Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Life So Different

Here in New Zealand I'm starting to write this post at 0530 on Sunday the 4 November.  In Scotland it will be 1630 on Friday 3 November and by the time you have had a night's sleep I will be thinking about Sunday dinner.

There is so much to tell and so much to read that I could spend the day in Blogland but realistically it will be a while before I can catch up.  Today will be spent re-adjusting to my Antipodean life: a life so different in almost every way from my life in Scotland.  Today I will empty The Cupboard and put all my Things where they belong and the wardrobe, chest of drawers and cupboards will no longer be empty, the study will have all my paraphernalia in it and The Cottage will once more be My Space instead of being either unoccupied or someone else's space.  Today I will catch up with my friends here and back in Scotland.  Today I will go into Napier and get some odds and ends but really I will go in to feel the wind in my face with the lid off The Handbag and to see what changes have taken place since I was here last - it is only 6 months yet already I have seen huge changes.

I arrived back in Napier just before 5pm last evening to 23℃.  After having said hello to The Cottage and The Handbag I went up to The House and we all had a swim in the pool (water 31℃!) before some time in the spa (water 39℃), a shower and then up to The House to catch up and have dinner.  Conversation ranged from catching up with all our foreign trips to current topics of interest ranging from the impending US Presidential Election to gay marriage and Scottish Independence. This was not typical of an evening back on Lewis!

At around 1030 I wandered back to The Cottage in pitch darkness happy and tired, got into bed put the laptop on my knee and fell fast asleep. After about an hour I woke - still with the laptop on my knee - and horrendous cramp in both feet.  Oddly I notice that I had excruciating cramp first night back in bed here last year.  After that I slept until I was woken by a great deal of noise at around 0520.  The dawn chorus being led by a blackbird about 2 metres from my head (but on the other side of the wall, of course).  Despite the clear sky and thus the 7℃ of the dawn morning I threw open the ranch sliders and listened: blackbirds, thrushes, tuis, bell birds, pukekos (they don't have a song but their screech can waken the dead) and every other bird in the area seemed to be celebrating the new dawn.  Tweny minutes later and silence reigned - almost.

This morning, though, I have had to make a conscious effort to chill and just take things as they come.  I'm writing this sitting in bed, on my third cup of Earl Grey (note to check if there are lemons on the trees in the orchard - it's handy having a 5 acre 'garden' - and, if not, get when I'm out).  I'm sitting in bed because the temperature in The Cottage is probably around 16℃ and for indoors that's cold for me.   Here we tend to put on more clothes, in Scotland I just turn up the central heating.  The telecom cellphone signal has disappeared and I've spent ages sorting out the changes to my cellphones, computers and so on necessitated by the semi-permanent change of home. Everything is different from where I keep things to my 'favourite' mug, my clothes, my eating habits and just about everything else.  It has always been thus when changing from one place to another although the real difference is that here I have to re-establish myself because everything was put away so that The Cottage could be let whereas when I return to Eagleton everything will pretty much be as I left it when I walked out last Wednesday afternoon.  In the scheme of things though all this is small stuff and as Marcel taught me years ago I try not to sweat the small stuff.

So without further ado I shall post that which I have written so far and I shall try and post some photos and some more about the journey and so on before bed tonight because by tomorrow it will be croquet and my New Zealand life will have started in earnest.

18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Jaz. It's good to be back.

      Delete
  2. Good to know you've arrived safely. So... A whole day off before you get back to croquet? You're spoiling yourself... ;) 31°C in the pool sounds good, 16° indoors not so much though!!! Good luck with the readjustment to NZ routines (although it sounds like you're pretty much back in them already)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's odd, Monica, how difficult it seems to be when I think about it and how easily it all happens in reality after a day or so.

      Delete
  3. So good to be back in the same time zone .. Looking forward to more news
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fi. Hopefully I'll be back regularly blogging immediately.

      Delete
  4. Sounds as if you will be all settled in back "home" in no time.
    Glad that you have arrived safely with no lost luggage and no serious jet lag.
    I think the serious cramp is your bed's way of welcoming you back..haha.
    Take your time to ease back into your Napier lifestyle, after all Rome was not built in a day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Virginia, today at croquet I played well despite not having held a mallet for 6 months. Tomorrow it'll doubtless be as though I'd never been away.

      Delete
  5. Welcome back, Graham. Sounds like you are settling in quickly and easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pauline. It's going well so far.

      Delete
  6. That swimming in 31C warm water and the spa at 39C makes me soooo envious!!! And I have not heard the beautiful song of the blackbird for a while now, and won't again until sometime next year.
    Those cramps in your feet are probably normal after such a long flight, although you did well in getting some exercise on coming back by going for a swim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that you are correct Meike in that the swim really gave me a new lease of life for the evening even though I'd had little sleep since leaving Scotland.

      Delete
  7. You lead such an other-worldly life, and one which I find myself quite envying, GB...

    Glad you are touched down safely.

    Fhina.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Fhina. I'm very conscious of my good fortune: I'm not sure which of my lives is the other-worldly one though now.

      Delete
  8. Welcome home Geeb. I hope the croquet goes/ is going well today. Looking forward to seeing you this summer. If not before, Aftermas is 27 Jan this time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Katherine. Croquet did go well. DV NP you will see me this summer. The 27 January is now in my diary: I'm honoured.

      Delete
  9. I am still charmed by the idea of chasing a perpetual summer. It's fascinating to hear about your adjustments to the "other" life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny. Chasing perpetual summer when part of it is in the Outer Hebrides can be a bit like chasing rainbows at times though: great when you see a complete double one.

      Delete