So it’s happened, I’ve arrived in England after two and a half months of horrible waiting. That’s it, I’m here. I’ve tackled long distance love, terrible Skype calls, atrocious reception, overwhelming sadness. Amongst this I’ve crammed in time with family, a cross country Australian road trip, a hundred new adventures. I’ve packed my life up into one little carry-on bag, I’ve boarded my first long-haul flight and I’ve come halfway across the planet. And here I am.
That basically explains my slight absence over the last week. What can I say? It’s been a seriously busy time for me, and Barefoot Beach Blonde has suffered. But fear not, because I am now back on the ball.
So how’s England? So far, it’s cold. I struggle in the waking hours to find much else to focus on or make sense of. When I spend my mornings, afternoons and evenings brainstorming ways to keep myself warm. Inside it’s fine, socks are key. But outside, layers become transparent as arctic winds rush through my body cutting my warmth into tiny shards of ice. I am not a cold weather person, of that much I am definitely certain. My own mindset is limitation enough, without a recently diagnosed circulatory issue that seeks only to make things more difficult. To my body, each limb is merely an additional section easily cut off and abandoned. Think of the rocket taking off and blasting outside of the earth’s atmosphere, gradually shedding the pieces it considered non-essential. Such is my body’s way of thinking about my arms and legs. Blood seeps away from toes and fingers as fast as I can replace it with layers and warm beverages abound. I am in a constant conflict with this confused circulatory system of mine, and although my strategies might be beating it in the short-term, it is an unrelenting warrior.
Other than that, England is pleasant enough. Out where I’m living away from the hustle and bustle of the city it’s all quite provincial. Green is dulled under grey skies, but it’s still there, and the people waddle around bundled up in coats and hats. Its hard to see people’s faces like this, and I’m not used to it. Everyone becomes a little lacking in details. Two eyes, a nose and a mouth peek out of warm layers, and I have to draw my usual people watching conclusions from only that. Of course inside is another story, and within the warm embrace of supermarkets and shopping centres I get a glimpse of the English in their natural habitat. Not that surprisingly, they’re not much different from Australians. Only devoid of that beautiful sunlight that perhaps keeps us so upbeat.
When I open my mouth the looks I get make me immediately conscious of my accent, invisible until this moment. It is odd to stand out in a country full of people who look just like me, especially after living in Indonesia made standing out obvious. But everything works out just fine, and after just a few days being settled is finally a reality. I even manage to unpack my bag, a feat considering it has been continuously packed and repacked for the past year. It’s in a corner now, like an empty husk of my previous adventures.
I don’t know what comes next, but for now I’m happy with a charming Englishman, and the whole of the United Kingdom, and beyond, to explore!