Competing with Masterchef.

Nearly one month since I wrote anything on this blog, and in all the ‘how-to-blog’ books I have read (okay, I read one chapter) that is what they do not advise you to do. ‘Don’t lose your audience!’ they say. Well, Mum, if you are still reading – thanks. I think even my father has chosen doing the crossword over reading the blog posts anymore. He says at least he can rely on the crossword being in the paper each day. He says that can’t pin his expectations on my sporadic blogging. I tried to explain to him that work had been busy, I had been away and also, my weekends had been recently occupied with hen parties and weddings. And visiting home…

Visiting home…that’s the thing, when you move overseas, away from the nest, it’s quite a novelty when you do go back home. Family welcome you back like you’ve been in Africa nursing sick children – when the reality is that you just moved 400 miles away to do the same thing you did when you lived in the UK – cling onto a job and then binge drink on a Friday night in the local pub.  I always get the greatest welcome from my family when I return home (friends not so much – they move on quicker), BUT it would seem that after nearly 18 months since I left the Island, my father’s enthusiasm for his youngest child’s return has now slightly dimmed. I found this out on my last visit home. When I looked into the reasons behind this, I found out that in order to tidy up the en-suite room for my visit, Dad was instructed by Mum to remove his amateur runner-bean nursery that he had set up. He had 150 toilet rolls stuffed with soil and seedlings and this greenhouse was threatening to encroach on my en-suite facility usage.

I can also feel his irritation if I skype during an episode of Masterchef. I can see him peering over the computer screen to watch that chubby cockney and the Australian guy jam profiteroles into their mouths. The other tell-tale sign that I am being substituted for BBC programming is when I ask him questions such as ‘what did you do at the weekend’, he answers with ‘yes, that looks lovely dear’.

Take it from me, this ex-pat life gets tough – enjoy the sweet times when you are still welcomed home as the prodigal child because, before you know it, you’ll just be the house guest who is ruining this year’s runner bean crop.

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