Yes, I know, I know! Its been AGES since I wrote a post. I feel slightly guilty, but then again I have been exceedingly busy rediscovering the joys of living in Britain, does that excuse me? Probably not, but I'm going with it.
The last 30 days have been full of rediscovery, some small realizations have crept up on me and some have slapped me in the face. I love it here, we love it here. If we really get down to the depths of it, I'd say I'm resentful that I have missed out on 20 years here. I know they say you never appreciate something till you lose it, and that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and let us not forget "the grass is always greener". But I assure you I felt this way 20 years ago when I was dragged to California by my Mum, dragged might be a strong word, but I did cry when we left the ground at Heathrow. It's not that I don't miss certain aspects of the United States, like my family and friends, and Portland of course, but I know for sure that I am home finally.
We've been a car free family for almost 6 weeks now, and whilst I have personally been car free this year I have until recently benefited from riding in one regularly. Now we are absolutely car free, (except for on Wednesdays when I carpool with our friend Sarah to our Slimming group). Kyle explains the change by saying "we've walked more in the last 6 weeks than we did the entire rest of the year" and that feels pretty spot on to me. Where we live right now it is so conveniently situated that it would almost be inconvenient to drive. Everything is within walking distance and the buses and trains are available for anything further.
There was a low spot that will forever stand out in my mind. It happened the 2nd week we were here, I was walking home from a Doctor appointment, I was winded, sore, tired and fully depleted. My legs and feet hurt so much from all the extra walking, I felt defeated and used the rain to mask my tears. I look back now, 4 short weeks later and I'm amazed at the difference I feel. I no longer get so winded and I if I take small breaks here and there I can keep walking for hours, in fact last week we walked for 4 hours straight and it didn't even phase me.
Today I overcame another obstacle, I finally got the courage to take the Boda Boda out on the roads with Jack. This morning I'd zipped to the clinic for a Doctor appointment on my own, just to get my first solo ride in. I knew I'd been procrastinating riding my bike for numerous reasons and it was time to overcome and move past the fear, so when I got home Kyle was ready with the Mundo and we decided to do all our chores on bicycle rather than walking. It felt wonderful to be out riding, the air was crisp and whilst the narrow roads felt a little intimidating I do feel like I overcame my inner obstacles.
We made 5 stops in the village today and everywhere we parked them the bikes garnered a lot of attention, their vibrant colours in stark contrast to the grey frost of winter.
It's going to be a privilege to write about my experiences here, I feel so inspired by this place. I realize I need to write a new introduction to the blog as we are no longer in "small town America", instead we're in a little English village of about the same population, comparing the two places is only natural, but I may find my blog takes a political turn if I delve too deeply. For the most part I try to keep the blog bicycle oriented, but it is of course an extension of myself and all my opinions and thoughts, I'm sure that year two of blogging will have all the ups and downs of year one. I know I'm already looking forward to the 30 days of biking, which was certainly a highlight of 2012. I wonder if I will win another bicycle, I don't want to be greedy but I'd certainly love a bakfiets.