Is it nice to be back?

Is it nice to be back?

The familiarity of my apartment was nice, my floor always smells of nice cooking smells from somewhere.  The use of public transport again was disgruntling, made worse by the large very smelly dog, having to stand for part of the journey home and smelling cannabis all over the place again – why does everyone insist on using it so much here!?  It was lovely to sink in to my bed after the hours travelling – though I woke up at 4.30am after falling asleep at 10pm.  I have had three cups of tea from Tim Hortons and a chocolate chip muffin since being back.  I have also been faced with the harsh memory of the unfresh expensive mushrooms like a slap in the face with a wet flannel.  It was lovely that my welsh friend met me at the airport.

I loved returning to the snow! First snow fall was yesterday while I was flying.  I woke up and the ground was white.  A thin layer, but lovely nonetheless.  It is getting to my favourite time of year here.  Today, I walked on the boardwalk with the snow staying put due to the cold, but the sun shining beautifully.  It was fresh and bracing.  I love my winter boots.  I visited my favourite park to see the squirrels and my favourite chap was there waiting for some nuts looking very cute and chubby.

I still need to finish unpacking, but I really can’t be bothered.


Friday.  One week at Home.

Being home for the past week has been great.  I really see how much I left behind.  I was worried being home would throw a huge curve ball with my current plans, but it has made me wonder how I ever left all this behind?  

The flight home was dull and by the evening, I was exhausted and could barely stay awake in front of the TV and the log fire.  My beloved cat wouldn’t speak to me and ran away when I tried to pet him on the first day – since then, he hasn’t left my side… he is under the duvet cuddled up in bed, sitting on the edge of the bath, next to me on the sofa and at my feet if I am in the kitchen.  He has also remembered to attack my other cat if she dares to approach me when he is at my side.   I have had some amazingly good traditional food…. cottage pie, carbonara, roast dinner, bangers and mash, bacon sandwich with proper brown sauce, hot chocolates, Nandos.  Even by my standards, I have eaten an astonishing amount of junk and snacks.  

I have spent time on the farm, seen the cows,  been up in my favourite fields on the quad bike.  The dentist, the osteopath, cups of tea in the pub, bingo, walks on the moors, numerous hot chocolates, perused the Christmas stuff at Endsleigh, climbed the 94 steps to the top of Smeatons Tower on the hoe, shopping, sitting by the log fire, cuddles with numerous pets and meeting babies.  My friends are the best, they get me, the in jokes, the very English, and also black sense of humour. 

I have been shopping – boot cut jeans are no longer a thing, nightmare to find, New Look offered to email my receipt to me?! You have to pay for bags everywhere, M&S still do a great bra.  I didn’t buy much, I have way too many clothes here, way too many clothes in Canada and no need to ever shop again.

I finally met my nephew and we had a lovely day at the christening.

I realised I adjusted more than I thought to driving automatic and had some embarrassing stalls in the first couple of days.  The freedom of having a car again is priceless.  Businesses have rebranded, new ones have sprung up, petrol stations have disappeared and the whole area around where I live seems to be under construction with road closures.  We have a Lidl being built near me.  I wont be going.  I loved my time in Tesco, and Iceland.  I will be sure to visit Sainsbury’s before I leave.

I attempted to sort through some of my stuff to clear out the junk I have packed into my storage unit, but I quickly realised it was a daunting and seemingly endless task, so locked it back up and pretending it doesn’t exist.

I have been excitedly filling my iPad with BBC iPlayer goodies for when I am on the plane.  Also because my bedroom here has no wifi.  

It feels as though I never left.  Canada feels like a dream.  Another world.  I could almost not have gone yet, like on a TV show where the last 18 months were a vivid dream, but then I look around and see my Blue Jays merch scattered around my room.  I did some job hunting today and started an application for a job starting in January in Toronto – first ad I have seen since the Jays finished that I felt excited about.  Fingers crossed.

Tuesday night – 5 nights left

A night out on Saturday was good fun.  Cheesy music, good friends, Malibu, dancing.  Plymouth chavs were out in force.  I saw someone passed out before midnight, lots of exposed muffin tops,  bleached hair, bad roots, terrible accents, shots in test tubes, dancing, happy people, street pastors, burger vans, drunks wandering around the roads, smile on the tiles, police.  Lovely time.  Home at 430am for a Rustlers burger.  Escaped a hangover, but had a nice lazy day anyway on Sunday.  

A trip to my Great Aunt yesterday was enjoyable.  Out for lunch – gammon, breaded garlic mushrooms and lots of looking at Canada photos.  All you can eat buffet with some prison pals in the evening.  Too full for this still.  Luckily my friend brought anti bloating tablets so we could get our money’s worth of food – Chinese, Indian, chocolate fountain.

I started packing this evening.  Mr Jinx wont stop cuddling, I don’t want to leave him again. 

Thursday night

Yesterday was a random day and I had the time to go for a nice drive up around Burrator, Princetown and  Cadover.  So pretty.  Why would anyone leave?  Just a few maple trees to give the beautiful red colouring to the autumn leaves, and that would be the perfect mix.

My final night in Plymouth.  I had battered sausage and chips.  I watched The Apprentice, and had a look at some other trashy TV to see what’s what.  Log fire lit.  Dog indoors, cat on the sofa.  Picked up some more bracelets I ordered made from Follys hair.  Haven’t been out in the horse yard –  I dont want to and I still don’t know what to do with her ashes.   Two nights in Brighton before I leave.   Last morning checking the cows, driving around the field on the quad bike and off to Brighton with car snacks galore.


