Bliss: When Rock Fever strikes, you dream of driving on the rain-lashed M62 across northern England. *Photo by Roger Gilbertson
Bliss: When Rock Fever strikes, you dream of driving on the rain-lashed M62 across northern England. *Photo by Roger Gilbertson

When someone first told me of Rock Fever, I thought it was some variant of an STD.

It sounded like Bermuda was still free loving, 1960s Woodstock-style. Chuck in some mend-bending drugs and the island promised the ultimate 24-hour, 21-square mile party.

So, naturally, I took the job and moved here. However, I later discovered that:

1: The Rock was actually a very literal and affectionate term for the island and…

• 2: Fever related to the feeling of claustrophobia and general malaise that engulfs you when you’ve spent too long on the island at any one time.

Although slightly disappointed my initial hopes of wild living hadn’t quite borne fruit, I shrugged off ‘Rock Fever’ as nothing more than a myth and got stuck into all the wonderful things this island has to offer.

Now a year in and approaching the end of a six-month stint, I get it. If I had the lung-capacity of Michael Phelps, I’d probably swim to New York right now. 

Just the thought of driving on a US highway — or through the grimmest parts of the north of England even — fills me with a desperate sense of longing.

Day to day, symptoms are becoming more acute.

Spectacular views and scenery are shrugged off as “just another pink-sand, perfect beach” or “I saw that sunset
last week”;

• A delay in my daily commute from 10 minutes to 12 is met with blind road-rage fury from beneath my helmet;

• The thought of going to Elbow AGAIN is met with a yawn and check at the TV guide to make sure I’m not missing the latest repeat of The Newsroom (which is superb, by the way);

• A trip to St George’s provokes an ironic, over-the-top yelp and flurry of high fives. And I love St George’s.

Maybe I need to mix things up a little more or maybe — and this is more likely — I need a small break from living on a paradise island.

I’m sure I’m not the only expat to have been taken by surprise at that realization. We’re not splitting up, Bermuda. I just need a break.