The journey home was long and exhausting. We had a layover in China and the security struck us as excessive in quantity and extraordinarily unfriendly in nature, and we were only transiting. The woman who was sat next to Caro on our second flight was clearly not a frequent flier; she kept leaning on the button to turn the overhead light on and stared at the light in amazement as though it were magic until Caro turned it off for her again. She couldn’t grasp how this worked and every hour or so she would pluck at Caro’s sleeve for technical support, quite charming but slightly irksome on an overnight flight. Once again, James’s dad had very kindly come to collect us from the airport and took receipt of two near-comatose passengers, providing us with mini scotch eggs and chocolate cookies to sustain us through the four-hour drive home.
It’s quite a stereotype that the children only come home to do laundry, but it was such a flying visit this time it really did feel like no time before were getting back on a plane again (with backpacks full of clean clothes). We were home for 10 days and we really did pack it in. Once again, the dog was delighted to see Caro.
Daisy was delighted to have her uncle home (once she remembered who he was).
With James’s birthday two days after we got back and our neice’s birthday the following day we felt as though our lack of sleep was being overcome with adrenalin and enormous quantities of sugar.
The Toy Story theme was for Daisy but James would happily have had the same! Once the festivities were over, we both felt as though we had had been hit by a bus and took a couple of days to rest, reset, and do laundry of course. We’d been looking forward to some fresh, crisp dog walks and the Suffolk countryside delivered with gusto.
With Christmas looming and us not having the excuse of being on the other side of the world this year, we trooped in to Norwich and attempted to achieve presents. We are ridiculously excited to be back with our families for Christmas. But. Christmas shopping sucks and we have not missed it one jot.
It was lovely to be home for the birthdays but our real reason for coming home other than to see family was to be there for our two very dear friends’ wedding. We arrived on the Friday evening and stayed through to the Sunday afternoon so we had two full days of celebrating, drinking and terrible chat.
Brian and Sophie threw a fantastic wedding complete with the most thorough character assassination of a best man’s speech that we have ever heard. Caro was also able to debut her Hoi An dress.
We felt the brevity of our trip home as, with heavy hearts, we said goodbye to our friends all over again. Fortunately, we had the foresight to book our flights on Monday, giving us a day to recover from the excesses of the wedding.
Our 10 days in England had been amazing but hardly restful and we were already bleary-eyed on the morning we got up to travel to Heathrow. The adventure started with the taxi journey to Diss train station when our very friendly taxi driver gave us the run-down on his marital problems. Once at Diss we were in familiar territory and the train journey to London was relatively painless. As usual, James drew the attention of the chattiest man on the train and was soon engaged in a rather loud, one-sided conversation about Brexit that he spent 20 minutes trying to escape. Caro was no help. By the time we got to Heathrow we were already knackered but still managed to summon the strength for a highly productive browse around Sunglass Hut. We’d enjoyed our brief foray into winter but it was time to get back to the sun; 18 days in South Africa would do nicely.