The first several months I spent in London I lived with fellow Americans studying abroad through our US University. Then the term ended, everyone returned to the States and I was still here, gradated, moving in with Chris, getting ready to give British life a go.
What struck me in these early expat days of adjustment, more than anything, was the vast abyss of British pop culture that never got exported to the States, that I'd never engaged with before. It created a void in my ability to contribute to conversations, I often found myself asking, "Who's that," and I'm sure I wasn't a popular team-member for the UK version of Trivial Pursuit.
It took time but as I read the news and my friendships grew and England became another home for me, I learned about Porridge, the Manic Street Preachers, David Jason, Noel Edmonds, Jordan, Alan Hansen, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall .... I'm not fully up to speed and won't know who the presenters of Blue Peter in the 1980s were but still. I didn't feel in the dark anymore.
But now as a mother, I'm on a crash course all over again. Roly Poly - say what? Who is the Grand Old Duke of York? One, two, three, four, five....and something about a fish? And 'The Gruffalo' - how fantastic, once I learned what he was! No I didn't grow up with Postman Pat. Is he a cat, oh no wait, he has cat? I'm more used to The Farmer in the Dell and 'Where the Wild Things Are'.
Lucky LLC - she's going to benefit from children's ditties and books from both England and the USA. There are so many great ones.