Saturday, April 07, 2007


There are many dramatic contrasts between life here and life in England.
As a spoilt rich kid from the affluent North, I find the simplicity and lack of choice here refreshing. Abundant, seasonal, locally grown, organic fruit and vegetables are available from every street corner stall. No processed food (well, there’s tinned tuna…); One brand of margarine (blue band); three cleaning options (vim, omo and bleach). The ubiquitous solid, single geared bicycle, too heavy to ride uphill but very sturdy and with parts and someone who can fix it also on every street corner. Nothing is ever terminally broken. Our ten year old (utterly wonderful) Rav 4 is a Japanese import – presumably shipped here because no one there wants a ten year old car – and is regarded here as ‘new’. A dreadfully rickety chest of drawers at work, not nice when it was new I’m sure, and now with two and a half functioning drawers and a significant amount of termite damage, looked to me to be destined for firewood. Grace, the midwife beamed at me, delighted and disbelieving that she could actually have it for her delivery room. “I can keep all my things in it. Thank you. Are you sure?”

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