This could be a list of all the things I’ll miss. Or it could be a list of all the things I’m thankful for. Honestly, it’s both.
Watching ‘A Question of Sport’ on Friday nights even though none of us know anything about sport.
Chris Evans talking to kids on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show and, without fail, them always marking themselves a hundred, a thousand, a million out of ten for their first time ventures.
British summertime. Yes, all three days of it.
Walking to the local Co-op for eggs and being on a first name basis with everyone who works there. And while we’re at it, that same ten minute errand taking over thirty minutes because you’ve stopped to talk to seven different people you see on the way and end up setting the world to rights with them over the garden fence with a Co-op bag in your hands.
Getting on the bus for a quid at seven in the morning and being greeted with an ‘alright love’ by the bus driver and everyone other person on the way.
Mum’s Shepherd’s Pie.
When everything stops on a Wednesday night while you watch Paul and Mary on ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and when you cry at the end and no one judges you because they’re all crying too.
Red post boxes.
Dinner ladies and wet playtimes and Harvest Festivals and 1cm squared Maths books and assemblies in the school hall with squeaky trainers on the damp floor in the autumn term when you’re counting down to Carol concerts and Christmas fairs, and everything else that makes British Primary Schools such marvellously magical and innocent places.
Antiques Roadshow and Countryfile and that cosy Sunday night feeling.
Talking about the weather with strangers.
Henderson’s Relish (if you’re from Sheffield, you’ll understand).
Playing Beetle with my nephew and niece for game after game after game and never getting bored.
My church with the cobwebs in corners out of reach and the automatic door that keeps going on the blink. And my church family, every crazy, blunt-speaking, cake baking, Harry Potter reading, loving member of it and the way they pick you up and carry you before you even knew you needed carrying.
Marks and Spencer’s food.
Black cabs and double decker buses.
Yorkshire on a frosty morning and the days when everything stops because there is a half inch of snow on the road. Or even better, those days when there’s ten inches of snow on the ground and it’s quiet enough to forget everything apart from snow angels and hot chocolate.
Shopping trips with my mum where we refuse to buy a skirt because it’s not in the sale and we’re tight Yorkshire folk.
Picking blackberries and beetroot and everything else grown at the allotment.
Seeing my little sister’s new tattoos in glorious technicolour and sharing memories of butterbeers and cinema trips and Michael Jackson videos.
Fish and chips and mushy peas, drenched in salt and vinegar.
Going out for the day in July and packing an umbrella, a fleece, sun cream and sunglasses all in the same bag knowing you will invariably experience all four seasons before you return home the same day.
My family dog; his silky ears, his fear of poppadoms, and the way he licks your toes in a morning just because he’s happy to see you.
Eating white chocolate magnums in the pouring rain while you freeze your bum off because, damn it, it’s August and its summer already!
Mum and dad watching TV too loudly.
Meeting my best friend for coffee in our favourite bookshop cafe.
The gearstick of my ruby red Micra.
Bonfire Night and Pancake Day.
Victoria Sandwich cakes and flapjacks and scones and Yorkshire puddings and beans on toast and full English breakfasts and tea.
Family and friends and the view from my bedroom window.