As the time nears for my annual return to the UK I’ve started to think about what I’m looking forward to. It’s not that I’m unhappy here, the opposite is very much the case, but with the trip only a month away, what lies ahead features quite regularly in my thoughts.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise that the number one thing I’m excited about is the prospect of not dripping with sweat all day every day. Even today, when the weather has been relatively cool with a breeze blowing, the high humidity means that I have dripped sweat on 3 of my unsuspecting students as they tried to paint butterflies this afternoon and been told that I “look very wet” by another.
It’s not just being sweaty though. There’s something quite delightful about the temperature being low enough that you can snuggle under the duvet to go to sleep – a luxury I’m only afforded on the odd occasion I get to stay in a hotel with AC.
I’m also pretty damn keen to be able to just turn on the kitchen tap to fill the kettle, rather than relying on bottled water for everything other than washing the pots. Even though my drinking water is right next to my kettle, I still occasionally find myself caught in a Pavlovian response pattern of pick up the kettle, flick open the lid, turn on the tap and fill. Just a month no until I’m living that Pavlovian dream.
It’s going to be great to see my family again. I had the joy of mum spending a whole month with me this year which was wonderful, but has only served to make me miss her more since she headed home. And as for my sis and her beautiful daughters – it’s just been far too long!
Then there’s my friends. Long giggly lunches will hopefully be the order of the day when we meet up once more after varying lengths of separation.
I really miss travelling by train. The minivans and coaches that are the main option for longer distance travel here are great, but there’s something magical about a rail journey that I’m excited to experience again (I can hear my friends who are regular rail commuters uttering profanities at this point whilst checking out mental health inpatient places with space on my return!).
And travelling by train means I get to spend time in some of my favourite places, namely train stations. Where’s everyone going? Where have they been? Why are they here? Hours of people watching pleasure at my disposal.
Whilst I know I’m blessed to be surrounded by the beauty of tropical greenery, I have to say I’m excited to see the red of a field of poppies and the blue of the cornflowers once more. And if you could just throw in some freshly cut grass smell that’d be great too. I’ll just pick myself a fig off mum’s tree and bask in it all.
So there you have it. A few of the things I’m looking forward to. Check back tomorrow for part two when I address the other side of the same coin.