Homesickness & Appreciation

Writing

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?

 

Never Leave Your Luggage Unattended

Writing

Thieves walk among us! Not just the kind who nab an extra straw at McDonalds, oh no, I’m talking the type who’d steal your laptop and passport as you sit cosy on a coach about to head off to the airport. This is exactly  what I’d feared had happened to some poor soul several weeks back when I was travelling to Northern Ireland for the bank holiday.

 

Sitting in the coach ready to head to Luton airport, my sister next to me pipes up “she’s just taken someone’s bag!” In disbelief I  shake my head and tell Rose not to worry, just as I do this another man warns “I just saw a women take someone’s luggage” and with that my eyes widened as I rushed down the steps of the coach hoping that both my sister and the man were incorrect.

 

As I look into the holding area which opens up to the side of the bus I see that our bags are still there, with the threat of the same potential disaster happening again I grab my bags and sprint back upstairs towards my seat at the front of the coach again. Where was the coach driver all this time you ask? Well it was only at this stage when I’m trying to get my bag upstairs that the driver appears from the front of the bus and threatens me by saying noone is allowed to take their luggage upstairs it’s against the health and safety regulations. I proceed to say to him safety regulations got someone’s bag stolen. The whole time, once letting us on the bus he was having a smoke at the front of the bus watching time pass by, therefore he wasn’t keeping an eye on the luggage held in the side compartment of the coach. He didn’t shut the side of the luggage hold leaving it exposed for anyone to take our cases as we’re none the wiser above in the coach seats.

 

It’s funny how he’s in the wrong a) not keeping an eye on the luggage b) leaving the luggage door wide open, yet threatens me that “this bus is not moving until everyone puts their bags back in the hold.”

 

I reluctantly returned my bags to the hold and demanded he shut the door. The rest of the journey was rather tense as no sooner had he shut the door than was he racing down the motorway. Someone was potentially in for an unfortunate shock once we arrive at the airport I thought to myself.

 

Why I think a bag was in fact stolen:

 

Asking my sister what she saw it appears that the luggage  was indeed stolen as oppose to the situation being where a mistaken traveller who realised last minute that they’d got the wrong bus quickly grabs their case with no hesitation.

 

But that’s exactly my point, if the bag did belong to the person removing it, who may have accidentally got ready to board the wrong bus, would you really be that swift to remove your bag, would you not take a second to make sure you do grab your case and not someone else’s. By all accounts the person had no hesitation when walking passed the bus and grabbing the suitcase.

 

Leading on from this, my second point, if you’d just mistaken the bus wouldn’t you be standing around scratching your head a bit, checking bus timetables, checking your ticket? Not walking briskly towards the train station?

 

Thieves target cases for electronics, and valuable gifts you plan to bring back to loved ones. Taking your bag could mean they take away your chance to visit your friends and family or visit that destination you’ve always wanted to see if your travel documents are inside, as a lot of times they may be.

 

We didn’t stick around once at the airport to see if our worst suspicions were proven true. All I know is never leave your bag unattended. If you do, tell drivers to close the doors to your personal valuable belongings instead of turning their heads the other way.

The Land Of Ice & Fire – Northern Ireland

Writing

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.

Developing & Losing Fears

Writing

I never use to be afraid of flying but as I prepare to fly home to Northern Ireland for Christmas, suddenly the meat sweats start materializing all over my body and I gulp that little bit harder.

To me, it’s just something about being trapped in a tiny little tube 30,000ft up in the clouds with nowhere to go but physically downwards which gets me all clammy all over. But the weird thing is I never use to be this way.

They say alot of fears are formed through triggers, bad experiences in the past which you now associate with the thing you fear now. I think back in my memory bank to a possible time when I lost my faith in aviation, flashbacks ranging from mucky microwave meals onflight to screaming babies ring a bell but surely neither of these would result in me clamping onto the Easyjet seat for dear life.

My brow furrows some more as I go further back in time, I’ve got it. It was the time of the storm. Heading back to university in Bristol, UK,  on a miserable January evening, it was dark, windy, kind of like that scene out of one of the  final destination movies. No sooner were we up in the air than did the plane decide to embody all things rollercoaster, or shall I say fighter pilot. One second the metal tube was shaking like a frostbitten child the next it was plummeting like an Olympic diver. I thought it was the end.

Women were screaming, babies were crying, I swear one old man had a heart attack. Let’s just say you know sh*t hits the fan when the trolley dolly falls into the empty seat beside you while knocking over the hot coffee on the cart in the process. She sprinted to her seat so fast after that, she would’ve made Usain Bolt look like a tortoise, believe me.

The plane continued to wreak havoc on its inhabitants for what felt like a lifetime but must’ve only been the WHOLE damn journey, totalling 50 mins! I almost had to seek counselling after the event.

So there you have it, I’ve developed a fear, like allergies, they can be developed, and like allergies they can be lost. So I’ll make it a goal to lose the fear and become fond of flying once again.

What’s your biggest fear?