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Buying, Selling, and Thinking

June 10th, 2013 at 04:19 pm

Perhaps it's turning 50, but DH has England fever again. This always comes and goes, but his aging dad, boring job, and our renewed taste of London living last spring has stoked the fire.

I told him I'd think it through some more. We need to do a more complete financial inventory, and he needs to do some realistic stock taking of his job prospects. But of course, I have money anxiety about the whole thing. I swear, I should not read articles about retirement saving. The one in yesterday's NYT had little to do with our situation as it focused on people who were (in my opinion) too loaded up on bonds. But it always makes me nervous, so some clear-eyed examination of the state of things would help.

My ebay auctions were only somewhat successful. I sold some DVDs that I'll post this morning, but had to relist a couple of items. Several weeks ago when I volunteered to sub tutor for a friend it seemed like a peachy idea. Faced with three nights there this week, I'm not looking forward to it. But often no one shows up for the tutoring hours, so maybe I can get some work done on a prospective UK budget.

11 Responses to “Buying, Selling, and Thinking”

  1. SecretarySaving Says:

    Your email sales for the month of June look good at $74 and you still have 20 more days in the month to go.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    We've got England fever bad, too! But NT has allayed my feelings of potential guilt if we don't make it there, telling me that he's very happy in Minneapolis and won't mind if that ends up being our (semi)permanent home. Y'all should consider the Twin Cities if you don't make it to England! I've never had anything but a great time in Wisconsin, but the economy, labor issues and political culture seem a bit crazy from where I'm sitting.

  3. PauletteGoddard Says:

    My friend turned 50 one day before your spouse did. She's going to England (Scotland, really) for her birthday. I fight off the urge to revisit London, but I have a Twitter friend who tells me how marvellous Cannizaro Park is and I melt.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Ceejay: I told DH that in an ideal world I would split my residential time between England and MN. I might have to have some Florida or Spain time thrown in there for sunshine's sake. I'm missing MN and England both. Paulette: My brother-in-law used to live in Wimbledon and loved Cannizaro. Lots of this is motivated by my two really good WI friends moving away this summer. One is headed to Germany, the other to be with her husband in TX, and honestly, they are some of the best parts of living here for me. But I feel very done with it here.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'd love to visit England someday, as well as Denmark and Italy and France and the Swiss Alps ... and... Big Grin Maybe someday. Smile Right now I'd settle for anyplace cool ...

  6. snafu Says:

    ok guys, other than family, what is the draw to England? Is it job availability, the economy, weather, culture, entertainment, accommodations, food, transportation, government policies, public health services, shopping or?

  7. My English Castle Says:

    Hmm, snafu. Good question. It's certainly not job availability (though DH might add that in), the economy, weather or other things that are easy to enumerate.. For me, and I suppose it's because language is at the core of me, it's the often smarter culture, the humor, the sharpness, the literature, the history, the attitudes. I'm really not completely sure. Maybe it's like falling in love? From the first time I was there, it just felt right. And it always does. And it's certainly not monolithic. There are plenty of stupid people, but overall, it just is right for me.

  8. ceejay74 Says:

    I agree with everything English Castle says. Popular culture is overall more erudite (though there's plenty of trash), politics are more reasoned and less wildly divisive, environmentalism and many other issues are taken more seriously by national government, racial oppression is less bad (this is a big deal for me personally since two of my family members are black), gun violence is much less. The country is bucolic, greenery everywhere, nature really appreciated by everyone. The ancient buildings interspersed with newer ones give a sense that there's a longer view, a bigger perspective (OK, that's just a romantic notion of mine, but it is something I really love).

    OK, this next part is me going out on a limb and really just giving my personal sense of things, so please no one jump all over me! Smile There's a sense that the Brits have; it's hard to explain, but sometimes being an American and being around Americans all the time, and then hanging out with Brits, there's a removal of this sort of forward-thrusting constant striving for SOMEthing. And you've got to try to be HAPPY, actively, aggressively HAPPY, not just content or at peace. Again, this may just be the Americans I personally know, but I know a ton. Everyone's always trying to get somewhere they're not. Now often this leads to great things, but there's something appealing about being around a group of people (again, just the Brits I know, and I only knew maybe 50 at this point) who are ... living in the moment. Content, to some degree. Unafraid of a life that doesn't involve flailing off into the frontier all the time. Not to say I wouldn't miss that when/if I move, because that is to me now intrinsically American, and I love America. But I think it would be refreshing to feel less pressure about "but what are you planning? Where will your job lead to? What's the next step?" all the time.

  9. My English Castle Says:

    I think what ceejay says is, to me, epitomized in the institution of Sunday lunch. I know Americans, sure, that do long lazy Sunday dinners or lunches. But for most of us, it's not as it was when I was a small child and the whole family, except for my always cleaning Mom, just lazed around on Sunday. And yes, I know it's possible to do that here. But a culture that enjoys and honors that, I'd argue is not present in America any more. We work extra hours, we have appointments, and obligations, we MUST do something. I adore British Sunday lunch--especially if it's at a country pub along the river, maybe the Trout in Oxford? Or one of my secret ones. I'm lost in a mist thinking about the drive to one of our favorite pubs where we pass two ruined monasteries, the grey stones still in the green pasture. My DH says the only time I'm truly relaxed is in Britain.

  10. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Culture, entertainment for sure. I would not want to live in the UK, but it seems the people there can rattle off Coleridge, Tennyson, Hughes, Blake or Heaney by rote no matter how far beyond their O levels they've managed, whether they are in council housing or palatial country estates. Humour-wise there are fewer taboos, entertainment-wise they have these awesome comedy panel shows or comedy news-in-review weekly shows or quiz shows that demonstrate the power of the human mind by lateral thinking, anagramming, mathematical calculations rather than memorizing trivia. They have more interesting current affairs and news reporting. They have maybe a sixth of the population of the US, and yet can draw loyal audiences to these programs. People who like to exercise their brains also shop for clothes and food and buy vehicles, so I don't see what the US television network programming executives are afraid of.

    The only television shows I watch are the ones the Brits distribute on the Web as a global public service. I am finding that some Americans watch those shows too (e.g. "Have I Got News For You," "Grandma's House," "QI", "Only Connect", "Mock the Week", "Spaced," "8 out of 10 Cats", "Countdown"...).

    I'd probably be fine with just one month in the UK, if at least one week could be in the Lake District. I already have UK weather, can make food from UK cookbooks. Shopping, though, Charing Cross Road can make me skint/broke in a minute, while bookstores where I am, supposedly one of the top three literate cities in the US, are struggling and closing. If I want a UK imprint of a book I have to drive up to Canada to get one.

  11. snafu Says:

    Thank you so much for putting your feelings into words, it's very helpful. DH and I work with several UK colleague.

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