The kettle is boiling, the fish tank is humming away and Tang, my excessively vocal Siamese, is roosting possessively and Sphinx-like on my lap. I’ve switched on the telly to find Monica Galetti and Marcus Waring wrinkling their noses and passing swift judgement on the creations of yet ANOTHER batch of Masterchef contestants. Once they’re done, it’ll be off to the Apprentice boardroom to watch Lord Sugar do much the same for yet ANOTHER gaggle of obnoxious, moronic wannabe capitalists. It’s true: apart from a marked drop in temperature and the addition of no less than THREE new self-service check-outs at Morrisons (golly gosh!), very little seems to change in five months here in merry old England… I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is glorious. It is Home.
This past week has been quite an odd one, I must say. At the weekend I waded through three days of management speak and risk assessment protocols at my Nicaragua training course (off in January, hoorah!), then headed up North to see my wonderful sister for a couple of days, and got in a few much-anticipated reunions with friends and family along the way. I’ve also drunk more tea than my bladder can reasonably deal with, and more or less tripled my cake and biscuit intake. And I’ve thrown out some clothes which even I had to admit were ripe for the bin several months ago, and bought some cute new boots. Feeling quite pleased with myself.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve also been doing a lot of reflecting, and remembering. I’ve been on some beautiful walks, beating my usual path through the woods behind the house, realising that the last time I was there the stark, spindly winter branches were laden with leaves, and I had no need for gloves and scarf to insulate me from the icy air.
Memory is a funny thing. Memories of my journey are already jumbled and confused; they have merged into a chaotic patchwork of faces and places, sewn together with smells, tastes, sounds… sensations. In my mind’s eye I hop confusedly from one square to the next, wondering how on earth to verbalise how it all hangs together. It’s as though the patchwork in its entirely is being held far too close to my face; I can only focus on one part at a time. I’m currently on the square that features Mark falling from the gaucho’s horse. Now I can see Louisa and our wee room in La Paz. Now I’ve moved to Amanda and the Timbers game in Portland. Now to Monica and Paula, and the red lagoon in Bolivia. Now Alissa and our cones of garlic fries in Seattle…
I love the quilt I have made, every inch of it. Even the square dedicated to Yannis and his dog kennel.
I’ve realised that I have no idea how to describe the patchwork in its entirety. I think perhaps I won’t attempt it – it’s not finished, for one thing. What I can say with certainty is that making a patchwork quilt seems a very worthwhile thing to do, and that in the context of the whole quilt, each square takes on a slightly different hue… And then there are the infinite angles from which we can view said quilt. And that’s just the beginning – think of all the quilts out there being made by other people every day! Quilting is a veritable stand-alone art form, I have learnt. I have no doubt that I will be able to take mine out and admire it for the rest of my life.
– I’m laying the quilt analogy to rest here. It’s served its purpose. –
I will finish by simply saying THANK YOU. Thank you to every single person who has crossed my path over the past five months. You have enriched my life in ways in which I doubt either of us is fully aware. And thank you for reading this blog – I hope you enjoyed the updates, and perhaps I will revive it one day soon to record future travel shenanigans!
Until then, I am off to make my 15th cup of tea today and to catch up on the Great British Bake-off (someone deleted it off of the Virgin box but I have found re-runs on BBC2 – HA).
Over and out friends 🙂
Trina x x x