Monday, April 16, 2007

Laundry and Expat Blues

I have piles of laundry. My eldest son goes back to school today and I have masses of laundry before that event can take place. He arrived home the day before we left for Florida with all his kit including trunk and tuck box. All that stuff has remained in the front hall fermenting for the past three and a half weeks. Last night when we returned from Cornwall, I approached the trunk with great trepidation. He sat on the stairs and watched so he could tell me whether the kit would be needed at school this term! His next comment was, 'I can smell it from here!'

The odor of adolescent boys socks filled the fetid atmosphere of a hot London house that hadn't been lived in for three weeks. The aroma should be bottled to kill off opposing armies!

Today begins the slow return to normal. I am happy to say the sun is shinning. All the off-spring are tucked up in bed and a feeling that all is normal is returning. With that comes the huge tasks ahead of me. Finishing A Cornish House is the high point to look forward to in the next day or so. The low is the knowledge that we are moving and don't yet know where. Once in my life I looked eagerly to each transfer but at the moment with the sun shining in London I can't think of another place I want to live other than my home in Cornwall.

This is the joy and pain of expat life. The problem was that although the company treated this as just another move - coming back to London was returning home. This happened once before and it was was brutal then. Leaving home is not the same as leaving another international posting. You know in your mind that you are on borrowed time in some foreign locale but back in the UK roots start to find their way into the soil and it hurts when they are pulled up.

Hence why the elder two kids are ensconced in boarding school. They are both at an age when ripping them out and changing schools every few years isn't fair. But then my soul yells what about me...I miss them terribly and yes I say this with a long bickering car journey from Cornwall still clear in my mind.

So back to smelly laundry and to unpack from Florida which is just a distant memory. Why haven't I unpacked yet.......well, we had to go to our home in Cornwall so once we landed and hit London I became a fierce animals herding the troops into the car and straight down without a chance to think. I knew once settled into the house in London they would never get out the door again and our beautiful home beckoned........

Enough rambling.........back to normal soon before the packing crates start arriving :(

15 comments:

Jessica Raymond said...

Good luck with the laundry, Liz! When you say moving, do you mean leaving England, or leaving London?

Jess x

liz fenwick said...

Thanks Jess. The pile is beginning to diminsh.

Unfortunately it looks like leaving the UK!

NoviceNovelist said...

Liz I'm impressed that you are still writing with everything that is going on in your life. I hope the move goes well - as a belfast born, aussie raised girl living in the UK I can relate to your feelings on roots. It's a tricky one - good fodder for writing though. best wishes for it all. Your hol sounds brillant! Take care

hesitant scribe said...

Ooh Liz, are you emigrating? How exciting. Daunting and terrifying but very exciting too! Do tell more!

As for returning from holiday - nightmare! Just can't get back into the swing of things at all!

JJ said...

I can relate to your anticipation, angst and stuff.

Bangkok was our first overseas job, but I'm sure the novelty of starting over again, AGAIN, can wear thin.

Will be thinking of you and do let us know where it will be.

JJ

Jen said...

Oh my goodness! Where will you be transplanted next?

I think homes feel more like homes when you have children... it's so much easier to be a nomad without them.

Sending hugs and a peg for your nose

X

liz fenwick said...

I am hoping in the next two weeks to know where we are going. Just broke the news to the eldest today. He's fine and thinks of it as an adventure but is old enough to realize what a pain in the butt moving is :-)

liz fenwick said...

Thanks for the peg for my nose......smelly gorgeous teanage boys!!!

At least we still have the little chick with us :-)

Nell Dixon said...

Oh, Liz. I really feel for you, with the move, the laundry and the teenager.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Ouch, I can smell that laundry, feel the pain of your uncertainty. Very evocative writing, Liz, if that's any help. I hope you get to go somewhere life-enhancing.

Lucy Diamond said...

Sorry to hear about the smelly socks and impending move. Moving is very unsettling, even when it's through choice, let alone having it thrust upon you. Hope you can take comfort in your nearly-there triumph of finishing your novel.
And keep us all posted. xxx

Jessica Raymond said...

Oh, what a shame -- I hope maybe you can stay for a while longer.

Jess x

Lesley Cookman said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog, Liz.

I'm so sorry about the posting. When will it stop, do you think? Years, yet, I suppose. So we won't see you at The Savoy? Or Leicester for the conference?
Shame.
Lesley x

liz fenwick said...

The Savoy and Leicester are safe for this year but things may get tricky depending on where we are by the end of the summer........

Kate said...

Oh Liz how exciting but disruptive. Hope that wherever you are heading proves to be a dream destination - and plenty of fodder for the next book!

Kate x