It's raining. Properly raining. Proper, cold, wet rain dropping from a grey Welsh sky. I stand in the garden and look upwards so as to feel it properly on my face. I feel ridiculously happy. I'm tempted to stretch out on the grass and just lie there, being rained on, but it strikes me that my friends might just start to worry about me. And I'd be soggy for the rest of the day. Sometimes you can take this nostalgia thing too far.
Cars : I thought they might take some getting used to, but no. I guess they're just too ingrained in our collective consciousness to ever seem like a novelty again. I'm reminded how grateful I should be to live in a car-free city.
Beer : Great big foaming pints of malty, hoppy, lukewarm smelling-of-pubs BEER. I'm sorry. I'm starting to dribble now.
Green spaces : This was a strange one. I was very aware how very green everything looked. Venice isn't over-endowed with open green spaces or public parks, and I suddenly became aware how the rolling hills of mid-Wales seem to stretch away forever, looking just so green. And the silence - nothing except the occasional rumble of a heavy vehicle going past. No rumble of shopping trollies or wheelie bags. No cries of OHE from gondoliers.
English : Being spoken everywhere! Fighting the impulse to use Italian in shops. The fear that saying "Ciao" might be taken as an affectation and not just a slip of the tongue.
The Olympics : Blimey. It really was everywhere.
36 hours later, and we're back home. It feel strange to be writing that, but a four day break was enough to make the whole experience seem a little bit surreal again. But home is what it is, and how lucky we are.
I still miss the beer though.