Saturday, September 10, 2005

Who we are

Just to say, my identity is not a secret, but it's also not exposed here. I have a pretty broad digital footprint in a work capacity. I have political views, which I express here. But I also work in a political sensitive role in which I must deal in an unbiased fashion with public servants of both the elected and appointed kinds. I work congenially across all major political parties and have friends across the spectrum too. I draw a clear line between my personal views and the work I do, but others may not. And I'd rather it not be drawn to the attention of any potential future employers what a curmudgeonly ol' cuss I am. Let them find out when the ink on the contract is dry. (And in truth, I write a bit in character here - I'm not always this snarky)

So, if you've figured out who I am, I'm afraid there are no prizes.

The Vol Abroad
I'm a woman in my prime years, born and bred in Tennessee. As a double triple legacy of the University of Tennessee (both my grandfathers and both my parents have UT degrees and I've got a couple myself) my blood runs Deep Orange. I graduated from Law-Co-Hi in the late 80s. I've mostly worked with the public sector in the UK.

I h
ave been living in England for since 1996 and in London since 2000 with my British husband. Hence, the Vol Abroad.

The Vol-in-Law is said British husband.

He's just a single treble legacy of Oxford University. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and grew up just outside of Belfast, Northern Ireland. He's been living in England for even longer than I have. So I could have called him the Prod Abroad (a sectarian joke), but I like to define people through their relationship to me. So he's the Vol-in-Law, and this post explains how he got his name. He is an academic teaching something or other at a Central London university.

Together we have two cats and a shockingly large mortgage (updated - I wrote this in 2005 and the mortgage is significantly smaller and we now only have 1 cat - the survivor is pictured here)


We also have a boy, born in 2007. Who is known on this blog as Buddy or the boy. He's a corker.

My hobbies

I enjoy gardening and taking long walks (and I realise that makes me sound a lot more boring than I really am). I love living in London, partly because nobody pays a lick of attention to me and my doings. Also there's very good Indian takeout, beer, art, theater, etc. As Samuel Johnson says: "When a man grows tired of London, he is tired of life; for London holds all things that life can afford."

Other characters you may read about
VolBro - Vol Abroad's brother, resident in Knoxville, UTK grad
VolMom - VolAbroad's mom, lives in Lawrenceburg, TN, UTK grad
VolDad - Vol Abroad's dad, lives in Georgia, UTK grad
Granddad - now dead, a UTK grad, his oral history which we recorded together features in my Tuesday Granddad blogging


melusina said...

Newhart fans I see.

Dawn said...

OK, I must admit, your having escaped from Lawrence County to London, exactly as I hope to do soon, fascinates and inspires me. I am desperate to see the world and to bring my child up in a place with culture. Ahhh... I know I am droning on, but it's my chief desire. And to find someone who has walked that path, lights my fire. :)

Anonymous said...

Howdy old friend! I was surfing the web trying to entertain my currently unemployed self in the "Largest Little City in the World" -- Reno. What a pleasant surprise to stumble across a familiar story and connect the dots! Painted anything Ford- tractor-blue lately?

Anonymous said...

Hi Vol Abroad,
I really enjoyed visiting your blog, but your quote of Samuel Johnson says: "When a man grows tired of London, he is tired of life; for London holds all things that life can afford." has spurned me to comment. But first ....

Born under the BIG orange KnoxVegasean rocky top in 1962, and a 1983 UTK escapee to NYC/NYU, and now a 10 year resident of London with my English/French wife, I only miss the dogwoods, mountains and natural beauty of TN, certainly not the UT walking wounded or fundamentalist good ole boys. And although my Uncle still has a beautiful view across Cherokee Blvd ...the Peak, Lake District and Aberdeenshire easily match if not exceed, but at the 'shire' scale, and the Chruch of England base isn't going KTown John Edwards 'Hell Fire and Damb Nation.' :) After too many Voluriffic encounters of cigar smokin drunk rednecks at its high folooten seasonal social between 6-20, I like my orange in my glass ... juiced. Although Quentins escape shortly after 1963 was prolific, I think your've surpassed this as orange never was better placed than on your beautiful cat! em boys should change manscots `n` git yew job. :)
Back to my rant :) London does allow for many fabulous things however their value/cost compared to other European, Australiasian or even American cities well past its sell by date. You know all the issues, lack of quality, slealth untransparent citizen councils and centralized policies, endless apologizing etc..
Samuel had a point ... in his time...(1709-84), but as Jim Rogers, a former partner of George Soros was quoted today in the IHT "... I'm moving to Asia because moving to Asia now is like moving to New York in 1907 or London in 1807. Its the wave of the future". I couldn't agree more. UK mortgages and credit/US model, is bankrupting the great European reality of work to live motto. Rather, its becoming the live to work as in the US. Thats not living, thats mortgage slavery.