Despite some promising signs yesterday, the bub (not mine, obviously - E's) shows no inclination to leave her comfortable home. I'm leaving for Bishkek in 24 hours, so it looks increasingly as though I won't meeting this long-awaited little girl. Not for many months, at least. Sadness.
It's New Year's Day in England! We have to keep reminding ourselves of the fact, since we're all focused intently on E's every move, casting covert glances at her from over the tops of our books. We had a lovely meal and prosecco last night, which was both relaxed and celebratory. There were the requisite fireworks at midnight, and the requisite phone calls this morning, but on the whole we're very baby-centric around here.
I've been practicing packing my bags. It's quite an art form, given that I purchased bits and pieces from Waitrose that individually didn't look like much but have collectively created substantial mass. This mass is enhanced by the many beautiful gifts I was given at Christmas. I was very, very spoiled indeed. In fact, I'm in the mood for a list, so I shall make a list of my Christmas gifts:
- A stunning poster from the British Museum, detailing the history of science fiction in a colourful riot.
- A gift box of delicious Neal's Yard lotions: Geranium & Orange. Neal's Yard, in case you've not heard of it, creates beautiful organic cosmetics and also has one of the finest cheese shops in London. I do hope it arrives in Australia one day.
- A set of shampoo and conditioning soaps from Lush that you lather up and use with flair.
- Some tea towels with koalas on them and a 2012 'Geelong & Bellarine Peninsula' calendar (!).
- A gorgeous purple and green hat and matching fingerless gloves that are the very epitome of 1920's style. I feel like Flora Post when I wear my hat. There was also a big, greeny, beachy necklace which I am growing to enjoy.
- A substantial voucher for John Lewis, which I spent on a Liberty print shirt, a soft brown cardigan, and a purple sweater.
- A pretty pair of earrings from Venice.
- A sweet smelling collection that included: a delicious bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker perfume, a box of Yankee Candle tealights, and the cutest little Parisian calendar.
- A very substantial, generous financial gift
I am blessed and humbled and know not what to say. Each gift was a very perfect reflection of the people who gave them. Some of the gifts traversed the world to get here. I'm floored by so much goodness and love.
Now that I am in the swing of making lists, here is the list of good grocery-like items that I purchased at Waitrose:
- A range of spices for Indian curry-making
- Various organic stock cubes
- Several good jams
- Several bags of organic coffee beans
- Peppermint tea
- Golden syrup (possibly foolhardy, but I've been dreaming of gingerbread cake)
- Crystallised ginger
- Good bean soup mixes
- Sundried tomatoes
- Organic muesli
- Various Green & Black's items that are intended as presents. Also, marshmallows.
You can take inner-suburbanite out the city, but you can't take the foodie pretensions out of the inner-suburbanite. Or something like that. Anyway, both of those lists go some way to explaining why packing my bags is going to take some serious thought.
These material and relational blessings are great indeed. I hope, when I get home to Bishkek, that I have the emotional capacities to reflect on them that I am lacking right now. Reverse culture shock has really knocked me down. Perhaps, when I have regained my balance, I shall write about it, because it's profound enough to deserve a good exploration. In the meantime, it's been a good lesson about future forays into the western world.