Sunday, July 12, 2009

at home

It's strange being at home, it's hard settling in, with being a mother, but at the same time being my parents' daughter, fitting into their routine. I'm missing the husband, and of course Emm is missing her dada. It's strange being in my home country, in the lush country side, everything so green, I think it's greener than Ireland at the moment! I chose to live in Ireland, and not at home, for good reasons, but on a nice day, a leisurely day, it seems mad. There's such a strong network here, of neighbours and friends and family, I know it's partly why I moved away, I felt suffocated and fenced in, but at the same time, I miss it when I'm in Ireland.

Everything here seems so nice and well looked after, I missed several turns when driving around town, because many streets don't look like streets any more, no tarmac and sidewalks but everything paved or cobble locked, with flower beds and potted trees to calm traffic. I kept thinking it's somebody's driveway! But of course on a weekday I see the price that's payed for having everything picture perfect, an awful lot of work and money goes into keeping everything looking so tidy. I was talking to my brother about herbs I have in my garden. He asked
'Herbs? What for?'
'Cooking of course, it's much cheaper and fresher to grow them, rather than buy them'
'But all the sachets and jars already have herbs in them already!'
'Oh, do you use them often?'
'Yeah, of course, do you think we want to spend half an hour every day cooking, and chopping herbs and mixing it up ourselves?'
' - '
'We wouldn't have the time!'

I was really surprised. His wife is a stay at home mum of two little boys, and I thought she'd have lots of time. But that's the thing, healthy food, or 'slow food' is just not a priority for them. Food is made quickly and eaten quickly. It takes a lot of time to keep the house clean and super tidy, and the garden, too, and she does a lot of DIY home decorating projects. So different to us, we try to keep on top of the house, and do the projects that need doing, but we spend lots of time on cooking and eating, and we buy good quality unprocessed food wherever we can. And I'm glad we are able to live our lives that way, making time for meals and getting some time to ourselves rather than 'trying to keep up with the Joneses' when it comes to garden ornaments and polished windows.

Also, my family here hardly ever go out just the two of them, or my brother with just his family, all the leisure time goes on outings with 'the circle of friends' and the football club, and the neighbourhood, and the extended family (or getting the house ready to receive same). So much more couple and family time for P and me...

Being an expat is great in a way, I don't take anything for granted or feel I have to do something because 'it's the done thing', I always have the other perspective and can pick and choose from two cultures!

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