Friday, June 6, 2008

Things I'll Miss About England: Dad's Edition

It was funny when Coleson started posting his "Top Ten" list because, unbeknownst to him, I had been compiling my own "What I'll Miss List" for the past few weeks. The similarities between our independently-composed lists are a bit spooky. This was cause for yet another round of the insider joke in the Smith family--that Coleson is just a "mini-me," complete with the all the neuroses and hang-ups, as well as the, er, "challenged" stature. (I tried to comfort him by saying this also means he gets my rugged good looks, but then he looked at my scalp and waistline and was doubly depressed.)

Anyway...we've all been thinking and talking about what we'll miss after having spent such a lovely time in York (while also trying to pretend that we're not leaving!). Here are my own little lists, one about England in general (today), one about York in particular (tomorrow):

What I'll Miss About England
  • The newspapers: I think the Guardian is one of the best English-language papers in the world, and I'll always cherish our Saturday mornings curling up with a coffee w/single cream to dive into the massive weekend edition which was an entire education in itself. The Review section was to die for. I'm already setting aside money to get an international subscription.
  • The BBC and British television: I would say that the intellectual level of the BBC has dipped a bit since we last lived in England in 2004, but I remain a fan. BBC news coverage makes any American international coverage look downright provincial. And there's a legacy of British documentaries and costume dramas that I still appreciate.
  • Fish & chips: tonight we told the kids they could each pick their favorite meal as a "farewell" dinner. I'm getting fish & chips from the shop just around the corner: haddock & chips, wrapped in newspaper which will be soaked through with grease by the time we get home with it. Hmmmm...the taste of decadence.
  • The coast: We fell in love with the east coast off the north sea, visiting places like Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay, and Filey Beach (just last week). There is a kind of rugged charm about the beaches that feels distinctly English.
  • Train travel: I love traveling by train. No long security lines, no two-hour pre-check-in, no mile-high detachment from the earth. Just walk up to the platform two minutes before the train leaves, jump on, find a seat with a table, sit by the window, and enjoy the countryside while somebody else does the driving and you read/doze/eat the whole way.
Tomorrow: What I'll Miss About York

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