A piece of public art in Cambridge
It's the 31st of October. A day for wee ones to don costumes of all shapes and sizes, a day of carved pumpkins, a day of crisp fallen leaves and a touch of frost.
It also marks the day a year ago when I first boarded a plan to the UK. I was a bit mad with my scheduling for that trip. I rose at 6:00am, dressed in my Halloween garb and headed to work. I worked a full eight hour shift before coming home to a well decorated house. Loads of people came over for a party, during which too much candy and other sugary things were consumed. I was bubbling with excitement and a sense of anticipation.
At midnight my parents arrived, there to provide transport to the airport. I bid the party-goers farewell, loaded my suitcase into the car and was whisked away.
At the airport I said my goodbyes, gave my kisses and headed for security. Once through on the other side the fact that I'd been up since 6:00am began to hit me full force. I was exhausted and my flight wasn't going to board for an hour and a half. I found a quiet corner near my gate, set my backpack down as a pillow, and tried to get some sleep.
It's amazing how much can happen in a year.
That first trip was a test to see if London was really the place for me. It was a gauge of where I'd be living, how I'd be able to find a job, what sort of stuff I could explore. I knew then that I loved it here. It was new and exciting for me. It was fizzing, bubbling potential. I was bursting with ideas and hopeful for what would come.
I've not actually been living here for an entire year yet. This just marks that first step into the life I'm now leading. I shan't review my year until January 7th, but today I did feel like reflecting on that initial discovery.
This year my Halloween celebrations have been far more subdued. I think this is largely due to Halloween just not being a big deal in the UK, but it's also difficult to replicate that anticipation that was an undercurrent last year.
Change is good. I do like that this year has been more relaxed and involved far more sleep. There was still a fabulous new costume to unveil and a party to attend. Some things never really seem to change, even when everything about them is truly different.