Monday, March 21, 2011

If you don't like it, you know what you can do!

If I were an American reading this blog I would say to me ‘If you don’t like it, bugger off back to Blighty’! Let’s face it; I do not have much to say that is nice about Americana. I don’t sound like a very nice person at all which seems a little unfair because I like me most of the time. How can I be nice when I have nothing nice to say?
I decided it was time for the couch. Not quite therapy. I mean time to lie down on the settee and have a think about this negativity. I once told a neighbour’s child to stop jumping on my settee. He paused, said ‘It’s a couch, not a settee’ and dive bombed over the back of it again. I made it quite clear as I turfed him out that it was a settee in my house! It is funnier to be mean about things. It is hard to be amusing when trying to be nice – it would seem disingenuous (although – as one of my favourite words I wouldn’t mind its more frequent usage!)
To get to the root of my negativity I feel I need to go back a little, not as far as my childhood – that would be way too revealing and disturbing. Three years ago I received a text from Hubby. It simply said ‘South Carolina?’ At the time I was struggling. My boss was a hideous bully. (I shall not blog about him; I am saving him for a special book I shall call ‘Disgrace!’. I tried to offer a snippet to the Telegraph a couple of months ago when he was finally sacked from a school but didn’t get a response! Maybe I should have offered it to the Daily Star!) My son was 2 years old at the time. When asked if I would leave the UK and a job I hated to focus on my family and my sanity I didn’t have to think about it for long. A month later we flew over to look at houses. I found a dream house. It was on a shared ranch with a 4 mile horse trail, over-looking the Appalachian Mountains. A dream life was waiting…
We were gutted when it fell through. It was another 2 years before the offer of North Carolina came up. We had moved on. My children were now at school and I was learning to love my job again as a Vice Principal with a new Principal I relearned a lot of positive things from. I was ready to take on a headship of a school – what I had worked towards for years. I had more to give up this time. I felt more like I was giving up a dream than chasing one. It didn’t feel as right but it didn’t seem to be something to pass up on either. We agreed to go!
We had every intention of making it work. Even though it was a 3 year contract we told everyone it would be at least 5 years as we would want to extend it. We sold our house to free ourselves to buy one in the US. A month after hubby had started work in NC and the day after we moved house, we received an edict from hubby’s company. We could NOT use the housing allowance they paid him to buy a house. That changed everything. We did not want to throw money away on rent for 3-5 years and then try to stay longer and have to buy later. It changed from being something we had to make work because we were going to commit everything to it, to something we had to endure on a temporary basis. If you see something as long term you look for reasons to love it. If something is temporary you don’t want to make those emotional attachments so you look for reasons to dis-like it. It is fundamental to self preservation.
So, I will bugger off back – eventually! In the meantime – don’t take the negativity to heart – I am just incapable and unwilling to form emotional attachments to anything American! It is fundamental to self preservation!

Just to try and embrace my new temporary life and show you I can be nice, here are some things I like about North Carolina
They know how to make a damn fine burger
They know how to make a good sarnie!
Free refills (as long as the waiter asks first if you want one)
Tree frogs on the windows at night (if only they would eat all the mosquitoes!)
Clear blue skies and sunshine
Spectacular thunder storms
The mountains in fall
Wide roads
Yellow traffic lights suspended on wire (silly but I like them)
Writing a blog
All the things I can make fun of …(but that would be disingenuous of me to add it to this list!)


  1. If it makes you feel any better, I am an American that loathed living in South Carolina. I will never ever live there again. ;)

  2. I remember how excited you were about South Carolina and how gutted you were when it fell through. When this opportunity came along the enthusiasam was'nt there but you had too do it .You had too find out what it would be like. Not the dream you wanted but still an adventure. You are missed every minute of every day but your blogs have been amazing.So many people have enjoyed them. You your self look better than you have looked in along time.You are a wonderful and a beautiful person and we all love you xxxxxx

  3. As your mom has commented you and your blogs are great, can'nt wait for the book "Disgrace"

  4. Thank you xxx
    I dont think anyone would believe 'Disgrace' was a true story!