It has been overcast, dull and gloomy in Newcastle for what seems like an eon. I usually just get on with it, live with it, forget about it. But on Tuesday, my cousins who moved to Australia two years ago, came back to visit.
The nice thing is that they're not completely "Aussie-fied", they may have picked up the twang and developed a highly sought after skin condition known as "The Golden Effect" but they are surprisingly pro-England. I like that. Makes me feel like my patriotism isn't unjustified.
However, it did not alter my hopes for a change of climate.
I live fairly close to the beach and I try and frequent it as often as I can: the sea is pretty ambiguous to me. It acts as an end or a stop, by which I mean that when I go there I'm satisfied that unless I start swimming I can't go any further. So if something is at an end, it's becomes a nothingness, right? Well, imagine that in this situation it does. Having such a vast nothingness in front of me allows me to really think. Hard. And then a raindrop falls on my face.
Refreshing though raindrops may be, during periods of hard thinking they're not exactly helpful. I do like rain, for lots of reasons, but when you see the forecast is rain for two weeks with the chance of floods that "like" is preceded by a "dis" and those peaceful walks on the beach give you a head cold.
Which brings me back to my Anglo-Australian cousins, who tried to bring the sun back with them only to have it hidden by the clouds. According to them it's 39 degrees in Brisbane right now. 39 degrees! The last time I felt heat like that I was in Egypt– nearly 5 years ago. My adventures in Europe usually don't exceed 32 degrees and as I mentioned in my last blog post, Thailand was rainy (our own fault– we went during rainy season). So this piece of information triggered the part of my brain that was handed down to me directly from my mother: I want to live somewhere hot.
Now of course, when the sun is at least kind-of out and I'm visiting some jolly old English village in Northumberland, I could not think of a better place on Earth to be. But that doesn't happen enough, which is starting to make that part of my brain get a little out of control.
Eventually, I have come up with a plan.
I'm going to travel (obviously). But now I'm starting to decide where to and why. First and foremost, I have two very close friends who have an obsession with Italy. I've been before a few times and fell in love with the place so have no objection in going back; I fancy living on a vineyard and picking grapes in the summer! Then I'm going to save up and repay the visit to the Anglo-Australians. Word is that there's a spare bed with my name on it and jobs paying twice as much as over here– an offer I am more than willing to take up for a few months. Either after I've finished my next college course or a degree at university, me and my Anglo-Australian cousin (and possibly her little brother) are going to travel as much of the world as we can together. Hopefully, when we're jet-setting around the globe, we'll also be doing voluntary and charity work to help wildlife, communities and the environment.
Problem = Solved.
It might never happen, but it feels good to have a plan.
Amalfi Coast, taken from beautiful town of Ravello