However much we love our new country, sooner or later most expats feel like this:
But that wasn't the only reason I took a quick trip back to the UK a couple of weeks ago, as you will see.
Firstly, it was an opportunity to spend some time with my new-found sister and meet the rest of my birth family and their friends.
"We're having a little party for you tomorrow", announced my sister Jill upon my arrival. I was astonished and delighted to find that she had invited what seemed like the whole of Norwich and I must say, she was rather Italian about food, as it kept coming! Don't you just love brother-in-law's specially made shirt?
The "sisters" poster was made from a photo taken when Jill and her husband were here in Sicily last year and yes, there were fireworks too!
As I said, the delicious food just kept on coming.....
I very much enjoyed walking around Norwich with my sister and it made me feel closer to my birth mother to walk through the market there, as I had learnt it was something she often did.
Then there was a visit to the Norfolk Broads:
Here I am the next day, hair done and ready to go and meet my blogging friend Ellee Seymour for the first time! We were off to London for a very special occasion indeed and Oxford Street looked beautiful from the bus:
The occasion was the Charles Aznavour concert at the Royal Albert Hall and all I can say is that both Monsieur Aznavour and the venue were merveilleux. And thank you, Ellee, for the dedicated copy of your very interesting book, The Shop Girls. I loved it!
Wednesday morning and I was off again, to WALES at last! I'd had the hiraethfor a long time, you see and I also needed to reconnect with the mum and dad who had brought me up. Of course, I cried as the coach came into dear old Cardiff but was "the 'Diff" going to be ready for my Catania hat?
It turned out that it was and one of the first things I did was to have a walk in the park in the rain. I met up with lots of friends, gazed open-mouthed at the sheer number of new shops in my hometown and spent several hours just trying to orientate myself! I was very relieved to find that the universal greeting there is still, "Hiya, love".
Later I visited the Senedd or Welsh Government building - it hadn't been built when I was last in Cardiff - and was impressed, especially when I was told that it is probably the first Assembly in the world to have achieved gender equality in its membership.
These lovely gentlemen deserve a BIG photo all of their own for they are none other than the members of the fabulous Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir and they kindly allowed me to attend their rehearsal. There's nothing like the sound of a Welsh male voice choir and a more rousing version of the Welsh national anthem I have never heard in my life!
There was another concert, this time at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and performed by the students of the Brass and Percussion Ensembles. I'm sure some of these young people are going to be stars.
I had to have a "full Welsh" breakfast before leaving and the dear friend I stayed with lovingly prepared this excellent Jamaican Pepperpot Stew. Then it was time to go and, as I passed the entrance to the Castle grounds at twilight, I couldn't help shedding some tears for the little dog I walked there so long ago. "Ta'ra, love", I said to the 'Diff. "I'll try and come back soon!"
Not that Cardiff is full of "tumble- down old shack streets" and not that my friends there are "corny country cousins" but this is for my hometown and for them: