Nineteen days in not so sunny England and it feels as though all we've done is eat and drink in a nonstop round of being entertained. We came back after thirteen months with similar trepidation and anxieties to when we left, not being sure how we would feel. Would it be a marmite moment, love it or hate it. Would we hanker for the all the familiar things we know and love and would we want to slot back in to the comfort of doing what we had done before. Everyone speaking a language we understand, knowing what food we're ordering, trusting a dentist (more applicable to me after my luck with teeth) and a doctor, enjoying the social life and easy company of friends and family, films in English and all the other creature comforts of your own home. We certainly viewed England in a slightly different way and were able to appreciate it for a beautiful country. It was cold but bright blue skies that welcomed us along with the warm welcomes of family and friends. My parents had to put up with us taking over their house with our washing, shoes and clothes everywhere, using all the hot water and eating all the chocolate biscuits. But despite all that I know they enjoyed us being home and they gave us a most amazing Christmas Day on our last Sunday with all the trimmings, turkey, pigs in blankets, small sprouts (especially for novice sprout eater Chris), mince pies, crackers and the obligatory dodgy presents. Chris' being a badly fitting Mankini!
For several weeks before we came home we had to get dates in the diary to fit everyone in and, in hindsight, we really could have done with more time so next visit will be longer. Angela and the Payne family were amazing and gave us use of their home and also plenty of moral support. Chris was able to see all his kids and really appreciated the face to face time with them and catching up with what they've been doing and having some deep and stupid Conversations. I got all the news from my brother and sister and their families and managed to see all my nieces and nephews who seem to be growing up so quickly that I'm sure I won't recognise them when I see them next. So, Sharon and David, keep sending me pictures and updates on what you're all doing.
All of our friends seemed genuinely pleased to see us and all of them provided the prerequisite of plenty of food and drink. So much so that we went to bed every night with bloated tummies and more than a little drunk on most occasions. Time for some detox now here in Borneo. It was interesting to catch up with everyone's news, who's seeing who, who's living where and, of course, to do random spot checks on who had been reading the blogs. Top marks go to Anita!
The trip was mostly an exciting, happy time but it also reinforced our feeling about not wanting to live in England. I know we leave a lot of things behind so It was a really sad realisation that we don't want to stay and live in our home country and want to get back to our bubble. And I know the saying goes 'the grass is always greener' and we appreciate there's always a compromise but until we've covered some more of this planet and experienced what else there is on offer the search goes on for a little piece of somewhere that will be our garden of Eden.
Leaving home again and saying goodbye to my mum and dad was difficult after living with them for a few weeks and unfortunately we didn't get to see everyone we wanted to or organise all the paperwork we should have done. I know Chris also spent a few tears over his kids but Who knows, maybe the next part of the adventure, four months in Borneo, might give us what we are looking for and we can sort out more sustainable long term relationships