I am so grateful for this third chance to live in Europe. I am not an adolescent this time with complex mental goings-on and a constant pressure to fit in with my peers. I am not a young mother this time, house-bound, aching for adult company and a chance to do something other than cook and bring up my child. This time, the kids are older. I have alot more time just to myself. I am older, I love myself much more. I have three beautiful children and a wonderful husband. And Europe….

I want to take this opportunity to drink everything in that I couldn’t earlier. I want to observe the change of seasons, feel it on my skin, hold my face up to it. I want to take long walks, stare long at the wrought iron balustrades, the statues, the stone leaves and carvings that adorn the older buildings. I want to see and smile at how the river flows through Geneva while apartment buildings and houses stand above it on a cliff, flowers cascading down their balconies from window planters. I want to pause and look down at how the sun makes the water in the river glimmer. I want to walk by the boulangeries and the patisseries and listen to the sound of French melting into my ears. I am not afraid of trying a few words out this time, my adolescent self-consciousness has waned. I might even learn to find French easy to pick up. Perhaps I can finally put the ghost of Madame Drew to rest.

The thought of a grey winter is still daunting but this time I want to spend my energy on making our home warm and, in Myna’s words, ‘comfy-cosy’ for those I love. I want to have soups ready and lamps on and couch throws and cushions….For the moment, I am enjoying this freedom, this time to think and feel. I am not in any hurry to look for work. Maybe this is the result of a too-long summer break. Maybe I will tire of all this soon. But I want to take my time to come to those realisations without any hurry.

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