Archive for the ‘Exile’ Category

Excess Luggage

I feel quite bad that I’ve neglected my poor Budgie lately. Things have been rather busy since our return to the green pastures of La Perfide Albion.
Let me recap a bit as some of you might have missed an installment in our adventures, and this might be because I haven’t written about it yet in these pages. I started my teacher training at the end of January, two weeks after Ed lost his first job in Canada. Things were difficult and tense, not exactly the way we envisaged them. Our undying enthusiasm started wavering at this point of the journey, but we were determined to make it work, maybe so not to see all of our precious efforts there go to waste.

Sabrina (foreground) and Carla

On the 20th of February, I was sitting in the most entertaining anatomy workshop. In between the ankle joint and the metatarsals, I turned to my friend Sabrina and whispered ; ‘I think I’m pregnant’. Sabrina’s face was suddenly illuminated by her unique smile. Sabrina is Swiss German and aside from being a dedicated yogi, she’s a caterer, a surfer, a snowboarder but above all she’s the mother of two beautiful children. She was really excited by the idea and motherhood and pregnancy are among her favourite subjects.

That evening I took the test which immediately confirmed my suspicions. The following week, Ed and I had a lot of thinking to do: fast. His new job situation was precarious, I had no status in Canada, and hence no health insurance. After a couple of days of deliberation, we came to the wise conclusion that we had to head back to England. At the beginning we felt that we had been forced to give up ‘the dream’. Gradually though, as we were planning our return back to the UK, we started realising that the excitement was building: we were going to see our friends and family again, get married, eat good and affordable food, have more sunshine, but most importantly we’d have our first child, and that beat ‘the dream’ everytime.

I finished my teacher training with heavy pregnancy symptoms, helped by the reassuring words of Sabrina. A week after graduating from yoga school, we said goodbye to our friends and the wonderful yogi bunch, and took a plane back to England.

My story and I stand with it, is that Ed paid excess luggage fees because of that can opener that he refused to leave behind. I sneaked in a third passenger in the tiny pouch that had just starting showing. Women just know how to pack and that’s all I’m going to say about this!

England felt incredibly sweet and warm after months in rainy, cold, expensive Vancouver. My first trip to Waitrose could have been produced by Disney, as I walked along the aisles, eyes wide open like Alice in Carroll’s classic. When you’re a foodie in North America, all the bravery in the world won’t make up for all the pleasures lost.

Soon enough, we were able to meet and speak with our friends and this made home feel like home again. Three weeks have passed since we left the shores of British Columbia and we’ve had action packed days. We’ve moved temporarily into Ed’s parents second house in Essex, and we’re planning our wedding, going to doctor’s appointments, and looking for jobs.

Last week I saw the third passenger for the first time, in black and white swimming around his tiny pool. It was possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. He gave us a thumb up, signalling that everything was fine in his little galaxy.

Life otherwise has been weirdly bucolic in this corner of the English countryside. Each night we’re going to sleep to the sound of an owl and each morning Jumbo, the nasty and neurotic cockerel, sings his almost mechanical tune incessantly. The never- ending bird saga in front of our kitchen doors is comical and has replaced TV. We’ve seen new-born chicks, but also Bumble the dog running away with a chicken in her mouth and being chased by Jumbo, we shower the white ducks from time to time with the hose. We go for walks with Bumble to see the foal and his friendly mum in the adjacent field, and we feed them carrots and parsnips.

Also I’m cooking again after weeks of morning sickness and this is probably the most amazing kitchen I’ve cooked in. Next week I’ll spend a week in Normandy by the seaside at a friend’s place and when I return. we’ll finish the wedding preparations and if Jumbo keeps on harassing our duck friends, it will be coq-au-vin on the menu.

Friends here often ask us how it feels to be back. Even if everything is still temporary and we don’t know where we will live next, things seem easier. Our Canadian escape made us appreciate all the good things here, and we’ve come back calmer and more grateful, and for that it was worth going, that and the excess luggage.


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