AS OF next month I have officially been a (honeymooning) nomad for 12 months. Our year seems to have flown by so quickly, even though we’ve been to numerous countries across three continents, spent two months recovering from foot surgery in France, and spent almost six months replacing stolen passports and visas.
After months of traveling, couch surfing and subletting, we have finally signed a lease agreement and a work contract that will see us through the next year. This is a cause for celebration since I have recently come to realise (on my walk to work in the drizzle this morning) that London is where I am meant to be for the foreseeable future.
Secretly, it doesn’t bother me that winter has bypassed spring. Perhaps I was made for this weather and this lifestyle.
Having recently arrived back from two glorious weeks in the Egyptian sun, many colleagues have commented on the supposed tan I have allegedly gained during our Nubian and beaches adventure. However, my Australian friends laugh at the patchy reddish / light brown colour I have developed while away and asked when my sunburn will start to fade.
In the words of Mark Twain, “Denial is not just a river that runs through Egypt”.
I think that I have been living in denial for the past 20-something years and it is finally time for me to give in.
I am the Australian who does not tan.
At the moment I am sporting a few more freckles and a light and patchy excuse for a tan (that I top up with Dove tanning moisturiser once a week). At least now I can look down at my arms and not see through them like I could a month ago.
Don’t get me wrong, celebrating our first wedding anniversary (and my birthday) in Egypt was a truly amazing adventure, and I hope that everyone has the chance to experience Egypt like we did. But, after two weeks of continuous burning sun I am secretly glad to be back to the cool weather and patchy sunlight of London.
Despite translucent skin and winter trying to hijack spring, I love living in this huge city with its April daffodils, cool and refreshing air, and fast and frequent transport systems. Hailing from a city that seems to be either in a state of drought or flood, London’s slight drizzle and patchy sunny days are somewhat welcome (for the record, this light mist is not really rain).
I love being able to cuddle up with a cup of hot tea under the doona (duvet) and having an excuse to use the drier rather than hang out the washing. I love not burning throughout the day and having to apply copious layers of Aloe Vera gel at night. I love winter fashion and being able to wear boots, scarfs, jackets and hats. I also love that everyone appreciates the sun more when it makes the odd appearance.
One of my favourite London sites is watching workers spill out of their offices during their lunch break, rolls up their pants and sleeves just to sit and bathe in the limited sunlight that is bestowed upon them. Perhaps this is what is in store for me next winter.
I am a proud survivor of my first London winter and very much looking forward to a London summer of music festivals, travel opportunities and no burning sun.
Roll on London summer!