Why I shouldn’t Complain

There are certain times of year when I miss the UK, particularly at the turn of a season. Here in Brunei we have wet season, when it rains more than usual and dry season, when it rains slightly less.

A sunny autumnal day in the UK
A sunny autumnal day in the UK

Leaves fall from the trees all year round and there is none of the excitement of spring when you know that winter is drawing to a close. Christmas in the heat is downright strange (particularly when there are snowflakes hanging from the ceiling in restaurants where you are sweating away), and every day it is the same relentless heat.

Then I remind myself to stop romanticising. Yes, it would be nice if it was cooler and I could go for a walk in the middle of the day. But sometimes in Scotland weeks would go by without me taking a walk because it was dark when I finished work and raining at the weekends. Yes, it would be lovely to go and see a firework display on the 5th November but last time I went I got so cold I couldn’t feel my hands and was desperate to leave. Autumn is beautiful, but all too soon it turns to winter with its landscape of brown, empty fields and endless frost-scraping. The promise of new life in spring was marred by my ever-worsening hayfever which was like the flu last time I experienced it. Here, because there are no seasons and therefore no one time when all the trees blossom or all the flowers bloom, I don’t seem to suffer.

I still maintain that there are few better places in the world than the UK on a beautiful summer’s day.

Orkney in the sunshine
Orkney in the sunshine

But honestly, how many of those days are there? And as much as I fondly remember sitting by the fire reading a book in the winter, I know that there are plenty of other times when that fire was never warm enough (and I couldn’t spend all my time sitting in front of it – sometimes I had to go out!)

I doubt there is a perfect place to live – everywhere has its problems (correct me if I’m wrong and tell me where you live!) But I was browsing through some other blogs this morning and found one writer whose dream is to visit Borneo. So I remind myself how lucky I am to be living here and, even though it can be frustrating at times, I should try to live in the moment and appreciate what I have rather than bemoaning whatever problems I have faced this week (a glut of mosquitoes if you’re wondering).

So this post is about what I am thankful for: I am thankful that I live in a relatively safe country where I can walk around without fear; I am glad that I don’t have to face a freezing cold winter; I am happy to be living in a small community where I have some fantastic friends just around the corner; I am ever so lucky to live in a part of the world that people dream of visiting and seeing exotic creatures on a daily basis.

The Borneo rainforest
The Borneo rainforest

I would love to hear what you are thankful for where you live, what would you miss if you moved away?


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