Tuesday, July 02, 2002

This is my response to my friend’s question about living in a strange land:

I understand your predicament completely and most of the thoughts you are having are completely normal when faced with a decision like this one. Remember when I decided to head for London I was single and for the most part my decision had been well and truly made before Ian and I ever got together so I think I can speak without bias.

Well, living in another country for a long period of time, what can I say? It becomes home. You start to love things and can't imagine you ever lived without [pubs/channel 4/BBC/long light filled summer evenings/the lakes/the peaks/Sainsburys/H&M/World Cup playoffs/Newcastle United FC/trains to London/cheap flights to anywhere in Europe/pints etc] you miss home less occasionally, you romanticise about home less and things take on proper perspective, you realise that out of all the people you knew as friends [different degrees of course] only a core circle will actually remain with you for life and that this is not a bad thing at all, you make new friends from a healthy place and you realise people like you for who you are and not cause you work with them/go to church with them/live with them etc. You gain a new dimension by simple virtue of having lived in 2 countries, 2 hemispheres and 2 diabolically opposed time zones. You learn the history of your adopted home which helps make it feel more like home and to be honest I reckon this all helps to make you smarter!! Well, at least a little more interesting...

Every day the sun comes up you sense it is not quite the same as what you've spent 30 years thinking a sunrise was, trees and flowers look and smell different, people are different but completely fascinating [even that Geordie bloke on Big Brother this year who you love to listen to] and everyone has a completely different landscape to your childhood but thankfully, at least the music is the same.

C x


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