In a convo with a friend back in the States, I had to listen to a long, rambling account of the last five snow/ice storms to hit the Right Coast. When she paused for a breath, I managed to interject “The weather has been glorious here.” “Really?” she scoffed. “I thought it rains every day in England.”
Sadly, this is pretty much true. I didn’t come home because I missed the weather. But from the day I arrived, the weather has been generally picture perfect, sunny and mild. It rained a total of one day. It’s almost like Mother Nature said ‘Bugger You’ to those folks at Immigration. “I’m going to welcome Jeano back with flowers blooming and temperatures in the high fifties.” (Mother Nature doesn’t bother with that Centigrade and Celscious shit either.)
Anyway, I have dragooned BooBoo and Pinkie into walking with me every day. I want to keep my slim girlish figure, and counteract all that Zinfy people force me to consume. And, of course, they know where they’re going. This is very important in a foreign country. BooBoo pointed out that I could just ask someone if I got lost. They do speak a language similar to American here. But since practically everybody here is from Bombay or Islamabad, I don’t think so. Plus I still look the wrong way; I have almost been mowed down a zillion times. I still go to the right side of the car, the driver’s side, until whoever says “I think I probably should drive, Jeano.”
BooBoo and I walked up to Oatlands Park to find the local synagogue. We had driven there once to buy Yirtzeit candles. I have been here three weeks and, unbelievably, I have not had a date. Unless you count Shaky Peter from the Senior Centre, who sprang for a Bovril for me last week. I seriously need a Replacement Guy…soon. It is so pointless to get all fapitzed to go out with Cheese Boy. So I thought I would start off in the Jewish Hunting Grounds. I am going to services and the Oneg Shabbat on Saturday morning now that I know how to get there. Perhaps that bloke who owns Tesco’s attends my local…synagogue. I know he doesn’t go to my local; I’m sure I would have spotted him in a Tel Aviv Minute.
One of my friends here is having some legal troubles. This is not funny; it’s quite serious. I am not going to go into details, especially on my blog…enjoyed by thousands (okay, a couple hundred) of people all over the world.
Anyway, I offered to be a character witness for Chris. He has always been very kind and thoughtful to me, even if he made me sit through endless cricket matches, while he droned on and on about the bloody 5,762 rules for playing it. At least he bought me Pimms. Anything is bearable, even Cricket, after five or six Pimms. This is a proven scientific fact.
BooBoo was testifying too, so we motored over to Kingston, to the Crown Court. I had asked Pinkie ‘What does one wear to Crown Court? Do I need a Louis Vuitton or will a Gucci be sufficient? Is the Judge Jewish?” It is best to be well prepared. I actually borrowed a stunning black jacket from Pinkie to go with my skirt and drop dead gorgeous grey sweater. She bought it at Macy’s in KofP when she was visiting me. I mention this factoid only so you all realize that I am thin enough to raid my friends’ wardrobes.
If anyone out there has legal troubles in future, you probably shouldn’t ask BooBoo to be a character witness. Really. I thought she was going to pass out or die right on the Witnesses Bench outside Courtroom #7. She’s very shy and speaking in front of loads of people is torture for her. When she’s nervous, she fiddles with things. She was on overdrive. She kept clicking the handles of my darling Kate Spade….open….close….open…close. “Darling BooBoo” I finally said “Kate doesn’t like it when her handbags get abused.” I think it went okay though. Witnesses are not permitted in the courtroom until they have testified so I didn’t hear her.
Oh my God! It was just like being on ‘Rumpole of the Bailey”. This lady barrister came out to get me, dressed in a black robe and a wig. She asked “What book do you want to use to swear your oath?” “Do you have the Neiman Marcus Christmas Wish Book” I inquired. Oddly, they didn’t. It’s de rigueur in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “Okay. Whatever everybody else used, as long as it’s not the Koran.”
I went into the Witness Box, it’s not the Witness Stand, and you do have to stand while you testify. The lady in the wig had instructed me to look at the jury while I testified. Sure. I was looking everywhere. It was so damned cool. All the barristers in their black robes and wigs, the Chief Judge in red and an even bigger wig. Poor Chris in the Defendant’s Box. I tried flirting with the Chief Judge, Fergus, but he wasn’t having any. Chris’ barrister questioned me and I gave my testimony, but the barrister for the bloke who started all the trouble in the first place, I guess he was like the Prosecutor, didn’t have any questions for me. The Chief Judge excused me and declined my offer of my mobile number. (I made that part up.)
Driving back to Weybridge, I suddenly squealed to BooBoo “That’s Hampton Court Palace we’re passing!” “Yeah” BooBoo replied. “And your point is…?” “BooBoo” I said, “American tourists come to see that and we’re nonchalantly driving passed it like it’s a Tesco’s.” It was sort of like when I worked in Center City in Philadelphia. I walked past Independence Hall every day and didn’t really notice it. It was always chock-a-block with tourists, too.
The point that I am really a local was even more startling when we made a pit stop at the Indian Pound Shop (like a ‘DollarLand’ only in Quids). I ran into Sharon, the friendly waitress from the Slug & Lettuce on Weybridge High Street, who used to be married to Keith, who lives around the corner from me. I can go to Kingston, or Walton (the Pound Shop is in Walton) and actually know people. I lived in Clifton for a year; I met two people and they both lived in Little Falls.