London: First Impressions

Touchdown was two weeks ago. 

How does it feel to be home? 
Strange. 

Does it feel like New York never happened? 
Kind of…
I’ve been asked so many variations of these questions over the past few days and I feel like I’m still figuring out the answers. Yes, of course, I’m happy to be home. Seeing loved ones, speaking on the same timezone and buying halloumi for less than $16 is AMAZING. But do I feel like I’m home? … that’s not quite so easy to answer. My home has been Apartment 23M for the past year - the location of my bed, sofa and Netflix account. We are incredibly fortunate that we were able to move back to Mr A’s flat that had been sat waiting for our return. We haven’t lived here together before and apart from a handful of nights somewhere back in 2013 we haven’t found ourselves in this part of Zone 6 for a long time. So, needless to say, I'm finding myself back in a 'transition mode' which given it’s only been a year since we were last here, shouldn’t be so unfamiliar in itself.

So long, New York.
If ever you’ve wondered if a 5ft 3in woman could shift a king size mattress down 23 floors, I am living proof it’s possible. The to-do list was pretty epic in the last 72 hours, especially when so much depended on me doing it in the last few hours. I literally finished hoovering the apartment, handed back the keys and was in a yellow taxi to JFK within minutes. Throw in a leaving party the night before of drag queen karaoke and you can imagine exactly how ‘epic’ it was to complete. Funnily enough, I slept the whole flight home.
If only all my packing fitted into this little beauty...
Touchdown.
I’ve never felt so happy to land back to grey, drizzly Blighty than I was on March 15th. I had been operating on adrenaline for the last few days and my smiling parents at Gatwick Airport was just the tonic. I was super excited to see them yet equally excited when I glimpsed the signage of Marks & Spencer. Hello hot-cross-buns!

No rest for the wicked.
Thank you, Global Warming, for bringing snow in March. Seriously, where is Spring?! In a bid to avoid being snowed-in or carrying boxes through a blizzard, we had to change up our moving plans. So, after much sorting and packing in New York, I was thrown straight into more sorting and packing to do here that jet-lag had no time to register! It’s crazy how much stuff we have - the majority aboard a ship somewhere on the Atlantic, some in my parents garage and even more in Lincoln. With the amazing support of our parents, two van hires and gallons of cups of tea later, we had moved in! Within 48 hours, we’d already got two coats of paint on the walls. Who needs sleep?
New start.

A week after landing, a lot of painting, life admin and growing back broken nails later, we had time to celebrate and kicked off Ryan’s 30th birthday celebrations with an incredible family dinner at Hawksmoor. Turns out we couldn’t survive without a Mac’n’Cheese fix, and seriously it is the most incredible steak ever! The novelty of being so close to our friends, family and having a fridge stocked full of Prosecco is far from wearing off. Roll on April and with it a diary full of plans proving exactly what we were so excited to be 'home' for. 

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