Before the birds are awake

by Anna Blanch on March 27, 2012

I’m still waking at 4:30am. So i’ve been awake a few hours already. I’m trying to decide whether to condition my body to stay on this schedule or move forward a couple more hours. The end of daylight savings will move it forward one more hour this weekend anyway.

I’ve been finding a restful, easy solace in those early morning hours before even the birds are awake. Where there are few traffic sounds. Where I can stay cocooned (without guilt) and muse about the day ahead. Yesterday I pushed myself through a 3 mile run. Jetlagged runs are a special kind of torture for me. But, these last couple have been a fun way of exploring the neighbourhood i find myself in.

I’m running a 10k (7 miles) race this Sunday. I might be slightly mad.

The cognitive fog of jetlag/tiredness is beginning to lift also, as my bones begin to thaw. The pain and unwellness of the jaw infection that plagued my travels has also improved. There were  there where the cold iciness of a packet of peas or ice cubes were all that kept me from guttural cries. I’ve had trouble weighing up how to deal with jetlag + infection. I’ve had to throw all my rules for post travel out the window.

People keep asking me if I live here.

Now I know I’m not in Scotland. In Scotland, the question is always , where do you stay? or do you stay around here?

Even though they mean the same, it never felt strange to answer yes to that question.

I begun to answer, well, yes, I guess I do; but it doesn’t feel like it yet.

because, it doesn’t.

I know i’m experiencing a little reverse culture shock too. I hear the Australian accent more strongly than ever before with colloquialisms both reassuring me of my place here and ringing like church bells. I’ve started to make a list of them. Auto-correct doesn’t quite know what to do with these mangled, often onomatopoetic, scraps of phonemes.

Beginning to write and work here in this new cottage yesterday has started to change that. As I carve out a space for creativity and writing, and a home here, then it might feel like I live here. But for now, nothing is familiar. I don’t know the streets. I look at the buildings and the talking pensioners having an early morning chat on a main street bench and the locals walking their dogs with the eyes of an outsider. I don’t know the rules, the conventions. I see history, and quaintness and am quietly happy when I notice an asian food supply store and a local material world outlet. I happily noted at least 5 churches on my run yesterday morning.

Being an outsider to a church is something else I’m experiencing. I haven’t decided whether to write about the process as I’m working through it, or later on reflection. I don’t want to pre-judge others. I want my own reactions not to be tempered by realising I’ll write about it (get your head around that philisophical conundrum). I want to be open to where god has for me to be here. But until then I will miss my community in Scotland greatly (and probably still even then).

Have I mentioned the joy of the sun warm upon my face, or the expectation of warmth that comes with each hour? No. Well, know my heart is full and I’m hoping the work will flow. Time to add some words to that word count to the right there! As for now, the cockatoos are awake now heralding the beginning of a new day. It’s time to relish this day, this hour.

No Pressure, No diamonds, people!



Life: UnmaskedThought it feels like alot of my posts lately have been life unmasked! I warned you it might get a little Dear diary around here for a while, this post is actually officially my fifth Life Unmasked post for 2012. In addition to my fourth, Blessed are the encouragers, the third, Sleepless in the PhD wilderness, and second for this year, A naked theologian, you may find my last life:unmasked post for 2011, A journeywoman, and my first for 2012, I’m an inbetweener of interest. All my 2011 Life unmasked can be found on this handy list. You can thank Joy of Joy’s Journey for pushing me to get involved in this weekly foray into ‘writing naked.’

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  • Bex Lewis

    10k on Sunday – you mad woman!! xx

    • Anna Blanch

      yes, yes I fear I am. I know I can do the distance but it may be punctuated by some walking/be quite slow.

    • Goannatree

       yes, yes, I think i probably am!

  • Findo

    Live / Stay confuses me in German too.
    They don’t use the word ‘stay’ (bleiben) in the context of residing in a place for a short time, as we would, instead, they just use the word for live (wohnen). So, I would ask a visitor to Karlsruhe where they are ‘living’ tonight. I quite like that inherent perspective of that, actually.(My jetlag tip, fwiw, is Melatonin – take one at bed time for three days before, and three days after travel.. helps reset the body clock.)

    • Anna Blanch

      it’s highly possible that the scottish derivation comes from the german. You don’t here the use of stay meaning to live elsewhere in the UK.

    • Goannatree

       i really think the scots must get the stay/live meaning the same thing from the Germans.

      I’ve never tried Melatonin….

  • Hilary Sherratt

    I love reading about your journey – I hope that you continue to find joy in the newness of it all! Good luck on your race!

    • Goannatree

       Thankyou so much Hiliary! It’s been fascinating so far.

  • Pingback: living in between and the linguistic revelations of reverse culture shock — Goannatree()

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