On Monday night I walked into the supermarket and saw a pizza combing the frozen foods, a dinosaur being carried through the bakery section and a slew of superheroes at war in the dairy aisle.
On my way home I walked past houses with giant spiders crawling through their windows, witches swooping over their doorways and impressively ghoulish pumpkins guarding their entrances.
Over the weekend I partied with a host of Sega characters, a giant white swan, Hunter S Thompson and Santa. It was messy. You can imagine.
New York does Halloween very well indeed. It makes me adore my adopted home just that little bit more.
And yet, as much as I love this place, there are still pieces of England that I long for…
I miss the way everyone apologizes for everything. “I’m sorry” or “pardon me” prefix everything from asking where the bathroom is to simply navigating a busy city street. In America I sound perpetually apologetic, in England I sound like everyone else.
I miss the fact that no one claps for the pilot when he lands the plane safely.
I miss the NHS.
I miss rolling hills and a pint at a country pub.
I miss the stiff upper lip. Fall down a flight of stairs in Britain and you are expected to do nothing more than crack an embarrassed smile and limp away, protesting that it is really nothing at all.
I miss Sunday roasts, blackberry crumble and hot cross buns.
I miss taxi drivers who know every address in the city and haven’t learnt to drive by playing Grand Theft Auto.
I miss chatting to friends over a cuppa rather than over Skype.
I realize that England has its problems, there are pieces of the country that I don’t miss at all, and I have no immediate plans to return to the homeland. But those thoughts are much too practical…I’d rather sit in my cozy New York flat picturing the UK as an idyllic land of digestive biscuits and sarcasm.