A year ago today…

24 October 2014

I have now been back (and survived) in the UK for a full year – bravo! The significance of this has led me to write another blog, and review life in a country I know only too well.

The first thing that springs to mind is how easy it is to communicate again, without worrying about the whole not being understood properly. However, you wouldn’t think it when I can hear up to 3 other languages on my short walk into the town centre. I often wonder how life is for those coming here now and obviously struggle with the English language, and ultimately finding work – I can sympathise there. I have noticed more of a lack of tolerance towards foreigners in the UK than I remember – just not sure how much of a mess the immigration system was/is but it is now a key topic in the political arena. As for politics – not going there, I am completely on the fence and wouldn’t dare to guess which way I am going to vote (for all the good that does). But hey! At least I can vote again!!!

In hindsight, I definitely should have skipped straight past the brief spell in the Netherlands, before returning to the UK – just jaded by a bad experience (not saying that NL is not bad for others over there). It just wasn’t right for me I guess, or the right
time. But whether or not I have come back to the right place in England – well, that’s… erm… debatable. This place also has it’s pros and cons, jury is out on this one for now. I guess I’ll make a judgement call on that, once I’ve managed to stick it out for a little longer. I am getting tired (and worried) about not finding anywhere that really feels like home to me. However, I do still melt when I hear anyone who sounds remotely like they are from the north east of England (due to late father’s side of the family I guess).

I’ve not managed to tour the sites much since my return. Wales is next on one of my ‘away days’ – it’s too easy to get to for me to refuse really. I doubt I’ll be climbing Mount Snowdon (1,085 metres above sea level) this year – but am up for it in 2015! I did manage the local one (Wrekin – 407 metres) this year, and did in about 35 minutes – it’s a small start…

It is nice to slip back into the occasional pub visits – and see some live bands. I still don’t have a proper local but the weatherspoons pub is just a 15-20 minute walk away (if I’m feeling sociable), and cheap as chips…

Finding work here is tougher than it has ever been. I guess I am doing ok and working towards a few qualifications while I work at the Council. However, the amount of rejections I’ve had has been a record high. This may be partly down to being overseas
for a good chunk of time, or may be age related, or just bad luck – just hoping that it gets easier now I have a foot on the ladder again. I am finding that office life is much not as much fun any more – the level of office politics and unfriendliness is quite annoying, not to mention the amount of ‘dead wood’ I’d be happy to see the back of. Half of me is a bit defeated and jaded, sometimes wonder if I am too old to start over again. On the other hand, I love actually having a job to go to and can’t imagine going through the nightmare of the benefit system ever again – even if it was for a short spell. It was hell! I have no idea how long term unemployed people manage to bounce back from that – it’s demoralising, depressing, frustrating and very demeaning. There is definitely more of a stigma attached to being out of work than there was in Denmark, welcome back to the materialistic class system…

I still hate shopping more than ever (for food), but glad about the huge range of choices we have over here. As far as I’m concerned the rest of Europe pales in comparison there. I’ll just have to switch to ordering online, to save time. Anyway, you’d think that more healthy choices and lifestyle would make a difference to my health – try telling that to my body. Apparently it all has little or no difference to my blasted blood pressure. C’est la vie. Personally, I blame it on the one occasion I made ‘frikadellas’ here – they are the ones guilty of sabotaging my quest for a fit and healthy body, not me…. maybe the choice of
deserts and copious amounts of cadbury’s chocolate on offer don’t help… 😉

Having to resort back to the youthful days of sharing a house has brought about it’s fair share of fun and games – I don’t even want to think about writing all the drama up here. However, the house is now reasonably sane and I have an ok bunch of housemates – even if they are all men (from France, Scotland and England). I do miss the luxury of my own place – but that will come in time… Plus, I also think I’d feel far too alone in my own place just yet anyway.

I’m not sure if this is universal or just my age – but I am finding people these days very annoying and/or rude. It’s that bad that I notice and really appreciate the occasional acts of warmth and kindness. Everyone just seems to want to upset everyone they meet… Will have to monitor this further – or just go home each day, and shut the world out until I see it becoming a little more civil.

So, do I miss Denmark? (imagine the almighty drum roll here)

Well, I miss some of the people over there, the crazy drinking nights, the big hugs (which are non existent back here), the flat cycle paths everywhere, the simplicity of life + the lack of spam emails, text messages and junk mail (in comparison to here) and just being different was kinda fun. So I guess I miss DK a little sometimes. But the grass is always greener – and it is over here (probably due to the amount of high rainfall) 😛 It’s a shame I can’t take the good parts of both countries, bin the crap and put them back together and form another country – and call it Dangland. And, we could all speak Danglish! Nu, det er a fantastisk idea! (Imagination now going wild about the whole concept!)

Not sure when or if I will blog again – though I have noticed that despite lack of new content I still get hits… Surprisingly, it’s the Danish language tabs that are proving popular – maybe I should consider adding more there…one day.

Anyway, vi ses, over and out, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, ciao, tot ziens, hasta la vista!

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