It’s a working title.
I’ve already mentioned the keys. Why? WHY? I truly hate that I need a different key to open every separate window and door in the house. Not love.
Heated towel racks. Love. Love. Love. This is genius. Every British person ever born should win a Nobel Prize for heated towel racks. The joy of a warm towel to wrap up in after a shower on a cold dark morning … priceless.
The warming closet. I don’t know what this closet ought to be called, but I love it. It sits in the upstairs landing, a light turns on when you open the door, and a blast of super heated dry air engulfs you as you walk in. It’s a perfect place to store blankets and towels. On dark and damp days, sometimes I cuddle in there for a minute, just to warm myself up. Love.
Driveway of disaster. I love having a driveway. I love that more than one car can park in it. I love that the kids can scooter or bike on it. I value these features to the extreme. But I hate that I cannot back up out of the driveway without risk to bushes, trees, fences, lightposts, small children, rubbish bins, and various wildlife. Who takes what ought to be a straight shot from road to front door, and turns it in to an obstacle course? Love and hate.
Three refrigerators. Okay, I realize that this is in fact not at all an English thing. It’s not even an American thing. I don’t know what kind of freaky thing it is but for whatever reason my house has three refrigerators. One is fridge only, one freezer only, one half and half. I think I love it, but it does take up a lot of space. Unless I buy half a cow and have it stored in the freezer, I’m not sure I’ll need all the space. Ever.
American sized washer and dryer. Yeah, I love that. I was all “whatever” about the state of British washing technology, until we spent three weeks in our temporary apartments trying to wash clothes for five in a dollhouse sized washer that doesn’t dry. No disrespect to the English. In fact, nothing but respect. You manage to look proper and clean, and you use one of those things? Another Nobel Prize for you.
Pull switches in bathrooms. Who knows what these are called? When I asked the handyman why there were these crazy nooses hanging in the bathroom instead of light switches, I thought he’d have a heart attack. It’s because you might electrocute yourself if you flipped a switch coming out of the shower. Holy crap, America, you’re all going to die! I wonder if English people come to the US and sit in dark bathrooms, because they are afraid to flip the switches. Love? Hate? Mostly seems silly, but the decorative pulls are pretty.
Roof windows. I don’t know what to call these either. They are like skylights, but at slightly above waist height. I am glad that they open, but slightly weirded out by the way it appears to open a hole in the slanted roof. When oldest child left the window slightly too ajar, rain poured down the window pane and all over the carpet. That’s not normal. But since the alternative is windows that don’t open or no windows at all: love.
Radiators. They work, but they take up the few free wall spaces where I would like to put up bookshelves. A whole wall dedicated to a radiator — gaaaah!
Conservatory. I don’t know what to call this either — basically I just stumble around England and point at things asking “Me learn English now? This is what?” — I’ve been told it’s a conservatory, a solarium, an orangerie (!!), and I want to call it a sun room but apparently that isn’t correct. No matter: I love it. It’s cold in the winter and will probably be boiling in the summer but I.do.not.care. It is made almost completely of glass (and keys), has a pointy sort of roof, lets in a ton of sun, and I can close off the rest of the house and sit in it like a queen in a winter palace. At night with the lights out, I can see stars through the roof. In the day when the clouds are away I can actually feel warmed by the sun. It isn’t huge but it is full of: Love. Love. Love.
(I’m in here now, and although it is gray outside I’m in a bubble of light … heaven.)