10.02.2007

GingaJoy.....Mad Fer It

There you go, Nat--"mad fer it" title as requested. How's that for service?

"Mad fer it," for those unaware of the great dialectical glottal stop that defines this fair isle, would be how certain people from where I now live would pronounce "I am mad for it" or, to translate further, "I am very excited at the prospect of X, my dear chap."

I now have internets, people. Not at home, but in my office, which so far is completely bare except for a table and a computer that I threw myself upon, wracked with tears of gratitude, when I arrived.

It's hard to know where to start with this whole thing. For those of you who might be newcomers--here is the story in sum:

Lived in Michigan, USA for 15 years (HOW long???).
In June, contemplated moving back to the motherland, England, along with my American family (Husband and two boys). (Thought "maybe in a year")
Applied for a job to test the waters, and got an interview (via video conference). Did not blog about it, but made furtive references which were probably dead annoying to my 3 readers at the time.

Got the fudding job offer on July 4th.

July and August were manic, and I can't quite believe (as I solipsistically look back at posts) how much we managed to achieve in such a short space of time.

And now we're here... It's been nearly three weeks, and feels like a lifetime. I am slowly coming out of the extreme shock I experienced when we actually moved into the rental house, which is completely fine, but only if you don't examine the grout in the bathroom any closer than say, ten feet away. We've grown much more used to having next to no furniture and sitting all tightly together on the revolting couch that was left with the property. Dinner time at the white plastic table and chairs in the kitchen/diner now has a certain appeal, and I am pleased to announce that a visit from new friends left a nice load of yellow curry stains on the tabletop. So it feels more like home. (And Lindy was very gracious and did not run a mile or laugh and point or anything, when I decided to trip and literally sprawl out flat on my face as we walked to pick up the Indian). (Oh, and I knew I was in England when the group of teenagers walking by cackled loudly with laughter, and everyone else ignored me)

Yesterday I got up bright and early, put on grown up clothes, and walked to the station where I got on the train and sat rather smugly crammed in among the commuters. I managed to get lost on my way to work, and immediately regretted the lady shoes I was wearing as I slogged over to the campus. I've gone from a 5-10 minute commute, sitting on my arse in my big-assed minivan, to one hour with lots of walking and sitting in very close proximity to lots of people in suits. I know the whole routine is going to get old fast, but so far I get a real thrill from taking that train ride and descending into what is turning out to be a fantastic and vibrant city. In the field behind our house there are gorgeous fields to walk, a stream, and honest-to-god horsies that Jack can pet and feed. Twenty minutes later and I am bustling about with the grown ups, grabbing a newspaper, gripping my iPod, and dashing madly across streets congested with traffic. Another twenty minutes, and I have picked my way to the University campus, which instantly brings me back to my own undergraduate college days--streets littered with fag ends, a million butty (sandwich) shops and various pubs and student union bars that smell of piss outside.

My office is in a strikingly ugly 1960s brick office building, and the women's loos are slightly rank and very cold. I have a small floor heater in my office blowing hot air at my ankles, as heating doesn't really work properly, and the building manager is surly and completely unhelpful. But my coworkers are a cheerful and friendly lot, and there's always a pot of tea on the go. So far today I have had about five cups. Partly to keep warm, but mainly because it's there. The addiction is now back with a vengeance, and the only other downside are multiple trips to The Toilet. (I am only now managing to announce that I am "off to the toilet" as opposed to the "restroom" although it still feels terribly gauche and TMI to me) (The TOILET? Well. There's only one thing she can be doing in there, isn't there?) (As if I was "resting" in the "rest room.")

Jack has started to ask "when his British accent will come?" and we have told him "soon enough." And it's creeping in in quirky ways. He refers to his new friend at school as "Amunda" (Amanda) and seems to be acquiring a touch of northern twang and glottal stop here and there. Frank and I now communicate on our "mobiles" and fill the cars with "petrol." (Although when Frank self-corrected his pronunciation of "Controversy" the other night, Lindy implored him to "not turn over to the dark side" which made us like her all the more). I, on the other hand, am asked why I didn't lose my English accent on a fairly frequent basis, which is beginning to make me feel a little bit self-conscious, so I am slipping in a "uh-huh" and a "like, oh my god" when I can.

Nothing feels normal yet, but we're getting there. I am told our shipped belongings are getting very close to Liverpool dock now, and so we should expect them in the next week or so. It will be like Christmas, methinks. You never realize how much you'll miss your own crap. I also have a swanky new camera, courtesy of my old workmates (bless) and so promise to get some sodding photos up next time.

28 comments:

SquidgesMum said...

For a second- just one second, did you want to spin and toss your hat in the air a la Mary Tyler Moore when you got off the train??

Birchsprite said...

Hooray for your new/old life!

