Sunday, August 19, 2007

What a Difference a Year Makes

They say it takes a year to settle in a country. We've been here 18mths, and I guess in many ways I have. And what a difference a year makes.

After her bronchoscopy on 1st Aug, our 3 yr old has been discharged from the bronchial part of her follow ups at Great Ormond Street. They told us last yr after they un-wrapped her left pulmonary artery from around her windpipe and moved it to its proper place, that she might carrry on wheezing for a while, that her windpipe would remain soft for a long time and would always be like breathing through a snorkel compared to the 'drain' sized comparative tube in a normal person. This yr the results showed there was NO residual compression, she hasn't wheezed since the day of her heart op last year, and they said her windpipe is firm and looks as normal as any 3 yr olds. We are so thankful.

The day after I returned a mum invited me round for coffee. At school two mums greeted me like a long lost cousin. And on Friday the guy in charge of supply at school invited me in for coffee at morning break. It was great to see the staff again and be greeted so warmly. Several made a point of coming up to say hi and welcome me back. Nice considering I am a v part time supply teacher here. I guess the nature of this life in an international community is that people are always pleased to see those who are 'still around' with them.

We also got invited to 'pancakes' with friends on sat a.m. Something else I appreciate here is that people are so much less busy. You can be spontaneous and people are available to do things with you. You don't have to book weeks in advance, as you always did in Oxford..

Our daughter was so excited to be back. She greeted her flip-flops like old friends she hadn't seen in years, said 'oh look my doll's house is still here' and rushed round checking everything else was in its proper place, and 'still here'. Her new word is 'fantastic' which she applies to everything. I'm rather pleased, because she must have picked it up from me, which shows I can't be ALL melancholy and pessimism... She threw herself down on my bed and said "it's fantastic living in Colombo", then she announced our car was"fantastic". This, remember, is the 18 yr old Toyota with no suspension, only 1 wing mirror, 2 broken locks, several dents (not done by me) and an oil leak. I have been forced to come to the irrevocable conclusion that she has no idea what the word means.....

She was somewhat non-plussed to notice the "falling down man" was not in our garden. I was even more non-plussed, wondering who he was. Eventually all became clear, she said "I don't know the words, the coconut man" A man comes to our garden on a regular basis to pick the coconuts from our three trees. He ascends swiftly by means of a rope round his feet. He has, though, never 'fallen down'. It's quite a sight, one you see regularly in hotels and along beaches . Coconuts falling on innocent sunbathers is not good for tourism. But then neither is the war, but try telling that to the government.

Since being back she has insisted, most days, on wearing her princess dress (pink of course), hairband and 'clipper cloppers' (also pink) And telling everyone she is a princess. However there is a fly in the ointment. She keeps sighing and saying;

"Oh I wish I lived in high tower" Our house really doesn't cut the mustard. It's just not high or towery enough. No handsome princes in our neck of the woods either M has pointed out to her.

I think she has a point though. I would I like to live in a high tower too, not so I could 'let down my 'golden hair' but it wd always have a breeze being high up, and be pleasantly dengue free being above the mosquito line, fairly burglar proof too, and the stairs wd keep you fit. Not sure about wearing the pink flammable dress though...

Our son, however, said he didn't want to return to 'boring old Sri Lanka', and that when he grew up he wd live in England.

I asked why. He said Sri Lanka has no seasons, only hot, and that's boring; things break too easily here, and all his family and friends are in England. Well, who am I to argue with the searing logic of a 7 yr old??

He does however love being back at school, and is still at that wonderful age when he can't wait to get back and loves every minute of it. Long may it last.

M asked for roller blades for his birthday "so he could skate with our son, who got a pair for his birthday. Personally I call it a midlife crisis. M bought a pair called "aggressive". As he was reading the instructions, it said "because these our 'aggressive skates you will notice they have no brake". M hadn't noticed. He is an 'aggressive' skier, so he thinks stopping should be a cinch. Personally I think it could turn into a mid air crisis.

It's cloudy and been raining at night, so it's cooler. So we've eased back in well. Now all we have to do is find another job, another country, another life elsewhere come December.


Iota said...

Welcome back, PLiT. Glad all well re health and school.

Would your tower be ivory, or just plain old stone, I wonder?

There is something vaguely familiar about you, and when I clicked out of interest on your Hunter Lowe link, I recognised (even before the text gave it away) images of Lee Abbey. I was there briefly, Husband for 3 years - in fact we met there (such a cliche). I wonder what your link with the place is, and whether our paths have crossed at some time. Do you have links there, or is it just your photographer friend?

You don't have an email link, but I do on my profile page. If you would like to dig a little deeper, do contact me. I do enjoy your blog.

lady thinker said...

Look forward to most posts and hearing where you'll be 'trailing' off to next.

lady thinker said...

Sorry that sounds very ungracious I meant 'look forward to MORE posts' !

GM said...

In an age of boring, modern cars with no character your Toyota does indeed sound 'fantastic', as it must also be to your many adopted countrymen who have no car! I'd say your daughter knows what she's talking about! Eevn more fantastic, however, will be the account of M's first roller-blading experience.....very much looking forward to it!