Musings of an Englishman who literally quit his life in Devon in mid-2012 to move to Tijuana to love a girl.
They ended up in San Diego where he became a TV anchorman (yes really...), they got married, and now they're living in England together.
Simple as that really.
Follow your heart, who knows where it will lead.

Crazy. Beautiful. Madness.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Winter is coming...

I HAVE thick skin.
At least I do compared to my wife it seems.
I must have.
Do I need to sleep underneath TWO thick winter duvets in the middle of the British summer to fend off the cold??
I do not.
My wife it seems, does.
Over the centuries our British bodies have adjusted to living in the northern part of the world.
So our idea of a 'nice' summer, is not the same as a North American's idea of a 'nice' summer.
For about five minutes in August, when the old Victorian house was so warm that no amount of open windows or doors would shift the heat, Jacks was happy and content.
Even our chili plants were happy (who knew you could REALLY grow chilis here? In Devon??)
This WAS summer.
But this was not actually summer.
This was in fact an anomaly. A climatical mirage if you like.
For the two months gearing up to us moving to the UK I pre-warned her of the "cold, damp, fairly miserable conditions" which she should be prepared for on a "daily" basis - basically "year round".

It became a running joke when we were watching the HBO series 'Game of Thrones'.
When we heard the slogan "winter is coming" I said: "It is... when we move to England".
When we found out we were actually moving back to the 'shire (that's Devonshire – not Hobbit-land) we set about preparing Jacks for nothing she had ever experienced before.
We visited store after store in San Diego trying to find something called a 'coat'.
No luck.
"You need to visit a different state for that... maybe Alaska, or the East coast maybe?" store staff would suggest with a wry smile.
"Why would WE need coats here?!"
Fair one. With a year-round average of 21.5 degrees Celsius in Southern California why would you need a winter coat?
So I prepared my wife for the worst, we jumped on a plane at the tail end of April and what happens…? We experience one of the best summers in years with 'above average' temperatures month after month.
It was so nice and warm and lovely that day after day we were blessed with glorious sunshine.
It got to the stage where we didn't actually need a forecast because everyday seemed to be the same day after day.
Our chili plants re-flowered, every day seemed to be a 'beach day' and people began to smile more (as they only do when its sunny).

Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow
Feeling the heat - another of our very happy chili plants

Chili farmer

But then in the space of what seemed to be just a few hours, it appeared to get darker with the nights drawing in; our chili plants half died; I grabbed my brolly (that’s umbrella for you guys outside the UK); and Christmas decorations, treats and adverts began appearing in local stores and on the TV.

The view at Tesco - never one to miss a trick (Sept 9th)

So now the true shock is about to settle in for my Mexican wife.
As the storm clouds gathered over our Plymouth home, I declared: "This IS England".

Incoming... the view over Plymouth Sound

The view a few minutes later...

"When's it going to be warm and sunny again," I can hear her asking in a few days, if not minutes.
Um... 2015... maybe in May...2015?
Yes, you try telling a Latin girl that that's it for a while. Show's over.
The sun is on holiday for a bit.
In San Diego there's a saying that goes: "May grey, June gloom".
That saying doesn't actually mean it's going to rain.
Californians are just weird.
It means it'll be 23 instead of 25. Oh, and it'll be a tad cloudy.
I'm not sure what the saying is here... "summer (usually) shit, autumn (generally) bleak, winter downright evil?"
For the seasoned Brits these seasons are a piece of cake.
Step one: Pack up the board shorts, 90 per cent of t-shirts, flip flops and sunglasses. Oh, and the factor 30 sun block you didn't use.
Step two: Unpack the hoodies, jeans, down jackets and gloves and scarves.
Simple: Change summer wardrobe for winter wardrobe.
As Oscar Wilde wrote: "Wisdom comes with winters".
It goes with the territory.
If there's one way to test the resilience of a wife and all that "for better or for worse" jazz then it's this.
Batten down the hatches sweetheart, I'll introduce you to a seasonal friend we call 'central heating'.

Update - Oct 13th - 7.15pm.
Jacks' first ever experience of central heating. Remarkable.
I think she'll be sleeping here in the hallway tonight.

That warm fuzzy feeling

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