It sounds like you will be grand in no time at all!

Assertagirl said...

Just found your blog recently and thoroughly enjoyed this entry! Will be back for more. Good luck with all of this...

MsPrufrock said...

Yeah, my uni building is a big brick 60s monstrosity. An unfortunate side effect in my city's case of being bombed to hell in World War II.

I LOVE the constant tea and coffee thing here. I am up to four cups of coffee per day. I need that many, as it makes work seem so...casual.

As for toilet, I don't use restroom for fear of ridicule, but I choose "loo". I cannot force myself to say that I am going to the toilet, as it sounds so crude. You have no idea how pleased I am to hear that you have this issue too, as I'm often met with quizzical looks when I express my confusion at the need to say "toilet".

It sounds like you all are settling in well. I look forward to hearing (and seeing?) more about your new life here.

mothergoosemouse said...

I am dying to see pictures. I want to see pictures of everything. Even the grout.

Virtualsprite said...

I love pictures! I can't wait to see how your life is shaping up in the Motherland. Glad that you're settling in... and still jealous as hell. :-)

BOSSY said...

Real shoes, a commute, and an Office? sigh.

BlogWhore said...

honestly, it all sounds wonderful. an adventure.

Lawyer Mama said...

It all sounds so exciting!

Of course, I'm laughing at you slipping "like, oh my god" into your conversations!

Tere said...

SO glad to have you back!

But I have to know - what about the baby? Where's he??

Mrs. Davis said...

You're there! And you sound so happy! Moving sucks (especially over the ocean, with 2 kids), but you seem to be coming through it just beautifully.

Marmite Breath said...

Such great descriptions. I almost feel as though I'm there. I'm so glad you chose my title for a post--it's very fitting.

Your post reminded me of this video though--I can just imagine your wee one practicing his new accent in this way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KnZbZbdJJg

b*babbler said...

So many changes, but they all sound fabulous.

Can't wait to hear more!

Kaleigh said...

See, now we all have someone to visit when we finally visit the U.K.! Glad you're settling in and getting situated.

Karen said...

Curry! Yum. We spent one month in the North when I was a kid and I think I lived on the curry. I was the opposite of a picky eater at that point

Motherhood Uncensored said...

I SO love that your son is all about the accent.

Smart man. Smart man.

ewe are here said...

My american accent remains same as it ever was... It's odd to hear my two year old with a slight english accent starting... for both of us, as my husband is from edinburgh!

Glennia said...

I'm not sure why I feel like I miss you, when I barely know you, but I do. Michigan is so close to California, you know, compared to the UK. Glad you are back on-line. Can't wait to hear more of your new adventures!

Redneck Mommy said...

Joy!!!

I'm so happy to hear your voice (in my head of course, as I read your words.)

Your post makes me feel like I'm on an adventure. I can't imagine how you and your family must feel. Such brass balls you have, my love.

And just think! You and I share a Queen!

I've got dibs on Prince Harry...cuz I'm younger than you!

(Sticks out her tongue..)

Random Impressions said...

why didnt lose your accent - i read research somewhere which said that it is not possible to accquire a new language or accent like that of a native speaker after age 11

Mary G said...

frdYou are getting there -- curry stains are good, unless on pink silk turtleneck. (sob)
I hope you soon have the office filled with Life In America memorabilia, the better to astound your new colleagues.
And try asking for the 'facilities - that's what they told my innocent father he needed to say when he was a naval officer posted there during WWII.
Seriously, I'm glad you sound so cheerful, although I cannot imagine a situation that would not improve with your humour.

Lena said...

"...streets littered with fag ends, a million butty (sandwich) shops and various pubs and student union bars that smell of piss outside."

I cannot WAIT for more stories. Glad to hear that you're settling in.

Anonymous said...

We got drunk with Ben and Mel tonight and missed you guys so much I am crying as I write this.

So so happy for you guys

love you
Pattti

voiceinthebox said...

Yep. We got droonk w/ the Kohrmans and talked about you*. When we should have been cleaning and clearing stuff out of your house. So, priorities have not changed here on this side of the puddle. Glad your stuff is almost there.

*Except I did learn that Ben K. does not like tonic w/ his vodka. Who knew?

Gunfighter said...

Glad your move was safe, joy.

As I said before, this country is poorer without you in it.

Elizabeth said...

Just think of how in shape you are going to be after slogging your way across that campus every day! I'm so glad your family is settling in. Jack especially-he seems to have made the transition so easily!

It gives me a happy feeling inside to think of you saying "like, oh my GOD" to someone in your best Valley Girl imitation. Please do it!

the new girl said...

Great post Joy.

Good to know that you're settling in.

Sandra said...

I've been thinking of you and wondering how you've been settling in. Can't wait to see the photos!!