quiet…… for a change

I’m in a thoughtful mood today so be prepared.
It’s probably because it hurts to talk right now and I sound like a cross between Macy Gray and Bonnie Tyler. It also may be because the days are counting down to our visit back to England and I’m reflecting over the last year.
First though I should update you on the raccoon saga. We have one raccoon that has begun to come to the back door during daylight, now as I’ve mentioned raccoons and cats don’t mix well and cats rarely win so this has been a little stressful. It seems to be around 8am and 6pm that it wanders over to see what is going on with us. It doesn’t appear to be full grown which is good but it also seems to have no fear of anythign or anyone except for water. After a number of close calls with one or other cat and the neighbour having seen it on our roof (definitely not good as they can be very destructive) we have decided to make it feel really unwelcome. for a couple of days there has been a loaded water gun at the door it frequents loaded and ready to go. This morning Matt spotted it and as he and I went to grab the cats from the door Martin grabbed the water gun and went out. Some time later the raccoon ran off, Martin’s persistience and good shooting had made even the normal refuge under the deck uncomfortable and so the raccoon ran away. I have no doubts it will be back as our neighbours put nuts out for squirrels and the raccoon has cottoned on to this and goes to their back door searching for any left…….. maybe though not for a few days…we are hoping over time it will find someone else to visit.
 So back to my thoughtful mood. So much seems to have happened over the last year and yet some days have been empty, it has gone quickly in many ways but when I think back to before we left it feels like more than one year. With these mixed feelings come many others not least of which are excitement to see everyone…family and friends. I have missed some people so much that it will be great to see them but I’m realising more and more that if we want any decent time with people it will have to be from them visiting us. We have a timetable for the visit back that leaves us no time to breathe or add anything … I would love to be able to see how it goes and arrange things when we are there but it seems unrealistic…so for now this is the way we are trying it. I’ve been told that as time passes there are less people wanting to see you when you visit but I’m hoping that isn’t the case….. even if that’s against the odds a bit. I think part of what is going on for me now is wondering how being back will affect us all….. will it make it harder to leave? will it be hard to see people? will people think we have changed? will we have the same conversations over and over again… in the same way I have when I meet people here but in reverse? will I miss my cats too much and worry about them? will we see everryone we want to and get to feel like a bit of a holiday?
The main issue right now though seems to be how soon can we buy nice chocolate! Life with fake cadburys is grim, but then the list of foods we miss is long and mostly simple…. cheese…wensleydale & caerphilly,  bread…(tiger), angel delight (no idea why btu suddenly for no reason) ….the list continues and will be written down very soon.
 the boys finish school in a few days …later than planned thanks to the snow days but still much earlier than in the Uk….. I’m looking forward to having time with them. The school year here seems much mroe intense though it may also be that the boys are growing I guess. The lack of half term holidays and early mornings followed by the amount of homework has just left me feeling we have little time to ‘be’ and the boys need time to just relax a bit. I’m glad they still learn their Kenpo karate as it gives them a hysical break from study and is doing wonders for them and their development. They have a belt test on Saturday for their purple belt and seem ready for it. It’s a milestone belt as it means they are now allowed to wear the black gee (uniform) and learn other things which they are excited about.
 I think that’s about it for now, paperwork continues for evaluating my qualifications ….watch this space…. but other than that life just continues.
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