My Dad is off to Australia this weekend for a month and my mother is shortly to return from a six week stint in southern Spain soaking up the rays in retirement. Meanwhile my family are layering up with jumpers and coats and loading up pockets with tissues at the onset of yet another cold. In that respect I am looking forward to retirement. I am also annoyed with my parents that they did not emigrate to sunnier climes so that I could have enjoyed a warmer life in adulthood, in the style of the cast of Home and Away, finishing school and then heading down to the beach for surf and sand, rather than a school bus trip home through traffic and rain on a grey gloomy day. No doubt my children will also say the same about us. Given the choice I think my daughter would live in America. This preference is based on our trip to Florida early last year when it was all sun, theme park rides, fast food and massive Chevrolets. My son is obsessed with Despicable Me and while we were in Florida enjoyed our trip to Universal, which featured a Minions parade, so I think he would be quite happy too.
Would I miss England? Certainly not in the winter – I fail to see anything positive about life in this country from post Guy Fawkes to Spring. As much as I love early Spring, crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils do not make-up for feeling ill and cold – but they give a glimmer of hope that the end of winter is nigh.
I the meantime I sit as close to the woodburner as possible and exercise as much as I can to keep the blood pumping around.
If there was an opportunity to live in a warmer country I would jump at the chance. But if UKIP or the Conservatives, for that matter, get in again, I may well try to squeeze into someone’s hand luggage. Another few years of British austerity is as inviting as another helping of ‘gruel’.
This blog is for Unicef.
Thanks for reading.