I don’t know about you, but June felt like a blink. We’re enjoying sunny, warm weather here in London. Sipping Pimms in the pub garden is my new favorite Thursday afternoon rhythm. A slight breeze blows through our open windows allowing me to hear the buzz of bees culminating over mounds of flowers blooming in the garden. Winter coats are banished to a spare bedroom and summer skirts are hanging in the wardrobe. Let me tell you what I learned in June before July arrives with all its fireworks.
1) My husband’s name is really and truly just H. For those of you who thought I shortened it for the purpose of the blog or to keep his name confidential, well, SURPRISE! Here in London, they call him HAYTCH. Initial names are uncommon in the UK and so, pronouncing them is also peculiar. He loves his new English name because let’s face it people, any word spoken with a beautiful British accent is totally, completely acceptable.
2) They have Costco in London!! And the stores are laid out exactly the way they are in the US with mostly the same products. Our first shopping trip felt nostalgic, familiar and comforting. As Expats, oddly out of place, like walking into an alternate universe. However, I’m grateful to know I can buy salted nuts, agave and pure vanilla extract in bulk and if you come to visit, we will always have toilet paper.
3) A mimosa is referred to as a Bucks Fizz here in England. And Prosecco is commonly served in church for special celebrations and garden parties (sometimes on silver trays with canapés). This little detail might be considered my love language.
4) We do not own tents or campers or anything portable really but we’re camping with 6,000 people in less than a month. Pictures will be forthcoming because honestly, I can’t wrap my mind around it either. The best part? I can order groceries three weeks in advance and they deliver directly to our campsite. This gives new definition to camping. And affirmation that I truly belong to this culture. However, hauling all our stuff without a car may be the content for my entire What I Learned in July post.
5) A purse is called a handbag, pants are trousers and a sweater is referred to as a jumper. Amen is pronounced Awe-men. That last one seems appropriate; the others, just a little lesson on saying the right words because I live in another culture and allowances for the wrong words are becoming slimmer.
6) Five Guys is a ten minute walk from my house. And costs approximately $50 for two people to eat a burger, share fries and sip some soda. And yes, its tastes exactly the same as it does in the US. Too bad the price tag isn’t the same too!
7) I learned to make elderflower cordial last week. St. Germaine (elderflower liquor) has been a mainstay at our house for summer cocktails so learning how to make the cordial is other worldly. A new friend shared a family recipe and then delivered the elderflowers to my doorstep, harvested from a weekend away in Dorset. Somehow, this makes all the pages of English stories I’ve read seem real and dreamy.
8) Being interviewed on a public platform without knowing what is going to be asked isn’t as scary as I initially thought. I’m so grateful for all your kind comments, emails and texts after listening to my first radio interview about what we are learning in the Sabbath Society.
9) God remembers. He hears your pleading prayers. Don’t mistake His seeming silence for ambivalence. The ways in which God reveals His love for us is always clearer when you have enough distance to look back. Your dreams are worth waiting for: hold fast.
I saw this bridge in a vision during prayer before I ever knew it existed in London.
What have you learned this month?
Linking with Emily Freeman.