Notes from Boscombe

 As our address Inner Cliff Road indicates, our apartment is sitting right by the ocean. I can hear the waves washing ashore, but the view is obscured.

We have been getting lots of very short rain showers throughout each day. Not one of them leaves enough time to open one’s umbrella, or close one’s book. As soon as I look up, the clouds have moved over and the sun is mocking us once more.

Not knowing what to expect of the infamous British Cuisine before coming to the isles, I was surprised to find the bad reputation the British Cuisine once held is dying out fast. There are so many good cafes, bistros, and restaurants around here, with some of them offering fusion food, local delicacies, and ethnic dishes. We eat very well around here.

Around the pier area, where we reside, some of the cafes, bistros and restaurants are sophisticated and a bit pricier. But leaving the bay area and walking up the hill into Boscombe town, one encounters the real local life. The pedestrian zone in the shopping area is often full of litter. Some stores are closed or look run down. A few locals have taken to drink very early and raise their voices in public. My daughter has learned a few cuss words she had not heard before.

Most downtown residents of Boscombe look rather poor compared to the plush clientele around the pier area. It has also been a while since I have been served by a cashier missing teeth. Just made me realize the things we take for granted in socialized medicine in Germany.

I have also found the Brits to be less environmentally aware than the Germans. Of course, I would not expect anyone else to sort out the trash like the Germans do. But the British salesclerks hand out plastic bags as if there were no tomorrow. I have to rush my prepared phrase to stop them from bagging my purchase.

The British English is another story. Well, this is probably what they say about my American English spoken with a German accent. Then again, some think I am Dutch.

Speaking of Dutch and going Dutch– the British landlords must have had some bad experience with previous tenants. We were left with an inventory list, stating each single item in the kitchen, e.g. six forks, six knives, six spoons, two wooden spoons, etc. This makes me wonder if the British vacationers  (most of them are here by car) do take things away.

On the other hand, some basic items were not supplied, such as drying towels in the kitchen and it took me close to two hours to find some at a shop. There was no soap in the bathroom, no paper towels in the kitchen, no sugar in the bowl. I’d suppose most vacationers bring this along in their car or know where to buy things in the morning. We didn’t as we came here by plane Sunday night and it took most of our Monday morning to get the basics.

Other vacation homes we had rented in the past (e.g. Crete, Azores. Provence) not only came with a functional kitchen, but also with a „Welcome Package“ including a bottle of water and wine, bread, butter, jam and cheese, among other things. Oh well, this kind of welcome marketing has not reached the Boscome agents yet.

Nevertheless, the landscape is wonderful around here. There are so many walks to take along the beach, and on walkways along the cliffs, The weather, including the sudden rain showers, suits me well and spending my free time reading on the underground patio, while listening to the ocean waves, is very soothing. I hear the sea gulls, the wind rustling in the trees, and I think of the little boy flying his kite on Honeycombe Beach yesterday afternoon.

Ocean view around Boscombe Bay









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