Happy to be back
It was a strange few weeks for me in England this year. Strange because *looks around and whispers furtively*, I enjoyed being there.
Quite a lot.
I know. What a shocker. Usually, after about 10 days in the UK, I start dreaming about my flight home to Dubai; my usual dinner-party joke is that my favourite bit about being in England is the day I leave.
But not so this year and, as you can imagine, I’ve done a lot of thinking as to why I enjoyed it so much this year (aside from spending time with mum, of course). I think there are two reasons:
1) For the first time since 2006, my visit actually coincided with a splendiferous heat wave, which meant I didn’t have to creep around in fleeces and thermal socks begging mum to turn on the heating. England in the sunshine is a different country to England in the drizzle, and we did so many wonderful things.
2) I spent a bit of time with a clutch of gorgeous ex-Dubai friends who’ve moved back to Blighty and are, much to my amazement, loving it. TwinsMummy, ex resident of Garhoud, was kind enough to let the children and I stay in her rambling Cotswolds stone villa and gave me a little taste of idyllic country life in picturesque Chipping Campden. It’s all so different to life in Dubai, where everything is fast-faster-crazy; big, brash, bling and, frankly, quite exhausting.
Anyway, these things added up, I suppose, and, while I didn’t feel sad about leaving the UK, my usual enthusiasm for packing and leaving was notably absent. Even as we drove from Dubai Airport to our villa in the bright sunshine this morning, I couldn’t summon up much enthusiasm.
But, after a jet-lagged day spent unpacking, things changed at sunset when I opened the back door and stepped into the orange glow of a hazy Dubai sunset. You know that magical time when everything’s bathed in gold?
The light of the setting sun glinted off the pool, and the air smelled of hot vegetation, frangipani, jasmine and hot chlorine (I love that smell). I breathed it in and thought… yes, Chipping Campden is beautiful… but, honestly, I really am glad to be back.