I have a new toaster. This is a good thing, as the old one was showing signs of age. It was also American, and had to be plugged in to my transformer. So did my stick blender and my hand mixer. All of them are gone now. Along with the new toaster I got this excellent multi-tasker which replaces the stick blender and mixer but also gives me the capabilities of a food processor, a tool that I’ve never owned before. So now there are only a few things left that run on American power, my beloved Kitchenaid stand mixer being one of them, but as that’s only used occasionally I’ve put the transformer away in the closet.
I knew there would come a time when I had acquired many British things and that if I stuck around here long enough, I would start to have this happen. My British possessions would start taking over from my American ones. I saw it happening first in my wardrobe, then in my linen closet, next in my gadgets and electronica, and now amongst my kitchen appliances. Yes I still own things that came over with me when I jumped across the pond, but they are now easily outnumbered by the things I’ve acquired here.
The prospect of the permanent residency application and my lingering feelings of doubt over my long-term future still weigh heavily on my mind. I am lucky to have a good job here and know that in some ways I am extremely lucky compared with my American counterparts, as the job is slightly different in the two countries and I like the British version. Well, mostly. I still don’t know what to do with the next 30 years of my life, but now I know that if I were to move back I would be a lot like I was when I first moved here but in reverse: lots of things with British plugs and a transformer back to 110 V. And do you know what? The British things I have are much nicer than the American things they’ve replaced. My new hand blender/multitasker replaced a couple of bottom-of-the-line Target post-divorce acquisitions. And it matches my new toaster with its gorgeous retro creamy finish. And interestingly enough it’s the first time I’ve ever owned a pop-up toaster: I have converted after a lifetime of toaster-ovens. Because they don’t seem to exist here, at least not at the stores at which I shop. So my new toaster becomes the symbol of my new and very different self after 4.5 years (!) of living overseas. Who saw that coming?