16 things we’ve learned about life in the US.

Today is exactly 6 months since we left the UK.

In that time, Alex has taken up running, Daisy has tantrummed in some of the biggest public spaces in Northern California, and Ava has turned into a walking, talking all-American kid. Me? The main change I’ve noticed is that I wear white socks more than I used to, without worrying about my street cred.

Here’s the 16 things we’ve learned since we got here… 

Americans have the right to bear arms, and Californians the right to wear shorts. All year round.

People wear yoga pants, trainers, running jackets and baseball caps to be fashionable, not to get fit. It’s a Californian reincarnation of the shell suit.


You can turn right at a red light. Simple, yet brilliant. Of all the things the UK should have stolen from the US, it’s this. Instead, they chose David Gest.

An American fanny is different from a British one.

Printed coupons are the most common form of junk mail. On my counter top right now, I can get $2 off a Swiffer, $3 off hair color and $10 off some lingerie. So that’s my Friday night taken care of; Alex can fend for herself.


Gun Shows are a real thing, not just a chat-up line.

There’s a north-south divide in California, just like London. So Croydon is like L.A. and Purley is San Diego. Which is the first and last time that comparison will ever be made.

Just because I played Sunday league football in England, doesn’t automatically make me Maradona over here.

Realtors and attorneys really do advertise themselves on billboards, dressed in power suits, flashing diamond smiles. And Americans have no trouble driving past them with a straight face.



A British accent only gets you so far. There are some words you have to say like an American, or else all you’ll get back is the death stare. Like asking for a glass of “worrda”. Every time I have to say that, a part of me dies.

But you have to know your limits. Phrases like “I”ll holler at you later” will never sound good in a British accent. I’ve tried and have the social scars to prove it.

All the best TV is on HBO. So every show begins with you thinking it’s bloody Sex and the City.

You can never have too much Colmcolmans_mustard_kitcheneran’s English mustard in the pantry.

Half and Half milk always ruins coffee.
Half and Half milk always ruins coffee.
Half and Half milk always ruins coffee.

The way we miss friends and family is different to how we expected; it’s more like a constant ache. But FaceTime and Skype is the strongest kind of paracetamol, that we tend to O.D on at weekends.

We have no regrets about the move. Apart from not bringing enough Colman’s English mustard.

Happy New Year!

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur. December 2015.

12 thoughts on “16 things we’ve learned about life in the US.”

  1. Very funny AJ. You always make me smile with your blogs.

    Happy new year to you all and the Jackson. Hope to see you in 2016.

    All the best


    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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