This time last year I arrived back in the UK with two bewildered children and one bleary eyed husband. It wasn’t a difficult journey, just an incredibly long one.
The plane landed and my heart swelled. Home! Rain battered the tiny windows, the sky hung grey and overcast. It looked cold. It was perfect.
My children were not so enamoured with the British weather. After getting caught in the rain they wept, shivering and confused in the hotel lobby. It was bedtime and morning all at once and they didn’t know if they were coming or going.
Later we sat around my sister’s table and ate roast lamb. My girls helped their cousins to empty their entire toy box over the floor and I helped my sister to empty an entire bottle of wine.
It is a perfect memory: the dark winter evening behind the condensation on the windows, the snug warmth of the central heating, the cooking smells and incessant chatter.
There is a little piece of my heart that will be perpetually homesick. I have learnt to hold it away from me – at arms length. I get on with living my life in Australia and try not to think about it too much - it is my way of coping.
But sometimes, when it the rain pours down, I hold my homesick heart and go there.
This time last year I was in England. And today I couldn’t be further away.