AnEnglishwomaninSalem in England

The last two weeks went by too quickly.

That first weekend of packing, organizing, last-minute gift-buying and remembering that I cannot wrap anything and then plonk it in a suitcase went by immeasurably slowly, though. Like a dolphin trying to run after a dinosaur.

On my last working day of the year, it turned out that no-one else from my team was in the office. I probably could have turned up whenever I felt like – perhaps a bit of shopping, grabbed a few coffees, maybe a mimosa and a crepe from Gulu-Gulu, then work from home with a beer using Coven’s free WiFi?

It was tempting. But fear of being caught honesty got the better of me and I left on time, actually turning up at the office earlier than usual. Why? Because no-one else in Salem seemed to be at the train station, either. Two weeks before Christmas and it was already starting to look like a ghost town.

But I got to spend time with the family. This was something I can never get in America. I can blog and complain all I like, but when I go home to England, there’s really no reason for me to blog at all.

I’ve had a cold for the past 2-3 months. So it’s probably not a cold anymore. The fact that I attempted to treat it with 2 days of leftover antibiotics actually made the damn bug stronger. But yes, it is a bacterial sinus infection (I’m not the kind of moron who treats colds with antibiotics), caused by having to commute and work around some rather thoroughly disgusting, unhygienic troglodytes.

I took a cue from my roommate and carried on with the painting, including some more sci-fi-themed Crimbo cards. The cheap bristles on from my cheapo brush were ideal for giving my Chewbacca a bit of a 3D effect. Take THAT, Georgie.

Scheduling time with friends and family took up so much of my time I felt like I wasn’t home enough, as in, inside the actual house. But everything had changed so much. My parents had taken up the carpet, taken down the shelves and taken out the old rotting wardrobe, and repainted the walls. Everything echoed a bit. My clothes were in piles everywhere. A bit creepy, like I was dead.

The living room had been cleared within 20 minutes of 6 people beginning it all (I supervised), old couches were thrown out and the entire layout/dynamic/TV placement of the whole room was turned around. The cat, having no idea where to sit now (as she’d been told to stay away from the cluttered area where the couches now sat), continued to sulk under the table until a box was offered next to the telly. But not before we put a Winnie the Pooh Christmas hat on her head.

"I hate you guys."

Speaking of the cat, as soon as I walked into the door, she stood at my feet, looked up at me, meowed a rather angry/impatient meow, and immediately punched me in the leg then bolted off like a lunatic.

(This is what she does when she wants to play)

Mince pies, Christmas, mulled cider, my birthday, video games, CAEK!!!11 and lots of dinners, lunches, shopping trips and Big Bang Theory marathons. It all went by too fast. If I ever get a salary increase/permanent job offer, I’d like to try to get back more often. I wasn’t jet-lagged coming back here (because it was a same-day arrival), but awfully so going to England. Even a long weekend or a week off scheduled around a bank holiday (US) would work. I miss it too much. It’s good to have somewhere far away to come back to, somewhere you know you belong.

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