Sunday, August 04, 2013

Longing For Blighty

It’s been about 13 years since I last lived in the UK, and I left, at the tender age of 18, feeling like I was glad if I never saw the place again. I felt stifled, unaccepted, a lost soul searching for its home. I was determined I would never go back, remember I was only 18 year old, those decades when everything is very black and white.

So I felt till I was about 26 – 27 years old, the time between I’d lived in Southern Spain, where I had been accepted and learnt to accept myself. I began to miss Northern Europe, and then I went to Sweden for a year, I missed my family in that year and longed to move back to my parents, so I went to Belgium to where my brother lived and the tingle began.

Belgium wasn’t really for me, especially living in the village with lots of retired people. Its a lovely country, filled with culture, chocolate *wink* and copious amounts of very good beer. You can read about some of my Belgium experience in a previous post, focusing heavily on the chocolate. Hehe.

Back to my point! I began to think that I would end up moving back to the UK, I started looking into places to move to, the south coast and Devon were I was focusing my attention. Then I met my husband, subject of other posts, feel free to read those as well! We met, I moved to Norway, my life course changed once again and the idea of moving back to Britain was pushed aside. We got married and I thought that somehow that would make Norway feel more like home, and it did for a long while, or at least if not home then a comfortable place to live. Like a hotel, I suppose, without the cooked breakfasts and the maid service. But even a hotel eventually loses its charms and you just want to go home.

We went back for about 10 days in May, it was lovely, we had a wonderful family holiday in the Norfolk Broads and even just visiting Norwich was like coming home. That’s when the ache really set in, it was like visiting your parents, everything was easy, understandable, dare I say it stress-less. Of course, when your visiting the UK from Norway in 2013 its like winning the lottery, everything seems so cheap compared to Norway and so shopping, of course, ensued! Its not a rare occurrence, my last two visits to the UK have incurred extra heavy suitcases for which I’ve had to pay. Oops! I suppose that some of the feeling comes down to that holiday sensation.

In my imagination, I move back to Britain, to the Lake District with my husband into a large house in the country. He either has a job with his company here in some aspect there, or works from a Norwegian company with offices in the UK. I’m either a receptionist for a large Norwegian company with offices there, my books has sold enough so that I don’t actually have to leave the house to work or I have a nice little job in the local bookshop/library. We live close enough to my parents for my mum and me to have coffee one or two times a week, and near enough to a large city so that I can feel my city-slicker roots. In my imagination its like every cliché about the English village ever imagined. I know that if we moved back it wouldn’t be like that, even in the best case scenarios, life is life wherever you go and stress and problems are never far behind.

It would be so nice to be somewhere and feel like I truly belonged, although after 13 years of living outside of the UK I don’t know if that’s actually possible anymore. It would be nice, (oh ye gods, I’ve used the word I love to hate twice) it would be so lovely to just fit, or at least to feel like I had the chance. So that’s my conundrum, how to stop feeling like this? Or how to convince my darling man to move? (Not possible) Another one would be how to live where I am and be content?

I live in a beautiful country, filled with amazing, dramatic countryside, with straight- talking, quiet, simple people. Where the economy is stable, if expensive, where I have lots of wonderful friends in a loving community filled with other immigrants like me. I have nothing to complain about, I just feel homesick to the extreme. Well that’s my therapy session done. Till next time.