I know, I’ve skipped a bit.
I haven’t written about the whirlwind and excitement of getting home, seeing family and friends and being swept away with all the reunions and 'welcome home' drinks.
Nor have I talked about building our yurt (a post on this is coming soon, believe me, it deserves it)
I’ve gone straight to the moany bit because it's real and writing is therapy. Also, I was too busy having fun to stop and write about it (and our laptop needed a service...)
Having been ‘home’ for two weeks the main questions are:
1. "What was your favourite country?"
2. "What’s it like to be back?"
Well, there is no concise answer to question number 1 and the answer to number 2 is complicated.
Initially, being back was immense. Having just been us four for fourteen months, being metaphorically cuddled by a huge community of people was like lots of Christmases coming at once.
The warmth of our welcome was overwhelming- places we knew well seemed comforting and familiar. BUT we weren't stopping. We were just passing through before bounding onto our next adventure! Yay!
As you can probably guess, those initial feelings have subsided.
The yurt is built but not not yet habitable.
Mike is in Wales, digging drainage trenches and sanding the floor- whilst friends are installing water, electricity and a composting toilet.
I know I was overly optimistic to think that we’d have a home almost as soon as we got back. Of COURSE infrastructure takes time! I know that! Things take longer than you think they will especially when you are building a home in a muddy field!
It's like my optimism has rendered my years of festival work useless.
We’ll get there, I know.
For now though, I am with the children in my parents' warm and welcoming flat in a suburb of Bristol, trying not to think about where we were 3 weeks- or 3 months ago. The thought makes me feel sad, like the anniversary of a loved one that has passed away.
Simultaneously I am outraged that it slipped by so fast and racked with shame that I am in the thick of something that COULDN'T BE MORE of a First World Problem.
A travel hangover after a 14 month round the world trip with your family? Darling, It's a cross we must all bear. Like Bi-fold doors and babysitters being late.
We are safe and warm which is more than most people in this world. We have options, beautiful memories and shelter- we know we are lucky.
This new life we want to build for ourselves in Wales is like nectar though, magically subduing our wanderlust. Then I remember Finn's new allergy and the realisation that my gorgeous dog might not be able to join us. This tars the picture I had in my mind and feels like a kick in the guts.
I am jealous of Mike grafting in Wales whilst I stay here, impotent and looking after the boys. I am crocheting baskets for the yurt in a bid to feel ‘useful’.
Between shouting at the boys to stop fighting/ jumping/ playing on their iPad and writing lists to occupy myself- I remind myself that they are missing their Daddy too and we all feel unsettled so should be kinder to each other.
Just have the Ipad, boys.
The children are bored.
A walk to the local park seems pointless and laughable after the places we have been. It doesn’t even seem worth going when we know it won’t hold our interest.
That's not the attitude though, is it?
Despite everyone telling me that coming home would feel shit, I was so excited about seeing our people and building our yurt, that I didn't believe them.
So I kick myself up the arse and take the boys out in the sunshine to cycle around the old airfield. Our yurt will be ready soon and if it isn't, I might accidentally book us all something on EasyJet.
Other yurt blog posts:
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