Homecoming

I’m back at the table I wrote my PhD on. The tree outside the window has grown in the two years we’ve been away, but otherwise things are pretty much the same with our little flat. The story is a bit different outside – an Italian restaurant and deli have closed, and a new deli has opened. Also, a tiny new café has appeared in an old potting shed. It has proven to be yet another good source of artisan bread. Further afield, we have a new Mayor of London. Unfortunately we missed the good mood my friends have reported settled on London after the election of Saddiq Khan, instead returning to London in the anxious week of the EU referendum.

But I’m not sure I can write about that debacle yet.

In many ways we returned to life as normal: the same flat, neighbourhood, gym, markets, restaurants. And I was waiting for the repatriation malaise to set in. But then there was the excitement of the referendum and its fallout – the resignations especially – and it feels like a completely different world. It certainly distracts from any feelings of homesickness for America. In fact, America hardly features in our conversations with our long-lost friends, as that topic is completely overtaken by current events.

So here I’ve tried to capture my various repatriation thoughts and emotions, in the spirit of this blog, but in the knowledge that this is hardly a representative experience…

 

Trains of thought on returning to the UK in June/July 2016

Oooh, I’d forgotten how pretty the UK countryside is…

Yum. Farmers’ markets and proper, unpasteurised cheese!

Hmmm, at least one of these farmers wants to leave the EU according to the signs on his van…

Ah, British pubs and pub gardens…

How British – a slightly awkward tea party half inside and half outside, with bunting and sparkling wine, and a toast to the queen on her birthday.

bunting

Surely we won’t leave the EU…?

Do I miss American craft beer more than I’m loving British bitter and cider, or vice versa? This will take some research…

Why can’t you get a good burger in a British pub? I miss American bars.

But at least we can hear ourselves talk… and it is nice not to have to tip at the bar.

What a crazy debate! Surely no-one could vote for Boris as Prime Minister? Hagis?!

Thank God to be back in the land of M&S – have they ever been properly recognised for how they enable modern couples to fully commit to their jobs without compromising on nutrition? Dinner is so much easier now!

But breakfast is so much harder! Was American brunch so cheap because of terrible wages and conditions? Now I feel bad for missing it.

Seven hours of campaigning in the rain – surely we’ll stay in the EU?

campaigning

What just happened?!

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4 thoughts on “Homecoming

  1. What a moment to land back here – though it was no moment to stay in the US either apparently. At least London is ‘remain’ territory. Some of us out in the sticks are resigned to inhabiting tiny enclaves which we style ‘The Independent European Republic of (insert place-name of choice)’. Not great.

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    1. That was the only consolation. Going round campaigning reminded me how much I like Bermondsey locals. I don’t have to feel that disconnect that people are going on about elsewhere.

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  2. An American friend of a friend of ours was heard to celebrate the result of the Brexit vote because it showed that, after many years of holding that position, the Americans were no longer the most stupid, ill-informed and gullible electorate in the world!

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