At 4.30pm my out of office message will be switched on. A car will be waiting at reception to take me to the bowels of Terminal 1 in Dublin airport. I will take to the skies in a low cost carrier. A few hours later I will touch down in the land beneath the sea. I may get all Polishly papal when I disembark from the aeroplane, by kissing the ground. I’m going to Amsterdam and I am feeling all aflutter at the prospect.
For many years while living there, I used to get this ravenous yearning to go to Ireland once the six month mark between visits had passed. After a few days in the auld sod, the craving would subside, and I returned to the Dam refreshed
I’ve not had the same visceral need to escape back to Holland since my departure from the place. This may be because my move to Ireland was permanent – or at the very least, long term. And not having grown to adulthood there (which is a different thing to growing up) I never viewed it as ‘home’ in the manner I viewed Ireland.
But over the last week or so the yearning to be in Amsterdam has almost been physical. I wake up in the morning and count the number of days.
I will be seeing friends. And this is a joyful thing.
It is usual when you move country, that it is the responsibility of the person leaving to maintain the physical contact – if you don’t then friendships will potentially die. This is not a complaint. It’s an observation and it’s appropriate. The person leaving is the one leaving. Everyone else’s life carries on regardless. The visits and the journeys tend to be in one direction – in the direction of the place departed. This suits me fine – I get to return to my stomping ground. In any case, I have limited patience when it comes to being a tour guide in Ireland – I once almost mortally offended a friend in Holland when I rejected the idea of him coming to Ireland on a visit with me. I don’t think he appreciated me telling him that I didn’t want to spend my holiday showing him the sights and keeping him entertained.
The problem being, on short return visits, time is limited and it’s not always possible to catch up with everyone you might want to. Hurt feelings can ensue. But whatever.
I am desperately looking forward to this trip. I am knackered and a break from the old routine will do my innards the world of good. The reason I am tired is mainly because of that poxy month of November – short of day and cold, wet, long and dreary of night. It is my least favourite month of the year.
A recipe for misery. Coupled with the fact that I have just finished my first full length play, Completing a play is an achievement I know. But it’s only stage one of a much longer process. It is followed by the edit. And then by pimping it out to the world. Normally this would be a lengthier and more relaxed process without hard deadlines. But in this instance the deadline was looming and definite, so getting it finished took priority. I’ve thrown it out into the world to fend for itself, perhaps sooner than I would feel comfortable with. I hope it is accepted at the event to which it’s been submitted.
However, in my over-sensitive, slightly paranoid head, it seems to have been welcomed into the world with the same enthusiasm that would be given to a bucket of cold sick, or a bout of explosive diarrhoea.
Never mind. I am going to Amsterdam. I am meeting friends. I am relaxing. And when I return – refreshed and rejuvenated, I can tackle the task of dealing with my play’s future.