I have not posted in a little while as my pace of life has picked up.
The weekend after my friend’s visited, James and I went back to London for a long weekend.
It was strange to go home. I was last in London before Christmas. When we first arrived off the Eurostar, it felt different. I could navigate myself around the station and on the tube – a route I know very well but it felt weird, as if, I was making a mistake.
We arrived at St Pancras and took the tube straight to meet some friends. That was, after I purchased some fabulous new black heeled boots at Dune because James suddenly decided while we were enroute that we were heading straight out to a bar to meet friends. Tapping in my oyster and watching all the people on the tube, I felt like a tourist. It felt strange. Had brussels become the new norm. Impossible. I have lived ‘on and off’ in London my whole life. I have taken the tube since I was a little girl. I decided it was my imagination working over-time plus the adrenalin of being home. James did not understand my excitement about taking the tube. He is a expert expat.
Was it the late night McDonalds Drive Thru that made me feel like I was at home?
Was it was laying down in my old bed with my three giant poodles cradled on top of me and squeezed in between James and I.
James and I spent the weekend together and apart as we caught up with our families and friends. When James lived in Vienna, I had the perfect mix of time with my boyfriend, time with my friends and family. When James came home my friends understood that I wanted to spend time with him but often he would either join my friends or I would join with his friends. For us, it worked well. We shared our time together with family and friends and when we were in Vienna, it was “just us”.
Our weekend at home was rather hustle bustle. We were up early each day with a full-on itinerary of family and friends. We partied for three nights on the trot. We were exhausted. It had been a while. James declared himself dead as he took the Eurostar back to Brussels on the Sunday eve. By Monday evening, I was looking forward to returning to Brussels and I hoped to catch up on sleep.
Things never go according to plan. I am cool with that.
So life did not quiet down. James was working long hours. I had job interviews, French lessons, volunteering and tutoring. For three jam-packed days. Until James and I decided to escape and drive the six and a half hours to our nearest ski resort for another long weekend away *mini-break*.
A little tip for expats: When I moved to brussels, I put aside a little box that lives under my bedside table of my London things – my English wallet (things like my valuable Waitrose card, Boots card, loose change etc), my passport, travel documents, my parent’s house keys and my Oyster card. Having these items safe together means that when preparing to go home or away for the weekend, it’s easy. That is if you remember to grab it all.