Well, I’m back. That’s the last sentence of The Lord of the Rings. It reduced my poor twelve year old soul to a quivering mess when I first read those words on my parents’ fat, threadbare armchair. Whatever Sam might be satisfied with, I didn’t want to be back. I wanted to stay in the magical land with the elves and the enchanted rings. What was so great about reality?
Luckily Norway isn’t actually an imaginary land, and Leeds isn’t so bad. They are both as real as each other, but when I am in one place, the other begins to seem like a dream. Halden is a nice dream: crisp lines and golden light and autumn leaves like jewels. I think my love for the place has become entwined with my love for the person who lives there. I felt a bit sad, coming back, but have learned not to give in to this feeling. I let it fly and twist beside me, a pale Chinese dragon, and I know it will quieten enough to let me get on with things. This is the way things are.
The lovie left for America yesterday morning, so I had the day to myself. Last night I visited Wendy, whose husband had also left for the states. They’re American, and just in Norway for the year. We played lego, and ate brownies and chocolate icecream, and watched a very inventive puppet show by her son, with cameo appearances from her daughter and the princess puppet. We also gossiped about the men. Despite being very clever with psychology and computers and international conferences and lots of other things, they appear to have similar problems with laundry baskets. It was fun. I wish we’d got to know each other better earlier. I love Halden, but I can see how it’s been trying for her. Maybe there are some advantaged to being half time…
So. I’ve washed off the travel grime (buses and trains times two, a plane, a taxi, platforms and departure lounges). I’ve snuggled into bed. Tomorrow I throw myself headlong into niggling jobs that need sorting (passport renewals, retrieving elusive deposits), and then into my valiant twelve month plan to finish my thesis. But right now, I’ll have another cup of tea.