Sitting by the little pond in my parents garden last night reading was a near perfect moment until it a touch of solo holiday guilt overwhelmed me knowing that my New Zealand family and friends were down under with the dark and cold.
Separation from family and long-time friends is the toughest part of being an ex-pat so trips back the UK are short but precious moments. Shared experiences become more special, almost sacred. Just sitting chatting over a cup of tea takes on greater significance because you are mindful of the scarce moment.
The summer and winter solstice are such defining points in the year. It gave me some comfort knowing that while I was spending the longest day of the year with my folks, my long-suffering husband was enduring the shortest on his own. It is even better knowing that from here on in New Zealand we have the best of the year ahead of us. Longer and warmer days.
My dream life would be able to live a life chasing the longest day. Six months in the northern hemisphere and the remaining six down south. That way I could drop winter from my calendar and revel in the warm seasons of hope, relish and bounty.
For now, I must embrace this northern summer and think warm thoughts for all my loved ones who are I hope cosy and warm in front of the fire.