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Автор Добавил в Колонки | Tara Bond 19 января 2015 г.

I feel as if the me I want to be, is not always the me I am. The reality verses the dream can sometimes be brought sharply into focus, it can come from the look of a stranger, the question of a friend or an explanation that as the words are coming out of your mouth you realise the ridiculousness of what you are saying.

 

In my dreams I’m someone who does lots of yoga, eats healthy food, is always kind to others, definitely doesn’t smoke and has plenty of time for her children and husband. I always imagine myself cooking in a large french farmhouse kitchen with products from my own vegetable patch. My garden is a marvel to behold full of sequential blooms, in white, pink and blue which underpin a backbone of topiary balls, pyramids and cloud hedges. There are no weeds in sight and the grass a verdant carpet of green. My dogs are well trained angels that never traipsed through my flower beds, always went to the toilet in the same place outside and walked like show animals next to me on the lead. Each night I read lovingly to my children for at least an hour making all the different voices of the characters in the book and then wafting beautifully with very smooth legs go to bed to join my husband for a night of romantic pleasure..... Oh yes and of course I still look like I’m twenty and have a very flat stomach. Well that is the dream. I feel that the closest I get to that is Pintrest at the moment. I can spend time on line and simply by picking out pictures and pinning them to a board there is a sense of accomplishment.

 

Perception is a strange old thing. Each morning mine is challenged when I take the dogs for a walk. It starts with them so animated that they go round in circles, covering me in their muddy paw prints. It is not a pretty sight and the mental image I have of myself in my jogging pants and hair neatly tied up with two beautiful dogs beside me, is shattered by the reality when I look in the mirror. Looking back is a woman in muddy trousers, hair everywhere, a bit of yesterdays make up smeared around the eyes and wearing an expression of exasperation. However, set off I must, and out of the door we go. As I walk down the river I get alternatively pulled one way then the other and spend most of my time swearing. My attempts at jogging are usually that, attempts. On more than one occasion while running I have been catapulted into the side by one dog following a scent at full speed while the other one decided to abruptly stop and sniff. Just the other day as I was wishing an elderly couple good morning, I was pulled in a demented fashion towards a squirrel that managed to escape up a tree in the nick of time. I however tripped and while still holding onto both leads and trying to look calm managed to get completely covered in snow. At least it put a smile on their faces.

 

I got a sharp reality check when not too long ago we had broken down on the auto route in France. It was vile weather, wet and freezing cold with the de rigueur European wind blowing. We were on a schedule, I had been up half the night before packing up and was tired, stressed and feeling rather frazzled. In the middle of the journey we got a flat tyre, unfortunately we had a silly car that does not carry a spare, only a bottle of some very special compound that you put into the tyre to magically fix it. However, very silly compound would not go past the very special valve, so we had to call for the breakdown truck. Feeling bereft and sorry for myself, I was explaining in my best French where we were and how to recognise us when I uttered the words, “I am the woman in the fur coat standing next to the broken down Maserati”. Life suddenly didn’t seem as tragic as it had felt only a few minutes earlier.

 

When my friends in England ask me what life is like here in Kazakhstan, I find it very hard to explain to them. My first reply is, come and visit and find out, but they have mostly been useless and rely on me to come back in holidays to catch up. Those who do come to visit love it and are so glad they made the trip. Too many people are scared of pastures new and prefer to take the same holidays every year in just slightly different European destinations. Hence I keep getting asked, “What’s your life like in Kazakhstan”? I can tell them that the kids know about generators, but they also think it’s normal for most children at school to have a driver. Or that they want to grow up and have a fleet of G Wagons at their wedding and think nothing of eating a bit of horse. We ski at the weekends in winter and in summer like to go out on the steppe for picnics. The women are gorgeous and I’m a big scruff (in the UK I’m considered quite smart). At first they are interested but then their eyes glaze over and you know you just can’t explain. All the differences, all the similarities that make up my everyday life. These are the things that make you question your identity.

 

I might dream of my French farmhouse kitchen but I don’t think I’ll ever have the energy to grow all my own vegetables. I work on my garden every year and for at least two weeks it makes me happy. I have no nails by this point and my back aches from all the time spent weeding and digging. 

 

When I collapse at the end of a hot day with a glass of wine in hand, for purely medicinal purposes, I enjoy the fruits of my labour. As for the lawn, well I don’t want the kids to stop playing football for pure aesthetics, luckily it can always recover. All said and done, I love my life. I love being here, I love my family and I even don’t mind too much that I don’t have an exceptionally flat stomach. I still wish my dogs were better behaved and I’m going to have to give up smoking. If it were all perfect, life would really be no fun at all. It is the discrepancies between the reality and the fantasy that keep us going and inspire us to achieve in fields great and small. I shall keep dreaming and maybe even take a yoga class or two. But right now I might go back to Pintrest and create a new board, at least there I can have a beautiful topiary garden. 

 

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