Isn't it strange the way the universe sometimes knows... it just knows what's happening and then it throws a few more poignant reminders in the mix to shake it all up a bit and make it even more significant.
Some (my dear husband included) would say that its just one of those relevance things.... like when you've just found out that you're pregnant, and you're yet to tell anyone, but suddenly all around you are baby bumps, and it's all that you can do to keep the exciting words from spilling from your lips. Or when, in a last ditch attempt to do something both unique and frivolous, you buy a lime green Audi, and then your kids point out five other cars 'just like ours' on the five minute trip from the house to school - and you might argue that there have always been that many lime green Audi's pootling around Ashtead, and you're only noticing them because now you have one, but really, I think the universe just knows.
Over the last couple of months, while I've been writing courses for A Happy Capture workshops, I've been looking back through my old images, searching for the perfect example to illustrate the rule of thirds, or depth of field - it's been a beautiful trip down memory lane. This past weekend marked our one year anniversary since we arrived back in Surrey after almost 10 years of adventure and hijinx in sunnier climes, and my mind was cast back to various significant moments in our Californian/Sydneyside/Round the world in 365 days/Virginian existence, it seemed no surprise at all to me when I found out that the theme this week for my photography 52 week project is 'home sweet home'.
It's a weird thing, being an expat. You move to a country where you're a stranger, an alien, a novelty, and you don't fit in. You have more free time than you ever had before, you act like a tourist and explore every intricate inch of the world around you, you make amazingly close friendships with people who are in similar situations to you and they ultimately become your expat family - celebrating birthdays, Christmases and other significant dates which had meant nothing to you in your previous life. You start to understand the ways of the locals, and gradually, subtly, you adapt your ways so that you are understood and can blend in and assimilate. Then suddenly, before you know it, this strange land has become home home. (And then just when you've got used to it you up roots and do it all again - leaving a wake of cardboard boxes and another set of places and faces to miss forever - but that's another story, for another day).
So here we are, one year in to returning to our old Surrey stomping ground. Our children are relatively settled, we've slotted back in with our old friends and made a good few new ones along the way, we have a definite routine, we've stopped calling coriander cilantro, rubbish trash, and I'm working really hard on the whole zucchini/courgette thing. We only have three boxes still left to unpack in the garage (this is good, honestly) and although our house is still a bit messy I think it has less to with being settled and more to do with my creative mind and lack of time, so all in all, this English/Australian/American hybrid family are home.
And just in case I set you wondering - there's no baby bump announcement or lime green Audi in this home.