Tim Minchin has done it again. Made the perfect song.
This time for Christmas and Expats.
But I must backtrack and apologise for my silence these last few months with no new blogs on Jump Overseas. I am sure you will forgive me, since I am sure you can empathise having had the upheaval of moving countries yourself. It takes a lot of energy. And time.
Also, this last move has been repatriation for me that has meant it has been twice as hard. There isn’t quite the same level of excitement of exploration. There are ‘home’ expectations, whether real or imagined, that freeze you into a sense of despair. And for me, this has meant that I needed to take two steps back from this blog as it was making me miss my previous expat life all the more.
With any move it is very important to live in the present and look to the future. I am trying to work out what that means to me right now. It might mean that this blog gets parked to a side as I focus on where I want to go next within myself.
Now my children are settled at school. In fact over the moon with their new schools, which is a huge weight off my shoulders. Though every week we still have fun observations about the differences in life in England to previous locations (France, USA and Switzerland). Neither child has lived in England before even though me and my husband are British. And they are learning about the way to do things here. Picking up new hand gestures and mannerisms. And I don’t mean the rude one! Though I am sure they will come in time as we head towards the teenage years. It’s little things like how you hold your hand up in class - pointed finger (France) or full hand (England), how you show you think someone is acting crazy - tapping the side of the head and saying ‘tock tock tock’ (France) or moving your finger in a circular motion at the side of your head (England).
England is also the first country that has switched wall sockets. Ah-ha! So that is why the phone didn’t charge! Yes, my eldest now has the smartphone. They even have a ‘bring your own device’ into school policy here.
But the biggest hit is the huge number of events that happen on the run up to Christmas that involve the kids. Well, that is kids who are into drama, music and dance. My new hometown has a very active community with a ‘Living Advent’ running every night from 1-24th December. This involves a live ‘surprise’ performance that appears from behind doors for 30 minutes at 6:15pm in a different location around the town. Great fun, except the timing is tough with kids who are also quite run down with school and dark nights. There are also the school plays to attend, which are fun versions based very loosely around the christmas stories and nativity. At least at my girls’ school which is community rather than a faith school.
But today is the last day of school and we are all looking forward to 2 weeks break and having lazy mornings. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope 2016 brings you much joy and adventures if you desire them! Staying at home reading a good book however is also high on my list of priorities!
Having had a year of upheaval I am ready to be a bit more still for bit… but I am sure the travel bug in me will leap up again once I have re-energised and got over all the new area germs that are inflicting me and my family in constant rotation.
Tim Minchin is an Australian Expat Musical Genius who wrote the West End top musical “Matilda” that I highly recommend treating yourself to tickets to watch if you are ever in a big city with it showing - I believe that is London or New York right now.
If you buy this song from iTunes before February 1st and all proceeds go to the National Autistic Society.