These past couple of weeks have been busy. The summer months are draining in more sense than one, and I for one can not be happier that autumn is soon with us. Autumn means shorter days, cooler weather, less humidity and better moods. C’s mosquito bites can perhaps finally start healing and my hair will be more presentable and less all-over-the-place. Trousers can finally start to be tolerated and it’s earlier bedtimes for all of us! Yes, I’m pretty happy the summer months are coming to an end.
Like I said, we’ve been busy. We are preparing for our first proper and complete winter on The Rock. We’ve never stayed for more than 3-4 days every 4-5 weeks, so we’ve got some adapting to do. One thing I won’t miss from England is the terrible cold, but then perhaps thanks to that awful chill-factor I won’t feel as cold here as I used to prior to moving to England.
In the meantime we’re winding down slowly. After the flooding rain we had a couple of days ago, we packed up our outdoor table and chairs, and the barbeque has been used only once or twice since. C’s summer shoes which were too big in June are now barely fitting her – she was a size 6 in the beginning of summer and is now wearing an 8! We can now enjoy watching films at home during the week instead of ‘having’ to go out as we do in summer. C’s bedtime is slowly moving back to her winter schedule and we have begun thinking and talking schools, nurseries and winter activities. I spend every other day drooling over winter clothes online and end up getting frustrated when I find I can’t order and have them shipped here to Malta. It sometimes seems as if we are stuck in an ancient rut.
But I’m not complaining about Malta. Thanks to us being here now, I have started to enjoy my friends again. These past couple of weeks I have met up with my oldest and dearest friends, and although one of us went through a terrible ordeal and experience just days ago, we managed to meet up for old time’s sake, and we laughed at forgotten episodes and cried over recent ones. There is something so reassuring about meeting up with friends ten years or more down the line, and still enjoying their company. We were a small group, we all had our place within it, and today we still fit in just as we did then.
I’ve enjoyed my ‘newer’ friends. We’ve had occasion to meet up with drinks and partners (and now children) and it beats sending a message every once in a while through Facebook or email. I’ve still to meet some special friends, and appointments have been set up for the coming days. Nothing beats a good chat and laugh with someone you know who gets you and doesn’t stare at you strangely at some silly thing you say. I don’t have many close friends, but the ones I have I’m blessed to call my friends. A post written over three years ago comes to mind. It’s still as valid now as it was then, and every word could have been written right here and now.
C is joining in on all this fun. She’s been to three birthday parties and is off to another one this afternoon. She is no longer the same girl she was back in April. She is now much, much, much more confident and bubbly, and my fears that she was not used being around other children her age, is now an expired thought. She’s a strong girl with a very strong character and a million times more hard-headed than I am. She knows which buttons to press and she knows what she wants. She drives us up the wall one minute and has us in tears of laughter the next. She sings like a drunken old lady and her vocabulary is growing at an explosive rate. She’s my tall, wild-haired, brown-eyed toddler who still loves fiddling around with her/our ears when bed-time is near, and who ‘reads’ books when the lights are out.
That last part is all me 🙂
So all this, all these words are just one reason why we came back. It’s hard seeing the positive at times and somehow today’s troubles always seem bigger than yesterday’s. At least for me they do. But I then read a friend’s sms, or see a picture another friend posted on Facebook, remember the episode and I smile and laugh.
Perhaps I had never truly realized how much I missed my friends while abroad. In a way I’m thankful that I didn’t. I was allowed to meet new people and share stories and episodes with them as well, and more than anything – enjoy them. But bumping into friends while walking around town, having a two-hour coffee with a friend whenever you want to, or hearing someone call your name from across the street?