Home at last – 20th April 2012

We arrived back in Heathrow at 6 in the morning. The eight hour flight to Singapore gave us a stopover of just 90 mins before continuing on our way for the 12 hour flight back home. It always feels like living in a manufactured environment, flying!

Food looks and tastes strange, people mess with your natural rhythm by turning down the lights for extraordinary lengths of time, but you hardly seem to sleep at all. A whir of films flicker in front of your eyes but you can only concentrate on a superficial level and end up watching rubbish, simply to pass the time.

After a while you find you must have been asleep, because suddenly you have woken with a stiff neck and the realization that there is still another 6 hours to sit still.

Then you land and experience the joy of rescuing your luggage from the carousel, and making your way to your final destination.


My younger daughter, her husband and son have been looking after our house for 6 months and greet us. Our grandchild is now 19 months old. We have kept up a relationship via Skype, regularly dropping in around his breakfast time. To my delight and amazement, he recognizes us instantly. With one second to dip behind mum’s legs in shyness, he quickly recovers his cool and bounds about. We have bought him toys, jigsaws, T-shirts. As we open our suitcases to retrieve these, he is emboldened but always asks if he can dig about in the case for the next thing of interest.

What a change in 6 months: he has several key words and a great sense of humor. He love playing with the IPad and is highly proficient at it, choosing quickly his favourite programs and taking photos of himself using its camera.

While we were in Sydney we saw this statue outside the cathedral. It amused us because it looks as if the child has an IPad!

It doesn’t seem like our house! Although most things are as we left them, it feels alien. I hesitate when I want to turn on the oven: how does it work? How mad is that?

The three cats make themselves known to us again. One, the largest and oldest, has just come back from the vet, costing £750 with a urinary infection. His story will become the focus of my next few blogs.

It’s cold, it’s raining. Having so many people to talk with tires me!! I’ve been used to the exclusive conversations with John. Not turn taking! My older daughter comes over too. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing them. But there seems so much to say on all sides. Somehow the essence of our conversation becomes distilled to such pithy sound bites they lose their quality and context. All these wonderful places I’ve seen jostle with newsy items about work, children, social gossip, other members of the family who have spoken with my daughters while we were away.

My white beaches are fading fast!
My azure sea is greying!
Within four days, I feel overwhelmed by the normalness of it all.

This can’t happen!

Thank goodness we have already planned to sail in the Greek islands in a month’s time. The thought of that might help.

Meanwhile, I devote a lot of time to reacquainting myself with my grandson and reorienting myself to this house. It seems huge after the little motel rooms and cabins. There also seems a lot of housework in the normal course of the day. With so many people in the house, the washing up, laundry and tidying increases ten fold. The advantage to traveling is that you move away from mess and into a nice new environment each few days.

As my blogging friend, Ronda says, “breathe and release”!