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Time to say goodbye

Justin Webb | 09:48 UK time, Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sorry again for not being more attentive. With great sadness - really huge sadness as the time we spent in America will I think be the highlight of our family life - it is time to say goodbye.

We have arrived back in the UK to begin the rest of our lives. Memo to other Brits who might think of coming home from the US: spend your final US holiday in (fill in the name of your least favourite US place) - don't do what we do and fly home from northern California. Granted I was unimpressed with San Francisco but for climate and lifestyle and gorgeous scenery there is nowhere better than the rest of the state. But you already know this.

What I would like to do is thank people who have contributed to the blog - including those who find my views frustratingly jejune - and ask you to forgive my failure to reply to many many fascinating insights including (rather shamefully) several I nicked for my book.

Now back in the UK I find myself utterly at sea - I say hello to people I pass in the street. They lunge on, muttering insults. We'll get used to it. But we will never forget the kindness of America. In Swindon buying a car the other day (yes, life has changed) the conversation turned to a familiar theme but one that endlessly fascinates me - the relative peaceableness of the American life, guns and all. Too many Brits seriously think that America is violent. It isn't. Most America lives are free of violence and the threat of it in a way no life in Swindon can be. Why that's true is a subject all of its own (religion, gun ownership, moral fibre, space, social cohesiveness?) and one worthy of a future study.

By the way, we bought a large second-hand American car and we will pay the extra costs with pride... Have a nice day !

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