Saturday, 13 April 2013

From under my cloud

I blame repatriation. The other night someone linked to one of my old posts and let me know that they had and given the occasional oddness of my post titles I decided to go back and look at it to see what it was actually about. Not long after I finished laughing at my own jokes I ended up on one of the posts about repatriation shock ('We're not in Karlsruhe anymore, Toto'), read over it and swiftly decided that everything that has been wrong with my life in the past few months can easily be blamed on the horrors of repatriating.

You see I've been a bit miserable, and frankly quite negative about how terrific it is to be back in the UK. And rather than having a positive outlook and making attempts to be proactive in getting out from under my dark cloud, I've decided to pin all of the following on a nice handy excuse - repatriation shock.

1. I barely blog anymore because there's nothing worth blogging about here. Yes, I sound like a teenager - everything sucks.
2. I have taken only a handful of photos because there's nothing worth photographing here. See the beautiful Peak District above brought down by my dark mood in February. And very little has changed since then except I'd probably add a few more "blah's"
3. I am bored of everything. Seriously, everything. Even going to M&S Food and discovering there are no big queues fails to stir me into a sunny mood. And that's just WRONG.
4. I can only just find it in myself to lie to people I meet who ask how things are, and are waiting to hear that it's really, really brilliant to be back.
5. I am taking comfort in my new found addiction to some of the totally crappiest programmes currently being shown on daytime ITV2. Not even ITV, I like a heavy dose of depressing gambling adverts thrown into my programming schedule.
6. While I feel that my friends *don't understand me*, they eerily have nailed the fact that I would enjoy everything a lot more if there were Bratwurst involved.

It's not that I feel so much like a fish out of water, or that everything has changed very much, but when I look back at the list I've copied below, I can't help but feel it resonating as a subconscious menu of moods and feelings that I work my way though in a Pick & Mix style every day.

Some common symptoms or situations that repatriating families encounter*:
  • irritability/ resentment
  • sense of difference and disconnect
  • disappointment
  • inability to concentrate
  • low morale
  • change in values/attitudes
  • marital conflict
  • fatigue
  • parent/child conflict
  • educational/adjustment problems for children
  • depression
  • feeling unappreciated personally/professionally
  • decreased productivity
  • loneliness
*Source: 'Reverse Culture Shock (or Why Do I Hate Being Back Home?)' by International HR Forum

As much as I would have liked to have given myself a good kick and told myself to just get over it already, I have to admit it's been a struggle. But I feel like I am starting to emerge at last. Things are on the up! Change is afoot! I may still find the time to enjoy some parent/child conflict, but my mood is definitely improving. Even I can laugh at the fact that while the only thing the kids new school is criticised for is the lack of kids attending from other cultures, I have managed to become friends with the only foreigner at the school, who, eh, just so happens to be ... um... German.

Monday, 8 April 2013

From bleak to sleek

Crying. Whining. Whinging. Complaining. Moaning. Girning.

Just some of the things occurring in our household over the past few months. What can I say? These continuous noises of complaint coming from the mouths of my children do not make for excellent blog posts. Of course there have been other events, but well, maybe it's all a symptom of my repatriation sickness, but well, nothing really has seemed very blog worthy. I'm more than a little bit bored.

There's been the snow of course. My children's school situated in one of the peaks of the Peak district where the snow was pretty much targeting was determined to stay open providing all the parents with lovely heart-in-mouth journeys to drop off and collect their kids. On one particularly frightening return trip I nearly had to pull over just to be sick: well I would have had I not suspected the huge articulated lorry driving no more than a foot behind me the whole way downhill would have plowed right into the rear of my car killing both my children. The next time it snowed, I lied and said I had tried but couldn't get through the traffic to get the kids to school. While the rest of England closed it's schools, they told me to try again in an hour. Presumably when the fire and ambulance services had cleared all the accidents, crashes, etc leaving my path clear to plough through.

Orla turned 6 at the end of March. She had a great time, and all the grandparents came down to visit for a few days, but I can't shake the feeling that it's significant that I barely took a photo over her birthday weekend. In fact I feel like I have barely taken a photo in the past 3 months. Which is very unlike me.

I did take a photo of this though.

Finally, Orla got her hair cut. It has looked a straggly mess for a while. She's wanted to grow it long, but she has a penchant for chewing the ends off any bits that stray into her mouth. A disgusting habit that has resulted in her eating herself a mullet. I let her keep it long until after her birthday, but then booked her in to get it all chopped. I think she looks much better, much tidier. And there was none of the disappointment and tears that I was expecting And that's about it. All my news. I need an adventure!
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