Coming home after three years away.

Our friends' welcome for us.
The first thing that strikes you about being back in England is the greenery. I've left Montreal where the grass is still dead and yellow, snow is still on the ground and the crocuses are only a few centimetres into the first signs of Spring. We're here for ten days and I feel like I'm on a tropical island and not in a northern English city.

Magnolia tree in full bloom.
 Here grassy fields seem ridiculously brightly coloured and there are blossoms everywhere - beautiful forsythia, magnolia trees, daffodils and heathers which cause me to stop and stare at the gardens of Heaton, Newcastle as if I've landed from another planet.

I was interested to know what coming back after nearly three years would feel like and what would strike me as different. I find, like some Texan in a ten gallon hat, that all the houses look on the small side. I'm tempted to use the word cute.

The other big difference is the speed of the cars. Ironic in a world where speed cameras seem to be on every corner but it feels as if the traffic here is much faster. I spent a lot of yesterday waiting to cross roads where two lanes of traffic flew past at 90 kph. Waiting with mothers and babies, breathing in the car fumes, it seems to me that Montreal has much stricter traffic rules. Also on the subject of traffic it's now official. I look the wrong way while crossing the road in both Canada and England.

One great thing about being back is you can catch up on those things that you have missed like crazy. I spent the best part of the day in Marks and Spencers yesterday and -  apart from the cafe, never actually left one section of the ladies clothes (Per Una for those in the know). Think I might have to stay another year just to cover the whole of M&S.
My first ever blog post.


  1. Agree about the green-ness of the place; it strikes me every time I go back, which has been about once a year lately. What also amazes me is the dizzying array of road markings, bumps, signs and street furniture in general. And what's with all those mini roundabouts everywhere - do they breed?

    Having lived 8 years in Dubai with a HUGE M&S I miss them dreadfully now I'm back in Canada. Did you know they actually used to have branches here, but it was during their blah period and they couldn't make a go of it. Wish they'd try again. Undies here just aren't the same.

  2. Beautiful Spring ! Have a great time !!!


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