Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Pig, Her Kids, Their Bus and The UK

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing it's going to go something like this...

At some point next week the Pig bus will come to a halt in a quiet road in leafy Kent. The pressure of mounting excitement - coupled with ABBA Gold on a loop - will have built up to such a degree, there will be an audible psssssshhhhhtttt as the doors slide open. All children still awake after our long drive will charge into Fran's house, and our holiday will have officially started.

I know myself quite well, and it will be no surprise to me that by 6pm I will have downed the best part of a bottle of champagne. It is also customary for me to have cried at least once within hours of being back with my friends. You may now revise your image of me as cool, calm, collected and gorgeous.

Going back to old stamping grounds is an emotional endurance test that I usually fail. I think I probably get a U (unhappy). As much as I delight in visiting the parks, woods and pubs we loved so much, I also feel sad. As my friends form a low-level pressure campaign for me to move back into my house and have my husband come visit from Heathrow, I start to waver. When I do the old school run and watch my children play so happily with their friends, I have to bite my lip.

Going back puts your new life under the microscope and throws up that terrible question, 'Are you happy?' I'm never sure if that question has an unequivocal answer. At each lunch, after every dinner, after the barbecues and coffees, I will sit in a pensive state, mulling about life. Comparing, contrasting, worrying, hoping; 'Are we doing The Right Thing?'

I'm fairly sure I won't reach a satisfactory conclusion, and I think morale will be hovering around floor level as we cross back into France. I'm fairly sure I will have eaten my body weight in cheddar cheese, chips, vegetarian sausages, curry and anything my Mother-in-Law puts before me.
I will be convinced that my liver is in the final stages of cirrhosis, and I will resolve never to drink again.

We will arrive back home and I'll put exhausted kids to bed. Then I will stand and listen to the silence, before quietly reaching for a bottle of wine. Then I will wake up the next morning, pull myself together and carry on as before.

You see? That's the good thing about knowing yourself quite well; at least you know what's coming.

Farewell lovely readers. I had thought I would resume Pigly duties at some point over the summer.

Then I looked at my, 'List of Guests Visiting Us This Summer'.
The week when there are 6 people camping in the garden, and 10 of us in the house, is going to be especially interesting.

So I don't think I'll be back until September, but I'm sure I'll be wandering into your blogs and leaving those incisive comments you love so well.

And of course, I will still be vainly checking my email for offers that might end in something good like this...

...and failing that, just to answer recipe questions.

Big Bisous

Pigx

41 comments:

Brom said...

If I don't get a chance - have a GREAT piggy hol. I may be down Kent way sometime this Summer - I'll keep a look out for a pile of empty bottles at the side of the road.

Big Bisous??.. well I always imagined you had ;-)

Elsie Button said...

Happy holidays Pig! Why don't you come down our way for a visit while you're here and we can have a serious battle of the chavs - i will win of course, but hey, it would be fun!

Vegetation said...

Oh no! I just found you! You'll be greatly missed :(


But have a fantastic holiday and I'll look forward to having you back around September :)

Kitty said...

I'm SO glad I'm not the only one to have to suffer Abba on the loop like that!

Have a wonderful summer, and enjoy your nostalgia and friends.

Take caer. x

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Your offer will come. You are afterall... funny, clever and ever so slightly mad...

Have a superb holiday back here in Blighty.

Stay at home dad said...

Have a great time Pig. Neither there or here is perfect but this is what you know.

If you get to Elsie's that means you can get here too so expect to hear.

Sahd.

Can Bass 1 said...

Abba Gold! ABBA GOLD? What's wrong with a bit of Palestrina?

Akelamalu said...

Have a fabulous holiday Pig and don't be sad. x

GoneBackSouth said...

You are cordially invited to stop by and collect your AWARD!

blogthatmama said...

Just arrived via Gone Back South as you're leaving! Will re-visit.

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Have a wonderful summer.
Enjoy the wine/champagne, although I am slightly concerned Pig in the Kitchen with your unit per week intake? Does it meet with government guidelines? Ha! Although, when in France...
Look forward to your return in Sept. Take care
x

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

Oh that is so bad timing.
Just stumbled on your blog and you're off!

Guineapigmum said...

Happy hols, Pig. Now, while you're over this side, if you fancy a trip to the festival just let me know. Oh OK, I know France is closer than Edinburgh but just thought I should make the offer.

Potty Mummy said...

Pig, have a fabulous time and thanks so much for the link to that ad, it's great! However, what on earth am I going to do without your food porn site to get me through the Diet Zone? (Not that I'm selfish or self-centred or anything...)

Lowood6 said...

Go PITK! ;-) Enjoy the special Summer. Hectic but no doubt so worth the effort/pain - at least for the kids!!! Wishing you good luck esp. for the 16-people part.
I'll be listening to ABBA Gold in Australian winter and looking forward to the spring/your return. If time and energy, do write your book!!!

Red said...

Ahh Pig, that age-old question which can never be answered 'Are we doing the right thing?'

You are where you're meant to be, it's as simple as that. So don't fret, enjoy your chips and curry and all those other British culinary delights we so madly miss when we're away...but we shall miss you and your visits. A Septembre...

camping france said...

knowing your self is the best part i reckon.
ill reach for the bottle in 55 minutes exactly ;)
good on ya!


Cheers!
Chrissy.

_____________________________
camping france

Frog in the Field said...

Oh Pig!
Here, have a tissue.

GoneBackSouth said...

