Calling Bermudians in the UK would mean the world to them
One month in Britain during the winter. One month of wondering where are the blue skies, warm sun rays and tree frogs at night?
During this last month, I have finally been able to experience several things such as:
● Journeying inside Westminster Palace
● Going to visit the various iconic legal spots in London such as Lincoln and Gray’s Inn
● Spending the day at Oxford University
● Walking across Tower Bridge
● Travelling on the Tube (subway system)
● Driving on the various motorways
● Walking around Soho and Chinatown
● Visiting Brixton, which has significance for those of British Caribbean heritage
● Learning the most efficient use of profanity
The highlight of my historic touring was to walk inside the world's best-known football stadium.
That would be Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United.
There they offer a one-hour tour of the trophy room, the changing room, the media room and the manager’s seat.
One has a chance to sit in the very seat that Sir Alex Ferguson sat in as he led his team to the most significant wins in football history.
For any United fan, this is indeed the Holy Grail.
Travelling outside London gave an insight into the vast diversity in scenery, ethnic and social structures.
A train ride or drive, in any direction outside London, allows passengers to see endless green fields dotted with hundreds of sheep.
In each region one will hear distinctively different British accents. Some are easy to understand while others take a few moments to digest.
The most important part of the trip was meeting Bermudians living in the United Kingdom.
The reasons for them residing in Britain varied greatly from person to person.
Schooling, athletic opportunities, family connections, professional development, change of scenery, employment opportunities, lower costs of living and retirement were all cited as reasons for relocation.
Whatever the reasons, there are now an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Bermudians now living in the UK.
Incidentally, all Overseas Territories have reported significant numbers moving to the UK.
The reality is that some, such as students, will return home to their islands and some will not.
In meeting some of these people, they relayed a sense of accomplishment in just being able to adjust to an entirely different environment, the transition from warm weather to near-freezing temperatures being one of the most significant.
Many spoke about the social change of going from seeing friends and family on an hourly basis in Bermuda to going months, if not years, not seeing a fellow Bermudian.
So, something as simple as hearing a Bermudian accent accompanied with some Bermudian jokes serves as a short cure for homesickness.
If you know of someone living in the United Kingdom, give them a short call. It will mean the world to them.
While the weather was, shall we say, challenging, it was good to finally see a small slice of what England is.
Now it is time to get back home to the sunshine, high humidity and tree frogs.