I just returned from a very brief trip to Wales to celebrate my parents golden wedding anniversary. I had only the US holiday weekend, because it's not reasonable for me to take time off this time of year with term just starting. But we made the most of it, with a slap-up dinner of the new British cuisine, and a visit with my father's one remaining brother and his wife.
I also visited my favorite place in the world, except for this small farm, which is the Centre for Alternative Technology.
Aimee stayed home to save money and look after the farm. This was a very expensive three-day weekend for us, and will put us back a bit on our family goal of paying off all our debts. A second $1,000 airfare would have done no-one any good, not the least because both my parents have senile dementias of different degrees, and sometimes can't even remember my wife's name.
But the most striking thing about the trip was how the two countries blended together for me. It was surreal. I started Monday driving in the dark and the rain back towards Heathrow airport through the hills, dales, woods and fields of west Wales. Then there was the inevitable delay at the airport, including a fifty minute wait for a "courtesy" van at the rental car return (Budget -- don't shop there!). The plane was only twenty minutes late leaving, and only an hour and a half late arriving, which was not bad service considering the speed of the jetstream this last weekend.
But then came the late night drive through the hills, dales, woods and fields of mid-coastal Maine. In my drowsy mind's eye, the two blended into one another, until I came somehow to believe that I had driven all the way.
At which point I snapped open the window and plunged my head out into the slipstream to wake up!
But that gives you an idea, perhaps, of what it is like to be me, neither fish nor fowl, not American, not British, but both, a kind of mid-Atlantic citizen.