5 Things I Love About England

Monday, 1 July 2013
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It has been exactly 5 years since I landed on the shores of England with 5 small boxes, 3 suitcases, a hubby and a then 2 year old in tow to begin our new life on the other side of the world. Some of our friends thought we'd gone loco, others wanted to come along. It was the start of our exciting, sometimes scary and at times frustrating adventure. 5 years on......what an incredible adventure it has been. And not forgetting the wonderful people that came into our lives. Here are 5 things I love about England.


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1. Online delivery

Oh. Em. Gee. Lifesaver. Better than epidural. If you call sliced bread a fantastic invention, online delivery is like.....a million times cleverer. I used to spend 5 hours every Saturday just doing grocery. Butcher - that a way. Veggie store - another direction. Supermarket....you get the picture. The queuing. Hauling bag after bag. Unpacking. Come next Saturday, I'll have to do it all over again. Here, the lovely driver does ALL that for you. Up the stairs, into your kitchen.

It was a revelation that I could shop for practically anything online. Sure, returning items can be a pain and sometimes you've gotta feel the texture, try the top etc but still, you don't need to spend unnecessary hours shopping especially with a young child in tow.



2. Europe on my doorstep

I used to dream of saying things like "I was just in Paris over the weekend". Now I do. And I even post the photos in Facebook just to drive my friends and family back in NZ mad with jealousy (just cos I'm turning middle age soon doesn't mean that I'll relinquish my childish tendencies anytime soon).

The entire Europe is on my doorstep. I can hop on a plane and less than 2 hours later, I'm in a different country with a completely different language and culture. That, to a Kiwi, is mind boggling.




3. The heritage

I used to squeal whenever I touch a several hundred year old building. My English friends would sniff and say, "that's nothing. Touch this. THIS is 1200 years old. ". You've got to give me some credit. There's nothing truly old in Borneo (other than the rainforest) or New Zealand so a 300 year old building IS old.

I love how there's such respect for antiquities here where there are organizations set up to preserve them for the next generation and beyond.




4. London

The word Paris is uttered with such reverence and fascination, often perpetuated by the myth that it's a City of Lights, love and all that jazz (pun intended) that comes with it. There are tons of former Parisians who jumped ship and live in England. The common theme that I hear from my Parisian friends is opportunities. For most of them, there are more opportunities and diversity over this side of the Channel.

Depending on who you ask, London or New York is considered the financial capital of the world. London is the world's greatest foreign exchange market (as mentioned here). I probably wouldn't have the opportunity to delve into the fashion industry had I not live so close to London. The streets of London may not be lined in gold but nonetheless, it's an exciting and fascinating city seeped in so much history yet offers a plethora of opportunities. 




5. Public transportation

It's a novelty not to drive. The public transportation is pretty darn amazing. Try doing the same in Auckland and you'll never go anywhere. Over there, without a car, you're practically rendered helpless. I love the very thought of hopping on the train, read a book, et voilĂ .... you've reached your destination without dealing with mad Kiwi drivers who can't bear anyone overtaking them, has a self imposed personal space larger than a boulder and God forbid should you go nearer or faster than them (and for that reason, hubby is banned from driving when I'm in the car with him. He suffers from Mad Kiwi Driver syndrome too).




26 comments:

  1. I love each of those things and more - and I don't even live there!

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    1. Next time, we'll have to do rural England and villages.

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  2. Great post. When I lived in London, I adored the fact that I could hop on the Eurostar at a moments notice and be in the centre of Paris 3 hours later .. where my sister conveniently lived! As for online shopping? Honestly, I can't believe that anyone would bother going to a supermarket anymore! Now if only I could get the drivers to unpack as well, lol!!

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    1. Don't stop there, Helen. You should suggest that the drivers should help us order too :P

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  3. It seems that apart from the weather England is a great place to live in ;-) What I love about London is how lovely and helpful people are, the free museums and the all-around cultural creativity. I can't wait to visit again this summer; it's been 5 long years since I haven't set foot on the other side of the Channel!

