An American Boomer in Yorkshire
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Can a middle-aged woman from Los Angeles find happiness going to grad school in Yorkshire, England?? Stay tuned.....!
I moved to Skipton (North Yorkshire) last month and started grad school in Leeds at the end of September.
just recently come to realize how much I love my room. When I first moved
here, I was afraid that my dream of a girl-y pastel pink English roses and
stripes type of room was pretty much shattered. My room was so masculine
that testosterone fairly dripped down the dark-taupe painted walls. The
duvet cover and sheet were dark brown and the window had a pull-down shade for
privacy that made a dark room even darker.
after careful shopping (I’m a student and don’t have much money, after all), I
found a duvet cover with dusty mauve roses that didn’t clash with the
wall. It was even on sale! Then I bought a bit of lace and a
tension rod (one of the very best inventions EVER) so I was able to give myself
some privacy without blocking out the light. I put up pictures on the
walls and candles on (and in!) the fireplace. I splurged £24 on a real
sheepskin rug to put next to the bed and every time I wiggle my toes in it, I
nearly purr with delight.
didn’t take too long to realize that the mattress was TOO soft (this is
starting to sound like The Three Bears). I debated the relative merits of
mattress toppers and boards underneath (while my back grumbled in the
background) but finally decided that my body was worth shelling out for another
mattress. Which I did but this left the problem of what to do with the
one that was there. It was only a year old and not in terrible shape,
just not very firm. Not surprisingly, the owners didn’t want to toss it
but they had no place to store it. We didn’t either and it was stuck on
its side between the table and the wall for a over a week while we tried to
come up with ideas. Then I thought why not just put it back on the bed
(like a box spring) and put the new mattress on the top? It worked a
treat. There IS a bit of the Princess and the Pea element to it – my feel
don’t reach the floor when I sit on the edge of the bed…but I really like
huge difference between American and English houses is the lack of bedroom
closets. I’m sure there are people over here who DO have them (probably
in more modern houses) – but none of the places I’ve visited or lived in do.
(The house I lived in in York was built in 1900; this one was built in
1886.) Their solution is to use wardrobes (like a stand-alone closet) in
the bedrooms. At first, I thought I was going to have to buy one of those
too but thankfully Matt had pity on me and gave me his, since he had a couple
of built in clothes rods. So I’ve got my room has a wardrobe now.
(But no Lion or Witch yet…)
is always an adventure and England
is no different. The first guy I went out with here is named John.
Shortly after we met, as we were sitting in a pub having a pint, he said,
"I feel I should let you know I'm a priest."
"Errr...Anglican priest???" I ventured, starting to see where this
was going. "No, Catholic." Now, this begged the question
of what he was doing on a date with me. He explained that he was in the
process of leaving the priesthood. Got to say, that has got to be one of
the oddest dating experiences I've had so far - and I've had some pretty weird
But he's funny and intelligent and nice and we still go out sometimes.
But we definitely haven't kissed or anything. Not sure if I'd get struck
by lightening or not - but why take the chance?? <!--break-->
election night, I went with my advisor to the opening gala of the Leeds Film
Festival. We saw a film and then went to the party afterward. It
was great sitting there getting to know him better over a glass of wine.
Several glasses of wine, as it turned out. Unfortunately, I hadn’t
checked to see when the last train left the station going back to Skipton…and
when I got to the station a little after midnight, I found I missed it.
It is very unpleasant to be alone, late on a dark, rainy night and realize that
you don’t have a place to sleep. I ended up doing the only thing I could
think of and that was to take a taxi back home. The good news is that I
was delivered right to my door. The bad news is that it cost me
£45. Ouch. But it did beat sleeping on a park bench! <!--break-->
of election night – I have to say that I was ABSOLUTELY delighted with the
results! And there’s been a great positive response from the people
here. It seemed that the whole country was holding its breath waiting to
see what the U.S.
voters were going to do. The policies of George W. Bush were intensely
unpopular here. Not that their anti-American…they’re not too keen on
their own government either!
BTW, I apologize for the formatting - I'm still getting the hang of this!!