Milestones ...

In this new life ... this English life, everyday seems to offer up the possibility of achieving some new milestone.

Today it was walking into the village to find the small bus that runs through the Surrey countryside, village to village.  It was about finding it and getting to my Sainsburys Superstore of choice, and back.  You're only halfway when you reach the top of that mountain and, as usual, I have no idea of my location here in this new world.

It ended up being such a lovely story though.  I was jog/trotting towards the stop, unusually late, when I saw the bus driving towards me.  I body-languaged, sadness and despair ... I may have waved and, much to my surprise, it stopped. 

I was so grateful!!  There was a lovely gentleman driving and I felt like I had stepped into a most marvelous English story as I boarded.  He was dropping off two friendly older woman, who welcomed me to the village as they left the bus at the next stop.

And I traveled with that lovely man, as he picked up other customers, talking ... of course.  Everyone chats on these buses (and so I've found a happy place).  And honestly, the English just keep impressing me with how lovely they are.

I shopped, and felt so successful as I sourced the ingredients for my Slow Cooker Coq au Vin.  I had bought the slow cooker, and a toastie pie maker/ meat griller too, as I settled into my new place.  But then I found a most marvelous little oven, with hotplates on top, for 50 pounds and so I have all I need to cook.  All and more:-)

I have a toaster.  I don't have a Nepresso machine yet but I will have one day. 

Soon I shall be back in that place where breakfast is my holy moment of the day.

I cooked Persian Chicken a few days ago.  I was so rapt to create something familiar and known.  I cooked rice too.  The little oven/stove top (the size of a microwave) does all that I need but still, I found the slow cooker in the January sales over here ... I will use it too.  Tomorrow.

I am settling in.  Losing weight.  Walking a lot. 

I found a desk.  It's so central to my life. I don't know if I realised how central until I tried to work.  But that's a story for another day.  The new desk, a huge pine table really, should be here at the weekend, all going well.  I love the secondhand possibilities out here.

The photograph ... there were some dead roses and I asked if I might borrow them before they were thrown out.  I quite like the result, then couldn't resist adding a border because ... you know.  And the text too.

It's stormy here tonight.  There are trees and woods around me.  I walk to the village on a road that passes through the woods.  There will be photographs.  And I will get better at telling the stories from here.  There have been so many. 

There was a Sunday dash to London ... mostly because I'm never sure of how long it takes to walk to the train station or the village and so dash I do.   I think I have it now.  And seeing Lenn again.  I did enjoy staying at his house these last few weeks.  He's family now.  I haven't told him. 

For the first time in a long time I have almost all of my UK stuff in one location.  I've been all over the place since leaving Belgium at the end of August. Portsmouth, Farnham, London ...  Kim and Andy have been magnificent friends.  I don't imagine I can ever capture all that they have done for me.  It's been grand.  And Lenn.  And others too.

I was reunited with my digital radio at the weekend.  I do love it.  I wander between Planet Rock, and Magic - where lots of nostalgia is played.

I sleep in a beautifully comfortable king-sized bed.  There's a pile of books on the empty side.  I'm reading a biography about Martha Gellhorn, that magnificent journalist, who said Robert Capa was her true brother.  And D. H. Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover', at the same time.  It works.   And really enjoying the second after so many years of reading of him in relation to Katherine Mansfield, who was a friend of his. 

And we're into the second book of the Inkheart series, MIss 11 and I, reading it via skype.  We both love it, so much while we miss living together.  But anyway ...

So that's me.  More to follow as my camera comes out to play in this new world I'm discovering slowly.