It's been nearly a week since I got back from America and I've been suffering from what I think is know as "re-entry difficulties". I knew that things would be different when I got back (not least the fact that I was no longer free to start drinking at two in the afternoon and that I had to sit at a desk and do actual work at a computer) and it's been about as bad as I thought it would be.
I was struck by the expected jet-lag from the flight home - I know why they call it the red-eye - and was potentially very dangerous on the drive home. I played it safe and stopped for a rest about every 40 minutes which was the right thing to do but sadly had the effect of making it a very long journey! I got home in time to vaguely unpack, iron a shirt for work the next day, shove down some freezer food and get to bed. It was an particularly unwelcome alarm that went off at 6am on Monday.
It would have been bed enough to go back to my old job (which I knew how to do and loved) but instead I was having to face into a new job, new team and a fresh set of challenges. I kept telling myself it was what I wanted and asked for but it still made for a tough first day back. I knocked it on the head about 4 o'clock to avoid the awkward possibility of falling asleep at my desk!
Since then I've variously - had a Labour Party branch meeting (where I talked a bit about my experience before, during and after election day); caught up with lots of friends; rather half-heartedly campaigned for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections and desperately tried to tidy up my house from my whirl-wind re-entry. Oh, and had the plumber round to take a look at my boiler and explain why it was making a noise like it was going to blow up (answer: it was about to blow up and also featured a wasps' nest within it...).
I need to start thinking about how I can write up my trip fairly soon whilst it's still fresh in my memory - I'm thinking about sitting for a couple of weekends in the University of Nottingham's library and cracking it all out. There's so much I want to cover that I want to make a brilliant job of it so need some peace and the right atmosphere to make it work.
A number of people have mentioned that they'd like for me to keep this blog going now I'm back in Nottingham. I have to say I've really enjoyed writing it and lots of people sent me messages to say how much they enjoyed reading it so I'll have a think about how I transform it into something Nottingham focused (will have to change the title for a start!).