I had intended to write this before leaving New York. I was going to give up this blog, now that my life has changed in many ways – but by popular demand (well, my mother and a few friends asking me to continue), I have taken it up again. In fact, those things that have changed in my life seem like a reason to continue, rather than to stop, as they will hopefully provide ample writing material: I have started working again as a freelance researcher after several years out of the workforce, while Mr Applepip has started a new business; we have moved house, more than once; my husband and I have renovated our home; Bigger and Littler have transitioned from New York to London life; I have made new friendships and refreshed old ones; and, after getting used to life the American way, we have acclimatised once again to life in England – all in nine months. It would have been easier to conceive, gestate and give birth. Except I have the consolation that I can get a full night’s sleep after each busy day, and I don’t have to puree broccoli and sweet potato in my spare time.
So, as long as I’m not holding a paint roller, flicking through catalogues searching for recessed downlights or interviewing people about their deodorant purchase habits, I’ll be blogging again. It will have a distinctly London flavour – not least because what makes life here ‘London’, and indeed British, has been heightened for me as a returning Brit who has something else with which to compare it.
One of the big changes has been the language I hear around me. I am no longer ‘reaching out’ to anyone (not that I ever did – I just made fun of people who said it), cooking with scallions or cilantro, or broiling anything I eat – even if I have removed the pits first. I will not be standing in line to buy mimosas or PnJ bagels, which I will be neither savoring nor favoring. I have realized that I will no longer generalize, though I may be jeopardizing any chances of getting a job requiring written American English if I don’t. I was never ‘psyched’ to be doing something, but again, amused at those who were. We are not taking vacations where we have to rent accommodations, nor eating applesauce, except with pork, and it’s back to pizzas for us (pizza pie? WHY? I’m fairly sure that ‘pizza’ does actually mean ‘pie’ in Italian, in which case Americans insist on eating ‘pie pie’.)
No more sneakers, rookies or pinch hitters for us – and just as well, as I’m not sure I ever really understood what the last two were anyway. If I were the sort of person who clips her hair back, I would be using a hair clip and not a barrette, which should surely be a small drinking establishment. My children will not be getting ‘boo boos’ or ‘ouchies’ when they fall over, and if they do, they will not be using a Band Aid to stop the flow of blood. They will be given a lollipop to make them feel better – you can forget pops or candy. I am looking forward to putting blinds up in our bedroom instead of window treatments, and I am very thankful that I do not live in a fourth floor walk-up. Diapers are a thing of the past, as is arugula, fava beans, fannies and bang trims, the last two not being as rude as they sound. My children, however, still insist on referring to garbage trucks and ladybugs, whatever I might say.
And never again, I sincerely hope, will I get to a store checkout and say ‘I’m sorry, I must have left my money in my other pants’.
Which all makes me a bit sad, because when I hear these words they are a comforting reminder of our brilliant time in New York.
But onwards and upwards. New adventures to look forward to in another brilliant city. And now I must go, because it’s 5.55 and I have a hard stop at 6. Period.