Am I the only person who gained a newfound appreciation for my home country only once moving away from it?
I think the saying is true, we don’t really know how much we miss something until we no longer have it. And this point couldn’t have revealed itself to be more true than during my recent trip back to visit my parents in Northern Ireland.
I use to think that the little town I grew up in had nothing going for it. But actually it has quite the opposite, it holds my most cherished childhood memories, from my first day at primary school to the day I left for university, it was the place I was a child, the place where I was brought into this world. And I will always be thankful for that. Northern Ireland, in such a contrasting way to my parent’s experience due to The Troubles, gave me an overall safe childhood, filled with an eclectic range of memories, from my 12 year old self racing snails on makeshift race tracks I caught in the local park to my awkward yet endearing coming of age self throwing the bizarrest of shapes at school prom nights in cold Decembers.
I used to think I was from a quite a quiet place but with time my perception has changed, I’ve came from quite a peaceful place. That the smell of manure infiltrated my lungs making me wish I didn’t have a nose at some stages, yet now, I see it as a welcome home sign, a pleasant change from more polluted places.
To be clear, I’m not trying to say that I detest city life, if that were the case I wouldn’t be living in a city. Infact I like living in a city because it makes me appreciate the places I visit when I’m not in the city even more if that makes any sense!
Do you have an appreciation for your country of birth?
I’m returning home for a short stint of rest and recuperation tomorrow, which normally means gorging on copious amounts of chocolate until someone shoots me with an insulin pen while drowsily watching yet another round of ‘Saving Private Ryan’. My dad’s choice btw, who I’ve no doubt will be out for the count before the opening credits are up.
This thought reminds me that I don’t go home enough. If you, like me, have spent considerable amounts of time away from your hometown, it feels weird going back. Why? For a reason I just can’t put my finger on. Everything is I guess, familiar in appearance, yet strangely it just ‘feels’ different. Well, at least it does in my case.
Northern Ireland may be a small place geographically, but I’m proud to have come from it. What other country hosts an accent so childlike one second yet so abrupt the next? What other place mentions their links to a ship that sank so proudly?! What other country sets the scene for so many epic moments of the Game of Thrones saga? Which reminds me, did I tell you about the time I signed up to an extras agency in Northern Ireland and oneday received a text message from a member of the extras casting team? Put it this way, the reason you’ve never seen me in GoT is because £400 isn’t going to buy me a realistic enough wig after shaving all of my hair off for one of their scenes. That was pretty much the offer you see, would you shave off all of your hair for £400? Maybe you would, but I wouldn’t! I’d probably have went through all of that to get 2 seconds of camera time and even then it would be of the back of my patchy shaved head! Yes, I know, I’m a glass have full kind of girl.
A change of scenery will be good no doubt, not that I don’t like London, but twisting the phrasing, a break away from sweaty bodies in tubes and overpriced milk won’t be such a bad thing I don’t think.
Well…..off I go, hope you have a great weekend where you are.
As I wipe a tear from my eye each month as I watch more than ¾ of my salary fly out the window towards the cost of renting here in London, I ask myself – is it all worth it?!
This matchbox size of an apartment, does it really warrant the equivalent cost of a very expensive bottle of Brut annually? I think not. On a salary so low I’ve considered donating a kidney and a neat little portion of the liver to the black market, I have no choice but to rent.
I’d love to own my own home there’s just no feasible way I could afford to buy a property outright. And it seems with the way renting is going, savings will quite simply a foreign word for the next decade of my tender life. But before you pack away your violin too quickly, I’ll give you another reason why renting is the bane of my life – the landlord!
Yes you thief of the night, if you’re reading this please note that I love the fact that you send your builders round at the crack of dawn to fix blinds I requested fixing months previously. I love how you put the rent up year on year despite the conditions of the flat deteriorating daily! And last but not least, I love how you walked in on me while squatting on the loo and proceeded to tamper with the fire alarm and ask me how my day at work was in the process. Ahhh renting, don’t worry, you’ll never be alone, your landlord is practically your flatmate! Who’s only nice to you when you hand over the remaining entrails of Mr. Piggy.
All I can say is – please God, let me win the lottery soon!