Touching Base: A Brief Return Home

I suppose I should start by apologising for my inactivity over the past month or so; chances to sit down and put pen to paper have been few and far between of late I’m afraid. A lot has happened and much has changed in a relatively short period of time.

Ah change, you beauty.

If there’s one thing I love to do, it’s to retreat into a nice quiet corner somewhere, accompanied by a freshly brewed cup of coffee, a notepad, and a pen, thereby embarking on some deeply meditative periods of reflection. Oddly enough, that’s almost exactly where I find myself at the time of writing.

So, with that said…

Nothing warms the expat heart more than a return to home soil and a reunion with loved ones, and I was incredibly lucky to have spent the guts of 3 weeks revelling in the company of my nearest and dearest back in Éire recently. I had much to look forward to, and not surprisingly, the trip lived up to all expectations.

As it was a brief trip, I tried to be mindful of what it was I actually wanted to do, and do just that.

Eh, duh Pidge.

I know, simple and straightforward right? Well. Yes, and no. I’ve found from experience that it’s quite easy to get pulled in many different directions upon landing, after a significant stint spent away from the nest. The process of trying to get around to see everyone is a tempting but fruitless undertaking, and it tends to impact negatively on what should be an enjoyable and nourishing period.

But, I digress.

That nourishment came almost immediately in the form of a few laps of Corrig Wood– one of my favourite places on earth- with Áine, Tiny, and Jimmy. Venturing around Laois on those first few days together, being a tourist in my own town pretty much, I couldn’t have wished for a more perfect start.

The next week was particularly special in that I was going to be meeting Áine’s family and friends. Now trips to the capital can be pretty intimidating for us country folk- or culchies as we are commonly known- but from the moment I arrived I was made to feel welcome. I was even given my own special mug- a lovely bright pink one with the word Geebag printed on it.

Nice one, Val.

Proudly I supped, and it was a lovely drop of tae too, in fairness.

Wandering around Dublin for those few days was just incredible, and it was capped off with a successful visit to the Chinese Embassy. It really began to feel more real for both of us, from that moment. Cue the celebrations, and an evening stroll along the picturesque seafront in Malahide that will live long in the memory.

Just as the days on home soil began to draw to a close, the sort of terror infused excitement which comes with the territory when starting afresh in a faraway land, began to build once more. I had been looking forward to it for quite some time, and now it was literally within touching distance. With each passing day, it began to feel more real, until before I knew it I was having my customary coffee with Shem in Dublin Airport, pre-departure.

The fact that I’m writing from our 17th floor apartment in the heart of the city, makes it seem even more real, I suppose.

I mean, it is real. Isn’t it? I still have to pinch myself.

I am incredibly humbled to have been shortlisted for the Irish Blog Awards 2016, in both the Diaspora and Health and Well-Being categories. Thank you all so much for the continued support.