Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The colours of my mum's garden
My stepdad's stock phrase for my first day was "we mustn't get used to this", not in reference to the glory of my presence and an accompanying sense of doom at my eventual departure, but in reference to the fact that England had ripped out a series of uncharacteristically sun-drenched days. It would have been all too easy to imagine that this might be the nation's new natural state... It's not - today we have returned to grey and distinctly damp. Panic over.
I'm halfway through my first week here, and just coming round, I think. Nine months seems both long and short in an odd way. I arrived at 5.40am on Saturday and came through the arrivals gates to a vision of modern parenting - both my mum and my dad (26yrs divorced, but still great mates) waving frantically with one hand and filming/photographing my arrival on their respective phones with the other. Hilarious given they both subsequently confessed they have no idea how to send or upload said photos once taken.
It was a relatively quick drive back to my mum's place in Somerset in England's South West. This is proper countryside, people. You'll note the photograph from my previous post... I may have missed the Pig Races on Friday night (I can only hope they hold them more than once while I'm here), but I found in the paper a couple of intriguing events on Sundays: Meat Bingo and the even more worrying Fresh Meat Bingo. If anyone can suggest an explanation as to what these might involve, I will bring back my winnings for you should I manage to attend such an event.
It can fly a little close to a very English version of deliverance country round here. The local paper publishes full listings of the outcomes of court sessions including the full name of defendants, their crime and the sentence they received. Name and shame at it's very best. So I'm doing my little bit to shake things up. So far I have walked across muddy fields in an outfit that screams 'out of towner' - large red sunnies and flouro green wellington boots with pink lipstick kisses all over them. And I flustered the Lady at the Minehead WHSmiths by purchasing myself the latest issue of DIVA (lesbian magazine) with the proud headline 'The Sex Issue'... I do believe she blushed. Credit where credit is due - they had the magazine on the shelf. It's a good start.
Anyhoo, so jet lag... a devious companion. I thought that after nearly nine years of making this journey at least once every 18months I might have the whole sleep pattern and strategies for dealing with it sorted out. And it was looking good for the first two nights; pushing through to stay awake until 9pm and then 10pm. Admittedly there's nothing cool about waking at 5 or 6am if you don't have to work, unless you're about to take a ride in a hot air balloon, but I got the full 8hrs each night and was building up to the sleep in... And then day three turned me into an emotional sack of sleep deprivation, tears and weird hunger patterns. My parents must be thrilled to have me around ;)