I’m getting used to a yet another new laptop. This time though for the first time, it’s a Mac. I got it in England and it’s fab because Me and Barbie can have all kinds of fun making iMovie videos of Me and C. dancing (thank you to you 250+ lovely people who watched us this week). It’s also amazing because I never have to wait more than about 5 seconds for it to wake up and be fully functional, downloading things like printer drivers just isn’t necessary, and apparently I don’t need anti-virus software either (is that really true?).
There’s only one thing I don’t like about the Mac, and that’s blogging on it. I don’t know how you other bloggers do it but I love to work offline on a page that looks like my blog page, with a slick interface that allows me to manipulate text and photographs to exactly where I want them: I like to see how the finished article will look as I type it, then publish with zero surprises. I had all that and more with Windows in a neat bit of software called Windows Live Writer, but since Windows is in the name, as you can imagine, it ain’t available on the Mac (well, not without installing Windows on the lovely Mac, and no, I just can’t bring myself to do it!). Damn! I’ve searched around, and I’ve found something called Blogo, but it just isn’t the same. It’s ridiculous I know, but I haven’t wanted to blog this week because I haven’t wanted to get to grips with this change in my blogging life.
Starting over as a result of change is always tough I reckon. Doesn’t really matter whether it’s a new laptop, a life in a new land, a return to a life in a new land after a fabulous holiday in your old one… Two weeks after I left Terminal 5, the image of my parents’ two beautiful white heads bobbing into the distance is continuing to punctuate the less than perfect sleep cycles of my nights, I’ve had Argentines telling me that my Spanish sounds wooden, and my dance partners have been asking me why I’m not as relaxed as I was. This week I’ve had massive urges to spring clean the apartment, clear clutter (not that I have much), and re-organise my living space… I’ve listened to my soul, done it all and so begun to re-shape my Buenos Aires life – not into my old one as it was back in July, but into a new one coloured and influenced by my travels and the things I found out about myself while I was journeying. But what have I learned this time around, on my round trip to England and back again? Let’s see…
I need a comfortable and inspiring space of my own in which to think, write and create. I need it to be in a place that keeps Barbie wide awake and feeds my spirit with creative energy, and fresh and brilliant ideas. That’s what Buenos Aires does for me… Me and Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires and Me: the noisy, dirty, vibrant, killer creative combination and being back this time around, I feel it stronger than ever. For some reason I know that breathing in Buenos Aires can lift me towards the peaks of my dreams.
I need belief, patience and commitment where those dreams are concerned. The edit on my book is part way through back in the UK and I am waiting for the result. It will be a few more weeks. Meanwhile I must investigate and enable routes to market… to me and Barbie this is the the boring part, but it’s no good having a cracking book if I can’t sell it, and so I must take advantage of the time I have, and get my business head on. I must decide on the title too, and that’s a challenge. The book will be worth the wait, but oh how I long to see it being useful in the hands of a tango tourist who doesn’t know me, or even one who does!
I need in my possession a full and large bag of Galaxy Caramel chocolate, tins of Heinz Baked Beans, Cadbury’s Crunchies and Drinking Chocolate, Sainsbury’s marshmallows, Pledge disposable (attract the dust) dry dusting cloths, J cloths, Superdrug bargain face wipes, Blistex lip cream, Bisto gravy powder, the Guardian, iTunes vouchers so that I can download British TV programmes or books… oh and my absolute favourites: giant red boxes of Lindt Lindor red spheres. A cry from an English soul, Anyone coming this way from my mother land please bring just one of one of these things with you, especially if I’ve answered some of your questions about Buenos Aires or carried tango shoes for you. Oh and another cry… IKEA (which may be Swedish but is a British institution nonetheless), when oh when will we see you in Argentina?
I need to have people in my life who understand my Britishness. I have Brit girlfriends here and I’m grateful that I do. And C. has seen my England and can chat memories with me into the early hours: him building sandcastles on Whitesands while I slept on the pebbles he’d flattened into a bed for me; seeing where Carlos Tevez used to sit in the Manchester United dressing room; marvelling at the stunning mix of buildings around the Birmingham Bullring Shopping Centre… this final UK 2009 Flickr photoset tells our complete English tale.
I need Wild Love (thank you Gill Edwards). I need to be able to speak the truth in my relationships: hold my mum’s face in my hands and tell her I love her, tell a friend that I was sad that he was not there, tell another that I sense sadness in her soul, tell myself the truth that I need England in my life – my roots, my safety net, my past, my family, and my friends who didn’t leave me when I left.
OK England I’ll admit it, in the past few years I’ve been desperate to leave you, terrified to leave you, terrified to return to you, desperate to return to you, ambivalent about you, nostalgic about you… and now it seems, accepting of you and loving towards you. It is true that I don’t want to live in you right now, but it’s a complete and utter joy to visit you, remember you and celebrate that I will always be yours and you will always be mine.
The pain of goodbyes, my rusty tango body, my wooden Spanish, my non-desire to blog. They’re all transients in my life and will pass. But England? No, my friend and my country, you won’t. And at last, I find that I’m delighted to say so.