Living here in England poses it’s challenges; one being the incredible amount of traffic. It doesn’t matter the time of day, almost always the motorway (specifically the M1) is congested. Same with the inner village / city roads; they often congested especially at the lunch hour and then of course from 3pm until about 7pm. Really I understand why; there’s 53 million people living in England and the size (square miles) is comparable to that of the size of Minnesota, except Minnesota only has a little over 5 million people. So yeah, we’re crammed in like sardines here.
Another challenge is the food. Now, before I go any further I must lay to rest the misconception that British food is bland and boring; it’s anything but. There are some places that serve a meal or two which could use a little garlic and pepper but they are few and far between. A lot of food and seasonings here are centered around BBQ flavors, even the taco and fajita mixes! Now, for a girl who was never over the moon about BBQ flavored food, it’s been a bit of a challenge. BBQ or Indian flavored; those are the two main types of seasoning you’ll find when you go to the grocery store. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s a change from what I’m used to.
Something else that is a bit different here, the peanut butter! It is NOTHING like it is in the states. I miss my Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter and since I’m running dangerously low, I put out an SOS on Facebook offering to send a goodie from England in exchange for the good stuff and many people replied offering to come to my rescue. I’ll be supplied in peanut butter for a year! Si could care less, he’s not a fan of the good stuff at all; I know I married him for a whole host of other reasons, so this misstep can be overlooked.
One last thing, ranch dressing mix! You know, the Hidden Valley Ranch mix that you can use in dips or for making your own dressing? Yeah well they don’t have that here so tomorrow I’m going to make my own for a chicken chilli recipe that calls for it. Fingers crossed it turns out as tasty as I imagine it will be.
Okay, enough talk of food.
This week’s adventure was taken a couple weeks ago when my bestie, Sarah was still in town from Minnesota. She, myself, Si, and Ramone made our way to Dovedale, in the Peak District. We took advantage of the gorgeous day that was given to us and went for a bit of a hike up 940ft to the top of Thorpe Cloud. A challenging climb but doing a little bit at a time made it easier and really, the views were so worth it. In fact, the challenge ended up being our reward.