I will soon be re-entering British airspace and am now getting just a teensy bit excited. Me and The Mighty Blighty go way back. In fact it’s my point of origin. And that fact makes me all warm-fuzzy proud and happy. It’s part of what made me me and a key part at that.
We have the perfect relationship. One enjoyed in close proximity for only brief periods of time; while the honeymoon period lasts and we still have fun together. Before the mundane kicks in. When away, I feel I definitely got the better part of the deal. When there, I recall what Blighty gets back from me thanks to the Inland Revenue and my previous employment (that’s in addition, of course, to the blessing of my birth). I, and other insiders, can acknowledge all the socio-political shortcomings of our island in our true-blue-self-deprecatory way. However, I am impervious to external criticism of the land of my birth unless it chimes with my already voiced opinion. What do others know, after all, of my first – and most – special relationship?
Here, I’m trying to resist simply making a list of all that I’m looking forward to during the fortnight I’m in England. I may yet fail – let’s see…Very swiftly, I’ll catch up with my neighbours as they have the house keys. That done, I’ll be in Colchester (my hometown) to survey the landscape for any new disasters committed by the local council. Then, I’ll go to the local grocer and cook up a storm. I have episodes of Strictly and other TV gems to catch up on while enjoying a hot cup of English Breakfast tea and Marmite on toast – maybe with a blanket wrapped round me to keep out any chill.
Another must is the whisky run to Grandad – there’ll be one of those and then a chocolate run in the same direction. I keep my fingers crossed I’ll see as many of my family and friends as want to see me. The ideal meeting point is, of course, the pub and there are two good locals I really want to revisit, preferably in good company. Other outlying villages with great hostelries can expect a visit, too. And London has to be top of my places list – I cannot be in England and not spend time there.
There’s so much to do and so many people to see and there’s never enough time, but there’s always next time -and that’s the joy in the pangs of a long-distance relationship.