Monday, June 30, 2008

Homeward bound - with complications, of course

I'm packing for my trip back to England. "Gannin' yem" as they say on Tyneside. It's quite hard to pack for almost a month, given that for the last two years it has been hotter then Hades and the two years before I thought we'd been diverted to Siberia. One never knows. It would help of course, if the kids would leave the "ready to pack" pile alone. I spent most of the weekend picking out decent clothes for them, washing and ironing them, and generally being very organized. This morning elder son came down in laundered pyjamas, and the Ball & Chain dressed the little one in the outfit from the top of his pile. Grrr!

As usual, we have the requisite medical emergency that flares up just as we are leaving. This time it's loud ringing in the ears of the queenager. I took her to the doc last week and there's nothing in there. Since everyone's allergies are really bad, doc suggested trying an anti-hystamine for a week. Apparently that's not working and it's all my fault. So now I have to try to get in to see a specialist before we leave. And while I'm at it, I'll be teaching the pigs at the zoo to sprout wings and, well, you get the picture...

Oh yes, and the Ball & Chain has gone out of town till Thursday.

So I'm going to practise deep breathing, remain completely organised, not worry about the kids lying around watching TV and picture the following:

- ham and pease-pudding sandwiches, preferably in a stotty (Geordie bread to the uninitiated)
- decent cheese, ie. anything crumbly that doesn't look like an orange brick
- beautifully merchandised shops like M&S, Boots etc. I don't necessarily buy anything, I just wander round taking in the sparkle
- decent fish and chips, with vinegar
- light, summer evenings, preferably spent with grown-ups or children who are off in the distance
- the view of rolling hills from the end of my mother's driveway

OK, feeling calmer already. Now where's that to-do list.


  1. When we lived in Germany, I used to look forward to coming home to Britain. Of course, the time always flew past. But we had the chance to stock up on things we couldn't get in Germany at that time - such as baked beans, chocolate biscuits, cereals, peanut butter. We used to get our fix of fish and chips and British TV, then return to Germany, refreshed for more encounters with bratwurst and sauerkraut!! I hope you have a lovely holiday.

  2. Teenagers - they drove me to my last post. And why is it that, when you try to get organised ahead of time, everything conspires against you? There's something to be said for leaving it all to the very last minute and ironing it all when you get there. If you still feel the need to iron it by then, that is.

  3. Almost forgot - have a nice holiday!

  4. I know it's so difficult to pack for an entirely different and unpredictable climate. I live in the UK and I never know what to wear from day to day in the summer! We go to the States for a month in August and the good news is it's always hot there! Once you get on the plane, have a nice glass of wine, you'll feel much, much better. Have a good trip!

  5. Have a fabulous time EPM. And enjoy some cheese, chips, and bread for me. I won't get any of those until, oh, at least Friday when I give up on the diet...

  6. Have a great time. I read the list of things you were looking forward to and can completely appreciate them, especially the view of rolling hills. Nothing beats the brilliant green English countryside, with many gorgeous flowers.

    Wish I could give you a good steer re: the weather but you know better than I that there is no such thing as an accurate forecast.

    Welcome home!

  7. oh enjoy! But the ironing story! Shocked. The last thing you want when you've ironed something is for some wretched person to wear it! (this sentence is NOT said with irony but with deep sincerity)

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  9. You have a wonderful holiday, and we'll try to give you some "British summer" - of the nice variety.

    Seriously, I KNOW how nice it is to go home for awhile. You enjoy every minute, and I'll watch out for you at the chippy and Marks & Sparks!


  10. Enjoy your holiday! I know what it's like with those illnesses. Our daughter is of course developing something today with a high temperature just in time for our trip home....

  11. I never knew how much I loved Boots until I moved to the United States, I have to admit! And don't even get me started on cheese...

    Have a fantastic time back in the homeland!

  12. And brown ale, you gotta have some brown ale.

  13. Hugely jealous of the trip home, but as the sun's come out here, that's helping the homesickness. Enjoy that great mature cheddar. I've found some Coastal at Costco that's keeping me going! Don't forget the Branston and the Pimms & lemonade filled with orange and cucumber slices best consumed in warm weather under a willow tree by the side of a babbling brook.

    Have a great time. xx

  14. Ahh Fish 'n' Chips!! How I miss that!!
    Hope you finally get to pack and have a truly wonderful time expatmum!! :)

  15. As you know I am up to my eyeballs after my own 'special delivery' arrived from Blighty today! So just in case I miss the big 'caio' - have a safe journey and a great visit :-)

    Oh and eat about 300 bacon butties with HP sauce and curries for me please :-)

  16. Packing and all the other prep is torture, I agree. Definitely let the kids watch TV. And eat sweets. Aslong as they're out of your way!
    p.s. Don't forget to stock up on PG Tips and Marmite while you're here.

  17. Looking forward to seeing you in God's own country :)

  18. Have a lovely lovely time! You know, you can buy just about all the things you miss now, like teabags and chocolate, but you can't buy "England" can you? The people, the scenery, the humour, the rain. Ahhhhhhh, I'm feeling nostalgic now and will have to grab a curly-wurly from the fidge.
    ps: if you see Margaret Thatcher, please give her the finger from me.


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