The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

One Fine Day

on October 8, 2014

It’s like I haven’t been away at all.

Not for three years. Not even for six years.

When I go through Arrivals in any other country, I love the anticipation that comes with exploring a whole new world outside.

But when it comes to arriving back in the UK, it’s the excitement of returning to all that’s familiar. All the things that I have missed and suppressed my thoughts on whilst living abroad.

That first intake of crisp, fresh air. The cold breeze on your cheeks. It never fails to bring a huge smile to my face to feel you’re not suffocating in the humidity. Or haze as they currently have it in Singapore.

But like all things built on nostalgia, it didn’t last long as I discovered just how cold it bloody well is.

Much to the astonishment of everyone else who keep telling me it’s ‘lovely and warm’. I just don’t quite get it. The toilet seat is cold for a start.

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As much as I will never truly acclimatise to 32 degrees tropical heat. I obviously have been softened by it. In fact what am I saying, I long lost the ability to venture out in hot pants and cropped tops like a true northerner after a few years of living down in London. What hope do I have now?

But I had forgotten that feeling of going out in the cold (to me) and quickly warming up after a brisk walk along the canal which nestles not far from where the sister in law lives in semi rural Hertfordshire. It’s wonderful. Followed by a pint of Guinness in the local Public House which is even better. I was impressed with how swiftly I’ve managed to get a pint in this trip back. Simple pleasures.

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Jet lag is not the most fun after a 13 hour flight where #1, 2 and 3 were like a tag team in their sleeping patterns. Fellow passengers possibly had the right to be annoyed at the commotion from #3 but what can you do. I don’t know whether you can compare jet lag to the state of delirium caused by sleepless nights with a newborn but the effects of prolonged periods of no sleep definitely takes it toll on normal levels of functioning human behaviour and rational thought. I’m not sure it’s come back yet.

The fact that I was barely able to hold a thought during a flying catch up with Mr Muffin on Friday afternoon was blamed by him on these factors in this order: being 40, being Mother to three children and being just me but not on the jet lag. So by the time I arrived at Nana Moon’s on Friday evening having been chauffeured down by Uncle Monkey, I apparently was a lost cause displaying signs of giddiness and overexcitement. So they did the sensible thing of plying me with red wine and sending me to bed before the end of X Factor. It was like a severe case of déjà vu, have I even been away?

Incidentally, a journey that should on average take just over an hour was squeezed into 40 minutes by Uncle Monkey in order to reduce the amount of good quality interrogation with no escape. But it was a fruitful 40 minutes as he now owes me £100.

So having gone to bed half cut, you can imagine my annoyance when I woke up at 2.45am. Wide awake. With a wedding to attend at 2pm and the intention of continuing on until the early hours. It wasn’t looking good at all for that. Neither was Nature going to allow a quick snooze in the maze either.

To quote the concern for my wellbeing at the time, here is an excerpt from Uncle Monkey. “Delirious and giddy again? I feel sorry for Nana Moon! I bet you are currently hyper, but in about an hour you’ll be shouting at cars passing you by in Geordie asking them “what the hell do you think you’re doing man?”.

Where he gets this idea from is beyond me.

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But as soon as we arrived at the wedding venue, it was clear it was going to be One Fine Day.

I already knew I would be catching up with many of our old crowd from University. But it was equally as fun to catch up with faces from years past I’ve encountered through Big D’s social engagements. All of us now sharing similar stories of domesticity. Equally as good was being introduced to familiar names but not faces of new friendships and relationships that have formed since I’ve been away.

I must admit to experiencing a severe absence of presence a couple of times as the impact of not sleeping kicked in. But regular bouts of bracing cold air throughout the day soon sorted that out. I still wasn’t getting why people were pronouncing it ‘positively balmy’ when my teeth were chattering and I’m trying not to look it as others are waltzing around like it is ‘positively balmy’.

What the f has happened to me?

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In short, it was a fabulous wedding and so worth deferring my UK trip for. To see good friends united in matrimony and share in that moment with them with other good friends is always an honour. I wish them both a long and happy life together with good health and great times ahead. Doesn’t the Bride look stunning?

Naturally, Uncle Monkey kept in contact through the evening to check on my sleep/delirium status and Nana Moon obligingly provided updates on the amount of times I was shoved outside for more bracing London air. How can you tell me it’s not freezing when there is steam when I breathe?

I’m not quite sure how it happened but it was gone 3am before I went to bed. Some things change but most things stay the same and that’s quite reassuring in many ways. I’m sure Nana Moon will agree as she discovers I still can’t seem to divide the bed in two down the middle instead of either side of me.

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It’s barely been a few days since I landed back in the UK. Everything feels how it should be. Time doesn’t seem to have passed by at all as we fit right back into the last conversation we had. Such is the advantage of modern technology where you can have a very real and current presence in most people’s lives if you are both willing to make the effort.

I’m happy to be back. More than happy to have milk that tastes like fresh milk and thick buttered toast with hot mugs of tea that don’t stay hot for very long. To drive on motorways with open fields either side, even the back logged M25 held a certain charm on our first day back. Incidentally last week I could drive, this week I apparently can’t as I stalled the car five times in a row at traffic lights. (The car is still fine Mrs Cake Pops.)

So are #1, 2 and 3 happy to be here, who are loving being amongst family and Godparents. Being outdoors in the garden intrigues them and having stairs provides endless entertainment possibilities.

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However, with every high, there is a low and after marking our 7th wedding anniversary, Husband has had to return to Singapore to keep one of us in gainful employment.

But as I know only too well, absence will only make the heart grow fonder.

In the meantime, for such sacrifice, I really ought to make this trip all the more worthwhile.

For now, it’s about time I got some sleep.

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