28 Weeks Later …

I’ve been here just over six months and a few things have taken shape.


  1. We own a house.
  2. I am famous (read recognized by three people I never met before) in my new hometown as the crazy, British lady who gave out free coffee, dressed as a french maid. (see GISHWHES 2016)
  3. I have visited seven water falls so far.
  4. I have spent more time in the water or at the beach than since I was a kid.
  5. I have visited the traveling Vietnam Wall.
  6. I have celebrated a birthday.
  7. I have climbed the largest gemstone in the world. (The delightfully name Jasper’s Knob in Ishpeming)


Things I Miss:

  1. My friends and family (duh!)
  2. Curries I think our nearest curry house is in Wisconsin – so about a six hour drive. (That would take you clean across the UK)
  3. Magpies – they don’t have them here!  (In the UK they are lucky birds, who we salute and greet on sight.) There is a poem that helps them tell your fortune:

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret, never to be told.

(If you are my age or elder you are singing Maaaaag, Magpie right now!)

4. Lurpak Butter – I had to hunt high and low for a replacement that is even yellow – most US butter  is vampire-white because the cows are fed on corn not grass. I finally found an organic, grass-fed butter and will not think about how much it cost!

5. Normal portion sizes.

6. Marmite, Yorkshire Teabags and Gentlemen’s Relish (thank goodness I brought my own stockpile.)



Things I Worried About That Are Actually OK

  1. Driving on the wrong side of the road.
  2. Recycling  – I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it here, but our city has a really good roadside collection program.


Things I Worried About That Are A Problem.

  1. Sugar in everything – I am putting on weight.
  2. Getting a job – I am struggling!


Things I find Strange:

1.Mug Sets

Americans find my collection of mugs that don’t match really odd and very British. It was eldest child that pointed it out. She said she had seen a meme on Tumblr that said you could always spot a Brit because they don’t have matching mug sets, but she hadn’t realized it was true until she met me. I had never noticed US mugs all matching, but now I see it everywhere on TV shows and in stores.  I love my mugs, each one was a gift or a souvenir or commemorates something I did, I pick different mugs depending on my moods, having them all the same to match my decor seems very dull!

2.Attitudes to Alchohol.

Although alcohol is really cheap, there is a really puritan attitude to drinking at home, despite this it is fine to go out to a bar and drink drive yourself home  (not legal but loads of people do it!) I am delighted to say that JT is probably the only bloke in the UP who hasn’t had a DUI or been banned for drink driving.

On the plus side you can get a great margarita for less than £3 and you get money back on bottles and cans that you return to the stores.

I nearly messed up with my relaxed European attitude to drinking outdoors. I was at a bar watching a band one night and on the break, we all walked out to the outside area for the smokers to smoke.  I heard someone say you better not let anyone see you with that and assumed they were talking to the chap with the spliff, but they were actually talking to me about my beer. (I never leave drinks unattended in strange bars.) Luckily it wasn’t open, but had it been, both the bar and I could have been prosecuted if caught.  Standing outside the pub, having a pint and watching the world go by is a UK tradition.  Here it is my biggest immigrant faux-pas to date


28 Weeks Later is the 2007 sequel to the movie 28 Days Later that featured as the title of this blog post. Six Months after the rage virus hits the UK, America turns up to help the survivors.

6 thoughts on “28 Weeks Later …

  1. Really interesting post! Love it! A lot is very similar. I miss seeing robins. My Mum always used to say that robins were the spirits of loved ones and that when you saw one it was like they were popping by to say hi…I think my Nanna has been upgraded to a bald eagle because if I’m down or really happy (it seems to be the 2 extremes!), I always see one! It’s like she’s saying don’t worry it’s ok, or yay it’s nice to see you smiling 🙂

    1. Aw I love the idea that your Nan got an upgrade. I miss my parents so much, every time something happens here I want to share.
      The robins here in Michigan are actually red breasted thrushes, but were named robins by the British settlers who missed their native bird, so you are not alone in missing them!

  2. I could relate to so much of this blog post. It is hard for me to recall now what my first six months felt like (one of my motives for blogging was so I could record it knowing my memory would smoosh it all up) but certainly many of your observations and experiences were also mine. What is new to me is the matching mugs thing. I actually wasn’t aware that was a stereotype but, now that you’ve mentioned it, my cupboard is a collection of mismatched mugs whereas American friends have matching sets. How funny.

  3. I think it is definitely the small things that we take so much for granted, that cause the most cultural dissonance when we bump into them. I found it hilarious and I now can’t unsee it where ever I go. My set-daughter couldn’t have been more delighted if I had admitted I was the real Dr Who 😀

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