Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day to Day: Morning Rituals

While we've been blogging about all sorts of special trips and adventures, most of our time is characterized by the same quotidian rituals that characterize life at home: getting ready for school, days at school, kids' practices and concerts, grocery shopping, etc (oh--and washing dishes by hand!). But one of the treats of being abroad is to inhabit these sorts of mundane rhythms just a bit differently. So I thought some might be interested in some occasional glimpses into daily rhythms in York as they unfold here on Markham Crescent (our humble abode is pictured, right).

Mornings look a bit different here than they do at home, largely because all the schools start later--and because we're all fighting over one bathroom! When I have to be at the office, I roll out of bed early to squeeze in a shower before the rush begins. Then Grayson and Coleson shout and fight about which one of them is going to get out of bed first--beginning at 7:40am. (Back home, they caught the bus at 7:15am! So this is one part of England they're enjoying.) Gray and Cole throw on their Joseph Rowntree ("JoRo") uniforms (at right) and then head down for breakfast. By this time, Maddie and Jack have been added to the mix. The boys leave at 8:20am to catch the city bus that takes them just over two miles to school (they prefer to walk home in the afternoon). With their "YoZone" cards they can ride the bus for 50p. Maddie and Jack's school is much closer so they head out around 8:30, walk around the corner to meet some friends, and then it's just a couple of blocks to Park Grove.

By this time the silence inside the house is still ringing in our ears, so Deanna and I enjoy our own morning ritual before launching into the day. This is one of my favourite parts of the day. Since the house doesn't have a perk coffee machine, we are now zealous converts to the joys of French press coffee--dark and rich. And since there's no half-and-half cream here, Deanna and I substitute the indulgence of "single cream." This decadence is then topped off with a tasty bite to break our fast: for me, this is usually a little Devon scone with clotted cream and a dollop of jam; for Dee, it's a piece of yummy brioche (bread with chocolate chips). We watch the quail outside our window, listen to the bells of the Minster, and then head into the day, blessed.

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