I’m feeling a little bit odd…

I am feeling just a little bit odd at the moment.

It is a feeling of my life somehow being turned upside down. Normally I would say that was just because it is exam time at the moment and I feel like this every year. I always get nervous for my students and always a little bit uncertain if I gave them quite enough teaching to prepare them properly.

But this time I don’t think that is it. This time I feel much more unsettled. I think it might be the appearance of blue barrels in my home and the emptying of shelves. Both are indications in that in almost exactly twenty days time we leave LAMB and a few days later leave Bangladesh.

And we won’t be back again this year.

That feeling is very, very odd. This place I have known as home for the last three years will be empty or filled with someone else using it for a while. Our cats and pet birds will be looked after by someone else. My piano and guitar given to others to use. The Tobla, Sitar and other instruments packed away.

At the same time we’ll spend the summer in a country we have not taken a summer rest in since 2005 in a totally different house we’ve not even seen yet and won’t be doing the

work we used to do meaning we will be re-discovering who we are in Britain.

In a way we’re going home to a foreign country.

So yes, I’m feeling a little bit odd and trying to find some sense of something to grip hold of over the next few days. Something to say “yes! This is ME. I can do this as long as I have this.” My son has his teddy bears which he still loves. I envy him those. My daughter has the books she adores reading. I have those too but most of mine tell me facts. I don’t get to read too many story books these days. My wife – like me – is taking her family and that is what matters most.

But, as my first blog at this address said, men are like waffles. We have our boxes. And I have mine and one of them needs to be filled before I leave. What is it, I wonder, that I will take with me – physically, mentally or emotionally – that will keep me going through the next six months in Britain?

I’m racking my brain for an answer, for something clever and witty. But nothing is coming. My family would probably say my laptop (or the other wife as it is sometimes known in my house), students might say my books or little memory cards I always carry around with me for learning. My ayahs might say I should take a cup of cha and they might be right except hot liquid doesn’t travel 5,000 miles very well.

Maybe, just maybe, I won’t find something that will define me and keep going as I adjust to being an alien in my own country. Maybe that will be the point. I’ll take my uncomfortable frustration, my yearning to have an answer. Maybe that is what defines me, what makes me tick and what will make me rise to the challenge of going home?

Seriously, I really don’t know.

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8 Responses to I’m feeling a little bit odd…

  1. Tracy says:

    For people who think a lot , think it’s to be expected. I know some people who just seem to deal with whatever is in front of them at that moment, don’t think about what’s gone or what’s to come and don’t really analyse who they are or the particular stage of life (my husband for one!) … but I think I would be the same. In fact, I feel a sense of disorientation when taking a two week holiday!!! So can’t really imagine how it must feel having lived there for 3 years – uprooting, going back to the same, but different for 1/6 of that same time frame … then uprooting and going back to what again, must change even slightly in 6 months absence … for another couple of years. Not easy – at least facebook, transcends all the changes :-p


    • All hail Facebook in deed Tracy!
      Yes, you have it exactly. The uprooting after three years spent learning how to settle in here to then do the same back the other way 6 months later. Add to that the extra oddity of being about to adjust to a country we once knew and you have a very disconcerting situation. But we know we’re loved and we have faith we will be okay. Just nervous being on this side of it all! I really want it to be one month later NOW!


  2. Tim says:

    Sounds like your waffle box in Bangladesh is being filled with your sitar and everything you leave behind. Maybe you will find something to take out of your English waffle box when you get here. In the words of the U2 album, it’ll be “All that you can’t leave behind”? Perhaps sharing your experiences with us all, perhaps just sharing a jar and watching the sun go down on another day? Unfortunately, you may not find it until you get here: which doesn’t help you with your unsettled feelings now, but maybe it’s enough just to know there’ll be something? And it will be something that you’ve learned or got from Bangladesh; because that country has now changed your future in our country. And in someway that has changed and enriched our future too…….


    • I think you are right Tim and I am looking forward to all those things you mentioned (especially the jars and the setting sun). You are also right that we won’t really know what will be that magic moment until we get back but we know it will be there. It is all very exciting and we are looking forward to seeing ‘sunny’ England again. Still, the strangeness of leaving here yet still being here in Bangladesh is heavy and brings much sadness. It’s not a bad sadness, just and odd one.

      Rest assured though lad, I’ll still be expecting some quality “grumpy old men” chats down the pub when I get back! Some things never change!


  3. Vikki Ford-Powell says:

    I agree completely with Ann but its easy to say when your base is stable. Its when you are being tossed around that it is hard to remember. Well put Ken, although sometimes I wonder if the laptop is the first wife and I am the second!


  4. ann says:

    It’s simple.. u take u, that’s it..remembering the past to build the present and inform the future…reduce the ‘things’..’stuff’ and be sure of ‘who u are’ which makes sense of ‘what’ u are xx


    • Yep I think you are right Ann and in that sense I also take my family who are as much me as I am…if you get my drift. I think knowing “who I am” is the problem in some ways. I know “what I was” and even “what I have been” but “who I am” changes as situations change. And this situation will be brand new to me, to Vikki and to the kids. What will be nice is knowing that we will have old friends and family in the UK who will support us as we “redefine” who we are. That, and drink beer with us of course! x


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