Staying where I am for a bit

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I am discombobulated. For the first time in 7 years I am staying in Scotland for January. I’m relaxing in bed, cat gently snoring, listening to rain pelting the window and wind rattling the slates. Considering getting up and lighting the stove to get the house warm.

Normally at this time of year I am a week or less away from jumping on a plane and spending 36 hours straight to fly around the world to New Zealand. Touchdown in Auckland, enjoying the walk to the domestic terminal with good coffee in a light breeze after 2 x 12 hour flights. The last hop down to Wellington in sunshine, flying over the Kapiti Coast and the city and thinking of friends down there that I’ll see soon. It’s become a trip filled with little memories and rituals.

I’m an early January baby and my birthday has been spent with my sister and Aunties in vineyards, eating lunch under the sunshine. One of my nieces is also an early Jan baby, so we have a birthday party for her too. My sister ropes me into helping make the most incredible cakes, which usually involves staying up late, drinking wine and trying to decorate something elaborate. We have a short window of around a fortnight every year where we get to hang out together and it’s never enough.

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This year I will be back at work in January. I have deferred my normal trip to March instead. It’ll still be good, great even, but it will also be different. And in the meantime I have to deal with the wind-backed horizontal drizzle that is Scotland.

Tomorrow though we’ll all Skype together as we do each Christmas and I’ll see these two nut-jobs in full Christmas sugar-high. I can’t wait.

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