Wow – what a trip. We saw so much. And did so much. And ATE so much. That it’s all a bit hard to distill at the moment.
I’ve just come off a 30-hour journey: a train from Verbier at 6am to Geneva, then a flight to London Luton and then a train from there to London Heathrow, followed by a flight to Joburg. We landed this morning and then had to get another flight to Cape Town. Was SO wonderful to be reunited with our kids and then tomorrow we do the two day drive back to Joburg in our car. Shew.
But in the meantime, I thought I’d jot down a few random things I learnt on this trip – with proper holiday updates and photos to come.
- That the UK during this time of year can be very grey and very cold. It’s amazing how quickly you forget. There is a grey film over everything, all is washed of colour and the days can feel bleak and too short. But this bleakness can be quickly filled with a long lunch in a cozy pub, or a brisk walk in a park, or by conversations with good friends. And then it’s Spring, and things pick up.
- That ironic Winter jerseys are completely in fashion. You know the kind that look like your Granny knitted them? With snowflakes and reindeers and Father Christmas all over them? Those. They are EVERYWHERE in the UK shops. (image source)
- That I miss my sister. A sister is like a girlfriend you’ll always have – there’s something very special about the relationship. You can borrow each other’s clothes, laugh at the same jokes and generally just feel comfortable with each other, no matter how different you are.
- That cold weather and beanies are not kind to people with fringes. You basically have to carry a comb in your handbag and whip it out every time you take your hat off. Tiring.
- That the Swiss obsession with time is very very real. And that you can set your watch by the time the train leaves the station, it is THAT accurate. If it says the train departs at 10:37, the clock will flip to 10:37 and hey presto, the train will start to roll along the tracks. I’m just not used to that.
- That the Swiss really like CHEESE. If I never see another block of cheese for a few months, I’ll be a happy girl. Fondues, raclette, sandwiches, lunch platters – cheese is everywhere and I completely overdid it. My jeans tell me so. (image source)
- That skiing is less about your body and more about your mind. It takes a lot of mental strength to face down the steepest incline you’ve ever seen and to just…let go.
- That I have a lot of fear inside of me. Maybe it’s because I’m a control freak, maybe it’s because I’m a scaredy-cat, but it took a lot out of me to even make it off the nursery slopes. But I did it, I faced a lot of fears and although I don’t think I’ll ever be skiing down those black slopes, I still had a lot of fun learning the basics.
- That two weeks away from my babies is just a little too long – ten days is probably ideal. Not that I’m complaining, we’re incredibly lucky to have such enthusiastic grandparents who did a stellar job of babysitting for us and gave up their time so generously. It’s just that my maternal instinct kicked in often while I was away from them and I basically just wanted to ask strangers if I could borrow their kids for five minutes and give them a hug.
- That as wonderful as Europe is, South Africa is still where I want to be. I may not be here forever – who knows where life will take me and my family, but for the moment, this is the only place for us.
Wish me luck for our first long drive tomorrow with 8-month-old Ben…see you on the other side.