Dear Pig,
I'm so sorry for clumsily storming in and blurting out the news about the award I was giving you, and not having the courtesy to even read your post properly. I have just come back and read it, and realise you're dealing with some emotional stuff and whatnot. So sorry for being such an oaf! Have a wonderful summer and see you in September! GBS x

Jo Beaufoix said...

Just popped over from Frog in the Field's, though I've seen you at Mya's too I think. Have a fab holiday, and Wife in the North has done so well. I am not jealous one bit. ;)

Jess P. said...

We'll all miss you over the summer!

http://reluctantmemsahib.wordpress.com said...

how lovely, how beautifully written. have a delicious holiday. homecoming will be ok. better than ok. it's home after all. even if it mightn't always feel quite like it x

Alex in Beverley said...

Have a good trip Pig, we will be doing the same but in reverse, can't wait for our European Road Trip look out Marseilles, Barcelona, Madrid (and many points in between) here we come !!! We too will be getting pressure from friends on route to return to the sunshine life - who knows it may be too hard to resist!
Enjoy Summer
Alex in Beverley

Mya said...

Pig sweetheart, have a fabulous holiday. I shall miss your wonderful, honest writing...and look forward to all the new stuff you'll have to divulge in September!

Mya x

PS Are you anything like Edie Macready in Ballamory? You know...in her bus?!!!

justme said...

Oh dear....only just found your lovely Blog, and now you are off on hols! Never mind, I shall watch out for you in September and amuse myself with your old posts meanwhile........oh, and I live in kent so I will keep an eye open for the Tour Bus too!

Vittoria said...

Wow. You nailed the emotions of going home so well. I wish you luck

Arthur Clewley said...

oh dear pig, the thought of your mascara drenched cheeks has set me off too now. I should never go to the pub to use their internet to read your blog! sob sob

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Okay, I can allow this ... as LONG as you DO come back in September, that is. ;)

lady macleod said...

I shall look forward to your return, have a great summer. I highly recommend champagne as a cure for just about everything....

(Very) Lost in France said...

PITK - I'm glad it's not just me that feels that way when I get together with old friends in the UK. Still don't know if we've 'done the right thing'. Have a lovely summer. VLiF

elizabethm said...

Have a lovely summer Pig. YOu can never know if you have done the right thing. I get occasional attacks of the same thing and we have only moved to Wales for heaven's sake.
You sound pretty contented usually (as far as one can be with all that stuff to do!) so I expect all is well really.
Enjoy your champagne and have another bottle for me.

thenewstead6 said...

I'm in Kent! You must look me up. I run a home ed group in Kent and we're always up to something. Ann x
http://www.fivehomeedinkent.blogspot.com

Hadriana's Treasures said...

How on earth have I never read your blog before! Stupid old me...I thought it was all about food and my husband does the cooking round here. (I burn everything!) Will try and catch up with you over the Summer months with your back posts (ahem).

Kitschen Pink said...

Oh! I've just found you and you've upped and gone! I shall spend a jolly month trawling through your archives until you return .... Chewie Brownies first methinks!

Iota said...

Ah, bitter sweet.

When they ask "are you happy?", you could always counter with "are you?" Why should you be expected to bear the brunt of self-analysis? (oops, I first wrote that as 'bare the brunt').

Have a good summer, and enjoy the champagne. In September you can write a blog post starting off
"Home again, home again, jiggety jig,
I've been to England, but now I'm back. Pig."

Suzy said...

Hey Pig!

Have a great time with your wonderful friends!!

Don't forget to come back.

Love,

Suzy

Marianne said...

Enjoy your holiday PITK. Remember that life will throw stuff at you wherever you are and France must be a terrific experience for you all.

Just packing up for a trip to Holland to mooch around the canals for a week. Not sure about sailing across the North Sea, but will take a big deep breath.

See you in September x

AliBlahBlah said...

I hope you are having a tremendous summer. I loved what you wrote about the inevitable questions thrown up by a trip home. Every time I go back to England to visit I see a shadow of the life I could be leading. It's a lot to deal with - like visiting a particularly probing psychiatrist when all you want to do is sit down to some fish and chips!!

Roll on September!

Miriam said...

May I be the first to welcome you back? Have missed you, checked in a few times over the summer to see if you got back early! Hope you had a great holiday, and also hope you'll post soon, mimi

Ladybird said...

Hi, I've visited your blog occasionally. I just want to know if your child has eczema-related allergies and whether these recipes wld be suitable for my son, who seem to have an assortment of allergies?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hello Ladybird. When my youngest was still breastfed, and before I discovered her allergies, she did have eczema on her face, in the knee and elbow creases. She also suffered occasionally from asthma and a recurrent chest infection. when I eliminated allergens from my diet and from hers, her eczema completely disappeared. However, my eldest suffers from eczema and asthma, and that is not food-related. Her asthma is triggered by pollens, and her eczema is mainly triggered by a dust-mite allergy.

I'm by no means an expert, but on personal experience, one person's eczema can be food-related, but another person's might not be.

So I'm not sure if the recipes would help your son or not. It's probably best to get advice from a health professional, and if you do think it's a food-related allergy, cut out one suspected allergen at a time. However, exclusion diets are tricky, and you will have to ensure that you compensate for whichever food or food group you're excluding. Again, a doctor or dietician should be able to advise.

I hope that doesn't sound too vague and actually not very helpful!

Good luck, and if I can be of any more use...

Thanks for visiting,

Pigx