Navigate our site
My friend’s son has just come back from 5 months of backpacking with four friends. They called themselves “The Barely Backpackers” and their route consisted of New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam. Two of them have […]
Anybody out there got 80 days free from May 9th to 27th July next year? If I can find a way to arrange for my children to fend for themselves then I’d join in – the kids could just fly […]
Honestly - being a parent is the worst job in the world. Sometimes. When there are things to worry about and difficult decisions to make and trust me, I have much to worry about. But. There is always a silver lining. For example, I am deliriously happy to have my firstborn son back in the country so that just for a minute I am not worrying about what he is up to in South East Asia. However, now that we've had a chance to catch up he tells tales that would make your toes curl. He just seems to be regaling one scary story after another....."but mum, why do you think I didn't tell you at the time? You would have FREAKED OUT for the whole rest of my time away" (next blog post - be warned). He is not, quite, "back in one piece". He is a little bit broken here and there. At the hospital, when the nurse asked him what he'd done to break a bone in his foot he simply shrugged his shoulders and said "not really sure - I just woke up in the morning and my foot was really hurting"....I did suggest that perhaps if anyone else asked him he could make something up but he said "mum, all I need to say to anyone who's been there is 'Full Moon Party' and they understand". My brother sent me text the day my firstborn son arrived back from his Gap Year travels:- "How is the prodigal son?" "A bit smelly and covered in jelly fish stings and infected mosquito bites and a broken heel bone which meant we spent all day at A & E once he'd got off the plane"... My shiny white product has gone off out in the world without me and made a little bit of mess of himself round the edges. I guess that is to be expected. He looks great actually. All typically traveller-esque (he's not as yet looking any wiser or indeed saying anything very wise - but maybe if you go to Thailand for too long all those wise thoughts get zapped) - goaty ish facial growth, many wristbands, flip flops, desire to walk about in bare feet, long hair, you know the sort of thing:-
It's 6am and I'm about to go off to the airport to pick up my son after 5 months away. Strange. I can't wait to see him and give him a massive hug and take the time to note those small inevitable changes in him as a person that occur inevitably after such a massive life experience. Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand again....how will those countries have seeped under his skin? No, I don't mean through wounds and sea urchin spikes and the warnings of tattoos that I've heard some of his mates have got and It won't be difficult to note the larger changes - he's got a plaster cast on his leg and will be on crutches, so I should be able to recognise him. I mean the actual character building, personality shift changing experiences. We'll see. SO. Enough musing. I don't have time. I've got to go. Get him back really quickly so no time for delays because I have work to do. Then take him to the hospital. Then a million things to sort in a hurry. Have to be vague for the time being. Have to talk about the weather and try not to worry too much. All my children were coming with me to the airport. They are hugely excited - especially my youngest child. He's missed him. He was going to make a big white sign with his name on - like the drivers do waiting at the arrival gates do - which I thought would have been really funny. But. In reality, now I come to wake them up I'd say the odds have dropped to 50/50. "Do you think it would be better if I stay here and make breakfast?" said my daughter sleepily from her bed.... It will be strange for him to be coming home after such a long stint away. My brothers did it all the time, flying from the UK to Hong Kong for holidays - I did it less, until I was 17 - and it always takes some adjustments and you have to manage doing WTF you like with living back at home. On the upside it's always so lovely to come home to those familiar faces, smells and your own bed. How long will it last before he is wishing he was in Ha Long Bay and I am complaining about all the washing? I will not complain. I CAN"T WAIT. Off now. First to reawaken the others.
I made a spectacularly good impression during my exercise class this morning at the posh club. Full. Of. Mirrors. Realised as I started teaching at the front of the class that my trousers were on back to front. Which is always a good look for the teacher. I'd put them on in the dark this morning so missed out on the finer detail. Nothing I could do but carry on as if this was the height of fashion and what everyone should be doing. I did turn the lights off though ... made it as dark as possible. Yes, as my friend Expat Mum says I will have to blame it on being distracted because my son has gone off on his gap year now. I checked to see whether we were "friends" on Facebook so that I would get his updates - yup. Saw a couple of jokes I liked from his friends. Quite sweet really - one of them said "jury's out on this joke - only 50% of people seem to get it". Well let me assure you (unless of course it's just me) that when you get a bit older and a bit more cynical you'll get it straight away:- and the other one I liked was this "Growing Old Disgracefully" one:-