So, I’ve managed to survive my first month back in the UK. I’ve worked a lot, eaten a lot, slept very little, and spent too much money on things like food and drink which I could’ve done at “home” if you can call my bedsit that. But… I’ve given myself a break on that front. I’ve done more than survive, and as there’s no-one else to reward me, I’ll damn well do it myself!
So, how am I? I’m not sure, is probably the honest answer. I don’t miss Holland in the slightest. If I ever set foot back there again there will have to be a massively good reason for it. Esther? I suppose I miss her in some ways, but not many. Of our interactions since we’ve been in different countries (of which she’s instigated none) there is nothing to indicate that she’s changed. She lets things happen to her… no.. she ENABLES things to happen to her.. and then tries (and will doubtless succeed cos when she sets her mind on something.. she’s good at it) to blame herself for it, rather than taking responsibility for herself, and taking charge of a situation. It’s a pernicious way to self harm, insidious in it’s own ease of execution. She’s not the woman I either created in my head, or the woman she was. I miss that woman, but she either never existed, or has been so long gone that, much like a death, you learn to live with the passing.
As for here.. in Sunny Wolves… it’s actually good to be back. I’ve seen David, who I made the effort to see, and Chris, who popped up out of the blue and spoke, much to my surprise! It’s as grim as ever in terms of, people scowl rather than smile, but.. it’s just far more accessible than Holland for me and what IS me. There are several local pubs to pick from. Match-days pints are £1.80 a pint instead of over 5euro for 500ml so it’s viable to go out and watch the game and have 3 drinks and come home with change from £6! That makes social interaction, viable for the common working man. 3 different days.. 3 different games.. for under £20 expenditure! That would be about hmm… 57.60euro in the North End in Leiden. It’s actually cheaper in the one pub to have a full meal (big burger chips etc) and a pint than it is to have a guinness in the sports bar in Leiden, and it’s a 12 minute walk away!
Work.. is grim. Finally I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing but lack of sleep and a stupid set up there is impacting upon my performance. Stupid errors caused by lack of concentration might ultimately cost me. There is an argument that although the pay is good for the 4 day week, I’d be better off somewhere where the expenditure fiscally and timewise were less. But it would eat my Thursday and Friday..
And me? How am I doing? I’ve adapted. Only once have I thought “I can’t do this” at work, and not once have I thought “I can’t do this” re: the whole being divorced and continuing. I’ve found support in places I expected, like the Giff and it’s music.. the energy it gives me, and made new friends there already. Greeted by name.. means something. Danny coming over and saying “It’s good to have you back.”.. means .something. Si and Emma going out of their way to include me.. means something. But I’ve found it from other things too. A friend at work talking time out to talk most days. An old friend resurfacing and the startlingly easy way that our interaction just slipped back to what it was. The walk to the local shopping place can be done down a scenic route much akin to my old walk to the shop… heck there’s even a real canal if I fancy it. As of yet.. no herons.. or Ringnecks.. but lots of hedgerow birds, finches, siskins, chiffcaffs etc.. I need to take the camera one day while the weather still holds.
I’ll not lie. I miss coming home to someone. I miss physical contact. I’m hugely tactile and being in a house alone, let alone a bed alone, is not something I’ve done since Bright Street in 1995! It’s strange. It has it’s own pleasures… l don’t have to justify the pint on the way home I had. I don’t need to buy a TV. I can play the 28 min version of Child in Time without hearing the silent protestations of “Hells teeth is this STILL the same song” (and that goes out to everyone i’ve lived with. lmao) but.. I miss closeness. Lonely isn’t the right word. It’s an absence of something I want. Not require… but want. And it’s very very rare I want .. anything.
But for now, it is how it is. And it’s nowhere near as bad as what it could’ve been. And for that I thank me, you, and whoever rolled the dice that’s made it so.