What I miss about England

Another question frequently asked by Canadians and British friends is what I miss about England.

Victoria Quarter, Leeds
Victoria Quarter, Leeds

The number one thing is easy – friends and family. We have not seen some of our friends since we left the UK although we have been lucky to have had visits from family and separate trips to the UK.

After friends and family the answer gets a little more complicated.

I think sometimes it is small things that make me feel nostalgic and perhaps even a little homesick. Seeing a London street, a really old building or cathedral or just coming across a photograph of our old garden in the summer can make you realise you do miss things. Some of this may be general nostalgia rather than being peculiar to moving country.

Then there are the food and drinks. English tea bags, Beanfeast packet veggie mince, Quorn, Marmite, Branston Pickle, Marks and Spencer bucks fizz, cheap supermarket wine and Twinings Blackberry and Nettle herbal tea. We are very lucky in that we have friends and family members who send some of these items over to us in emergency packages. As the years go by there are less things we need sending.

Then there are the minor things – prices which include tax in a shop, give way or yield signs rather than endless stop signs, the mix of British and US date formats used and paper not being in European A3, A4 or A5 standard sizes. Its all good to have a “Victor Meldrew” type rant at my colleagues.

I do think the more time I live in Canada the more it feels like home and the less I miss about England. I am sure after spending 38 years living in England there will always be things I miss about the place. This becomes a nice nostalgic glow when I see English churches, ruined abbeys or flint cottages in English villages, rather than a pang of homesickness.

But at the moment, keep sending those Beanfeasts!