It’s been a strange week since I last updated. First the news updates on the bike.
Got my new air filter in the mail last Thursday and replaced it. Bike works great now, no problems from a mechanical perspective. Also bought an AGV Aeromesh riding jacket for summer riding, an AGV Rain Suit so I can ride in the rain without getting completely drenched, a Clymer’s maintenance manual for the bike and a few other knick-knacks. If you look to my sidebar on the left you’ll see I added a new Articles and Reviews link. I’ve written a review of my Aeromesh jacket to kick it off, and I hope to add more as I get time to write more. There are a couple of pics in there too taken with my MPX220. Still need to get around to writing a review of that piece of kit!
So why am I feeling funky (see the title of this entry)? Well, I guess my feelings at the moment are a combination of a lot of things; a little homesickness, feeling alone and just a feeling of disconnection. What caused this? Read on.
Last night I got home from my rain ride (see the Aeromesh review) and checked mail. There was a package in the mail from my father who lives in New Zealand. Inside was a CD-R. Anyway, after a little mucking around I managed to read the data from the CD (the drive in one of my PC’s is apparently dead) and found on it a letter from him and a bunch of pictures. Not to mention a Powerpoint presentation put together by my uncle Bryan to celebrate the diamond wedding anniversary of my grandparents on the Haslett side. So I started browsing pictures…
Not sure when the malaise came over me exactly, but it was while looking at these pictures that I started realizing how far from home I really am. I was looking at pictures of my cousins, kids I grew up playing with and realized that I could only vaguely recognize them now. I knew their names but it took a lot of digging.
It was while looking at one picture containing “most of the grandchildren” that it really hit home. I made the realization that standing at the left side of the picture were both of my brothers… and I realized that I initially hadn’t recognized either of them.
That’s a strange feeling, when you realize that your own brothers might not recognize you either. My cousins, who knows if they remember or think about me? I was never that close with the Haslett side of the family, mostly because my mother was quite controlling and didn’t like them very much. Funny, that out of the photos only two of the cousins I recognized; Claire and Rachel.
Suddenly the feeling of being thousands of miles from your family hits home. It’s like a ton of bricks hitting you from several hundred feet; your heart sinks, your stomach churns and you suddenly feel incredibly alone in the world. Isolated.
I’ve never had time to go home again since I left 10 years ago. Funnily enough, the last time I saw all those cousins in the pictures I was at the 50th wedding anniversary. That was also the last time I saw either of my brothers. You know, it probably didn’t help my mood that the 60th anniversary was at Belfast Castle, same as the 50th. Everything looking the same except the people… and putting a lot of it in perspective in a way that really hit home.
So here I am, sitting here typing out my feelings and at the same time feeling like I need to go home… if only for a little while. But as usual it comes down to money and time; when I have one I never have the other.
Sometimes people look at me and think from my exterior that living half way around the planet from everything you knew growing up is easy. It isn’t.