(Sorry about the bad pun in the title, I couldn’t help myself.)
So, yes, here I am in Leeds. For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of England, Leeds is in ‘The North’-only 24 miles away from York. (I loved all the road signs on the highway…’The North’…making it an independent destination as opposed to just a direction.) I have read many things about the historical class differences between the north and south of England and found the story familiar. After all, we have our own version in the States.
I love The North, especially Yorkshire. I freely admit to already having a romantic ideal of it in my head before I ever arrived due to my love of all things Bronte…but I can honestly say I have yet to be disappointed. Not only is the scenery breathtaking,(The Moors!)and the history fascinating…on the whole the people just may be the friendliest and finest I have come across. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they have of course the certain necessary percentage of cockwombles that every human settlement requires in order to function. But the rest of the population is just so damn friendly, open and kind that the arseholes end up just fading into the background. (Of course I haven’t yet been able to explore Leeds itself…so I may get out there and realize that the rest of Yorkshire is so idyllic because they ship all their knobs to Leeds.)
I’m looking forward to exploring the city, because even though it is only 24 miles away from York, the flavor and history is profoundly different. York is picturesque and quaint. Leeds is modern and industrial. It just needs to stop raining already so I can get out there!
Last Thursday I Skyped with a Dutch couple living in Germany who had liked my profile on mindmyhouse.com…(the website I use to find my pet sits)and had emailed me to see if I was available for the month of October. After our conversation I am happy to say that on September 30th I will be heading to Deutschland for a month! I’m glad to be getting out of the UK…not because I don’t love it here, but because I don’t want to push the limits of my ‘tourist’ designation. As a US citizen you are allowed 6 months in the UK without a visa of some sort, and at the end of September I will have been here 3.5 months. (I just typed that and almost plotzed. I still sometimes can’t believe that this is truly happening) I am planning on spending Christmas in London with my daughter Hannah, so I have to scoot my butt over to the continent for a bit so the Eye of Sauron (immigration) doesn’t lock onto me. Oh, and there is also the fact that I GET TO GO TO GERMANY! My future hosts Sylvia and Ernst have very kindly been helping me plan the best way to get from London to Grossenkneten. My charge while I am there will be Motek, a large handsome white shepherd. (And, I have recently found out that they have hedgehogs in their garden. This delights me in a very childish way.)
So, there is my future sorted until November 3rd. Leeds, then back to York, then off to Germany! And after that, we shall see where the universe leads me!