Monday, April 4, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

In kindergarten, I learned that April showers bring May flowers. And every year, I waited for the torrential Pennsylvanian downpours that would transform my neighborhood into a lush landscape of technicolored flora. But they never came. Now I realize that expression had no place in my curriculum as it clearly refers to English weather.

It doesn't surprise me that they came up with a motto to excuse England's infamous weather patterns. I can only assume that it was meant to reassure the population that this miserable climate can have a silver lining. But it's hardly as though April is the only month that sees rain in the UK. It seems to me like they ought to have a rain-related rhyme for every month. So I've taken the liberty to suggest a few. Like...

July precipitation yields August anticipation,


October drizzle will never fizzle,


December's wintery mix leaves much to be missed.

I'll admit that Springtime here is ridiculously picturesque though. With its rolling, green paddocks speckled by bleating lambs, and bumbling bees bouncing between beds of blooming blossoms. Okay, maybe I see their point. It might be worth the rain. Maybe.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Been Sew Long

In the past 359 days, I have been a negligent blogger, only read one of the books on my reading list, returned to the USA for three months, married my Brit, and my passport and visa application that were lost by the USPS arrived in New York a year and two months late (which didn't stop the consulate from processing it and threatening to refuse the visa).

I now find myself in unemployment limbo, that seductive stalemate in life that gets you thinking things like, "Maybe I should open a 1950s themed ice cream parlor in Picadilly Circus". It only took me about a month to discover that the only way to survive not working is by having a hobby. So now I sew. And my project list grows as my job application list dwindles.

But sewing has been more than a pass-time, a stress-reliever, and a distraction, it's been an acclimation tool. It's been a way to get involved in the culture here and meet new people, which admittedly hasn't been easy since England seems to be surprisingly lacking in haberdasheries and fabric stores. The crafting culture in the UK isn't the same as the US and there's nothing similar to a JoAnn Fabrics or Michael's. So at the beginning of every project, I have to go on the hunt and drive forty minutes to a tiny village in Wales in search of Amy Butler fabric or a replacement bulb for my Janome sewing machine. But these expeditions have introduced me to some interesting places and I'm slowly making connections with the "locals" and women who have been sewing since the Second World War.

I'm so used to the convenience of the giant chains in America and I'm realizing just how impatient it's made me. It's nice to slow down and enjoy the entire process of a project. Still, sometimes I just want that quick crafting fix. Maybe I should open a chain of fabric stores...

Happy Spring!