We haven’t been home to the UK for two years and in hindsight it was too long. Hence the bouts of homesickness I’d experienced last year. I’ve had hints of wanting to return as well, so our trip this Christmas was a real test. The pre-Christmas weeks were frantic and I was exhausted, but it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the process of catching a plane and doing all the stuff. As we landed at Stansted I was completely choked and wanted a boo! Oh, no, I though, I do need to come home, then I remembered that I do this every time. Back through Passport control, I was thrilled to be in a queue where I could understand, and was vastly amused at the couple in front of us who were ringing home to find a party of some sort had taken place and the resulting chaos….. On the bus I found I couldn’t understand a word around me, just like being in Austria!
We were based in Stratford (more of that later), and for the first couple of days I drank in the houses and streets and the familiarity. It was so good to see my daughter and catch up, just like you can’t on the phone. Down in Dorset, it was so exciting to meet with my son and his fiance and discuss all the upcoming wedding plans. Unlike London I could once again understand all the conversations around me and enjoyed the soft, warm (comparatively) wind and the damp air and rain, not to mention the sea. Back there, it was like putting on a comfortable old shoe, that hugs and soothes. I got used to speaking English the whole time and feeling a part, not an outsider. It was a wrench to leave there to go to Aldershot to see the rest of the family. But it was all still familiar and welcoming, especially the shops filled with familiar stuff, enjoying a curry and Fish and Chips, though I didn’t get to the pasty I havered for!
I’m such a nut, I still felt homesick in an odd sort of way when I was there as I knew I’d have to leave, I stamped on that silly emotion. I didn’t want to come back to Austria, but its difficult to leave family anyway. The time we spent with the kids was magic, but we were all enjoying a holiday time together, having looked forward to it and Christmas. The reality of the in-laws tuning up on a weekend when tired is different. It was real quality time and so sweet.
I felt nothing as we landed in Salzburg, I wasn’t as tired as when we left. I wanted to get home as by then I’d had enough of travelling. But no, I don’t want to stay here forever, life here is in a bit of a rut and I’ll have to find some more friends, jobs and hobbies this year. Austria will never be home, I don’t want dual nationality, I’m English and at some stage I will go home.
A few days on, despite the down of returning to work, I’m really at peace. Maybe because we’ll be back in the UK for the wedding, which I’m so excited about. the jury on Austria is still out…….