It is the little things you realise you appreciate when you are living away.
For the first time ever since I arrived, I am experiencing a tad touch of home sick. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love Tenerife and the people here are great. I am in no rush to get back to Britain, or Middlesbrough. I will pick crystal blue waters over Costa Del Redcar at this time.
Today I spent time with my cousin and his girlfriend, who are here on holiday. Last night we got drunk, raided a takeaway and I ate a plant on stand in the hallway of their hotel. In true British style, I got smashed and cured my incurable (apparently) hangover with a trip to Siam Park, the best water park around. So now I am on a come down, my shoulders are more red than the General Election results and I am dying (I think). So now I have a hint of sadness and appreciation for the little things. Is this inspiration or the hangover still hanging on?
As you can imagine in Tenerife, it is quite hot and my pits are more sweaty during the day than Theresa May waiting on a telephone call from the DUP. I would usually hate rain but I would dance in it if it was pouring down right now.
You see this picture above? Its quite familiar and its something you often see in Middlesbrough and other places in Britain. You hate it because its so “grim” and “grey”. “Its too wet” (didn’t realise you could get dry rain?). Yes, we moan about this all the time. However, when you are living in a hot country, this view is something you miss now and then.
A cold wet night with a good down pour as you’re walking down Waterloo Road, looking like a drowned rat, holding two carrier bags when the sudden thought of fish and chips or a parmo strike your mind. Come on, is it just me who loves those moments?
You see these are the things we don’t think about or embrace. We spend more time examining the cons of what we see or have than the pros, so at some point later on we suddenly realise how those miserable grim and grey nights in Middlesbrough, or anywhere else, were an excuse to get cosy on the couch with a bag of chips, marinated in salt and vinegar then toppled with scraps, to watch Eastenders or even an episode of Corrie.
We never think about the fortune we all share to be able to order a parmo to our home or make a trip to our favourite place for one. Whether you like plain, hotshot, pork or chicken. For the non-Teessiders, a parmo is a Teesside only speciality that is basically a heart attack on a plate but also a lovely way to die. Anyway, back on subject – we order, we eat, we regret, we plan a diet, then we fart and sleep. We don’t think about how this plate of cholesterol chaos is only made in our lovely little area and that you are not likely to find it anywhere else in the world.
Think about that for a second. Think about me munching on squid. Do you understand my point?
In Teesside, people moan a lot about the local area. In fact everyone pretty much moans about their town, city, estate, street or whatever else is in their sight. In Middlesbrough we moan about the town centre and the strange exotic smells we occasionally come across or intoxicated idiots on street corners at 9.00am. What we don’t talk about is how easily accessible the town centre is or how small it is so we know where everything is. We don’t talk about the view of the fountains or the bottle of notes in Centre Square.
We moan about some of the council estates and how terribly neglected they are, or the occasional chav we will come across being an idiot. But we don’t talk about the unity of the people and how everyone knows each other and is practically one big family. We don’t talk about the passion and beauty of that community spirit.
We moan about Boro Taxis, Blueline and the other firms with their non-conversational taxi drivers, waiting times or occasional uselessness of identifying a door number. But we never highlight how easy it is to order, how cheap the rates are or how drivers don’t expect mandatory tips.
Finally, we moan about the grim boring views of the industrial area, the smog lifting into the clouds and the big grey blocks in the horizon. What we don’t talk about is the legacy of that industrial area and the spectacular picture of it in the evening when we drive into our town.
These are all things that I miss. That and my mum, family, friends and Flares. I never appreciated my home enough, until I was no longer there. And even if you are pro-Boro, you probably still moan about the things listed above. Wherever you live, you will moan about.
Vice versa, I will miss the above view and many more when I finally return home. What did I learn? To embrace, love and appreciate this experience and these moments whilst I have them, as well as be grateful for the things I do have at home. I hope this post has taught you a very important lesson. Moan all you want but home is where the heart is. Home is beautiful no matter what it may appear to look like.
I feel happy again now after expressing this. I hope it brought a smile. Have a parmo on me. See you in winter!