I miss my friends. It’s not that I don’t have great friends in the UK that I am thrilled to see again and more regularly, but I miss my friends from the BVI. It’s those everyday friends you can’t replace easily, you know the ones, you’ve spent every Friday after school together with a glass of wine while your children played happily together, you’ve organised birthday parties together, you’ve helped each other out in times of trouble, you’ve had numerous lattes and lunches together discussing and dissecting life, you’ve been through stuff. Email and Facebook are of course wonderful in many ways, but they are not the same. I miss their faces and that easy sense of companionship. I miss our small society where we didn’t have to book more than a week ahead to see each other and we didn’t have to travel far.
And then it’s nature. I miss the pelicans, those strange seemingly pre-historic birds diving vertically for their breakfast, then spending all day bobbing on the waves or sitting on a rock. I miss the beautiful hummingbird with its rapid fluttering wings and brilliant green body as it sucks the nectar out of the red flowers on our patio. I miss the bright turquoise sea which I could see around the bend of every road. I miss swimming in that warm water and seeing a school of tiny silver fish whoosh by, the thrill of seeing turtles nibbling sea grass, or a sting ray loitering on the sea bed. I miss the feel of sand on my toes. I miss climbing down the rocks to ‘our’ beach. I miss the bright moon and sky full of stars, the sound of the tree frogs croaking at night and the noise on the roof of a sudden heavy downpour. I miss the bright colours of the hibiscus flower and the flamboyant tree with its orangey red blossom lighting up the hills. I miss the taste of fresh mango. I miss the ambling cow on the road with the white egret at its tail.
I miss having my husband home at 6.30pm and him not being more than twenty minutes away from us. I miss the huge empty outdoor swimming pool. I miss the lack of commercialism, the ease of getting dressed in flip flops, shorts and t-shirts. I miss that slow pace which used to infuriate me at the time. I miss the simplicity.
And now I feel sad…