Letter From Home – Part 2: English Gardens & American Yards

The first thing you need to know about gardens in England is, they’re not the same as gardens in the USA. There they are known as a yard. While a yard in England is certainly not a garden. A yard is a most likely a place you would store or dump things. Typically it would be an unattractive place, such as a builder’s yard, a scrap metal yard or perhaps a knacker’s yard, (don’t ask). But, it couldn’t be a school yard, because that would be a school playground. Confused? Stand by, there’s more. In England you don’t park a car in a parking lot, instead, you park a car in, wait for it, a car park. You drive on a road, not a pavement, while you walk on the pavement instead of the sidewalk. The hood of your car is delightfully named a bonnet so the trunk is obviously(?) a boot. You won’t have a fender-bender in England because fenders are bumpers. In England you’ll make a call on your mobile, in the States, you’d make the same call on a cell. Candies are sweeties in England and cookies are biscuits. A faucet is a tap in England, and a nappy is a diaper in the USA. The oddly tortuous-sounding pacifier becomes the brazen dummy in England. Of course, there wouldn’t be a need for a pacifier or dummy without a willy or a fanny. And that’s where the translation becomes really difficult, if not downright awkward. We speak the same language but we can easily bewilder each other with the words we choose. Thankfully, the common language of gardening is shared enthusiastically by both countries, in spite of each nation’s perplexing weights and measures standards. Finally, the second thing you need to know about gardens in England, they are glorious places to seek refuge from the moans and groans about Brexit and Mr. T – – – -.

For the month of June and part of July, Life Elsewhere. host, Norman B has been revisiting England, his home country. Part of his journey has included interviews which will appear at later dates on the program.

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