Pancakes and support groups
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 - 8:06 pm.

From last Thursday to this Tuesday (yesterday), Andrew and I have been busy meeting with friends and going on trips. I can get whiny about that, but once we're in the event, I enjoy myself.

On Thursday we met with the Chilean friends, a couple, who welcomed us in Sheffield and were a family to us there. They live there, have lived there since they escaped the Chilean dictatorship in the 70s. They are currently visiting their homeland, hopping from city to city and always encountering the countless students they have welcomed in Sheffield over the years (Andrew and I included).

We invited them to come over to our house, as they always did with us. We also invited other friends who were students in Sheffield, who were also friends and uni classmates of Andrew's before that. Our living room looked like a support group meeting for people who loved and lost Sheffield.

The next day, Friday, Andrew and I went to our vet friend's farm, land, whatever. I learned it's 700 hectares long, Jesus Christ. It was fun. It was five of us, plus three dogs, and we bathed in the lake (part of it belongs to my friend's family), had a barbeque, had birthday cake in honor of my friend's birthday, hung out with horses, picked fruit, and had long chats under the starry night sky. So nice. We returned on Sunday afternoon.

We took Monday to rest, but then *another* Chilean friend we made in Sheffield was passing by this city so we met for lunch. He brought his boyfriend, and we were also joined by our friend, and her husband and teen daughter, who was Andrew's undergrad classmate, our PhD program fellow, and who rented us her house when we arrived from the UK. Another Sheffield support group, then, you may say. A good time was had by all.

Yesterday, Tuesday, we headed to a city that's three-and-a-half hours away by bus, to meet with an old friend of Andrew's, and with another couple who became our friends in Sheffield. The guy is Chilean, the gal is from the Philipinnes (both were PhD students like us when we met), and they married and had a son last year. They're moving to Chile in the spring (September), but it seems they'll stay in that city, so we might not see them as often as we'd like. Overall, the trip was quite enjoyable.

And today's finally been a day for me! Andrew's very aware of how protective I am of my own time. He knows I get upset and frustrated when we start to run around meeting people and going places, and thus I feel like I lose control of my own time. I try to regulate my emotions and to keep all complaints about our schedule to myself, especially because I sign up for those things on my own volition, and I sign up because I know we'll have a good time.

It was great to see the friends we made in Sheffield and it was great being in the countryside. It's just that it's also great for me to stay home and read, and write, and draw. None of that is of any trascendence, though, and that's another reason why I say yes to meeting with people and going places.

Today Andrew made me pancakes, in retribution for our busy days. He doesn't have to do that, you know, he doesn't owe me anything for making us go on trips and socialize (usually he's the one setting up and handling the schedule). But it's pancakes so I'll take them.

Our vacation days are winding down. It seems the rest of the week will be less busy, with a few meetings with friends here and there, but mostly to relax at home.

This is a bit of a sucky entry, but so it goes.

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