Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Welcome to the bungle

So, it's come to this... I'm blogging.  Hurray!  I've finally found the year 2000!

In any event, this journal came about as a promise from me to my friends and family back home that I would chronicle the journey into my new life.  In May of 2011, I met a funny, weird, sweet, geeky man in an online chat room.  At the time, I was recently unemployed and stressed about what my future would hold.  We spent a few weeks chatting back and forth, culminating in a meetup at a small party of internet-type friendlies in Oklahoma.  We spent that weekend partying and laughing, and when my best friend and I left that Sunday to drive back to Austin, I truly didn't know if I would ever see him again.  

Hubby and I, the first weekend we met.

Luckily for me, meeting in person was the catalyst he needed to pursue a further relationship with me.  Over the next 2 years, we traveled back and forth between Texas and England many times, and finally decided that we needed to make things permanent.  He proposed by throwing a ring box across the bed at me one night in December of 2011 as he was unpacking his suitcase after flying to Texas to visit me.  How could I turn down such a romantic proposal?  The next few months were spent filling in a LOT of paperwork, spending a LOT of money, and making preparations to uproot and move to England with my dog to marry the love of me life.  

After a few warm send-offs from my friends and coworkers, my bestie drove Isis and me to Houston for our flight to our new home.  Almost 2 years to the day after meeting him online, I uprooted my life and replanted it in the lovely countryside of western England.  

Our wedding day!

Hubby and I were married in June of this year, and we've spent the rest of the summer getting me settled in.  Now that the boxes are emptied and the forms are all completed, it's time to start letting everyone know what's going on in my life.  

Let me start by answering a few of the questions that have been asked of me repeatedly.

1)  How is Isis?

Isis is doing fine.  We were worried about her on the flight because she's always been a high-anxiety dog (much like her owner), but before we left the vet gave her a prescription for Xanax, of which she took one before we boarded the plane in Houston.  It's entirely possible that I was more distraught than she was, because when we were finally able to retrieve her at the animal centre at Heathrow, she acted like a perfectly well-adjusted, normal, happy dog.  The lovely lady at the pet carrier service told me she ate like a wolf and drank normally, pottied, and they hadn't experienced any problems with her.  After we got her kennel in the car, she hopped into the backseat like she knew where we was going, and unsurprisingly slept the whole 2-hr trip home.  

Adjusting to English life.
Still likes going halfsies on the bed.
She has adjusted well to English life, English dog food, and English dog parks.  She has her own Facebook page if you'd like to follow her:  Isis Madame Snaggletooth Waggabutt.

I don't always lay out in the sun, but when I do, I do it on concrete instead of the lush, soft grass.
 2)  Isn't English food horrible?

Really, it's not THAT different.  There's a few things I can't seem to find anymore:  frozen bread dough (including canned biscuits and crescent rolls), graham crackers (though digestive biscuits are a pretty close substitute), frozen hot wings (there are sometimes a few at the grocery store, but they're always in a weird bbq flavor), and ranch dressing (for which Pinterest has eased my suffering by providing me with a decent recipe).  By and large my biggest "missing it" food is Mexican style.  The grocers here are starting to carry some Old El Paso brand items, but anything pre-prepared that claims to be Mexican style is covered is what I can only describe as barbeque sauce.  It's disgusting and I just don't try anymore.  That said, we eat a fairly normal diet consisting of chicken, beef, and pork, alongside carrots, potatoes, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, and corn.  The fruit and vegetable selection here isn't nearly as varied as it is back home, but the basics are all there.  

3)  Is it weird driving on the wrong side of the road?


4)  Are you homesick yet?

I go through bouts of it.  Right now I know that everyone back home is enjoying the fall premieres of all our favorite shows - mostly ones that I won't see for at least another month.  I often crave breakfast burritos - which I know I can make myself, but they're tastier when someone else makes 'em.  Mostly though I get homesick when I see/hear/smell/think something that reminds me of someone back home.  Luckily the digital age enables me to use technology to keep in touch via video calls and emails, and I spend a lot of time scanning Facebook for news about what's going on back home.  I know that I'll be visiting soon, so that helps ease the frustration.

5)  Are you picking up an English accent?

Not really.  I find myself using British terminology for things sometimes, often out of the blue.  I expect there will be more blogs about this subject in the future.  In fact, the blog name "FixinToFaff" is a mix of both Texan and British slang:  "fixin' to" is a Texan phrase meaning "I'm about to", and "faff" is a British word meaning "doing something unimportant in lieu of more important things, or wasting time".  As for the accent itself, no, I'm not really picking anything up yet - but time will tell if my dialect changes over time.  

6)  Do people over there understand you when you talk?

It mostly depends.  I don't think I have a deep Texas accent, and I like to think I enunciate well enough that communication isn't really a problem.  I have had several shop clerks get very excited when I come in, immediately asking where I'm from and what I'm doing in rural west England, but I haven't had to repeat myself very often, unless I'm looking for something and using the American term for it rather than the British (eg: trying to find rubbing alcohol but not knowing that they call it surgical spirits over here). 

All in all, we're all settling into a new family unit.  I'm totally excited to get to share this adventure with you guys, and can't wait to see what the future holds for us all!

The new family taking a stroll up a huge hill.