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An Expat's week back in the UK : Random observations

By Mr Grumpy - Sun 1st Jan 2012

This we decided to spend that pointless and depressing period between Christmas day and New year’s day in the UK. The week where there are no schools, hardly anyone works and very little gets done.

It was probably a good time as most of the people we wanted to see were off work, so able to catch up with us, and after not seeing them for 20 months plus it was perhaps overdue.

However, my prolonged absence from the UK made a few things stand out far more than others :

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1) God how cold is it ? - I know it is cold in Spain at the moment, but this is a different sort of cold (if that makes sense)

2) How dark and grey is it ? - Honestly, I was debating whether or not to bring my sunglasses with me to the UK or not as I was parking my car at the airport. I needn't have bothered. It just about gets daylight by noon, remains grey for three or four hours, and then starts to get dark again.

3) EVERYBODY is constantly moaning about something (I know what you are thinking : "Pot" and "Kettle"...)

4) If everybody is so skint all the time, why are all the shops and supermarkets constantly heaving ? Consumerism in the UK is still as mad as it ever was.

5) It is impossible to get a decent cup of coffee anywhere. And I mean coffee as opposed to that overpriced pretentious Skinny-Latte-Mocha-chino-Frappe with gingerbread sprinkles crap that they serve in Starbucks. At the other end of the scale the likes of the Golden Arches serves half a cup of bitter, gritty scalding hot 'coffee' in a polystyrene cup, but zero chance of getting a decent coffee at a fair price.

6) The Pubs : Demanding cash up front from you before they hand your round of drinks over to you and calling 'time'. What's that all about ?

7) Out shopping in Town all I was appalled how almost every girl between the ages of 16 and 22 was overly made-up, over weight and wearing leggings and Ugg boots whilst pushing a baby in a pram who was sucking on a Greggs sausage roll.

8) Central Heating, Cavity wall insulation and carpets are great. My daughter asked if we could have 'some of that fluffy stuff for walking on' at home. Whatever will they think of next ?

9) I have seriously lost count of the number of times that I have either fallen up or down a flight of stairs this week (and yes, I have been mostly sober). Living in a Finca, built on one level, I am just not used to carrying a scalding hot cup of tea down a flight of (carpeted) stairs wearing socks - it's an accident waiting to happen.

10) Hardly anyone shops in Town centres anymore. Unless they are going there to look for a charity shop or pound shop.

Comment on this Blog

Trubrit, I know ... I took my 4 yr old daugher shopping to Tesco's and when we got to the till I told her she could 'choose anything she liked' for being such a good girl. You can imagine my embarassment when she ran off and came back with a packet of cherry tomatoes and a tube of toothpaste. Kids ! In my day I would have snaffled half of the Blackjacks, Mojos and Sherbert dib-dabs on display !
Mr Grumpy - Wed, 11th Jan 2012
Fantastic Mr Grumpy, I laughed till the tears ran down my leg. Your thoughts are EXACTLY as I see the UK, great for Mclaren and Mothercare though. Thanks for making me laugh.
Trubrit - Sat, 7th Jan 2012
The UK was generally expensive, cold and without daylight. Other than that - great, thanks for having us.
Mr Grumpy - Wed, 4th Jan 2012
So.......a great time was had by all ???
Mum - Tue, 3rd Jan 2012
I see the point. I forgot how much time wee ones spend on the floor!. Sometimes my cats´ paws get cold too!
Mo - Sun, 1st Jan 2012
I must admit I would love carpet at the moment as I have a 9 month old little boy who is crawling on freezing cold tiles and seems to have constantly cold hands!!
Loucat - Sun, 1st Jan 2012
True, but spending a Christmas holiday period sat on the floor playing a board game with a 4 year is more comfortable on carpet than on a rock hard and tiled floor.
Mr Grumpy - Sun, 1st Jan 2012
I agree with most of this Mr. Grumpy but not the carpet! Although it means always putting on my slippers, I love my tile and my wooden floors! They never smell, for example!
Mo - Sun, 1st Jan 2012

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