It's over two weeks ago now, but here am I: displayed proudly in a glass case in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. I'm the big one in the middle; you may JUST be able to see a sketch of a vase. As the public walked into this particular room, we were given a card and a pencil and asked to draw our favourite ceramic from home; minutes later, we were part of an exhibition. Little pieces of people.
And now I'm home. There are wonderful things about being home: - seeing people: family, flatmates, friends. - living in a country where cigarettes are unpopular and where smokers are subject to etiquette. - a silly and unpredictable climate which makes me feel quite a fondness for little old New Zealand, buffeted on all sides by the weather. - ducklings, daffodils... etc. - getting involved in the History department again.
Less wonderful are: - the constant questions of "how was Europe?" What else can I say but "er, really good. Do you want more detail?" - catching up on two months of missed Russian language classes. MY HEAD HURTS. - a feeling of boredom as I go from extreme activeness to moments of free time. - most of all, feeling like there is a little piece of me missing.
Here is what I wrote in my diary, sitting in Heathrow Airport on 29 September, waiting to leave London:
"I cannot believe it's only two months since I came through Heathrow for the first time, but at the same time it feels like yesterday. Up until writing, I've felt very matter-of-fact about it all--oh yes, I'll be in Christchurch on Thursday--but suddenly, a wave of unease hits me, and I just know I don't want to go. New Zealand is still my favourite place in the entire world--make that GALAXY--but I feel torn. I absolutely love this place; I've no idea when I will come back, if ever; it has been, possibly, the time of my life. And I'm supposed to just go back home and settle into life again? to consider my future in an unbiased manner when everything is whispering "England! England!"? I'm one of those people I hate, Miss Travelling-CHANGED-Me - no, I'm not. At least, I hope not. But I won't be able to explain it to anyone without hurting their feelings or elevating the NZ inferiority complex, which is not my intent or purpose at all. Being away has heightened my appreciation of what we have at home to a huge extent. But I want to be in two places at once, which we all know is impossible."
So here I am now. Loving being home; missing London. Struggling to find my niche.