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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Seasonal Fare

Back and forth to America or is it 'forth and back' ... People ask me if I get homesick -- meaning for the US -- but really home for me is here in the UK. But there is a certain 'familiarity' when I am there that is not easy to explain. It's sort of like being in a 'comfort zone' and at the same time being out of my 'comfort zone'.

We could not find any television we wanted to watch other than certain news type programs on MSNBC -- particularly The Rachel Maddow Show. The trouble with that though was I felt constantly steamed up about the current political situation -- the inability of a democratic Congress to rescind the Bush tax cuts for people earning over $250, 000 a year, for example. The list of political situations and institutions that frustrate me is endless.

But it was quite wonderful to be there for Thanksgiving and to see my mother and brother and sisters and their families. We were not there long enough to do any real travelling other than a lovely day trip to the Boston area, but that was just as well for me and for keeping fatigue abated. Long plane rides are more and more difficult to endure the older I get.

The weather was very reasonable and surprisingly mild, while in Britain the usual New England conditions prevailed. It was a shock to return to a frigid landscape and freezing temperatures. Unlike the New England States Britain does not have any effective procedures for dealing with snow and ice. Grit seems to be a commodity in short supply -- councils are very stingy with it -- at least here in Southport where only the pavements in the town center were treated. So for several days I stayed home or tread very carefully to the car and supermarket carpark where the tarmac had been gritted. Fortunately, for us in this part of Britain a thaw has set in -- at least for the next day or so and I've been able to participate in the annual yultide shopping madness. I'm almost done!!

Not too many complaints about the airline, US Airways -- except for the cramped conditions of the seat being too close together for any semblance of long-term comfort.