One of the interesting experiences of being an immigrant (or an expat, depending on your perspective) is that you end up having two home countries that aren’t really connected. For me, both are comfortable place to be in, but they don't overlap. I am either in the USA or in the UK; both fit me like a glove, but I never seem to wear the US glove in the UK and vice versa. I’m lucky – I could feel uncomfortable in both places. This is the first time that I didn’t spend the first few days in either place wishing I was in the other place. It used to be especially so when I returned to the US. So it took 10 years to finally feel at home here!
It was great to go home for the Christmas and New Year Holidays. I spent most of the time with my parents in Birmingham. They still live in the same house that I grew up in. We moved there when I was 10 and their previous house is in the same road. So that definitely fits me well. I spent most of the time reading and sleeping, occasionally knitting. Mum and I went for walks together and I met my friend for lunch and had dinner around at her house in Sutton Coldfield with her mum and family. I went sale shopping in town. Wow, how Brum City Center has changed.
Darling brother (DB) and family arrived back from Tenerife and joined us a couple of days after Christmas. They obviously had a good time and were very relaxed. Nephew and niece demanded presents the instant they saw us and then proceeded to watch TV or play on the computer.
I joined DB in St Alban’s after New Years Day, and one day I joined him in London. His office in Spitalfields near Brick Lane, which coincidentally is near to where Mum grew up. She lived near Hughes Mansions, until she was evacuated. Unfortunately, her parents (Lily and Morris Moscow) were killed in the last V2 bombing in London. But it was interesting that most of HMs were still standing and were actually fairly new when they lived there.
I also met my aunt and uncle for lunch in Mill Hill Broadway. On the morning of my last day DB and I went to St Alban’s Cathedral and Abbey Church. I feel bereft if I don’t visit a church when I am in England. I do miss York Minister.