My parents now live an odd, yet beautiful place. There's a cafe on the seafront, there are regular steamtrains, and the cat loves sitting in the garden staring with lazy, curious hunger at nothing in particular.
All these things are good... but, after a few days, it gets to you a bit. My mother has started behaving oddly. Always a bit "old-fashioned" in her views (describing the local pharmacist as "a lovely little brown fellow, as chocolate as you like. What? They're always laughing those people..."), she's started saying some things which... well, are actually racist. We were watching Countryfile (I know!) the other day and, when a Polish expert on canal-side microbiology was interviewed, she announced loudly, "Disgusting! Why couldn't that job have gone to someone local? Eh? Eh?"
It's not excusable, but it is at last explicable. I discovered the fire bucket was full of pamphlets from those weird political parties you hear about but don't-quite-believe-in. With names like "Campaign for a cleaner britain". One of the leaflets was about "Overcrowded UK". You don't get things like this in the city - but in the countryside (which is bloody empty) these parties are everywhere. My mother doesn't actually read them (her glaucoma is so advanced she no longer reads), but, as she's lighting the fire with the damn things, she glances at the headlines and it confirms Her Worst Suspicions about the world.
While it's rather wonderful here, it's odd like that. There's a sign on the local charity shop which says "YOUR HOSPICE - YOU'LL BE SURPRISED" which sums it up, really. After a week here, I've started doing the "country laugh" where you'll finish a sentence ("It's warm today, isn't it?") with a little jovial chuckle. This lovely little town is full of people greeting each other with the country laugh ("Musn't grumble - hee hee hee") and pottering about like Second Victims on an ITV3 show. I'm watching a lot of ITV3. That and property shows.
I do rather love it here. But I'd also quite like... yes, I'd very much like to go home soon. Still, mustn't grumble, eh? ha ha.