Sunday 21 August 2016

A reminder of London

I should start calling these musings Ship Sagas. Or Ferry Refreshers. Or even better, Postira Postings. I'm here again, on the move, to meet my Split friend who has contrarily decided to pay me a flying visit. My other guests had a wonderful time and were dismayed that they had to leave after such a short of time. They've promised to come back! 

If there is one thing I enjoy, it's making excellent food for appreciative people, and watching them having a good time. No matter how busy or tired I was in London, entertaining was always the best. Their arrival was mildly stressful for my refrigerated goodies, because the early morning Split bus they caught had gone off on a sightseeing frolick. So we arrived in Sudurad hot, fretful, hungry and, in my butter's case, a bit greasy round the edges. 

Jenny was longing to throw herself into the sea, but we firstly and necessarily  enjoyed various salads, cured meats and fresh cheeses, and local red wine that had magically appeared during the course of the morning. Life in the shape of calories returned, and peace finally started to descend on this busy duo. We caught up on what had been going on in the art, legal, and business life of London whilst the water twinkled invitingly. 

It was curious to have a London experience on the Island with 'people from London'. I know the other contrary one was here recently but for me she has different London associations; crazy nights out, tea and toast in the morning, but ultimately a calming influence. Everything a best mate should be. However these two had been running around Split and Omiš for two weeks catching up with extended family, and planning their Croatian wedding, whilst he sporadically dealt with work issues. So they hadn't actually had time to catch a breath. Few opportunities to absorb the softer Dalmatian air into their lungs to replace the Ritalin infused London stuff.

I felt their anxiety, hurry, speed, everything. They were moving out of step with people on the island, like a badly placed overhead projector slide, or watching a 3D film without glasses. Let me stress that this isn't a bad thing, quite the reverse! It is inspirational. It was like they were emanating ripples of energy and I could see the sparks. One of the main reasons I enjoy my job as a researcher/law librarian is the information tussles with insanely bright people who are utterly obsessed with detail. And I had a faint pang of longing for that intellectual challenge. 

It's times like this which makes me realise how far I've come, and the massive step I took giving up my amazing job to live in this foreign environment. This must have been why people said I was being brave! I'm continuously asked whether I'm bored here, or how I could have left my home city, and so many doubts have been cast on my ability to cope in an island winter.  Naturally that just makes me determined to try. But just the challenge of settling here must be taking up reserves of energy. I must not take for granted the change in environment and how enormous the cultural gap is. 

No I'm not bored. Unsettled, a little insecure, thoughtful, more quiet than before maybe. But as I explained to someone, an engine stuck in the highest gear is going to burn out eventually. A change of road intensity, a couple of corners, a few diversions is much better for the engine. And that is how I feel my brain is at the moment. Temporarily off-roading! 

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