Return from the UK

14 August 2020
For the last few weeks I was over in the UK and this has been by far the longest I had been over there in a single trip since I emigrated at the start of 2013. It was even longer than the trip back from New Zealand, and in itself is longer than the sum total of days spent in the UK since 2013. However due to the very abrupt way the trip was arranged which left all sorts of loose ends dangling, it was finally time to come back to this country and that is what I did last night. Like my New Zealand trip it has helped clear out my head with regards to my future, but unlike returning to New Zealand it is not optimism I bring with myself. In short I am right in the middle of what is without doubt a bad part of my life.

Since the end of March I had been living in somewhere that was supposed to be a stop-gap while a purchase of somewhere more permanent was in progress, but with the Covid-19 lock-down really kicking off just as I had started moving, I ended up staying in a place 24/7 which is patently unsuitable for use as a place of work and somewhat marginal even for living in. One of the motives for choosing the place is that it is in the same block of flats as the apartment I was going to buy, so in effect it was some heavy-duty due-diligence, but that motive is now gone.

Snapping point

Certainly by June it was pretty clear that circumstances were taking their toll on both my physical and mental health, and when some personal issues came into the equation I knew that I was at breaking point — I am not sure what it was but I knew that it was not good. I had over the previous 3-4 months had little in terms of positive stimulation and it had reached to the point where much of the time I felt like a goldfish, preferring not to think about anything and this in itself was causing issues. I knew at the very least I needed to get away so I decided to spend some time over in the UK with family. I was just about keeping things together on the professional side but recognising similarities with when I was heading for burnout back in 2012 I knew it was borrowed time. One qualitative things that has changed over the last six or so weeks was losing eight kilograms, even though quite likely I had actually been eating more than before I flew over.

Getting back on track

While over in the UK I took the opportunity to actually partake in my electronics hobby, which can be seen by the quick succession of electronics articles. I had to spend quite a significant amount ordering new stock and equipment from Farnell UK but it was the first time this year I felt any real enjoyment out of something. Progress with my updated LCD timer was a notable boost as earlier this year I thought it would be close to 2021 before I would be able to do any more work on it. However completion of this particular sub-project was somewhat bittersweet because it has associations with the aforementioned personal issues which I will not elabroate here because I do not feel like doing so. What I will say is that I expect my hobbyist interest in electronics to be a major part of my life in the short-to-medium term because such solitary activities are suited to the Covid-19 world of today and it is significantly different from my also-technical professional life.

The next move

While in the UK my solicitor got back to me regarding my purchase of a property and in short I decided not to go ahead with it. There were issues with the management company but rather than being helpful the seller's attitude made me decide that they were someone I simply did not want to do business with. In better circumstances things could have been ironed out but I did not have the energy, so I simply pulled the trigger and got it over and done with. The apartment I am staying in is now associated with nothing other than struggle and sadness, and with rental prices in the immediate area falling rapidly I plan to move somewhere else at the earliest opportunity. I need the space so that I can at least gets on with some parts of my life but the big rebuild is yet to come. Everything is now on the table and considering what I wrote here last decade this ironically includes a possible move back to the UK.