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.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Traditions, and the war against the cold

Meet 'Teddy'.

This 8-inch-tall furry fellow is my Mexican wife's latest weapon in the war against the British winter.
If having three duvets on the bed at night isn't enough (with Jacks more often than not wearing her down coat to sleep), we now share our space with a cute Teddy covered hot water bottle.

Naked Teddy
And winter has only just begun.
Since arriving from San Diego/Tijuana seven months ago it's fair to say we've invested heavily in combating the onslaught of a traditional British winter.
Jacks has never experienced one before.
This time last year we were preparing our Thanksgiving meal in board shorts and t-shirts whilst contemplating heading to the beach at the weekend.
This time last year Jacks had never heard of 'central heating' or 'hot water bottles'.
This year, right now, we're donning hats and scarves in the house, and seriously contemplating hibernating until the spring.
In the last month my wife has well and truly discovered the joys of shopping – notably in charity shops.
So much so that I'm also contemplating buying a bigger house just to accommodate her new 'wardrobe'.
Jacks arrived here in the UK in May with one thin San Diego-style jacket/coat (i.e. a cardigan).
By my count she now has eight 'proper' coats. Oh, and enough scarves to shake a stick at.
In the last few weeks we've properly experienced some very English traditions as a couple – Bonfire Night being one.
Our friends in Mexico and San Diego have been asking us: "What the hell is going on in those pictures?! "

Bonfire Night on Plymouth Hoe
Simple, that is to someone from these shores.
Guy Fawkes night.
Traditions are weird right? I mean, when you're from a different area of the world experiencing something for the first time.
What one culture thinks is perfectly normal, another finds completely weird – bordering on bonkers.
In Mexico they have the ’Dia De La Muerta’ (’Day of the Dead’) during which dead people’s lives are celebrated.
At first I thought that fairly weird – not least wandering into a Mexican supermarket in downtown Tijuana to be greeted by a full-sized altar complete with skulls and cobwebs.
But after being told what it’s all about (celebrating the lives of those who've passed) it didn’t seem so sinister.
However, you try explaining the tradition of Guy Fawkes night…
"Well, you throw an effigy of a ’man’ (or 'guy') onto a fire, and everyone stands around watching it slowly burn generally while having a good time. "
Cue confused, (almost frightened) look.
"It's a real family occasion," I said now desperately trying to convince Jacks that it's not really that weird.
"People come from all around... thousands in fact. They have fireworks and everything!"

Plenty of 'oohs and ahhhs' going on here...

They even have sparklers!
"Remind me of the story of Bonfire Night," Jacks asked me by now looking more perplexed.
"Well… some guy called Guy Fawkes (who apparently was a bit of bastard), tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in ffuuuussssbvvvvv um… – anyway, the date doesn’t matter.
"They caught him, and they burned him alive, thus creating the reference throwing a 'guy' on the fire."
When you consider it, our tradition is much more sinister-sounding than the 'Dia de la Muerta' right?
So anyway, it's cold here and it's only going to get colder.
I keep asking Jacks if she's still 'happy' here.
She hasn't said 'no' yet so I think I've found a keeper.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Twitter: @tristan_nichols