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    1. I can't wait to see you soon, Anne! Haha... every time I complain about the poor customer service here, my Parisian friends would tell me the dubious service they get across the Channel.

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  4. Having lived in the same place all my life I'm always fascinated by transplanting stories. I've only ever been to London and not the rest of England, but I love it sounds like what I like about it can be found elsewhere in the country.

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    1. Lin, I'm really enjoying the English lifestyle. Admittedly, I do live in a beautiful part of England so not all English towns are created equally.

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  5. I love this! I'm in America for a couple of weeks at the moment and I'm starting to miss home, so it's really nice to read a list of all these brilliant things about England. Olivia x

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  6. Great post. I'm a transplant too, but my mum was English. I have lived here longer than I lived in the States, but have only lived in London. Sometimes think of moving but if I did it would have to be to another town as I hate driving. Marlene, what made you move to the town you now live in?

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    1. I've actually asked a lot of locals where I previously lived about the best schools, environment etc and based my decision on the consensus. I live in town and I walk everywhere which is a pleasant change from my life in NZ.

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  7. I'm up in the frozen north and would do anything to abandon ship!

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    1. I'm afraid I can't deal with weather colder than England.

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  8. I also love the fact that it's easy to travel to other countries in relatively no time in Europe. Totally sounds like England feels like home for you guys now. Lovely post Marlene.

    xTheresa

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  9. Loved this Marlene. As someone who's only ever called England home, it can be so easy to forget these wonderful little things when your busy moaning about the weather (seeing friends photos of sun & beaches, who've emigrated to Aus, never helps!) Hah! The Europe on our doorstep thing is my favourite, and the heritage too.

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  10. Great sum up! I absolutely agree with the home delivery, the fact that you can save all your "usuals" and reorder them whenever you want is priceless :) And one thing I really miss, here in Paris, is that no one reads books, newspapers, Kindle!? on the train.

    http://www.journeyintolavillelumiere.com/

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  11. You are listing many of the things I miss about the US (NY really)! While public transportation is excellent here, it is also a young place (yes, NYC is as well) and my favorite aspect about London was walking everywhere and seeing history so tangibly. I also love online shopping and still ship stuff back to NYC, but wish it were bigger in Asia. But, I am also aware that I am in a fabulous location and it is a great hopping point to SE Asia. Vietnam may be the next trip!


    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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    1. You lucky thing. I've been dreaming of going to Vietnam for years. I'm hoping it'll be sooner than later. I think in Asia, fraud is definitely the biggest concern.

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  12. Love your list! I think the old buildings and places were the ones I was most excited about when I moved countries... Not that my native country didn't provide enough of that, but it was just a different kind, and the one you could even live and experience - we had an apartment in a period conversion for a while and I felt so very happy there.
    x

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  13. I've never been to london! I know my husband would love to go visit sometime, it seems like such a great city.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  14. When the weather gets me down, I sometimes wonder why we continue to live in England. My hubby and I would love to move over to the southern hemisphere for a bit. Nevertheless, you post is a nice little reminder of the 'why?' Ann x

    www.quirkylifestyle.com

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    1. Ann, I had to write the list because the £*$&@ weather is driving me crazy. It's a reminder to myself of all the good things here in England.

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  15. The second picture is very dreamy. I love England too, and I love their weather (I know, I know). Being lived in a tropical place since born, I just wish the weather here can be a little bit more breezy and soothing rather than burning and steaming. Well, grass is always greener on the other side isn't it? - I Ying

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    1. hahaha....there's no comparison between the weather in SE Asia or UK. I have to say I prefer the latter. Whenever I'm back in Asia, I feel like I need to carry an A/C on my back just to cool me down.

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  16. I like UK too..been there thrice and hoping to visit again. :)

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  17. Love this! People are always complaining about London so it's great to read nice things about my home town. I love it and cannot imagine growing old anywhere else. I've lived in a few different cities around the world and they all have their merits but there is nowhere as diverse as London.

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