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« 100 Things! | Main | Little Ones »

Sunday, July 09, 2006


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Thank you - this was such a great post. Poignant even for us natives who may feel disillusioned by the culture or politics, and therefore disconnected.

When I was a kid I hated the summer because it meant I would be forced to participate in games and sack races and such. I ended up hating the games along with the implication that my stepfather or some other authority figure was going to *make* me compete.

But sack races are a hell of a lot of fun. Took me a while to remember that. And I had to get past the memory of force that stuck in my craw. Both experiences were valid; it's just that one was in the past. The present keeps bringing new opportunities to experience and understand, and belong, in different ways.


"Is this your first 4th July?" That made me laf, as I am sure you were thinking of saying, "Well, no, ma'am, I have had one every year since I have been born!" (guess who else is English in another country?)

And, what are the words to Star Spangled Banner?

Thank you Pete for a great view of the 4th July.


What a treat to hear your view. When are you starting your blog?


Great post!


Thanks for the wonderful post, and welcome ashore.


"You have to put down roots in a new place, and you have to roll up your sleeves and become a part of it. You can’t be ruled by a place that’s three thousand miles away. When that realisation strikes, it’s time for fireworks"

Oh, so true Pete, so true... As a foreigner myself (that also ended up here because of love, just like you) I know exactly where you are coming from. It's hard to let go and to find a balance, but it must be done.

Terrific post. I loved it.


That gave me chills. Reading your first experience was great, I don't of course remember mine, since always doing the same thing ever year. It was a great reminder of what it's all about. It's wonderful you got to experience it and take it all in and except USA for what it's worth. It's to bad that I will probably never experience a Britian party. Maybe one day you can share what it's like to party the way you grew up.


Pete- this was great to read. I love the pro-activity with the police.

I was also in the great Narberth July 4th migration and it really is moving.


Great post Pete. It really does help remind us what the 4th is all about! Awesome.


Thanks for writing this, Pete! I've long wanted to move to the UK but have held back mostly due to fear-- fear of the unknown, the 'strange', the unrelenting foreignness of it all. It's very interesting to read things from your perspective. Thanks, and please write more!

Meira Voirdire

Beautiful. I especially love what you said about people doing things en masse-- it really does put a tangible energy in the air that is exhilarating. And a good fireworks show will make me cry (and not just because of hormonal momma tendencies that cause me to worry for the lives of the people putting on the display, lol).

I enjoyed reading this & had fun at the Narb fireworks! Have you been driving now?
peace & love

Rosemary Grace

I'm a Brit living in the US, though my mother is American, I grew up in Scotland, and I'm considering printing this and keeping it handy. Especially for when my (American) husband and I move to the UK, which we are planning to do in a few years.

It gets extremely frustrating sometimes when "stuff" just plain doesn't work the same as you'd expect, but getting out there and joining in is going to make you appreciate your new home.


This gave me goosebumps and made it a little difficult for me to swallow with the lump that was in my throat.

You will always be of British origin, but you are now American, too (regardless of what a piece of paper may or may not say). Isn't that grand? You are lucky that you have 2 countries to embrace you. Welcome. Nine months late.


Wow, great post!



I totally understand the paranoia. I've lived here for 5 years now and still in limbo. A resident however an alien. For as much as I have tried to become a permanent it seems that the stars and life's circumstances conspire against me. So I live in limbo awaiting some day when this opportunity expires and I am forced to leave my life in America to return to the Old World and re-learn everything. I always isn't easy being green. Hang in there, before you know it you'll be a native and hot dogs will taste better than bangers and mash...or maybe not :)


Hi Pete - I totally understand what you're going through and well done on managing a positive attitude so quickly! My parents moved me to South Africa when I was in school and it took a LOT of getting used to (well, we were from Wiltshire), then moved us to Australia a few years later and it was the same deal all over again. I now say to people moving somewhere - expect to hate it for the first year. Then if you don't, it's a big bonus. And it could just be me, but it's the food I miss the most (the day they got HP in Australia was a fantastic day in our family). It's so frustrating never knowing what brand of anything you like, or what beer you like, etc.

As an aside - I moved back to London last year, and had exactly the same trauma here. I'd only been here a week when I ended up bursting into tears at Euston, feeling completely overwhelmed and out of place, trying to change from Northern to Victoria line!!

I guess I really shouldn't tell you I'm off to the Proms on Saturday? (ducking for cover now).

Good luck, and great post!


A nine month gestation period on accepting where you are? I think that's pretty fast. I do know people who are still stuck back in (fill in the blank), and continue to talk about how much better it was there.

Good work.


"You have to put down roots in a new place, and you have to roll up your sleeves and become a part of it. You can’t be ruled by a place that’s three thousand miles away. When that realisation strikes, it’s time for fireworks"

I think that can apply to any situation, new country or not. When my sister-in-law moved across the U.S. 2,000 miles (yes, for love!) she said it was almost 3 years before Colorado started to feel like "home". It sounds like you've made a great first step.

I hope you continue to have positive experiences here in the U.S. - I promise we're not all crass, overbearing, pompous, war-mongering idiots!


Great Post Pete. If you start your own blog, I promise to comment with snarky brittish wit. Which I will steal off other british blogs of course.


Seconding the motion for Pete to get a blog - fantastic writing!
Boy do I ever understand the paranoia...and the fireworks.


I'm glad to hear that you seem to be settling in now, sit back and just go with it.....we'll still be here numb with toothache moaning on about the weather and the government....just remember that steak and kidney pie often has gristle and tubes ugh!!
Take care


WOW, that was just beautiful. I'm teary over here! As the kid of a foreign father, I can relate to so many of the emotions you describe. Welcome again to your new home, and so glad it's finally starting to feel like home for you.

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