And summer's lease hath all too short a date

Doesn't it just.

I have the painfully awful post holiday blues. Cripplingly awful, truth to tell. I am hating every second of being at work today (first day back...) and missing being around Theo. Even worse, she's off on a training course to my old alma mater so I'll be without her for a whole week next week. Luckily I have the cats and the bunny for company. It won't even vaguely be the same without her though...

I spent my meagre hols (damn you employers! damn you to hell! *shakes fist at pitiable annual leave allowance) with Theo at my sis's place - blazing hot, ice-cream at every turn, Great Uncle Frog, fresh bread, fetes, festivals - a huuuuuuge scooter rally, a chance to be with the one person I want to spend my time with all day, every day - and Englishness everywhere.

Sometimes I forget how very English I am. I sound English, certainly - but the vowels return to their more relaxed state when in England. In Scotland, I barely have a discernible regional accent; in England you can hear the influence of every town and city I have ever lived in. I know English stuff - in Scotland I can spot a hairy coo and recognise heather growing on hilltops, in England I know my Friesian from my Charolais/Hereford cross and know where best to find saxifrage and eryngium... I can even appreciate a nice bit of thatch (I know, I'm starting to get a bit bucolic/John Craven/one man and his dog... I'll stop) All in all, the natural landscape of England, the language, the culture of Englishness has all worked to shape who I am at my very core.

I never really "got" the English Romantic poets when I first went to Uni, but the longer I am away from England, the more I begin to get an insight into how nature has affected my nature, how much a product of natural as well as cultural heritage I am and how the nature of being is entirely in the - anthropomorphic- hands of one's surroundings.

Reflective being that I am (so reflective I don't tan - the sun just bounces off my skin... well, apart from the back of my neck which burns to a crisp, apparently) I can't help but look back to the same holiday last year, though. Except of course, it wasn't the same holiday at all... Admittedly, I went to the same place and both my sis and my bro-in-law were their usual brilliant and welcoming selves, but in all other respects, things were different this time. And different meaning better, entirely and totally.

I don't regret many things I've done - but last summer was a mistake I wish I could burn or hack from my past. I glossed over things at the time, chose to ignore the uneasy feelings I had, the feelings of being alien to myself and what I believe in, the challenges to my own morality. I was so caught up in trying to be something I wasn't for somebody else - a somebody who proved to be far more calculating and cruel than I could have imagined, and so very much less a person than I thought them capable of being- I got lost, my moral compass was sent spinning and I ended up hurting the most important person to me. I allowed myself to give in to temptation: I was unfaithful (- And with someone who had let me down before after promising me so much and would go on to let me down again... I kick myself for letting it happen and I'm thankful now that I made the choice to excise them from my life. Sometimes surgery is the only option. I'm still dazed and grateful that Theo eventually decided to give me another chance...I can't imagine life without her.)

I've said it before, in private - but I'll say it here in public too: Theo, I'm sorry for all the pain I caused you, for my selfishness and my infidelity. It will never happen again.

I've grown up a lot in the last year. I've refound my daft streak, that's for sure- but I've learnt about consequences, remorse, loss and reunion, responsibility for and to each other, teamwork, support, balance... all of those things that sounded so frightening and distant before but are part of me now.

Apart from the simple joy of spending time with Theo and my family, being away from work and getting to refill my reserves of Englishness, this holiday has proven to be good one for me in reminding me who I really am, that I don't need to make massive accommodations to who I am and what I believe in: I can be myself and still be wanted, still be liked even when weak and vulnerable, I don't have to be strong all the time, or even entertaining, I can love and like someone and feel secure that how I feel won't be used against me by them - I don't have to be anything at all except me - just so long as I am honest and faithful. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Just one word


(Thank you for your kind indulgence).

Ok, so I'll elaborate a little: buying a flat; moving from rented place; having the bastard landlord from hell; family bereavement; clients who don't show up; clients who do show up; managers who frankly, dont; an irritating colleague who makes a face like a cat's bum anytime anyone swears or blasphemes (and has an irritating croaky/squeaky voice. And is German. And a social work student); waking up every morning at 5 because that's when the seagulls get up; bloody tourists getting in the way and asking stoooooooopid questions; getting the bacon burps from a pack of Wheat Crunchies...

Anyhow. just thought I'd vent a little.

Otherwise, everything is fine and dandy - the sun is shining, I have less than a fortnight until my hols, Theo is laaaaarvely, the bunny isn't bity, I have some very comfy socks...