Now that I've been writing this blog for a few weeks, perhaps I should take you into my confidence about why I'm doing it. At first I felt driven to start writing about some of my experiences before I started forgetting about them. But there's more than that, as I've discovered as I've felt my way around.
I imagine that you and I are sitting in a pub, and that you have engaged me in conversation. You discover that I'm English, and that piques your interest a little. You may be a bit of an anglophile. You may be curious as to what I miss about "home." I'd love to share some of my experiences with you.
You may be another Brit in the US, and over a pint we could exchange some funny tales, some probably at the expense of America and Americans. But only a gentle bit of fun, mind you. Like me, you probably really like it over here, even if some things frustrate you from time to time. We might chat a bit about stories in the news in Britain.
Or you might be a Brit, one of those I meet when I pay a visit to England, probably in a pub, amazed at some of the things "those crazy yanks" get up to. You might want to find out if what you see in the newspapers, TV and movies is true. You've heard that "in the US everyone carries guns, it's really violent and Americans are arrogant." You might suspect that this is not the entire picture, and I'd be happy to paint a bit of a better picture for you.
But wherever we have our little chat, I'm going to be talking - and blogging - about things that I'm passionate about. I love politics, both UK and US (when I can fathom it out), but only certain aspects of it. I'm what they call over here a "bleeding heart liberal", often with a sneer, but I wear my bleeding heart on my sleeve and I'm proud about that. I love people, and I want us all to live in peace with each other and with the earth, to be healthy and happy and well-fed. I like to do my part to help that happen.
I love food. I love eating and cooking it. I enjoy all types of food. I feel driven to dispel some of those cliched views that "all British food is bland." While I don't have much time for it these days, I derive a great deal of pleasure from growing something myself, then cooking and eating it. And I love drinking good beer, wine and spirits (hard-liquor).
Books make me very happy. Since I was a child, I've always read. Whether it's vicariously living the life of another, or learning a new skill, I find comfort in the written word. Film and TV too.
Music has always been part of my life. I learned to play as a child, considered teaching it at one point, but now prefer to preserve my passion for it by not making it my career. At its best, music is an international language that we can all understand. Music was what brought my Wife and I together, even though thousands of miles separated us.
And like many people, I love a good gossip. I love to poke fun at a celebrity's expense. But I can also poke fun at myself - heck, I might as well join in with everyone else who's doing it!