Every project gets to a point where you have to wonder where things are going. I feel like I’ve come to a crossroads with this diary – I can’t call it a blog, it’s never acted like one and it still isn’t following the blog rules. I’m not entirely sure, these days, what its purpose is and so I just wait around until I have something to say, and sometimes that will be three things in one week, and sometimes it will be one thing in three weeks. I suppose, as a family, we have come to a crossroads of where we all are, and that is throwing shadows over everything else that we do and making us all question our time here in Sing, and making me question this blog.
I seem to be getting feelings these days, rather than ideas for postings, and I wonder if it’s a halfway house thing where you’re at a junction so your brain can only take in snapshots of instructions for what to do next. Writing this thing should be easy, I have lots to say: I have a bit of work, the course, busy family life, travels, news from home keeps me on my toes… But still I can’t think of anything more to say than to post snapshots, because it is only the image of an idea that I seem to be able to get hold of, and such images are the things that are flavouring the days and the weeks. So I take them on board and try to process what they might mean.
I’ll be honest, I do think about going home, especially on bad days. After 15 months plugging away at the expat game the one thing I can be sure about is the word ‘home’, a tricky concept that I struggled with at first. To me it hasn’t changed a bit, my real home is still London, and that’s a huge sign in itself. But it’s not that simple, as life never is. It’s not that I don’t adore it here – we are on a roll, to be honest, chugging away quite nicely. But I look at my watch now and then because I know the clock is ticking. It’s still a clock with no set alarm – we don’t know when the buzzer’s going to go, but we know one day it will.
What about this thing, then, this diary of mine? Since I’m not new any more there are fewer topics to post about. Life is more normal and there are bad days as well as the good ones, and those days remain private because who wants to read about the rubbish stuff? (and given all the upbeat, fluffy stuff I post on here, I suspect none of you would believe in the bad stories for one minute).
The good days, these days, are not so much days but more like snapshots, little vignettes of pure happiness that I want to bottle and market, and the snapshots remain in my mind and I can bring them out and savour them whenever I want. Here are three that I’ve enjoyed in just the last week:
1) I’m on a beach in Bali. It’s that simple. The air is hairdryer-hot, there’s the kind of salty sea breeze that you remember from childhood, and the sea is warm. That’s it, end of image.
2) I am standing on the side of the football pitch watching SmallMonkey’s team battle it out on a hot, wet Saturday morning. The other parents around me are the kind of people I want to take home with me when we eventually leave. I have found true friends. That is all.
3) I am in a good restaurant in a leafy enclave with a friend and her ex-teacher. He is helping me with my Peranakan course. I know my own father would love to meet him. The food is amazing, the chatter comes easily – it is a good day.
There is nothing more to say about these three snapshots other than the fact that they make me feel happy, grateful and very secure.
When this course ends in January and I get my life back I want to wind things down a bit. In taking on a project that I thought would help me learn more about where I was, I have ended up having no time to enjoy that very thing. I can’t wait until I can make discoveries and assessments of my own without having to write a paper and then discuss it all in front of my fellow students. Perhaps that’s why I have nothing but brief images left. I hope I get a chance to discover things in person before the bell goes. At least when that time comes I can take my snapshots with me.