These are obviously random things. The things i missed the most are clearly my family, wycombe wanderers, and probably you, if you're taking the time to read this.
1) Town centres.
In 1987 Bill Bryson set off in search of the perfect American small town, 'Amalgam, USA' if you like. He aimed to pick out his favourite parts of the towns he found on his road trip around 46 of the lower states. In the book The Lost Continent, Bryson laments that essentially, every town looks the same, that instead of Amalgam USA he found Anywhere USA, a strips of malls, stores and fast food joints. And he was right. I haven't walked through a busy, pedestrianised town centre since i got here. There aren't any.
2) Intelligent, impartial TV news
Only those who have never lived without the BBC would ever advocate its dissolution. It's no surprise that most of the world go to the the World Service or the BBC website for their news. Even the major news networks in the USA (CNN, NBC, Fox) can be incredibly one eyed at times.
3) Cold and dark nights
I know. I'll probably change my mind within hours of landing at Heathrow Friday morning, but i can't help that. It's been 60-70F for the last couple of weeks here, although we did have a cold snap in early November. Yesterday i was walking around in a polo with the sun warm on my back...it just doesn't feel right for December! I want to coat up to leave the house and then fling myself on the nearest radiator as soon as i get in.
4) Radio 1.
For variety and creativity, Radio 1 can not be beaten. It's just that simple. The local music station (BOB 93.3) has about 8 records and most of the shows are syndicated... which isn't bad in itself, but is a bit cheap. Also, most of the time it drives me to listen to talk radio, which is informative, but probably not very good for my effected liberal soul!
5) Driving a manual car
I ^heart^ clutch control.
6) Earnest, English, evangelical prayer.
Matt Herring, now a Relay in Exeter, prays as well and as heartily as anyone i've ever met. It's worth downloading Mike Reeves talks just to him pray (it's worth it for more than that as well!) Prayers here are different and there's nothing less worthy about that, i guess i just miss what i grew up with.
7) Slade and miscellaneous other Christmas songs
Christmas songs here are very classy, and thats cool, but i miss Noddy Holder yelling 'merry Christmas everybody' at the top of his voice while i hunt for cards in Hallmark.
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