Wednesday, 25 August 2010

From Edinburgh to Munich - A Personal Blog

I'm not a great one for writing
personal blogs. I distrust their facile, almost masturbatory presentationism: Look this is my house, my cat, my husband, mybrilliant kids who (together with 99.8 percent of the others) got brilliantGCSE results etc. etc., and I dislike the hypocritical comments even more "Oh X,thanks for sharing, my kids are equally gifted, my house just as big...) There is something HyacinthBouquet-ish about personal blogs, and I certainly don't want to be associated with that.

But there it is, I'm writing one. If only as I thought a little explaining might be in order.

I've recently moved from a very northern town (Edinburgh) to quite a southern one (Munich). It's not actually that far: 827 miles - can this be quite right? It certainly feels like a totally different planet.

Why did you do that, a lot of people have asked me. Maybe assuming I was some quirky traveller who tried out weird and wonderful locations, decided they weren't quite right, and then moved on.

Well not quite. The reality is a little more prosaic, and it is one I share with lots of people in the modern world. I am a corporate spouse, as the official parlance goes. And wherever my husband's job requires us to go, I will move.

So I didn't choose Paris, London or Frankfurt, where we lived in the past. I did not choose Scotland, and neither did I choose to live in Munich. I just try and get on with what's thrown at me as best I can.

The other thing that people have said to me recently about my move is "You must be elated, you're going back home". Home? Hmm. Most of you will probably know Munich better than I do. I've been here a few times as a tourist, but that's about it. Even in the wider frame, it's not homeby any stretch of the imagination. I was brought up in Holland and spent my formative years in England. Most of my family are in England. To be honest, I couldn't say where my "home" is. I've moved about so much, somewhere amongst the boxes, the new flats, and new experiences, the concept must have got lost.

Still, I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm not ready to call a place my home, and settle there for good. I'm glad that I have the opportunity to try out new locations, tune my intercultural antennae, and maybe find out, one day, where I'd really like to live.

Meanwhile thank you for sharing the journey!