I’ve always been happy calling anywhere ‘home’. Bulgaria is ‘home’. England is ‘home’. Anytime I stay in a hotel or Airbnb for more than a night, I start calling it ‘home’. So, yes, I’m home (in Bulgaria) after my long trip back home (in England).
Christ, but it’s a readjustment, coming home (Bulgaria) after spending several weeks at home (England). It’s lots of little things, like how small our house feels (even compared to my folks’ terraced house in Portsmouth) after being away from it for so long. Or how strange it is to come downstairs in the morning and be swamped by cats, after staying in a pet-free household for weeks. Or how long it takes to boil a kettle on a gas hob. Or, you know, our quirky plumbing. Every now and then, I stop and think, oh right, this is how we live.
Then I go outside, sit on the terrace, and absorb the quiet, like it’s vitamin D. I can’t hear any sirens, or trains or traffic. There’s no one around, except the cats playing under the rhubarb and the neighbour quietly fussing over his tomatoes. And I think, yes, this is how we live.
It takes a while to pass, this ambivalent state of being both pleased to be home (Bulgaria), and missing the ease and convenience of home (England). But at least there’s plenty to keep my poor confused mind busy, both in terms of actual work and the mounting list of garden jobs.
As a result of the chilly-ish April weather (we even had a frost about a week ago), and because Rob’s been holding the fort on his own for so long, we’re way behind where we’d normally be in the garden by this time of year. We’ve only just sown squash and courgette seeds (not much point sowing early if it’s not warm). I’ve hardly sown any flowers beyond sweet peas. And I’ve not sown any of the direct-sow veg seeds like beetroot or parsnips. Oh, but the dahlias and gladioli that we started forcing indoors are doing brilliantly – more than ready to go outside, providing we don’t have another frost…
Elsewhere in the garden, everything shot up in the time I was away. When I left in early April, the garden and surrounding countryside was still a bit brown and bare. I came back to green trees, fat grass, and flower beds that look like a crazy, neglected cottage garden on steroids.