The long journey

It's been just over two months since our family arrived in the UK to start our big new adventure. During the past 10 weeks we have explored castles and waterways, walked through historic towns and ancient forests, experimented with new flavors and discovered a few new favorites. Although we are still a long way from being settled in this wonderful country and spend most days riding an emotional roller-coaster we know this is were we want to be and all we can do for now is to take it one day at at time, enjoy the ride and share the journey.

Walmer Castle

The Garden of England

At the moment we are staying with family in the county of Kent that lies South East of London and is known as the Garden of England, driving through it's forests and farmlands it's not hard to see why. The little winding country roads are lined with hedgerows teaming with life and everyday when we return to the cottage we drive through a tunnel of trees with rays of light shining through in places casting light and shadow all around us. Squirrels, peacocks and pheasants are our daily companions on the winding narrow roads, along with horse riders, dog walkers and day hikers, occasionally we might even meet another car - although that is an adventure in itself.

Meeting a car going in the opposite direction on a narrow, winding road can go a number of ways; the right way would be for both cars to slow down, and whomever has the most space on their side of the road will pull over to let the other car pass while both drivers give each other a friendly nod or wave, and this actually happens most of the time, however you also get the rude, grumpy ones who just stare straight ahead, put foot and expect everything else to get out of the way. These are the ones who scare the horses, squish the squirrels and miss all the beauty around them, they should do the forest a favor and just stick to the highways.

Denge Wood
Retail Therapy

Shopping in England is still a bit new to us although we are slowly starting to get the hang of it. It is an adventure trying to buy even the most basic ingredients as the variety and quality of foodstuffs available are absolutely mind-boggling; just after we got here we went to buy some plain white sugar for the kids to use on their cereal but even this turned into a 5 minute debate while we tried to decide whether we wanted normal white sugar, half-spoon white sugar (which is made so that you only need half a spoon full to get the same amount of sweetness as a normal full teaspoon of plain sugar) or half-calorie white sugar (which, as the name suggests, has half the calories as other white sugar but tastes the same)? The result of this is that running into the shop to grab a few basics can easily turn into a two hour debate trying to decide between all the different brands and slight variations available on the shelves. I can only imagine what it is going to be like shopping for Christmas.

The Long Wait

Although I fully understand the reasoning behind the UK's strict policies and quarantine rules for animals coming from other countries I still feel being separated from the furry, four-footed member of the family for 6 whole months is torture. We miss him dearly and can't wait for the day he will be able to come home so we can cuddle and spoil him again. I know he is well looked after at the kennels and I will gladly recommend them to anyone but it's just not the same as having him home where he belongs.

Quarantine is a necessary evil but the fact that the UK's quarantine rules are changing from January 2012 shows that there are better ways of making sure that the animals coming into the country are healthy and that separating them from their families that love them for such a long time is just cruel.

JD (aka Lumpy) is the most gentle, loving dog that steals hearts wherever he goes and I can only hope that he will remember how loved he is and that we are all waiting for him to join us on this big new adventure.

JD (aka Lumpy)


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