Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thursday 24 & Friday 25 November, 2005

Can you be homesick for a place you have not yet left?

If so, then I think I am homesick for England. I ask only cause I am finding that, at odd moments I just stop, as a wave of sadness washes over me and I realise I am close to tears.

The first time this happened was in Paperchase earlier this week. I was wandering around, pretty much aimlessly, when I tuned into the song that was piping through. I slowly realised it was that fluffy Ronan Keating song Lovin' Each Day. For some reason this is one of those songs that evokes in me a kind of everythingiswonderful and iamproudtobepartenglish feeling which I seem to have developed but can not really explain.

Songs that affect me like that have either been used in an English film or telly series at moments of heightened emotion. Like You Get What You Give by the New Radicals. That was used in the last episode of series three I think, of Cold Feet. The one where they go away for New Year's Eve to Lindesfarne. I love that scene, the bright winter day by the sea, all rugged up. So bloody English I love it. Everytime I hear that song it gives me that overwhelming feeling I described above. Am struggling to articulate the feeling to be honest.

I experienced that same feeling the first time I saw Love, Actually in the cinema. I don't know what it was about the film but for the first time I felt proud to be connected to / part of / living in England.

I know I kick against a lot of Englishness that frustrates me but essentially and, ironically, I have become aware that I feel like I belong here. I no longer feel like a stranger. I do not feel like I am standing outside life here. I am inside and better yet, I get it. And the great thing is, I think it gets me.

So the point is I know without a doubt I am going to miss England. For all her foibles, frustrations and fecking idiosyncracies I will miss her.

As I stood in the kitchen this morning listening to Elbow's Asleep in the Back the beautiful Newborn washed over me and I stopped again, stared out the window, let myself feel that odd sense of belonging that I treasure about my life here and felt again the real and the raw feelings of longing for a country I have not yet left.

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