This morning I got an email from the US Postal Service alerting me that our mail forwarding period is about to expire. This made me feel emotions. Surprise, mostly. A year! Almost a YEAR since we moved to London. I think I’ll save the sentiments for the actual one-year anniversary at the end of January, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Last Christmas we were feeling weirdly grounded as everything actually spiraled out of control. This time last year we were hosting Friendsgiving at our apartment, knowing it was the last time we’d host a big group of people for awhile, and that it was certainly the last celebration in that JC apartment. I remember the deliberation over it — thinking we wouldn’t be able to do it at first, because things would be so crazy, and then ultimately deciding to throw caution to the wind. I remember being distinctly worried about people leaving serving trays at our place and them going into storage for a few years because I wouldn’t be able to get them back to them. Turned out OK.
In the midst of that, Melody was HAVING A BABY. I mean, A REAL HUMAN was born unto the Abergs and I literally ran out of work to get to the hospital. In a cab. I’ll admit it. I took a taxi to get there faster. It was not cheap. WHO CARES.
Chris flew back to the US yesterday to spend some time in Jerz before heading to the farm. I’ll be making my way to Boston on Friday evening, so this is the first time I’ve slept in our flat alone and it feels…not weird. I actually feel so comfortable and at home in this flat and this city that it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. (Different from when he went to Barcelona three weeks after we moved here and I was absolutely freaking out in our temporary flat.) I’m excited to get home, but I’m equally excited to get back. Partially just because I really do love it here, and partially because Brynn and Jeff are coming back with us to visit for a week. I can’t wait!
I am so in the Christmas spirit this year, which is a marked improvement from the past, oh, three years or so. I’ve felt like Christmas crept right up on me in past years, and I didn’t have time to enjoy it. So I made darn sure this year was different. We started with the Southbank Christmas market the weekend after Thanksgiving, shopped on Columbia Road and bought our Christmas tree the first weekend in December, spent a weekend in Germany at the Christmas markets in Stuttgart and Esslingen, and walked up Oxford Street (like the lunatics we are) this past weekend. I’ve sufficiently excited myself. I bought wrapping paper at Marks & Spencer with little royal guards on it. I wrapped at least one present every night for the past two weeks, while drinking wine on the sofa. I bought pine-scented candles at John Lewis. English people help out a lot by unabashedly wish you a merry or happy Christmas, without bothering for a second to first check what religion you might be. I asked about using the term “holidays” in an email subject line and I was told that no, that would not make sense, and people would be confused. It IS the CHRISTMAS break.
I’ve never been in an airport anywhere NEAR Christmas, but this year I’ve found myself back and forth to Brussels, back and forth to Stuttgart, on top of the upcoming trip to Boston at the end of this week. I’m prepared for a hairy terminal three at Heathrow on Friday afternoon and keeping fingers crossed my flight is not delayed by a second. I need to get home, and get some Dunkin’ Donuts.
I’ve packed a carry-on with mince pies, cookies, and chocolates from Belgium, Germany, and England to make sure they get to the US in one piece. Hopefully it all makes it through security. I will probably sit there on the ground outside security and eat the entirety of the package of Fortnum & Mason mince pies if anything goes wrong. I will not share any with the officers.
Apologies for the few and far between posts that are pretty much just rambles of emotions. Perhaps I’ll find where my clever, biting wit went in 2013.