Things that make me feel homesick for the UK...

>> Thursday, 22 March 2012

Hearing my sons speak with transatlantic accents. It's 'caaahhhn't', not 'caint'. It's 'scooter', not 'scooder'.

Hearing myself use American terms rather than British ones; 'snowpants', for 'snowtrousers' (or salopettes, if you're really fancy). 'Fancy', for 'smart'. 'Sidewalk', for 'pavement' ( although, try telling an American-educated child 'Stay on the pavement' and they will have no idea what you're talking about).

Student-led conferences. All very well but I want the chance for a frank discussion of my child's strengths and weaknesses, please...

Snow, snow, and more snow. In March. When what I want to see is daffodils, snow drops, and the first crocuses pushing through the lawn.

Lawns. Or rather, the lack of of them.

Russian workmen walking in - unannounced - through the backdoor, having a long conversation with each other about something or other (I have no idea what; it could be the boiler, the flooring, the shelving unit, or the fact that our nest of shoes is threatening to take over the utility room and possibly the entire compound), and then leaving again. As they leave they thank me of course, and I say 'you're welcome', but that is the extent of my involvement in this exchange.

Russian radio, with it's mix of dad-tastic hard rock, easy listening, euro-crap and Russian rap. I WANT XFM!

Police officers standing by the side of the road forcing me to use my peripheral vision abilities to the max so that I can drive past them safely ostensibly without seeing them, and so don't give them the chance to catch my eye and pull me over. Until they do - which is just a matter of time.

Living with the knowledge that it's just a matter of time.

Russian drivers.

'Nuff said.

Please note; there are plenty of things I don't miss from the UK, too. Life, eh? It's a balancing act...


Anonymous,  22 March 2012 at 13:57  

It must be a harsh place to live. How long are you there for?

nappy valley girl 22 March 2012 at 14:33  

I can empathise with the American accents (I still insist on pavement, by the way- I think it's important to keep them aware of the British terms seeing as they are going back).

Interestingly my friend Circles in the Sand (in Dubai) just posted about these student led conferences - I hadn't heard of them before. They still do more traditional teacher meetings here in NY, and I am relieved by that - as you say, you need to be able to discuss your child frankly.

Mrs. Munchkin 22 March 2012 at 15:52  

In America, the word "pavement" is synonymous with "concrete" or "cement." Pavement meaning hard surface. The sidewalk is made of pavement. So is the parking lot and road.

Sometimes I wish I had a British accent I told hubby one day. He looked at me funny and asked why. Because the British just sound smarter. (again, he looked at me funny!) Sometimes I wish I had an accent, but then I am reminded when I travel other places...I do. I just wonder if I sound smart? LOL!

Irene 22 March 2012 at 18:52  

It's amazing what a person can get worked up about when it really doesn't matter in the long run. Is British so hallowed that it's a criminal act to sound like an American? Once your children are back in England, they'll be speaking like natives in no time at all again. Really PM, what do you think it's like to speak English with a Dutch accent?

Potty Mummy 23 March 2012 at 07:58  

Save, not sure - as long as it takes!

NVG, it's odd - for some reason I expect them to sound British, and yet why would they?

MrsM, I'm not sure it makes us sound clever - just more stuck up (unfortunately!)

Irene, you're right of course, it is not a criminal act to sound American.

Expat mum 23 March 2012 at 13:15  

I"m glad Mrs. Munchkin made the point about "pavement". If I told anyone in Chicago to stand on the pavement they'd walk straight out into the middle of the road.
We had a student-led conference the other day, but only for the last ten minutes, which was a nice mix. The 8 y/o was allowed to come in and talk about his best pieces of work, and really, the look of pride on his face was precious!

Iota 23 March 2012 at 17:36  

Round here, 'pavement' means road. If you want to talk about cement, you talk about cement. And a parking lot is a 'blacktop'. (I know, because I once participated in a 'Boogie on the Blacktop' at my daughter's school.)

Student-led conferences. Hm... They're a real hm... for me. I'm all for a bit of participation, but I've had some real time-wasters too, when my child has told me their five objectives, and how they assess that they have met them, and how they are re-setting them for the next quarter. And it all sounds suspiciously like they didn't really know what to say and copied down five suggestions from the board. Just sayin'.

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