When the English complain about the weather, you know it must be awful, as they can deal with much more than most. Well, we’ve been here for nearly a week and I’m here to say the weather is seriously dreadful. So desperate, in fact, that lastminutedotcom has had more hits from the UK than ever in its history. I sit here while it’s raining, still, and damp, and cold and quite miserable.
However…it is forever nice to be here. Through the mist and grey and cloud I find myself slowly morphing into my other self. I’ve gone to the shops, bought my daily newspapers, taken out my favourite coffee maker and bought flowers. There was a moment in the market when I thought, shall I buy the potted basil? Will we be here long enough to enjoy it in the window? Yes, four and a half weeks is long enough for planting all kinds of roots again.
The boys seem to move into their English lives effortlessly. Aside from jet lagged hours of operation, they fit in with their friends, home and way of life here without missing a beat. I thought it a good idea to get the ball rolling by signing up three of my boys for a one week day camp whilst their brother went to Ibiza with a friend, lucky bugger. We arrived at camp the first morning after dragging them all out of bed, and two of my three decided not to get out of the car. It was pouring, and they were tired, so I let them have a choice. All moms know that if you give them a choice, they will choose exactly what you don’t want them to do. My eldest, however, said he would go for a few days (well done, thanks so much for allowing me to spend money on you, right??) so we ventured to find the sign up stand.
As the rain kept coming, I asked the camp counselors what the kids were going to do, given the weather. They told me with great enthusiasm that if it rains down in buckets they’ll move inside and play lots of fun games. Cut to: I collect my son several hours later, and at this point the rain is literally coming down sideways. They tell me I can find him on the field, playing rounders. On the field??? Isn’t this ‘bucketing down’ rain??? I see my son covered in mud and rain, alongside about 100 other kids equally soaking wet, playing rounders – version of softball – and thinking nothing of it. My new tennis shoes are now covered in dirty water as I stand waiting for him to notice my bright pink brolley. I have been in LA too long, I think to myself, to have assumed for one moment that camp would be moved inside. It would have to hail down with lightening to be considered ‘buckets’. In LA, well, they would have simply cancelled camp.
See you for the bbq, they say when we leave. BBQ…now that will be a sight with sideways rain. We drive into town where I drop him with a famous friend’s SAS security team for a sleep over. Literally. They are first taking him to the Cadbury factory for a private tour. Little do they know my son hates chocolate. To make matters even for the others, I let them go down our lane to the newsagent to get candy and to Greggs for their favourite, seriously disgusting, sandwiches. £2.50 buys me a days happiness for all.