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"I've got friends in low places"

Written on: Thursday May 3rd, 2007

A journal entry from: Canada 2007

People often ask me what I miss most about the UK. 

Funny question for me since I spend most of my time getting on planes to leave the place (or at least plotting to get on planes and leave!)  I can reel off an entire essay of things I'd be glad to see the back of...

But yes there is stuff I miss.  I guess the answer to that question divides into two catagories.

1 - Stuff I wish I had around me but which I can happily live without:

Marmite; Proper cups of tea; Eastenders; the Sunday papers; weekends in London; local pubs; the wealth of history and culture available (say what you like about the state of the UK but we have that in spades).  And of course there really is nowhere like England - it's like the rude, elderly, relative who smells a bit funny but has so many eccentric quirks you can't help but be fascinated by them.

2 - Stuff that defines who I am:

My friends and family.  You've grown up with me, spent important years with me, seen me at my very best and at my very worst (and still manage to love me!).  I know whatever mood I'm in there will be at least one person I can turn to, to keep me grounded and sane.

I know I'm always riding off into the sunset of one adventure or another and sometimes slack at the whole communication thing while I'm caught up in the moment but I miss you all like crazy and think about you all the time.  In an ideal world I'd take you all with me (you know I can't stay in one place for a long period of time - itchy feet...) but life leads everyone on different paths so that's impossible of course. 

So I've had to accept that wherever I go in the world I will be saying goodbye to and missing someone - the upside of that though, is that I'm always close to someone I care about and making new friends is also part of growing as a person and eventually they too join the ranks of trusted and loved friends (plus twenty first century obsession with the internet and communication means you're never really far away from anyone).

Strange but although Canada is an English speaking, modern, affluent country with all the creature comforts of the UK (even Marmite!) it's here that I've felt the biggest need for my friends.  There have been days where I've wanted so much to see someone (different people for different times) that I've been on the verge of tears because I can't just go down the local for a pint; or sit on the sofa, my belly aching with how hard I'm laughing (how is it old friends still manage to do that too you?) or simply get a hug from someone who just knows.


Bottem line, I miss my family and friends.   Dad told me that out of the 3 of us, I was the one who always got homesick the quickest.  But the learning curve from being by myself (putting my big girl pants on, building that bridge and getting over it) is massively important and that's what keeps me going.  Plus like I said, there are new people in my life too, who are fast becoming important parts of my world.  People who've cried with me, laughed their asses off with me, danced on tables in bars with me (oh yes) and spent the resulting mornings-after together in sick sympathy with me.

 "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
- Anais Nin