when enidd came home (in the year which shall not be named, azathoth, stealer of lives), she thought that england would be a perfect sceptr’d isle, an earth of majesty, a seat of mars. she thought that the sun always shone on a village green and red-cheeked, beaming barmen pulled perfect pints of local cider. she thought that the world was at peace under an english heaven. living in molvania and america can do that to you, but you see, the problem was that enidd had forgotten all about slough and swindon.
yes, now that she’s been back here a while, enidd realises that like all loved ones, blighty has its faults. the man farts when he eats wheat and forgets to do anything useful unless it involves polishing the gears on his bikes. blighty, well, it turns out that contrary to memory, blighty is not all sunny days, miss marple villages, scones with jam and cream and the thwack of willow on something enidd forgets.
in fact, is it ever sunny? does it ever stop raining? those are rhetorical questions.
middle class food (locally sourced, organic, only recently mooing) is fine, most of the time. however, should you stray into a petrol station or stevenage, beware! the food you find will not compare with the hole-in-the-wall pelmeni you ate in lviv, or the meaty feast you ate in odesa that set you back nearly a fiver. however, when you think back to america (outside of san francisco), you may find it in your heart not to criticise too much.
but most of all, england is oh so expensive. in poshly-on-thames, it will cost you well over half a million quid just to buy a small, mid-terraced house. enidd would like to repeat that. five hundred thousand of your good english pounds for a two-up-two-down nowhere-to-park handkerchief of victoriana.
sometimes, in the dark watches of 3 a.m., enidd’s heart beats thumpingly, and she worries about her old age. she worries both whether she’ll get to her old age (all those fizzes, all that cheese) and whether she can afford one, which she knows is perverse. then enidd wishes that she’d been more sensible all her life, that she’d not done all those start-ups, all that travel, and that there was now half a million pounds in her bank account.
then, on a good day, she remembers molvania, the excitement of it, the newness. it was a life a little less ordinary.
ah, well, perhaps she’ll be able to afford to retire there, she thinks.