couchsurfing (georgie’s definition as it involves beds)
the practice of sleeping overnight in the houses of friends or family and having the privilege of sleeping in a bed over a couch, especially as an alternative to staying in my car, the streets, etc
I love this invented word (don’t know if it’s cool enough to apply for a patent yet… 😉 ) as I feel it explains what I’m up to for the next two months.
[warning: this is a long post! ahah]
Imagine that it is the 1st July.
The lease on my student house expired yesterday and I am fortunate enough to have friends in Nottingham who still have their houses for July and others that have leases that will start in August. A lovely friend, Ciara, has offered her house to me for the first two weeks of July so I’ve moved my stuff across and life can go on as usual… closest to it anyway… Without a permanent base throughout the summer it’s my car and I against the world… and two car loads of my belongings… Wondering how I am going to fit all this into one car load?
I haven’t a clue either…
(open to any suggestions :D)
At the moment I’m still staying in the same area of Nottingham as I was in a house all for myself. (My friend’s housemates have all returned home.) It’s rather exciting really. It’s a glimpse at working life as I’m living the pattern of going out everyday to one of the Sports Centres to work and returning.
I do miss my little home on Teversal Avenue. However I think I won’t believe that my undergraduate life has come to an end until I leave Nottingham in September. Even then, I intend to keep my links to this city as it really does feel like my home… so who knows when I’ll have that mini-“omg” moment… probably when I’m doing some piece of my masters course coursework and questioning all my decisions in life as any student in a small crisis does.
Now fast forward to the 16th July… where I will briefly explain the two week gap I’ve just jumped because it’s rather all over the place! Basically, the night of the 1st July (yes the first day I was living in my friend’s place), I realised I didn’t have the house keys on me. I had lost them. Many of my friends would just shake their heads at me thinking “typical Georgie” but out all of things I misplace… Keys aren’t one of them. The only key-related issue I have had was in first year when my room key bent in half when I put it lock to open my door!
So back to the 1st July (which is a Friday) at about 22:33 where I had just finished work at Sutton Bonington and realised I had no keys…
Okay Georgie, breathe, it’s not the end of the world even though all your belongings are in that house and you only have work clothes and your car… Unfortunately Ciara was in Portugal and there was no-one else in the house with me to let me in but those are only small problems compared to the big one: I was literally homeless. Thankfully a few of my spanish coursemates were still in Nottingham and look at their phones when they saw my desperate messages. So Jo was at home and Helen was not around so they saved the day by letting me crash there for two nights. For the next four days I just went between work and to the house whilst communicating with Ciara to work out what to do next about getting into the house. She was back from Portugal on the Sunday, and able to post her spare set of keys on the Monday to get to me on the Tuesday. Yay!
Eventually, on the Tuesday, I got back into the house and hugged my belongings having felt like I’d been away for ages then enjoyed a good nights sleep. For many reasons that are just too complicated to explain, between that Tuesday and ten days later, I managed to only sleep in that bed a total number of 4 times, my friends’ bed (them not in it too) a number of 3 times and a couch at least once!
The next big event was my graduation on the 20th July (although not quite stopped the couch surfing yet) and my parents came back to the U.K. from Canada to attend. I’m just going to post a few pictures to show the day in a nutshell! It was fantastic and is still odd to call myself and my friends official ‘language graduates’!
From there I worked then spent a week in Wales cut off from the rest of the world which was bliss. Sometimes one just needs to have no phone reception to let them escape from the domination of technology. Sad but true.
And then I had a weekend with my parents… also seeing Nicole, an old friend, for the first time in four years! It was such a good catch up and amazing to see where our degrees and lives have taken us.
And this brought us to Sunday 7th August…
Time has flown since I last took a moment to write something down. (written on the 7th August). I have neglected this blog and not scribbled down my outbursts and experiences for a pretty long time.
Today is a reaction to my parents returning to Canada. Like many people, my strong emotional response just makes me want to write out everything. I guess it’s one of my coping methods although I do also enjoy it so this is a highlight of blurting out my thoughts and feelings.
Once again my family headed in different directions. My parents drove off in one direction to Heathrow Airport, I drove in the opposite direction to Staffordshire to visit my grandparents and my brother cycled down the road back to the farm rolling a suitcase behind him (very comical bonkers moment)… I can’t describe how it feels to say goodbye. Well, it’s better to say a “see you later” as it doesn’t sound too ominous or sad. I feel like we’re used to this pattern of time together and time apart as they moved to Calgary a while ago! Yet I know that come the morning of their departure – or mine to return to the UK – my family still haven’t quite got the hang of our waterworks. I know that we’re very lucky as a family, that we’re all in good health, we have technology to keep us in contact, and the opportunities to see more of the world… But sometimes I feel like the kid who pulled the short straw. And I just can’t help it. As we change and grow up we make new homes for ourselves, leaving our parents behind in order for us to go off and explore the big wide world alone. I wear a bracelet on my wrist with my favourite quote “home is where the heart is” because 1. I am a very profound person who is at times way too emotional, and 2. because I’m still looking for that “home“.
My experience of the first day in august 2013 my mum and brother left has slightly tarnished my subsequent reactions and behaviour towards any situation that relates to my parents moving away. To be frank, I don’t trust anyone to open up to. Not because I don’t have trustworthy friends – but who the hell is going to understand me? Close to none. I thought I had a friend on that day that I could trust in to just get me through the day and help with the waterworks. Instead they had to be asked by their mother to hug me. Really? That’s what I get? All those years of friendship and support for this?
It’s difficult because many of my friends feel disassociated from their childhood homes and can say they only see their parents a few times a year too. Therefore, I found myself in a rut a year after my parents had moved. I am one of those people who manages to accidentally and completely unexpectedly (even to myself) pick the time and place that involves many friends and family bunched together in a static caravan to basically… have a little breakdown. It will never happen again (I promise parents) and although it’s cringey to look back on, it was going to happen at some point. I can’t ever explain to any of my friends how it feels when my parents leave to fly 5,000 miles away. It never gets easier not knowing when I’ll see them next, how the time difference sometimes gets in the way of the day, how the few moments we have together right now add up to what feels like a day. When, in fact, it’s been three christmases, a summer and their visits back to the UK. Does any of the above that even make sense? Most likely not. But that’s okay 🙂 This is the last post I think I’ll write about my parents being abroad because I believe the dust has finally settled. Us four are
good no, great. And the future is full of opportunity, love and enjoying life.
as of last wednesday evening… my couch surfing days are over. (For now, I don’t want to jinx myself!) I’m looking forward to not have to sleep in tiny caravan beds, sofas, other peoples bed or even the last resort option of my cars backseats! It’s the August Bank Holiday weekend here so I’m sure many people will be out in the sunshine enjoying their free time.. So I hope you Brits are too! And to everyone else, have a lovely weekend.