Friday, November 13, 2009

Where's home for you?

Having had two weeks absence from blog I find it quite hard to pick up again; in the sense do I backtrack and discuss party, skate over a quick trip back to UK or do I just start back on daily life and ignore the two-week hiatus?

As blog is essentially a quite indulgent on line diary for myself I think I am going to fill in the blanks. Party was great fun for Simon and me, guests sparkled, drink flowed, and we had more than enough food – in fact I am planning another party just to get rid of the Coronation Chicken convention now being held in my freezer. The Drama Queens and their friends scooted round moonlighting as waitresses in between Halloween forays. It was a beautiful evening which was just as well as it meant we could push people out into the garden rather than reenacting the Black Hole of Calcutta inside. I always feel quite flat after my own parties – I think partly because it is such hard work in the run up and then it goes so quickly – but fortunately I didn’t have too much time to brood on various mysteries such as a) where have all our knives gone to, b) how come I hadn’t worked out that two separate sets of friends were actually related and c) who brought the bottle of wine with a label proclaiming the celebration of Jenny and Paul’s wedding.

I shot back to the UK last week for a quick trip, primarily to check in with my family. I managed 4 nights in England before boarding a plane back to Australia and any ambition to be a Qantas hostess has now vanished in the misty, bad tempered haze of jetlag made worse by the inevitable cold caught either from one of my brothers or on the plane.

Adrenaline kept me going in the UK although I was slightly alarmed to wake up at 12.30am in hotel in Yorkshire, standing in hotel corridor – fortunately I had gone to bed in my pyjamas, admittedly leopardskin but definitely decorous, as I then had to pad my way down to reception and explain that I was locked out of my room. I’ve never slept walked in my life before but given I come from a family of nocturnal wanderers who seem to have passed their genes on to DQ no. 3 who has a tendency to end up in wardrobes in strange houses, I am not too surprised.

I am not sure whether to be pleased or cross with the fact that the household ran so smoothly in my absence. Husband is now looking smug and announcing he has devised new systems (read new improved systems here) for dealing with laundry/shopping/packed lunches. However in a boost to my morale the Drama Queens have all individually slithered round me like Siamese cats, imploring me to take back control of Packed Lunch Central as apparently they don’t share their father’s passion for organic and wholesome.

The dog was sent to kennels for the week as husband declared that three children plus dog was beyond him. Didn’t like to say it’s frequently beyond me too.

As I flew into London I was thinking about what a strange concept home is. I’ve always thought of the UK as home but I realized having not having lived there for almost eight years there are lots of bits of it that are unfamiliar. I was perturbed to find I couldn’t automatically think what tube lines I would need to take to get to Charing Cross from Heathrow and was completely flummoxed by the concept of an Oyster Card. Though I know that within a week I would have slotted back into UK life it did just feel disconcertingly foreign. In contrast as I flew back into Sydney on a glorious morning, harbour and ocean spread out beneath the plane I felt my heart lift. Perhaps that is the definition of home – where there is an involuntary lift of the heart on arrival. However it should be noted at the time I was awash with patriotic Australian sentiment, filled with visions of fabulous outback scenery and rugged rural life having watched the Baz Luhrman/Nicole Kidman/Hugh Jackman film ‘Australia’, not once but twice, on the flight back (NB 22 hours gives a lot of time for repeated viewings of even the longest films). Before I sound too high minded about the glories of the Northern Territory scenery and Gone with the Herd type romance of this Australian Epic set on a cattle station, I should mention the highlight of a half naked Hugh Jackman tipping water over himself – quite nice to have a female equivalent of the normal girls in wet t shirts moment in a film.

Next drama on the horizon is the car seems to have developed an ant problem. My driving is becoming even more erratic as I flick and squash a seemingly unstoppable tide. This doesn’t come as a great surprise as the car is a traveling health hazard but I think it is time for reform – after all if we have ants how long before we discover we’ve got a mobile rodent problem?

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