|I had always heard good things about Cheshire in England. It was in the heart of the English country side and close enough to major cities not to go mentally insane and start talking to the wildlife. It was rather posh as well, lots of English footballers resided there and there were many expensive shops to keep them and their WAGs entertained. I was moving to a small town known as Woodston; it had a corner shop, a farm, a produce shop for that farm, a pub, a village hall and a few houses, and that was it. Moving from inner city Baltimore was going to be a hard process for me to follow, going from sunny days all through the year to mistaking their summer with their winter and their winter for a trip to North Alaska.
I had made a few trips to my new home whilst living in a hotel in Manchester to make sure everything was running correctly and to make sure I had all the furniture I was going to need to keep me alive on my own. It was a very small village but the houses were surprising large on the inside. I heard one local describe them as 'tardises' which apparently is the word for a phone box which is larger on the outside than it is on the inside and I suppose he was right, except for the phone box part. I was going to be living in a cottage not an emergency call box. It was a quaint little village and I suppose the next big town wasn't too far away so I could look for a good job, I needed a good wage if I wanted to stay in Cheshire and afford the basics.
I pulled up on my drive with 'If You Wanna' by The Vaccines blasting out of the stereo in my clapped out Volkswagen Golf (I couldn't afford much else) whilst getting a few odd looks from my new neighbours. They obviously weren't used to seeing young people with flaming red hair (fake, its unnatural for anyone's hair to be so red without the help of some ammonia) moving into their local surroundings. It was around 10am so most of the people walking around were old age pensioners as all the middle aged folk had gone off the the larger towns for their day to day dead end jobs which I would soon be facing myself. I had heard the English economy wasn't much better than the USA's but everyone who could be employed was in Cheshire, it was like a fairytale land surviving with a destruction-ridden wasteland around it. I was already in love.
I switched the engine off, placed my bag on the passenger seat and proceeded to the trunk to get the last few things to make my cottage a home. I forgot how heavy the the boxes were and me being not very strong, I struggled to lift them from the trunk let alone get them to the porch. None of the old people could help me lift them, I would be terrified of them breaking a hip or arm so I locked them back up and went for a stroll round Woodston, my new home.
Plugging my headphones into my phone, I headed towards the part of town I was yet to explore. I remembered my mothers words in the letter she sent me off with: 'Don't get lost before you know the area and remember not to trust everyone you meet'. I was a sucker for giving everyone a fair chance to be nice to me, whether they seemed creepy or not. My plan was to stroll to the woods and see where the path took me but with my sudden fear or getting lost I decided to take a trip to the local pub instead.
My father always used to tell me how British pubs are very male orientated, however getting a barmaid job could lead to great things. Even though my father was very cultured, I was unsure about a job behind a bar if there would be loads of men staring at me night after night, and what if a fight broke out? Would I be the one expected to break two burly men up? But there must have been perks; meeting new people every night and free alcohol when the pub had closed seemed like a good idea to me and it wasn't too far from my new cottage so I wouldn't be spending a small fortune on gas to just go back and to work every day.
'The Bucket Of Blood', an odd name for a pub but I suppose they have to stand out as there's so many. As I went in, the huge oak door creaked, making everyone in the so called 'inn' stare at me as I attempted to tiptoe towards the bar.
"Fresh meat in Woodston then?" The barman addressed me. He wiped his hand over his bushy, greying brow and up to his forehead which had obviously grown from when he was younger due to his thinning hair and receding hairline. Wrinkles dusted his upper face which met his light brown, dyed hair at the edges.
"I suppose so, I guess people don't move here a lot then? I've had a few weird looks this morning but I thought it was from my music and my 'different' hair," finally, I'd be able to understand why I felt so out of place in Cheshire.
"I guess not many people have heard of Woodston to move here, nothing really happens here so it's a shock for people that you decided to work here and not into the larger towns like Knutsford and Northwich."
"They seem a bit too crowded for a girl living on her own and if nothing happens here that means no crime, and no crime is good for me thanks," at least I wouldn't be an outcast for long, I thought.
"I'm Barry, Barry Thompson, I'm the Landlord around here but as you own your cottage you won't be getting any meither from me. What about you Missy?"
"I'm Nancy, Nancy Miller," I guessed introducing myself in the same manner would help me fit in, "I'm not employed yet and I moved in officially this morning."
"Well Nancy Miller, if you need a job I could use some help here, it's hard being a Landlord and running the pub at the same time, fancy it?"
"Sure! What's the worst it can be? And I need the money if I want to carry on living in Cheshire!"
"Welcome to the team Missy, you start at 6pm this evening, wear something nice."
"Thank you so much Barry! You don't know how much this will help me out," I turned to go out the door, go home and sort out 'something nice' to wear for my first shift that evening.
"What's up Barry?"
"Welcome to Woodston."
"Thanks," I flashed him a smile and skipped out the huge oak door. Woodston didn't seem as bad, I was looking forward to spending a long time there.