More battered sausage and chips, lots of cuddles with the nephew, a stroll on the seafront, seeing my sister and her boyfriends house for the first time since they gutted it and moved in, trashy TV and I am in bed for the last night in the UK for this year.  Devastated at leaving Mr Jinx again.

Flight day and Mariah Carey

Finally, the day arrived.  I pottered off to work this morning, collected my wages and went to the bank, bumped in to a few people and said farewell.  Some people have said goodbye and then I kept bumping in to them again, it can get awkward so I did some last bits and bobs and hid in my apartment to avoid any more duplicate farewells. 

One of my pals from the pub lent his car to another friend to drop me at the airport.  On the way, we went downtown for a hot drink, a spot of shopping, a free gingerbread man at Hudsons Bay and lots of perfume sniffing and lipgloss testing.  Oh, and Mariah Carey was doing a free mini show and opening the Christmas window display at Hudsons Bay department store. 

Mariah Carey – she was due to go on at 7pm and I needed to be at the airport at 830pm.  At 730, getting rather cold outside waiting, we realised that we might not have time to wait.  We were going to give it until 745 before leaving.  Luckily, maybe, at 745 she appeared.  By this time, some people had already gone.  The crowd was restless with no entertainment or idea how long it would be.  She sang Santa Claus is coming to town first, I think – we couldnt really hear it.  Then All I want for Christmas.  It was nice to hear the song, although we could only just hear it and we werent that far away.  It was great we did get to see her as I was so very excited beforehand.  It was disappointing that she left her fans standing in the cold for so long.  Being a diva when people are waiting indoors with seats and a bar is one thing, but doing it in November for a dusk outdoor show, not cool.  Twitter provided giggles.  All in all, it was a lovely afternoon – I enjoyed the time with my friend more than hearing a stranger sing. 
Off to the airport with our heated seats on.  I bought a new lipstick and some other odds and ends, had a burrito and it was time to board.  So far, so good.  I have a selection of films downloaded and a couple of Jodie Marsh documentaries to keep me occupied.  6 hours to go…. 

2.5 hours to go… still havent slept.  Watched two fantastic Jodie Marsh documentaries, paid for three hours of wifi – read the news, the magistrates listings and some soap spoilers.  Had a cup of tea and the air hostess gave me two packets of those lovely biscuits you get in coffee shops.  Pondering airplane etiquette – the man next to gave me a mentoe, I didnt offer him a piece of my white toblerone.  I didnt want to share.  Is there any point sleeping now? If I dont sleep, what become of me tomorrow?

1.5 hours to go…. I was watching the pretty sunrise until the man next to me shut the window cover. Glad I didnt share my chocolate.  

20 minutes to go… everyone is awake, the lights are on and the windows blinds up, Gavin and Stacey series 2 has seen me through the last hour.  Will they clap as the plane lands?  

They didnt clap.  Phew. 

Life:  The past Fortnight

The past couple of weeks have been nice despite periods of extreme impatience.  

There was a lovely meet up with some of my favourite Brits for dinner at Hey Lucy, a cute cafe/ bar downtown.  I skipped real food and opted for the warm chocolate cookie with ice cream and cream, adding my own special instructions to make sure no fruit found its way on to the plate.  

A trip to the cinema with my favourite Welsh.  The Girl on the Train was fantastic. 

I went for a lovely drink and some food with a colleague from last year.  We went to the other end of the beaches for a change and ended up at Murphys Laws Oktoberfest party which was great fun.  There was free food and drink, goody bags with giant tankards and branded water bottles to take away, and we participated in a strong arm competition.  I had a delicious pie. Even after all this time, I just dont understand why you cant get green veg and mash to go with your food in pubs here.  Always fries, so many fries.

I coasted through to this week and have been pottering around passing the days with, well very little actually! It has been lazy and lovely, although the reason behind it, not so nice.  I went to the doctor as I have had a lot of foot pain, following xrays I have been diagnosed with heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.  It sucks.  I have been in extreme pain and some nights, it keeps me awake.  Going to the gym has been a real struggle and I am really missing exercise and running.  Today I saw a surgeon who is going to do some steroid injections if the Osteopath cant help while I am at home.  There is light at the end of the painful tunnel.  

Yesterday, I had a lovely day strolling around the beaches.  I had a Davids Tea, refusing to deviate from my standard order despite the girls attempts to encourage me to try something new.  Saigon chai latte, lower temperature water, 2% milk and 2 pumps of agave every time.  I sat in the park for ages feeding the squirrels.  I cant believe how fat they have got.  They have lost all body definition.  They were coming up and sitting on my legs.  Mr Two Nut put in an appearance as usual for his share of the squirrel candy.  

The boardwalk was gorgeous with the sun shining and the fresh air and not too many people cluttering it up.  The snow fence has gone up and the cherry pickers were out with guys putting the Christmas lights on the trees.  I dont envy them that job.  One string for a normal tree is bad enough to deal with.

I did my last bar shift before my trip.  It was lovely that people were keen to say goodbye and wish me well on my travels.  I do love the locals and the regulars, the familiarity of the bar.  It was pleasantly quiet and steady after the mayhem of Saturday nights Halloween Party. 

For now, hanging out with Mavis.  So tired, but keen to check in for my flight online tonight before I sleep so it is done, and I know my extra luggage is booked.