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Ex -Pats
12-Sep-2009, 09:53 AM
Post: #1
Ex -Pats
I would like to intoduce a new topic for discussion- "ex pats."
I note from many on the forum that a lot of us have left the old country for pastures new and wonder how we feel - what we miss or don't miss about good old England.....

I must confess I have loved living in New Zealand for the past 35 years especially raising my 4 super children who have had a great envronment to live in, but having been bacK to the Uk 4 times over the last deacade, there is a lot that I love and have missed about England. I welcome your thoughts, sandy
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13-Sep-2009, 11:33 AM
Post: #2
 
Hi, we've talked a lot in the past about which foodstuffs we all miss.
Otherwise I'd say... miss the Lancashire accent..knowing where someone comes from and their roots from this....miss understanding the education system...
Miss the respect due to my profession- here the artist's seen as a 'marginal' and it's assumed you have no training or qualifications of any note.
Miss decent museums and galleries.
Miss my family..Mum, Dad, son, daughter, grandkids.
Miss friends I've had since I was at school.
Miss the mountains and the moors, smell of heather.
Miss pubs- the quiet country ones.
Miss a choice of decent live music.
Miss seeing the lively mix of races on the streets.
Miss allotments!
When we couldn't get it, I really missed British TV.
Don't miss.. yobs, traffic jams, parking problems, longer winters, small houses, lack of space.
Is that enough?

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13-Sep-2009, 11:44 AM
Post: #3
 
Thats quite an interesting list Caroline.

It looks though that you miss alot more good things than bad!

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13-Sep-2009, 06:37 PM
Post: #4
 
Several reasons to come 'home'!

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13-Sep-2009, 08:52 PM
Post: #5
 
Before be became ex-pat Brits, we became ex-pat Lancastrians, moving first to Warwickshire in 1964 (Kenilworth), then to south Staffordshire in 1966 (Coven, near Wolverhampton). Relatively low paying jobs then, even for an engineer, meant limited transportation options, so we didn't get back to Leyland more than about every three months. Didn't have a phone, and even if we'd had one, calls were too expensive. In Coven, phones didn't have dials - you picked up the handset and asked the operator to place the call!

The main effect of moving to Seattle (in 1968) was that the parents couldn't get out to see us easily. We went three years without direct contact, except by phone. With two young children and friends from Lytham in the area, we settled in fairly quickly, though it wasn't until we got into a house, rather than an apartment, that we started to settle better. Boeing had so many ex-pats that it was easy for me to assimilate. Being home-bound with two small children, Eileen had a tougher time of it. When the big Boeing downturn hit in 1971, we almost went back, but couldn't afford the plane fares.

We made a lot of friends here, many of them ex-pats like us, and lived in a very friendly, extrovert neighborhood. We still keep in touch with a couple of the neighbors from that time, even though we're scattered all over the place.

Nowadays, all the people in the parents' and grandparents' generation are gone. Eileen is an only child and wasn't close to many of the cousins and I just have one each brother and sister. I haven't been very good at keeping close to the cousins either.

Being strict Methodists, we didn't go "pubbing" until much later in life, so that wasn't among the "Missed" items.

During my later Boeing career, I was able to visit the family in Leyland during my travels, but Eileen didn't get much chance. She never got to see her Dad again after we left, and only saw her Mom, aunts and uncles maybe three times before they passed on. Her Mom did visit us once, when I had a Boeing trip schedule that allowed me to escort her the whole trip in both directions. My Mom made one visit with my Dad, and he and his younger sister came several times together. Each of them also travelled solo once, quite an undertaking in their late 70s.

In general, there's not much I miss and a lot to dislike in the England that has developed in the last decade.

We're lucky that the NW Washington climate is very comfortable and there's no significant langauge barrier. The biggest problems are the rate at which retirement savings seem to evaporate and the cost of healthcare.

I think that the day-to-day cost of living here (ignoring healthcare) is lower than the UK. Petrol's cheaper, bus fare are WAY cheaper, can't compare trains because we don't have any. Cars are cheaper and houses are, too. Income tax is about a third of what you'd pay in England, there's no VAT. Sales tax is just over 8% on everything except food (tax free).

Do we regret emigrating? For me, absolutely not. Washington State is "home". England is a neat place to be from.


Frank

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.
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13-Sep-2009, 09:05 PM
Post: #6
 
quote:

Originally posted by sandyship

I would like to intoduce a new topic for discussion- "ex pats."
I note from many on the forum that a lot of us have left the old country for pastures new and wonder how we feel - what we miss or don't miss about good old England.....

I must confess I have loved living in New Zealand for the past 35 years especially raising my 4 super children who have had a great envronment to live in, but having been bacK to the Uk 4 times over the last deacade, there is a lot that I love and have missed about England. I welcome your thoughts, sandy


As a former "Mercenenary" Ex-Pat for more than 25 years, changing countries on average every 4 years, I must admit that I used to miss a lot of good things about England, and the UK in general. However, I almost always found that when I returned to the UK on leave that after about 10 days I could hardly wait to get back "home". Now that I am back in Leyland, on a more or less permanent basis, I find that the UK is not such a bad place to live after all, even if there are a number of easily recognised problems.

