I do feel rather Australian but when people talk of beauty my heart is most definately not here but in Britain and Europe. The wild flowers, twitch and trill of birds, green green meadows, bluebell woods, postman pat villages that I'd loose myself in and end up in Stratford-Upon-Avon (what the!?). Going for a drive with my family as a child on a Sunday arvo and finding an old farm house complete with work field and pigeon house out the back. Dating 1600 and something.
I miss the richness of history, language, food, diversity and feeling of European countries and their ancient, ancient places. Some of them shocking me with feelings of spirituality or history or connection of family.. I'm not sure which.
I miss Jersey Royals. I miss Jersey milk. I miss real Haggis. Rugged magnificence of large rivers meeting and making place names. Rummaging in the wilds and scrumping.
I miss Spanish driving, honking my horn at whatever and offending no-one. I miss hitching up our clothes and walking in the shallows for sandy miles to get to an island castle at low tide. Watching for days in Spring as the buds almost shake with anticipation on the cherry trees and finally burst open. The snowdrops peeping through the snow. The bank of daffodils in Spring at Easter time. I still love that wretched scent.
I miss German Christmas markets with the man yelling "Lecker Lecker" selling roasted chestnuts. Watching wide eyed as we attended Semana Santa and saw the resurrection float being carried by a crowd of men down the streets of Cuenca. Realizing we were the only non-Spanish, non-Catholic people in the whole town - magnificent!
I miss stinky, locally made cheese. I miss the distinct change of accent with a half an hour drive in any direction of Birmingham. I miss my feet being on soil that my ancestors walked. I miss family pub lunches and baltis. I miss the National Trust. I miss that awe inspiring moment of approaching Toledo with it's castle walls intact and very much a part of the city! The adventure. The stone cottages with thatched roofs in the village of my birth.
I don't really have that feeling of being in limbo anymore. It lasts for years and years. I'm sure all first generation immigrants feel the same. I've almost mastered the art of NOT rolling my eyes whenever I hear, "wow this place is so old it was built shortly after the first fleet arrived". My brain automatically inserts interesting history here.
Have I had a good old whinge?! Nope, just said how I feel (well except for that last bit!). I still think this is the best place to bring kids up. I like it here but do miss alot of rich and wonderful experiences from my younger days. I'm very very happy that I can sit here enjoying every burst of remembrance.
Speaking of remembrance. Here's what's been on my mind all week. This special weekend.