1 (Post 12566712)
There is nothing nicer in this world than knowing people are happy..thank you for your lovely thread it really made me smile. All the best x

So true. It's lovely to hear positive things, especially now with all that is going on in so many places.....

Lion in Winter Sep 25th 2018 3:12 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 

Originally Posted by Jensmate (Post 12566148)
Backstory...left UK in 1977 for Pennsylvania, Florida and Vermont. Retired and came back five months ago after 41 years.

I love this country! I love walking down to Folkestone Harbour, buying a £2 pot of cockles, dousing them in vinegar and eating them while watching the fishing boats dip and sway in the tides.
I love the fact that I can walk to anything I need: doctors surgery, optometrist, library, bus station, Folkestone Centrai railway station, Boots, Debenhams, TK Maxx, Bon Marche ,Sainsburys, Asda, Lidls, , WH Smiths, Waterstones...especially Waterstones!
I love the fact that I don't need....nor do I want....a car.
I love going apple and plum picking on a sunny afternoon.
I love sharing an allotment and eating my own butternut squash, Blue Lake beans, Pink Fur Apple spuds, red and blackcurrants and rhubarb
i love sitting on the top deck of the bus and seeing the Kent countryside, the sheep, orchards, woods and meadows on the way to and from Canterbury.
I love the fact that Ottinge Court Farm has a machine that dispenses raw milk into one's own containers for £1.00 per liter!!!!!!!!
I even love the seagulls who, nightly, roost on my apartment roof, preen, pull out their loose feathers and spit them with deadly accuracy onto my bedroom balcony.
But why did I not love this country before I left?

The callousness of youth. Not seeing the wood for the trees and thinking that the grass was greener......

I missed a lot. I missed seeing a pessimistic country mired in gloom, strikes, power cuts and mismanagement bloom into a country that is, for all it's faults, pretty forward thinking, efficient (in it's its own wierdly inefficient ways) and, despite the shadow of Brexit, thriving.
In a huge number of ways the grass in the US was greener on 1977. I went to a country that was forward thinking, optimistic, and happy. I went to a country that was inclusive; which fostered the belief that anyone could get an education and achieve anything they wanted if they worked hard. I lived in a country that had such promise only to watch it slowly disintegrate into the realm of racism, sexism, homophobism and third world ideas governed by a lunatic that is the US today.
​​​​​​
Anyway, 41 years of water under the bridge and I'm thrilled to be home. Unlike many Brits who completely lose accents, settle and become truly American I never assimilated. Rather like Herdwick sheep, I am hefted to this countryside and this country. My accent and inflections do give me away and I find that embarrassing but given time they will fade.

Well this all got a bit deep, didn't it?
Time for more tea and Hobnobs......

"And what should they know of England, who only England know"?

All the added perspectives from being away enrich our understanding of our original country. It is not the same country you left, and you are not the same person - but you can go on together to make more new experiences. I am glad I left. I will be glad to go back - as soon as I can.

vikingsail Sep 25th 2018 8:01 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
Thank you for the lovely post. It sounds like it was time to move. Our time will come to pass. As the days go by I find not dwelling on the negatives where I am actually makes the place more bearable but it still does not stop me wanting to return...all in good time.

valspal Sep 25th 2018 8:33 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
I vote this post my all time favorite!!!

Folkestone sounds ideal for me too. It has everything i want. How affordable is it? I have wanted to move back but come from Windsor.
Is it easy to get to London? You make me want to move there now!
I am so sick of America and feel more English as i get older watching BBC and ITV having my tea and biscuits in a pot everyday etc.
I am not healthy and i am afraid.
I feel safe when i am home.
Yes i still think its home after all these years.

valspal Sep 25th 2018 8:35 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 
so true

curleytops Sep 26th 2018 2:10 pm

Re: Why did I not love this country before???????
 

Originally Posted by valspal (Post 12568200)
I vote this post my all time favorite!!!

Folkestone sounds ideal for me too. It has everything i want. How affordable is it? I have wanted to move back but come from Windsor.
Is it easy to get to London? You make me want to move there now!
I am so sick of America and feel more English as i get older watching BBC and ITV having my tea and biscuits in a pot everyday etc.
I am not healthy and i am afraid.
I feel safe when i am home.
Yes i still think its home after all these years.

We loved Folkestone; that's where we lived (myself for 18 months) when I first returned to England. At the time (2011/2012) we paid £625/month (council tax band C) for a big 2-bedroom Victorian flat on the Leas. I would guess that type of property would rent around the £700 range now. Everything was on the doorstep and we had no need for a car. Railway station was about a 20 minute walk from our place with high speed links to St. Pancras (travel time about an hour). It has its share of less than desireable areas like anywhere else but overall a decent town to live in. We left because my husband was made redundant but we would have been quite happy to live our days there had the job situation worked out. I have heard in recent times that getting a GP there has become rather difficult so that may be something to bear in mind.


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