This blog originally began as a personal account of my move from the US to the UK and my new life in a sometimes quite foreign place. I mainly write about art or gaming now, but I thought I’d tell you a bit about me.
We live in a sleepy English market town in Staffordshire. The market in the centre of town was chartered in 1207 and has run continuously since then. As am American I love that, although Phil forbids me to refer to anything as “quaint.” The first town we moved to when we came to the UK was famous for having sold its bible to buy a dancing bear, which is probably the coolest town history ever.
We live in a terrace/townhouse, a brick three-story house that is part of a long row of other houses. There are small Victorian cast iron fireplaces in most of the rooms, and the original fittings for the gas wall sconces are still in place in the rooms on the top floor. We have a kitchen that two people can’t comfortably stand in at the same time (cooking would have been done in the family room), a bathroom the size of a large-ish bedroom with a clawfooted tub which we have done up in a style I call Victorian Whorehouse, and two bedrooms on the top floor which we use as individual work rooms. Despite not having any storage at all (as an American used to huge closets and cupboards everywhere, this bothers me a lot), I love it.
This is my work room:
We share the house with three cats. We used to have three ferrets as well, but unfortunately they are no longer with us. For a while we also had two Gambian Rats (actually Emin’s rats, but no one has ever heard of those) which slept in a five-foot steel dog cage in the front room and screamed like parrots at night. The male, Anansi, came down with a mystery illness and we were unable to save him; we gave the female to someone who wanted to breed and had other giant rats for companionship. I’ll never buy an exotic animal again – our vets, while wonderful, had no idea what was wrong or how to cure it. So sad.
There are books everywhere in sagging bookshelves. The floors upstairs groan with the weight of the shelves and books. I think I could easily open a used bookstore with the books we have. When I was packing everything for the move to the UK the books were the toughest things to give up – I found homes for them with people who would love them, like finding adoptive parents. When you make a transatlantic move you basically have to give up everything except for treasured mementos and family pictures; it’s difficult, but in the end you discover how little of the junk we carry with us is actually important.
This is the first house I’ve ever owned, as we couldn’t have afforded one in the States. We went wild with decoration: the hallway ceiling is painted with sky and clouds, our Victorian whorehouse bathroom was very painstakingly rag-rolled with shades of crimson and scarlet, and the bedroom is a fuckoff shade of antique gold. It’s amazing to wake up to the sun blazing on the gold walls.
This is where I live. It’s not very posh, but I still am sometimes overcome by sheer amazement that I am actually here. For a girl from Northern California, living in the UK is like a dream. :)