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.