Let's be real. I live in China. Previously, I've spent my whole life growing up and living in England - it's my home. We can go abroad and bitch about England, we can join our friends and our colleagues and complain about the rain, the buses, the tube, the politics, the costs and even when the sun is too hot - but you will never never find anywhere in the world that quite compares.
I've been feeling a bit nostalgic about Home recently, and the other evening, when hanging out with some friends (Brits were present), we (the Brits) started using pretty English expressions. This made me miss Home and then we started talking about what it was that we missed. Here's what I miss the most..
Boots is just one of those places, you probably go once a week - and you're like 'what.. why am I in here again? - Oh look! Toothbrushes!' I love an endless roam around Boots. It's something I miss here a lot - knowing there's always a cheeky pharamcy in the back or even the smallest of Boots will have what you need - but mostly because I really miss those double faced cotton pads.
I miss the leaves more than anything. I never really grew out of legging it towards a pile of leaves and kicking them all over the place like a small child off the leash. I also miss the colours of the parks and how the Harvey Nics window usually picks up the seasonal change.
I like jumpers. I like coats. I like to wear all the clothes at the same time and feel cozy - no chance of that here in Hong Kong.
I miss crap fountains - you get those in parks - well they come hand in hand. I miss going to the park, It's just one of those things, when you have nothing to do and you're out and about, take a stroll in the park - any park! I really miss grass too - Asian grass is just not the same - it's all scratchy and weird.
All the time. I miss having tea breaks in the office - but I have been given some scope to implement tea time here in the Hong Kong office! Woohoo! Luckily and ironically, there is a Marks and Spencer's about a 1 minute walk down the Mid Level escalator (google it) and I can buy all the teas in there - at a price..
The Pub - all of them
I miss being in a casual place, having a poorly made vodka and flat tonic, being surrounded by loud people, being pushed and shoved over sticky floors. I miss being crammed into any sort of outdoor space with a promise of a tree festooned with lights and a cruddy little picnic table which is for sure - full of 11+ dirty glasses.
I know I'm a very lucky girl to have been able to call it my home for about 4 of the 8 years I lived in London. It is such a special place to me. I loved having and making friends that lived so close by, going to the same bar every week and for it to never be boring, to know the people in the sausage shop and to have such a great diverse mix of cultures. Notting Hill will always be my happy place.
The People I Love
Mostly my Mom. She's really the best. I think if you were to meet her, you'd feel the same way. I miss talking with her every night that I'm in my parents house until 2am. I miss her making me Iranian style eggs in the morning (scrambled eggs with feta) - I even miss going to Waitrose with her. I also miss my girly pals - I miss playing dress up on a Friday night with wine, I miss being in the garden and I miss having brunch, I miss holding hands with them and squealing. I also miss a select few boys - some from Architecture school - I miss their terrible pub chat, awful humor, handsome smiles and warm hearts.
Jeez Louise - am I really saying that? I am. I miss that the rain in England is actually cold. Wtf is this warm Hong Kong rain? Is it sunny over the harbor and raining over here?! I can't get my head around the changing weather and neither can my outfits. I'm talking flip flops, wet feet, bare arms and a brolly. Yeah. Exactly.
I miss my cruddy little Clio, Max. I miss that car so much. I miss bombing around W11 and I miss having a resi permit for RBKC and parking outside of Harrods to do shopping (Walfords mostly - but there was this one time I did my Christmas shopping there - WTF?! - I am Persian I guess)
There's something very magical about British Woodlands. I really like the smell and the springy ground from all of the fallen leaves (more child-like running occurs in the woods).
I actually really miss the bus. There's something quite nice about hopping on a bus (ONLY if you are not running late) and looking out of the window and wondering about life. I think I enjoyed the bus so much because it meant that when you are sitting there, you can't really do much else other than to be in that moment. The bus is something that is infinitely more exciting than a taxi, because you feel so connected to the city and the people in it. You know, if you've moved around the Capital, you start to take different buses, and then a few years down the line, brimming with nostalgia, you'll think, 'oh.. Remember the 74?' And then, maybe, like me, you'll be awash with warm memories.
I lived in Bath for about a year and a half. It is such a special and beautiful place. I was really lucky and I worked for a fabulous office (will write about it at some point) and it was all so magical and pretty. I love all of the stone and Georgian buildings. The town centre is equally as gorgeous as the river that flows through it.
It's interesting to look back on the things you miss. Writing this has of course made me miss England, but I am happy to have had the time away to realise how wonderful it can be. If you moved away, what do you think you would miss the most?
If you'd like to see more images of beautiful Britain, head over to my Pinterest Board - 'England is Glorious'