It is a truth universally acknowledged (even in secret) that there is nothing worse that other people’s travel photos, except perhaps other people’s travel stories. So as much as I am tempted to mark the end of our grand adventures abroad with an endless parade of photos and a stream-of-consciousness piece about the joys of frolicking around Europe for two months, I’m going to restrain myself. I’m going to pretend that we’ve just bumped into each other:
You: ‘Oh, so you’re back. Did you have a good time?’
Me: ‘Yeah, got back last Thursday. We had the best time ever. Honestly, it was just fantastic. We…’
You (eyes glazing over, hatred mounting): ‘Oh. Great. Oh look, I have to go… (rushes off)
|Jetlag, what jetlag?|
We ate, we drank, we caught up with old friends and made new ones, we laughed, we walked miles and miles, we watched my beautiful niece marry her lovely partner, we read thousands of stories, did oodles of colouring-in and dragged the Small Girl away from every playground/carousel/toy shop/ice cream merchant in greater London/Paris/Berlin/Hong Kong. Every now and then, just to make sure I remembered how, I cooked. Or at the very least I pottered around in a strange kitchen, enjoying the novelty of it all.
|Kreuzberg, Berlin, August 2013|
Best of all, I got to do it with these two. I won’t pretend that there was never a cross word between us (and, I do admit that on day two, crippled by jetlag and the sudden switch from 9C to 33C in temperature, I did think, ‘what have we done?! This is a terrible idea!’) but we actually had a ball. Aren’t they great?
Now though, it’s all about channelling that holiday love into catching up with normal life. I’m certainly not expecting any sympathy, but it is REALLY hard returning to the daily grind. I feel like I’m acting out the lyrics in that Talking Heads song:
“And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!”
I can’t use the jetlag excuse any longer but I am still not match fit in the kitchen. Tonight I made sushi that would make Jiro Ono cry, while yesterday I decapitated a silicon spatula by absentmindedly sticking it into a running food processor. On Friday I made my first loaf of bread in two months and forgot the salt. But, like the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I’m getting there. Slowly.
In the meantime, what I’m really dying to hear is what you’ve been up to in my absence. No, really, I am! What’s the best – and the worst – thing that’s happened to you in the last two months? Fill me in!