So yes, we've been back in Blighty for six months, give or take. Thoughts?
1. It's not that different when you're still doing the school run. Given that we came back to England every summer, it was never going to be like landing on the moon, but on many levels, it's same old, same old. I have neighbour's small barking dogs instead of sirens as my evening soundtrack, and traffic because of narrow rural roads instead of city congestion.
2. I don't mind damp and gray. It hasn't rained as much as I anticipated but it's pretty damp. And I quite like it. My skin feels much better and there's something Wuthering Heightsy about walking the dog in mist. My wellies have never had so much use either. In Chicago, by the time it might have been wellie weather, I'd have had frostbitten toes wearing them, so giant snow boots it was. (Can't even remember where I put my snow boots!)
3. I'm still an extroverted introvert. I think it's that way round, but it could be an introverted extrovert. I can be the life and soul of any party if I want to, but I also don't mind spending days on my own. In the States, friends and family were often aghast that I might not see another soul (other than child) for days and it's no different here. Man-Child 2 and I came back from our Xmas break a week before the Ball & Chain, and from the Saturday we landed till the Saturday B&C came back, I only saw the boy! Is that terrible?
4. The dog does fine in kennels. Since two dog-sitting arrangements fell through before November, I had to trial leaving the mutt in kennels before our two week Xmas trip. She's eight, and a bit of a weirdo. She looks like a collie-mix and, according to dog people, displays many of their traits, one of which is not always being a sharer. She stayed with one nice lady for a long weekend back in October, and apparently wouldn't let the other two dogs out into the back garden. Not that she hurt them or threatened to; she just sat in the doorway and gave off the vibe that she was in charge. (The dog lady put a stop to that one fairly swiftly but, how embarrassing.) She loves this milder winter weather and spends all day on my back patio, so the kennels is heaven to her as she's outdoors and rolling in mud all day. At least I think it's mud.
5. I have a handy capacity for walking off into the sunset. When I left England, decades ago, to join my shiny new husband in the USA, I left a medium-sized family and a large group of friends without really thinking about it. Got on a plane and started over. This time, we left two kids and a large-ish group of friends and I did the same. It's not that I was glad to be rid of anyone, or that I don't miss anyone now, it's just that my preferred method of dealing with life events is - Don't Look Back.