Posted in Inspirational, Travels

Dear England

Dear England
(An ode to you)

This is not quite a “dear John” letter.
But truth is; I am leaving.
We’ve been together just shy of 3 years.

I want to write to say goodbye, to say thank you and to share some memories I have had with you.

Care to listen?  Then read on…
Firstly, grab yourself a brew (that is tea).
Oh, how you and your people like tea.

And you even taught me to have one less teaspoon of sugar in my hot drinks. Ta!

I am a mixture of emotions.  I discovered today, a true reason for why I am leaving.
I am leaving because I miss South Africa, and not because I am sick of the UK.

Yes, this “island” (UK) has its oddities! But don’t we all?

I have had the most incredible adventure being abroad. (So read on…)

What I have appreciated and really enjoyed?

I really have loved sitting in a local pub watching football.  Chilling with a pint and usually watching Chelsea kick ass!

The 100’s of little cycle paths that one can ride on.

I have loved the colours of autumn, and when all the leaves fall pleasantly to the road below.  (People should stop more to cover themselves in leaves)

I have loved the super long summer days.  The sun only falling asleep at 11pm, huh? Awesome!!!  When 5pm comes and you can say “Gosh, I still have a few hours of day time left!”

I have loved how I can ride home at like 2pm and not need to constantly look over my shoulder.

Being South African I do like rising early and loved how I can walk in my local town (Bicester) at 8am in the morning and it feels like the whole town is still sleeping.

Amazon, oh amazon… what fun we have had! Click, click, click and here comes something I have ordered to my door in about 2 days. J

I also appreciate how you can get “anywhere” really in the UK, either by train or bus.  There is always public transport going somewhere quite frequently!

I have fond memories… sitting on a train, reading some, or blogging or simply just staring out the window at the beautiful countryside.

I have enjoyed some English efficiency. (In most cases, not all… will write more about this later…)

No bank charges!

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A list of your oddities:

1)     Basin within a basin.

What is with having a sink and then having a basin inside it?
A sink is not a decoration item in the house for display?
It’s a utility.  Its needs to be used…

I once asked someone, why they had a basin (tub) in the sink; they replied “so that the sink doesn’t get scratched…” seriously! Haha
Another replied: “I don’t know; we’ve always just done that…”

Which brings me to point 2:

2)     Tradition… don’t let it trip you up…

Tradition is not always a bad thing.  But when it stifles the Spirit (in church context), then it’s stupid and annoying!
Or just in life, people do things for the sake of doing things (tradition) and lose the heart and meaning of why that tradition is there in the first place? Grrr

Hmmm, at the time of writing this, I can’t think of any other oddities…
Oh wait!

3)     Look up and smile

People, we live on this “island” together.  Let’s enjoy each other’s company and talk and laugh together.  Public transport is the worse for that, or even just walking in the town centre, people look down, they don’t smile… they don’t greet others… “staying in one’s own shell” seems popular!

Look up and smile and talk a little more.  Life is not that bad!  People aren’t that annoying!

4)     Health and Safety.

Need I say more? You yourselves; know how annoying it is.
Why do I need a qualification to climb a 9 rung ladder?
Why you so darn scared of people suing you?  And why would people sue for lame things?
In case of a fire… RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Isn’t that obvious?) haha!

If a kid scrapes their knee, do we really need to write an accident report?  What happened to just speaking face to face to the parents?  And having trust and honesty?

5)     Let’s talk about the weather…

Gosh, I have had loads of weather conversations… maybe we could start social engagements differently… and when we see people we could use these lines as conversation starters:

“Wow, cool socks!”
Or
“Look up there, its superman.  Just joking!”
Or
“What do you think of my new dance move?” Then do a little jig… and then all would be cool!

Okay, so that’s enough of listing the oddities… because otherwise I may just sound to British! (Being grumpy and all) – Okay, so that’s your own stereotype, I never came up with that… so don’t point fingers at me…

What I have learnt?

This section is more for me just blabbing out my thoughts:

–          Can’t escape heart matters (no matter how many chapters you close and start)

When there are matters of your heart that you need to deal with?  One can’t just move from place to place thinking those issues won’t follow you… as obvious at that lesson is, I have needed to learn that.  God, only You can change this heart of mine, if I stop and let You and learn from You.

–          Tolerance and enjoying other cultures

I hope being back in SA, I won’t pick up that (underlying) frustration and touch of being annoyed with other races (cultures), I pray that I embrace the loads of different cultures that God gave us. UK was awesome for that.  Each day, you heard loads of different accents!

–          Surviving London Lessons:

To avoid getting the Heathrow injection (getting fat):

i)       Walk up and down stairs on the underground.
ii)     Or if on an escalator don’t just stand there… walk down or up it.
iii)  Walk to the end of the platform for more exercise.
iv)    If people annoy you, then put headphones on.
v)      Stare at people.  It’s fun!
vi)    If you need book ideas, look at what others are reading on  the tube or on trains
vii) Words of wisdom:

“When you arrive in London, it may seem like a BIG frightening monster.  But once you know the system and how things work, then it may still remain a BIG monster, yet the difference is, you’re not afraid of it anymore.”

What I ask of you dear England?

–          Don’t forget the reason for the steeples!

England once used to be a Christian country.
You have all these cathedrals and steeples to remind you, but you have forgotten.
Seriously, God is not a fairy-tale; He is not a good idea.  HE IS REAL!
Do you want to be a great nation?  Go back to God again!
LET Him lead your decision making and leading of a country and people.

Look around in your towns, there is loads of brokenness.  Many teens lack ambition, pride and purpose.
And it’s because: God has been “kicked out!”

Anyway, this letter to you Dear England has been pretty long.

Thank you for reading.  Thank you for letting me live in your land and for letting me visit your neighbours: France, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Scotland, Wales, Poland, Italy, Iceland and Holland.  I loved all the adventures I had there!

So,

Keep calm and carry on
Or keep calm and drink tea

Love Darrel

PS.  There has to be a PS part.

How can I forget about all the cool people I met, a massive thank you Dear England for bring the coolest of people to me.
If I forget some people in this list, don’t be hater…

From Michi to Zoe, Clint, Chris and Deborah, Joy and Andy, Katy and Tim, other South African friends, Neil, Tom Miles, my awesome church friends, Absoluters, Sam, Abi, Liz and loads more…

God, I am thankful!

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Author:

I am an aspiring and up and coming writer. Dubbed the wondering wanderer. Do come check out my stories.

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