Friday, 30 January 2015

My assignment is over, I'm headed home.

I haven't posted anything for a few weeks because, well frankly I didn't have anything new to post.  I must admit that walking in the rain, not taking any pictures and generally just working most of the time isn't something folks want to read about.

As some of you who know me know, my assignment here in the UK is coming to an end.  When I walk onto the airplane it will have been 3 weeks shy of 2 full years for me. Looking back I didn't think I'd be here that long, and while it sometimes doesn't seem all that long believe me, it felt like it.

My return is bittersweet.  I'll miss all the folks I worked with, the new friends I've made and of course the beautiful countryside here in Cumbria.  I'll also miss good pub food and my favorite ale, Pied Piper, served only at the Strand in Nether Wasdale.

The sweetest part of my return is being back with family.  Suzanne and Tucker miss me as much I miss them; the littlest things are actually quite significant.  Like walks in the neighborhood or an outing for ice cream.

I've certainly grown during this assignment.  In addition to learning about the English countryside, I've also gotten to understand key bits of British culture.  Politeness goes a long ways no matter where you are, but it seems to be especially important here.  Some things I've learned:

- Blackpool rock is not music, but it sure is sweet.
- Proper Chips are not french fries.
- Custard is better than ice cream on Sticky Toffee Pudding.
- Bacon doesn't have to be full of fat.
- Brown gravy works just fine on everything.
- There is more than one kind of mash.
- Fish-n-Chips isn't complete without mushy peas.
- Yorkshire Pudding can be easy.
- I've yet to see the English eat an English Muffin.
- If you wait for dry weather to go for a walk, you'll never walk.
- Dogs are mandatory; Terriers are preferred.  Extra points for multiples.
- If your ale isn't a cask ale, it's not really an ale.
- There are carriageways, and there are fell roads.  The latter make the former look wide!
- Don't let the barmaid serve your ale with a head of foam.
- Haggis is actually quite good, especially when served in a pie with venison at the Gosforth Hall Inn.

Dominic, Danielle (both), Caroline, Mags, Richard, Rob, Phil, Kenny, Geoff, Ian, Chris (both), Ernie,  Tom, Dave, Michael (both), Helen (both), Stuart and many other folks all made this assignment work.  My hat's off to them!

And finally, Allan and Vera, without whom I would not have learned the difference between regular sheep and fell sheep, and why the Border Collies are so important.

This is my final post on this blog.  Goodbye to all.

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