I got back yesterday from my first week in Newcastle, where I’m staying in a hotel whilst I work the first 3 months of my new contract. I feel absolutely exhausted. Much less than I did yesterday, but noticeably more so than when I was contracting in Leeds. Living in a hotel is far from ideal and, no matter how nice the accommodation, inevitably less comfortable than home. I missed R and Errol a lot, especially towards the end of the week. R said our house felt empty without me there – sweet but only slightly comforting.

Today I went shopping and got my hair cut. I also picked up some tea for R from a place called T2 (in the new Victoria Quarter shopping centre in Leeds) and got some food from Bundobust for us to have for lunch tomorrow, as well as a punnet of fried okra that I ate as I wandered around town. The city centre was chocka; everyone’s in Christmas mode, rushing around buying presents or congregating in awkward places to watch carollers. I hate large crowds, even more so if they’re slow moving. But the whole thing was made more bearable by the head massage I got at Westrow, which allowed me to float about happily rather than getting wound up by the whole thing.

My hair is … slightly shorter than I had intended. My intention was to have it lightly brushing my shoulders, but instead it’s just a couple of millimetres longer than chin-length. I wasn’t sure at first but it’s actually growing on me now (guffaw). And if I find I’m not keen on it it’s not too much of a problem, as despite my hair being unfortunately thin and frizzy it’s actually quite fast growing, so it’ll be down to my shoulders in no time.

I am looking forward to my 2nd week at work, but I’m not looking forward to my 2nd week in a hotel. Luckily, on Wednesday last week room service left my room door standing open all day (as well as a tea bag on the floor and all of the lights on), so I’ve been upgraded to the bridal suite for the next 2 weeks. And having spent a week there already I know which things I need to bring with me next week to make the experience more bearable – a dressing gown and slippers, a large towel, warmer PJs etc etc. Newcastle is cold cold cold and I am a southerner so next week will be all about multiple layers. Oh and I need to take my big mug too so I can have a proper sized cup of tea.