Friday, 1 July 2011

Back to the future

I'm home in the UK at the moment. I flew over last weekend without my hubbie, who can't get leave until next week. This isn't something I'd usually do - I had a special reason. On Tuesday, I went with Mum and one of my best mates to see the glorious Take That live at Birmingham Villa Park. It was an incredible night. As ever, they put on a brilliant show, full of theatrics and energy. And seeing all five of them together again was stella. But, I digress.

Yes, I'm at home with my parents now, with our little boy, but without my husband. It's not great.

Firstly, they have taken my son over. This is great for a couple of days while I get all the sleep I need and enjoy the novelty of being able to read the newspaper, but after that, it rankles. Yesterday, we went to a wildlife centre, and I always seemed to be 10 steps behind them, looking like the older daughter, not the mother of the little boy in the buggy. I know I sound ungrateful, but I AM a grown up, and I DO look after my son day in day out, often alone, when I'm at home!

Secondly, I'm regressing. Going to Take That hasn't improved matters, of course (I feel like a teenager again whenever I see them) but I do feel like I've somehow been transported back to 1994. Suddenly, I'm a hormonally challenged bean-pole once again, sans driving licence and dreaming of something more interesting than a daily routine of hanging the washing out, emptying the dishwasher and going for lengthy walks in the countryside for the rest of the day to avoid having to do any more housework. Back then, I dreamed of the bright lights of London (where I eventually went to University, and lived there for more than 10 years). Cripes, I'd have thought my life now was exotic and thrilling. Which it is, really. Unbelievably, sitting here looking out at my parents' gorgeous English garden alive with all things summer, I'm pining for our villa, which is caked in dust and baking in 45c. After all, that's our home, mine, our boy's, my husband's. Our family's place. Not here.

Which makes me think of the women I know who've decided to move back to the UK, leaving their husbands to live alone in the sandpit. This short spell home has proved to me I couldn't do it. Staying here doesn't feel like a positive step forward - it feels like a step back. Living with or near my parents, as many of these women are choosing to do, for childcare reasons, would drive me (and my parents) bonkers. We love each other, but living that close would drive us crazy. We all need our space. I need to be independent.

And that feeling that all I've fought for over the years - my career, travel, living somewhere that challenges me daily - I'd lose it the minute I moved back.

Nope, moving back to the UK without my hubbie is a complete no-go. I'm staying put, thanks very much. Plus, it's apparently summer here in the UK, but I'm freezing! Brrrrrrr! Take me back to where the sun shines brightly, take to where the sea is blue...

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