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

Whilst I should have been sleeping

on November 25, 2014

On the flight back from the UK, whilst everyone was sleeping, this was the view from the window. It was pretty spectacular don’t you agree? I asked the air steward if he knew where we were flying over at that moment and he reckoned it could have been Afghanistan.

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I spent a lot of last week awake whilst everyone was sleeping. I know it only lasted a week but I don’t think I’ve fully recovered from the effect that jet lag had on #1, 2 and 3. For this time, it hasn’t been just about getting myself back to functioning like a relatively normal human being.

Jet lag is the price you have to pay to get to the land of eternal sunshine. Though it’s been raining heavily nearly every afternoon we’ve been back which would really piss you off if you had travelled all this way only to be rewarded with jet lag and rain.

From what I remember of three years ago, there was only #1 who was up between the hours of 11.30pm and 3am for about four nights. He wasn’t quite three at the time and #2 was only 15 months and so she settled straightaway.

After accidentally sleeping in until 1pm last Tuesday, the day after we got back, we had a tag team of #3 up at 11pm followed by #2 at 2am and then #1 at 4am which resulted in me cooking noodles and making toast at 4.15am. They finally fell asleep at 6.45am. I contemplated whether it was worth going to sleep at all but then decided it would be best for the wider community that I had some form of sleep. Sending #1 and 2 to school has been the best remedy for jet lag, they come back exhausted and thankfully sleep. #3 has been the biggest pickle, as she already gets in a good few hours before I feel it’s a reasonable time for me to go to bed and then she’s up for a few hours and so it went on.

I’ve had a few people ask me whether it’s been difficult to settle back into Singapore after such a long time away and of course, you all could tell how much I loved being back in the UK. There were times when we were in the UK, that I would think of Singapore and find it all quite surreal. I mean to be honest, this whole expat existence is quite surreal.

But the thing is, whilst I have a close affinity to the UK, #1, 2 and 3 do not. Singapore is where they were all born and is where their home is. It’s where they have a familiar routine and where they can find the friends they know best. So for that reason, I would never be so rude as to call the UK ‘home’ in their presence even if I feel so comfortable with the place when I’m back. It would just end up confusing them. Home is where we all live together as a family.

I think I needed a break from Singapore in order to appreciate it again. Much the same I appreciate the UK after six years away. I was starting to feel claustrophobic on this small island country and feeling like we were doing the same activities week in, week out. I imagine it’s a feeling you can get the world over. It is a small place and we have done quite a number of things already (some I would never go to again like Hay’s Goat Farm and FarmArt) but as I discovered at the weekend, there is also a lot more places we have yet to explore and now that #1, 2 and 3 are older I think we can venture out and do a lot more.

It’s a beautiful city state and it’s growing all the time. Where I live now is a 10 minute run down to the river that takes in the amazing skyline of that ‘boat on three buildings’. In the UK I had no qualms with driving hours to get somewhere so it should be nothing to drive 35 minutes north to get to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve where you can see natural mangroves and crocodiles at dusk.

So whilst I don’t know when we may choose to leave Singapore, I think it’s time to start living like it could be any time soon and not take it for granted as to leave without really getting to see many of Singapore’s hidden gems would be a real shame indeed. I’ve heard about this natural hot spring somewhere up north. It looks like some someone’s back yard with a makeshift water pump and you have to bring your own bucket to fill up with the natural spring water to dunk your feet in! A far cry from the volcanic natural hot spring Husband and I went to in St Lucia but it looks funny and I think we should try it.

Then again, some of the old favourites are still a sight to behold. #2 is desperate to see if she’s tall enough for the boat ride at the Singapore River Safari which she sees is her right of passage to being four years old. It’s also a privilege to be able to pop out for dinner and drinks with friends and have views like this. Shame it has to be for a leaving do for someone I’ve know nearly all the time I’ve been in Singpore.

Such is the transient nature of where we live and that is what I need to remember.

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