I see from your posting that you have been in New Zealand for some time and I must admit I quite like that particular country. I have a business relationship in Auckland and visit there at least once every year.

My niece also moved to Auckland a couple of years ago and seems to be very happy living there with her young family.

David
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14-Sep-2009, 01:07 AM
Post: #7
 
Yes Caroline i missed lots of foods that i couldn't get here. No Mars bars in 1975-horror of horrors. Also sausages and bacon never tasted the same as "back home'. But I sooned learnt not be a winging Pom as they say.. because you have to get used to things. having been back recently teaching in Kent I too have loved the history-castles, museums, art galleries and I really love the theatres in london.

Fraid I also still miss the cute and characterful pubs and friendly chatter in them. Not quite the same over here in Nz

But I agree with comments from Frank. I don't miss the dreadful traffic, crazy motorways that scared me ****less
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14-Sep-2009, 03:19 AM
Post: #8
 
Things I miss.
Family
Sunday drives around the Trough of Bowland.
The Lakes
4 Seasons
Pubs as they were. My last visit amazed me, the Wheatsheaf and Dunkirk Hall were awful. Foul language from both sides of the bar, which seems to be the norm in a lot of pubs.
Bacon and sausages.
Cream cakes.
Easy walking to the shops.
Newspapers with news.
Intelligent conversation in a bar.
Jokes
The NHS
Cheap holidays
Football and cricket.
Decent tea

Things I don't miss
The weather, we only get hurricanes [a joke]
Crowds in shops
Yobs
Being constantly broke.
Expensive cars and petrol.
Expensive houses.
Expensive rates
No prospects in my profession.
Traffic and parking
Graffiti
Stupid dustbin rules.

I love my hols in England, but I'm always glad to come home.
John
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14-Sep-2009, 04:06 PM
Post: #9
 
I guess we're a bit luckier than you, John. Our local supermarket carries PG Tips, Heinz Baked Beanz, British Heinz Tomato Soup and tinned Treacle Sponge. A Seattle Italian sausage maker makes British Bangers, which we can get at a supermarket in Burlington, 20 miles away. That store also has Lyle's Syrup.

Walking to the shops isn't an option, as the nearest one (except for a neigborhood convenience store) are 5 miles away.

We get the same four seasons as the UK and our local scenery is more than an adequate substitute for the Lake District or the Trough.


Frank

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.
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14-Sep-2009, 08:21 PM
Post: #10
 
I live in New England the traffic here can be just as bad as the UK in fact bigger problems. I hated living in California... well the part were we lived just outside of LA, the traffic is the worst. Most cities in the US have traffic headaches. When we go down to Rhode Island to see our son we also end up in traffic jams either from an accident or backed up outside of the cities. So that would not be one of my moans about the UK although motorways are not my favourite in the UK. Still back roads are OK.
Living in the US or for that matter anywhere in the world, although the place may be wonderful does not replace the memories made over the years from being in constant contact with loved ones holidays are not the same. Popping in to see if older family member are alright, Birthdays and Christmas. Yes I know when you have your own family and if you are lucky enough you might live close and you will make memories and your children and your grandchildren will and later when they marry you will have those extended family members but your own extended family missed out, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunts and the rest they did not get to see your children grow and neither did all of us see our families grow older or join in all those family celebrations.

Friends and relatives... cannot replace them no matter how much you try. Friends from childhood and youth are special you share memories and I find it very sad when I receive a card telling me that another of my friends has died I still think of them as young not grown older and sick.
Being home to take care of loved ones when they are sick thats hard to do when you are thousands of miles away even if you have other relatives willing to do it that does not make you feel any better.

Getting on a bus and walking around town. Just the freedom of being able to do it. Its also good for your health. In the US that would be impossible. No local bus routes. Only in the cities.

Train transport. Its so easy in the UK.

The changing season up close. Even here in New England although the scenery is beautiful in the Autumn it mostly seen from a car.

Variety of food. When I was home just to see all the different cheeses and foods displayed in many different types of shops and markets was wonderful. Here you have huge supermarkets which really don't cater for that type of thing. If you do want something better you end up paying an arm and a leg for it and its still not the same. I ordered some eccles cakes from this person in Boston who said she made 'authentic Lancashire eccles cakes'. I was so disappointed. Nothing like them. For a start they where the size of a bread and butter plate. Should have made my own.

Cake shops that really have the best of the best when I was home I just stood outside most cake shops and drooled. Only so much you can eat in 3 weeks. Cream cakes, chorley cakes, blackcurrent tarts, vanilla slices. I could go on and on.

Listening to good radio programs although I can get them now on my computer.

I know my brothers have their families all within spitting distance of them. That would be nice. I think this is what I miss the most not being close to my children. Since leaving University and moving on they are hundreds of miles away from us. So even though I have two Grandchildren we dont get to see them very often maybe a few times a year. Our oldest son lives 3 hours away and he works so hard we have only see him maybe 4 times this year.

Lastly the smell of Autumn the leaves falling and the pavement full of leaves and that smell when you disturb them.

See how lucky you all are.........Well at least I can have a nice cup of tea and a digestive biscuit.....
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