Saturday, 29 June 2013

Looking ahead

Exciting times ahead.
I have been reading like mad, I am still writing and all is going well.
My citizenship has come though and my British passport has arrived and we are set to go on holiday.
And..speaking of holidays, we have two more weeks to go and then we are off to sunny (oh I do hope) Zakinthos in Greece!
I am looking forward to cocktails and wonderful Greek food.  To sunshine and sandy beaches. To heat and cool sea breezes.  But mostly, I am looking forward to getting away for a while. To relaxing and recharging my batteries, which to me, feel like they are long overdue for a good charge.
Last year did not see us go abroad and as much as I love the beautiful English countryside, nothing beats the tropical heat of the Mediterranean.  If I could,  I would pack up and move there tomorrow, the climate is ideal, the food is great and the standard is living is far more laid back.
The Brits - especially the ones down south - do everything on fast forward.  Ever been to London and tried to get from A to B?  You probably wouldn't notice it if you lived there, but as someone speaking from up north, its quite surreal.  People don't smile, they don't chat, they are all just intent on getting to where they need to be and it seems everyone around them becomes invisible.   While I am not saying that is a terrible thing, I have to admit that coming back home, is always nice because the people up north are a far friendlier bunch.
But even up north, the culture is very much a work culture.  As an ex South African, my lifestyle was one where work stopped around 4pm and people lived outside.  People socialise more and do far more outdoor activities.  Now I know the weather, especially here in Manchester, is mostly not outdoor friendly, I am still very conscience of the very strong work ethic.  People work work work....weekends are meant for sleeping and drinking and not much more. 
The people from the continent though, they have got it right.  Their siesta's and reduced work hours surely make more sense when there is the perfect weather and big open spaces.  The pubs, cafes and friendly people make it somewhere I'm sure, even if you live there and are not on holiday, still feel that '
that this is the life'.
Or perhaps I am just dreaming, and annoyed that summer 2013 seems to have lasted all of 8 days this year.
Regardless, I have two weeks holiday to look forward to. Leaving on July 14th for two long weeks, I hope to come back refreshed, bronzed and ready to tackle work and life again.

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