We are crossing the pond for a family reunion and to catch up with old friends. One stop will be lunch with those friends at Tate Britain or as I in my ex-pat-out-of-step way still call it, the Tate Gallery. The Whistler restaurant at the Tate is where we as a whole crowd are having lunch and I hope it means photos of the Whistler murals still decorating the walls.
The photo above from Mlinaric on Decorating is of one of the rooms in the British Galleries at the V&A where my partner, or lover as we said then, first met more than half his life ago. The British Galleries did not exist those days - in fact where we met was the then V&A gift shop one dark December afternoon just before the museum closed.
Going back for an ex-pat is an odd thing: however long you live in your country of choice there are still aspects, sometimes surprising, that can make you feel alien. In my case I am frequently asked where I am from and though it is always kindly meant it always takes me aback. The same situation arises when you "go home" to where you were raised. There also you are alien because despite having kept your accent your phraseology belongs to where you now make home and love to live.
Its an odd thing, as I say, but we're only gone for a fortnight.