28 Dec 07
In the afternoon, Mum had us put on funny Christmas hats. In the living room, we opened our gifts. Lots of chocolates, clothing and wine. I received some books, educational tapes, and cash. ( Thank you, Bill, for the CDs, and Sue, for various gifts including the silky Japanese-style robe.)
Nine of us gathered for dinner at a table with many Christmas crackers and gifts on it. Dad, near to tears, toasted my return home. We drank champagne and discussed how bad prisoners have it at this time of the year. The meateaters had roast turkey, topside of beef, and chipolata sausages wrapped in bacon. The vegetarians had nut roast and vegetarian sausages. We all shared roast potatoes, gravy, sprouts, carrots and turnips. After eating two platefuls, I could barely move.
On Boxing Day, my sister and her husband left to go and visit some of his relatives in the south. At night we went to my aunt Sue’s house expecting a party only to find out it had been cancelled because my uncle had the flu.
The next night I got ready to go to the Odeon in Warrington to watch I am Legend.
“Don’t be snogging in the back row,” Mum said, referring to the lady who had agreed to see the movie with me.
“I intend to be a perfect gentleman,” I said.
My companion was a linguist, an Englishwoman who works in Geneva. Hearing her talk in German impressed me.
I woke up thinking I had the flu. I wondered how long England would remain so cold. I stayed home, ate lots of fruit, and resisted going to the Ring O’ Bells with Hammy, who said, “A couple o’ pints ‘ll pick you up.” It seems I caught a cold.
Being in England is fun but also strange. I imagine that many prisoners arrested in America serve their time and then go back to their homes in America. I miss my apartment in Scottsdale. I miss my fiancee. I miss not being able to jump into my SUV and to go and spend money wherever I want to. My parents are as kind as can be, but it’s weird living where I grew up. It’s times like these I think of Solzhenitsyn, just out of prison, living in an old couple’s kitchen. I’m living in luxury compared to him – and Russia is much colder.
For New Year’s Eve I’m going to my sister’s flat in London. She’s having a small party and she’s going to introduce me to some of her friends.
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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood