A word about home

As part of my studies this week I was asked to make a list of words that I associated with the word ‘Home’, to include personal, concrete examples that might include names, places, objects, feelings, sensory experiences, and so on. Here’s what I came up with in a five minute brainstorm:

family – Dubai – sun – city – heat – happy – sad – homesickness – London – childhood home – childhood friends – sadness – missing out – friends – irrelevant – unknown – secret – packing – saying goodbye – depressed – lonely – guilt – grandparents – parenthood – love – phones – skype – email – travel – holidays – visitors – achievement – intensity – strength – coping mechanisms – girlfriends – hobbies – time difference – sausages & mash – green – seasons – trees – walking – the pub – tube train smell – summer nights – cold – Friday club – music – independent shops – carpet beneath my feet – heating – fires – touch – hugs – absence – laughter – eccentricities – familiarity – forgiveness – joy – being together

It made me nostalgic and warm for the vague fuzzy definition of ‘home’ I keep tucked away most days.  I honestly haven’t given it much thought since we got back after the summer, but instead of sinking into a funk, I sat and mused about my friends, and wondered how they were all getting on, how their kids were doing in school, how their jobs were going, what they were doing for Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Thanksgiving, Christmas….I miss them in much more of an abstract way these days; the desperate homesickness I got used to over the years seems to be replaced lately by acceptance that time passes so quickly, it probably won’t be long in the grand scheme of things before I am back in the fold and living life alongside them. (Hey, what’s eight years or so between friends?) But still, it would be nice to feel counted a thousand miles away, to say I love you and hear it back – and to know what they’re up to this very minute. And that’s why this post is so short. Because I’m off to find out.

What’s on your list of ‘home’?

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Bring on the summer (not)

English: Glass of rosé Français : Verre de rosé

Summer coping mechanism no.1(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shame. On. Me.

Life has once again got in the way of blogging. I was reminded for the third Monday in a row that I have failed to write a single thing this month by the arrival of my fellow bloggers’ weekly summaries dropping into my inbox, and decided the time was ripe for plonking my first-born in front of Jake and the Neverland Pirates to post something, anything before yet another week flew by.

So here we are. For the eighth year in a row the summer has arrived in the space of 24 hours and caught everyone by surprise at just how hot it is, again. Why is it such a shock every year? I feel caught in some sort of Groundhog Day-meets-eternal sunshine of the spotless mind moment and while my brain struggles to come to terms with the fact that it really is very bloody hot out there, I am also panicking at my laissez-faire approach to summer planning which has inadvertently left me with a 4 year old and nothing to do for fourteen days in the middle of July, during Ramadan, in 45 degree heat and 80% humidity, with no one around, while I am trying to churn out a masters degree.

Bad planning, yes. The road to crazyville, sure. But this year I am trying a different approach. Instead of going very quickly insane for lack of human contact over the age of 4, I’m going to attempt to attack the issue head on. This involves spending large amounts of money on trips to the aquarium, dolphinarium, soft play centre, aquaplay, little explorers, the cinema, ski Dubai and quite possibly the ice rink, and swigging copious bottles of water in the toilets instead of hanging out in Neros. Not ideal, but it’s the best I can do. Weekends will, as a result, not resemble anything remotely like family time, but instead be a combination of tapping away at the computer and taking child free time in a dark room while my troubles are massaged away to dolphin music and my face is recreated as a wrinkle free, stress free, pimple free masterpiece. (WTF is the thing with wrinkles and spots, ladies? No one told me that was going to happen)  Evenings will alternate between frantic deadline driven scribbling and light consumption of rosé wine at the golf club to soothe away the day whilst still being able to face the next one. My theory is, take one day at a time, throw money at the problem, find things to make the boy smile, work hard and fast to get the writing done, try to forget the bit where I am melting, and have at least one adult conversation every day.

It won’t be the perfect plan, I know. There will be days when I am sure me and my son will be screeching at each other in splendid isolation, and times when I wish the work would do itself so we can escape to the uk sooner than planned, and moments where i think i will go completely mad from heat and lonliness. But an evening swim can do wonders, and a night out with DH to celebrate Iftar will be something we haven’t done together in years, and you never know, ice skating might be fun.

And when all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Jake and the Neverland Pirates.