For the last two days I’ve been recovering from a nasty cold by watching one BBC drama after another, immersing myself in worlds that feel so different to my own: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and finally, Upstairs Downstairs. The latter was a revelation; I thought it would be about class and an insight into the lives of servants, but it’s so much deeper than that. It’s set in the 1930s and touches upon many key moments in history through the lens of a particular household – 165 Eaton Place.
Watching these BBC series has been so inspiring; by demonstrating the power of good tv; the complexities of history and things past; the beauty of writing; the thousands of details that make up a life. I know I’ll continue to turn it all over in my mind while I’m sketching out ideas I have for stories. I feel like I’m going really well with my writing at the moment and chipping away at it seems to be working out. I have another personal essay being published in The Big Issue in the first week of January, this time talking about my family’s experiences with Chinese New Year.
For most people here, this time of year is frantic, and the last gasp before we can all breathe a collective sigh at another year reaching an end. Coming back home in September has cushioned me from the worst impacts of it. I’m continuing to slow down and my main extracurricular activity aside from writing is French and I just finished classes this week. I’m going to commit to another year, punctuated by a trip to New Caledonia half way through. It’ll be my first ever proper island holiday too, so I’m terribly excited. My feet are itchy again, and I can’t believe it’s now been more than six months since I left Thailand and three months since I left Europe. My time abroad feels like a lifetime ago, in the distant past, especially when I am wading in the Pacific or jumping up and down at a music festival. This is the present.