[written Saturday 10 June]
So, about to hit Boston after a week visiting friends and family. It’s been really good to revisit the motherland, to catch my father, sister and uncle after a year or more apart. It’s difficult living on the other side of the planet, but I wouldn’t call it the wrong side. All sides have their plusses and minuses.

Here, the ale is just what I’ve been looking for, and what I’d missed the most. Maybe it’s several months of not drinking much, but I’ve really appreciated it. This time around, I’ve watched less TV, and with the glorious exception of a grammar nerd program on BBC Four hosted by Julian Fellowes, it’s been unexciting. (That program is genius: two teams fighting it out to discover which knows where to place apostrophes accurately.)

The countryside is, of course, beautiful, helped by desperately bad weather that cleared up as I arrived. But I still wouldn’t live in London again. I think my final stance on leaving holds true: it’s a good place for the extraordinary day (or a visit) but the everyday is shit. But it’s not bad for buying mobile phones: they sell them unlocked here if you go to the right place.

So, the quick summary: great to see friends and family, great art, great beer, fun to shop, like my new mobile phone. Onward to the new world.