It's odd that a place so familiar can at times seem so alien; a place that has been home to me on and off since childhood and that smells and tastes so familiar can still be so foreign. And so, because it takes me a couple of days to get in the swing of things, I must do the following for the first few days...without fail.
KEEP LEFT. This is imperative and I really musn't forget to do it. My drive to Eastbourne (my Mother's home) from Heathrow was uneventful, which is a fabulous thing. The roads were surprisingly unbusy and I was able to keep foremost in my brain, LEFT LEFT LEFT. Pretty soon, I was even bold enough to fiddle with the radio knobs. I was also able, pretty soon, to smack my forehead in disgust as I remembered I'd left the CDs I'd really wanted to bring, back in Topanga.
LOOK RIGHT. That's what you must remember to do when you step off the curb. I remind myself of an ad that was on the telly (yikes, I really am in England) when our children were small. It said, "Look right, look left, look right, think bike." The ad was born in an attempt to save motorcyclists and cyclists from over-anxious drivers of the four-wheeled ilk and I used it to remind my kids to look both ways not just once, but one more time as there could be a cyclist who ran them over if they didn't. Now I use it to remind myself not to step off the curb after just looking left, as you do in the States.
JUST SAY NO. I'm trying but will most likely fail to just say no to all the familiar flavours (see, I'm spelling like Mummy taught me to spell) that I miss so much and love so dearly. I feel like Homer Simpson eyeing sausages and sweets and fish and chips. Just going out for a power walk with my octogenarian Mum. She'll straight me out!