Whilst out for dinner the other night with Lorraine, we got to talking about the most important event of the UK calendar: The Great British Bake Off. The time when all British people, regardless of age, race and gender, come together and unite over pastries, cakes and all things baked. I’m fairly certain that, if they wanted to, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood could conquer the world and the whole of Britain would put their differences aside and truly be behind them. I certainly would be. I can honestly say that I miss sitting down on the sofa with my family whilst harshly judging soggy bottoms and dry sponges. I like to think of myself as a relatively good baker, but the truth is I’m just another plain old average Joe next to all of these guys so I’m in no real position to start declaring how good or bad something is. It was upon discussing an old episode surrounding a baked Alaska incident, those British people reading this will identify immediately, that I got to realising just how many quirky and totally British things I truly miss – cakes and the Bake Off are merely just a couple.
I miss hiking in British hills. I miss standing on the side of slippery mountains, in the pouring rain, with so much cloud that you can’t see two metres in front of you, wrapped tightly in waterproof everything and occasionally stopping to munch on a squished ham sandwich and a pork pie you purchased from the local village butcher before you started your climb. Honestly, those climbs where you’re like ‘why the heck do I enjoy doing this?’ are probably one of my happiest places. And those occasional glorious days where you burn your nose and hike through the beautiful Lake District in a shorts and t-shirt are just enough to remind you that Great Britain has some of the most breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful countryside in the world. Frick, I really miss it.
And I miss coming home from a long hike with my Dad to a good old cup of Yorkshire Tea followed by a homemade roast dinner, with an unhealthy amount of Yorkshire Puddings and gravy.
Let’s not get me started on how much I miss London either. Hong Kong is an amazing city, but I can’t deny just a hint of jealously when I see all my friends’ photos together in London, drinking Pimms in parks on a Sunday afternoon and being all edgy in Shoreditch on a Saturday evening, or the overflow of people in every single pub on a Friday after work.
I’ve been away a year now, and will continue to be away a lot longer, and I haven’t really admitted quite how much I miss Britain as a place – but I really do.