Thursday, August 28, 2014


This week has been full of memories.
This picture actually relates to two that happened this week and one that happened more than 18 years ago.
This week whilst waiting at the bus stop to go to the mall, a young man asked me if I knew if the bus stopped at Grange (a street).
I got my schedule out and we both looked at the map on the back.  Yes it did.
He then asked me where I was from and how I like it here.
He had an accent too so I asked where he was from.  He was from Ghana and had only been here 4 weeks.
"Oh dear," said I looking slightly aghast, "You haven't experienced a Wisconsin winter then."
"No", he replied, "I have never even seen snow."
Oh deary, deary me.
I explained that it wasn't so much the snow that is the worst of our winters, it is the fierce cold.
He said.........oh dear..........he said, "But I am already cold now!!!"
The temperature this day was around 85F....or 30C in old money.
I pointed out that he needed to get some warm clothes, long underwear etc and that our winter temperatures are often minus 20C (it seems that Ghana uses celsius).
"Oh", he replied with a puzzled frown, "That is lower than freezing."
Bloody Nora is this boy going to be in for a shock.  Repressing a smile I explained that 'freezing point' during our winters is a very warm (and infrequent) visitor.
Having tortured this poor lad enough, we talked about how difficult it is to uproot and start from scratch in another country.  Particularly here, to be honest.
We got no help at all.  It was sink or swim from the start and I remember after about 6 months we were ready to pack up and leave.
He is having the same problems we had.  It is hard to get a bank account, rent an apartment, buy a car etc, when you have no credit history.
It brought it all back to me and when I think of some of the awful times we went through, when "everything in our favour was against us", it seems even more amazing that we are still together.
We had no one here to fall back on, no friends and no family.  It was sheer madness and I don't know what we were thinking.
But, it did eventually smooth itself out, thank goodness.
I hope this youngster, Stan, makes a go of it.  I think he might have to move somewhere warmer though as I think his first winter here will be a great shock to him.  We thought our first winter was terrible but we hadn't just flown in from Ghana.  We were from England, where it can be cold at times.   Poor Stan is cold when it is 85F..........oh dear.

The other memory this picture brought back was many years ago when I used to make members of a group I was involved with, into various aliens to attend SciFi functions.
We had taken the train to London to a convention.  I think I had made a Cardassian, a couple of Bajorans, Klingons, Vulcans etc.
We had a fab day and had lots of fun but there were quite a lot of us.  As I remember we split into groups to go to the station to catch the last train back to Ashford.
The first two groups made it with time to spare.  Sadly, (hilariously) the last group did not.
They were stuck in London dressed as a Klingon, a Vulcan and a star fleet officer.
I remember the journey home where I wavered from being totally worried to being absolutely creased up with laughter.
They eventually had to find a taxi willing to take such a bunch of weirdos in order to get home.
It still makes me giggle to think about it - and I still feel guilty for giggling afterwards.


At August 28, 2014 at 2:43 PM , Blogger Manky Badger said...

Happy Days :)

At August 28, 2014 at 2:47 PM , Blogger Sue Banks said...

I think so too.


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