I am packing and it's making me sad, partly because packing is shit, but also because I like it here and I wish I could stay. So I'm distracting things by thinking of 10 things I miss about the UK.
1. David. Being long distance sucks. The bear hug icon on skype just isn't the same. It'll be great to see him again, and see him regularly, and most of all, to not have to stay up till 1am whenever we want to talk.
2. Oxford CS group. And other friends, but mainly CSers.
3. My bike. It's free and keeps me thin and is fast.
4. Pubs. Pubs soothe the English soul. That's why we have dates in them.
5. Rowing. When I get out on the river, all the stresses just fade away, and I feel a million miles from everyday life, even when all I've done is cycle across Oxford at 5am in all the clothes I possess. It's good for me and I don't feel quite right without it.
6. Ale. When it's hot, lager is fine. When it's cold, I don't want to drink something cold, I want a nice warming pint of ale. Also, and ale has flavour. Plus it'll be fun to carry on with the counties challenge (I'm planning West Sussex for New Year, and Cambridge on Jan 2nd).
7. Lib Demming. I've done quite a bit of thinking and blogging and post-commenting here, but I'm looking forward to getting back to real politics, which in Lib Dem terms, means leaflets!
8. Being able to control my own heating. At the moment I need to decide to go to sleep about half an hour in advance, so I can open the window and let cold air in, then shut it and have enough time to get to sleep before it gets suffocating.
9. Getting exercise. Not to be confused with my bike - I also like to run, but people don't really do that here so I felt weird when I tried. Plus in Oxford it's easy to do it in the countryside, so it feels a bit weird doing it in a crowded city. And I like to climb, and I'm really looking forward to hitting the wall again - possibly on Monday after I get back on Saturday!
10. Knowing where to buy stuff. There's something very comforting about knowing where I need to go if I need to buy something or get something done, like getting shoes re-heeled or a key cut or buying stationary. It takes a while in every new country, and it does make life a lot easier.
I should probably also say that I miss my family, but as a foreign office brat, not seeing them for a few months at a time is pretty normal, so while I do miss them, I talk to them often enough, so it's not really hitting the top 10 and anyway it feels like a cop-out.
I do actually feel better now, and more to the point I've successfully procrastinated for at least 20 minutes. Win!