Even though I have wanted to live in the UK for 7 years or so, and oddly the first place I so desperately wanted to live is only 16 miles from where I currently reside, I was overwhelmed. Why? Because I strongly feel that I failed in Madrid. I was not expecting it to be so hard. I was not expecting for me to be so set in my ways and resident to change. I did adapt to the culture a bit, and I learned a ton about myself, Spain, and the world, but at the end I did not enjoy living in Madrid. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that I was unemployed, and my DH was desperately unhappy at his workplace. However, if Madrid was a person I would have broken up with it with the infamous "it is not you, it's me" line. Plenty of people are very happy living in Madrid, and I hope they get the chance to stay, but I wanted my place to be happy too. I dare to hope that maybe I have found it?
I was in a state of culture shock for a while, and will probably have bouts here and there in the coming months. As I write I have been living here for 3 weeks (it took a while to get broadband).
I noticed one day that I was upset because I did not get to at least visit the US for a "reset" in between the two countries. I thought that it was unfair and that I would have been able to cope better with the change (and who knows? I might have been) but I think that is because I am desperately homesick. I have not really been to the US (except 6 hours in an airport) in over 3.5 years, and I know that soon I will have to surrender my passport for the residency card process which can take up to 6 months. At least I will be stranded in a country that I have always wanted to explore.
It is simply marvelous to live in a culture more similar to mine, and to be able to speak my native language. I enjoy it very much. Although some of the slight differences in the language are simply alarming and hilarious, like when the technician installing my broadband asked me "where is your master socket" (main phone jack) and told me that he would "knock me up if he could turn it on, love" (that he would ring the doorbell and tell me if he had turned on our phone line). (For any UK readers that means "I will get you pregnant when I turn it on, I love you".)
Anyway, let me take you through the highlights of my walk this morning.
I currently live in a victorian terraced house, much less grand than this one. I took this photo to give an example of the marvelous touches of stained glass that they can have. It is much harder to take pictures here, as more people are concerned with their privacy, so I snapped this of an empty house, and quickly.
|A house on Queen's Lane|
I live within 0.2 miles of the famous Penny Lane, and I thought that today I would walk from the bank to the Penny Lane Millennium Green. One of the things that I love is that there are so many parks and green spaces in Liverpool, especially within a 1.5 mile radius of my house. I took the back roads and discovered this church. I have no idea if it is still being used or not, but isn't it splendid?
|Dovetail Baptist Church|
I circled the green on three sides before I realized that the only gate open to me was the one closest to my house. I am guessing that it is the one the all the tourists take pictures of. (Am I a tourist? It is hard to tell.)
The green was small, but gave a sensation of walking in a meadow.
After the green I turned West and walked Penny Lane to it's end. I passed a charming pub.
I crossed over the train tracks.
I took a touristy photo.
Then when I reached the end of Penny lane I turned right and walked to Greenbank Park, and I am glad I did. it is fairly tiny, but so breath taking. There were Canadian geese, swans, herons, and at least three kinds of ducks.
I think that big nest is a heron's, thoughts?
The daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops are springing up right now, though, we might have snow this weekend.
Everything is green here, even sometimes the trees.
There is a beauty shot of the heron, some ducks, the terraced house in the distance, the vibrant green lawn and the blue sky (which is not common here, click to enlarge).
There was a little corner of the park that had been set up as an English garden. It is not very impressive right now, as it is still winter, but I have a feeling that it is will be interesting to see it as spring progresses.
Doesn't it look like something out of Secret Garden? And through out the walk, the air was sweet, the birds called and the area was beautiful. After 5 States, and three countries, I hope that I have finally found where I belong. Do you see just how beautiful it all is?