Monday, April 14, 2008

Life Less Ordinary

Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary with me
Life a life less sedentary
Live a life evolutionary with me
-Carbon Leaf

Part of the deal in moving to England was committing to give up our couch-potato ways and do new, amazing things often. I think we're doing a pretty good job. But lately when I go to blog about stuff we've done, I stop because I realize it's rather ordinary. For example, JT's 40th birthday was last week, and at one point he quipped that he was disappointed he'd only be in one country (unlike his birthday last year, when we woke up in Germany and went to bed in England). This year? We both worked 10-hour days and then went and ate cheeseburgers at our favorite local. I think this is how we've both spent more than half our birthdays.

Then, as part of the birthday weekend, we put the bikes on the car's new bike rack and headed off about 30 miles from here to Thetford forest, where we did two hours of off-road trail cycling. Nothing terribly unique about that, other than it's something neither one of us has ever done. We had a blast and spent much of the time talking about where else we could go with bikes in tow.

Last week, I took a morning off (well, um, OK, a little more than a morning) to walk to Grantchester and back, a 7-mile round trip. I'm infected with spring fever, so I was keen to find an excuse to spend several hours outside. If you'd have said last year I'd willingly walk 7 miles, I'd have asked you where my car broke down and why no one offered to give me a ride.

Friday night, we finally went to a pub we've been meaning to go to -- a pub that serves Polish food. We learned we were eating one of the last meals served; they closed down yesterday. We talked to the owner for quite some time about how hard it is to succeed in the pub business in this economy, and when England's pub culture is shifting as more people buy beer at supermarkets and go out less. We enjoyed our barszcz, zurek, pierogi, and pork loin, and left, sad that the Cambridge locals and local Polish community weren't enough to support Ralph and Ania's dream.

We do things that are very similar to things we did in the U.S.: Instead of a trip to Deep Creek Lake, we went to the Lake District. Instead of a trip to California's wine country, we're planning a trip to Portugal's wine country. If we don't feel like cooking dinner, instead of a walk into Cleveland Park or Woodley Park, it's a walk around Cambridge to one of our favorite locals. Instead of the Dupont Farmers Market, it's the City Centre Market.

In spite of the things we find quirky and odd, England has never felt like a foreign country to me. In fact, I'd say our "boring" little life suggests we're quite at home here. Occasionally ordinary, yes, but a life less ordinary indeed.

1 comment:

Nora Bee said...

I love this. I love thinking of you there, finding a home wherever you go. You guys rock.