I am glad to be home. It was so great to get away, take a complete and total break from my life here. I had the best time hanging out with Maude and Dan and Benjamin. I love them and I miss them already. They're family.
I've discovered, though, that whenever I leave, I realize how much I like the life I have. I love my place, and my family and my friends. It's helpful to sometimes be on the outside looking in to your own life. Particularly if it reminds you that it's a good one.
And I have to say, it felt great to take off my three layers of shirts plus a fleece. It was such a treat to see the sun this morning, and to walk outside in shorts and a tee and be warm. And to get home and be relieved that my place hadn't been broken into, flooded, or anything of the sort.
On a side bar: I'd considered emailing and asking John Neighbor to check in on my place mid-week. But then thought the better of it. Because I am just not sure what I think or want, and don't want to ask favors.
Plus Dan pointed out that the further danger with John Neighbor is that one of these nights I'm going to hear high heels on the floor above me. Click click click. He even did the sound effects for me.
So then I will know full well he's brought another woman home. Or that he's a drag queen.
And so the journey. Yesterday morning at 7:40 am Greenwich Mean Time (because actually, Greenwich is just down the road a bit), I boarded a bus from Norwich to Heathrow. The ride was approximately four hours. I then spent five hours in the airport, very little of which was spent checking luggage, going through security, etc. I was left with a lot of time to entertain myself. Before my eight hour flight.
In other words, my day of travel was a little bit eternal.
Not having had time for morning coffee, I got a latte at Starbucks. The thing is, the prices look the same. But then you realize they're in pounds, so they're actually twice as expensive. Your $2.50 coffee is actually $5. It's like that for everything. Yikes.
I amused myself for a while in duty free, buying chocolates and such. I considered spending 85 pounds on a really charming T-shirt at Paul Smith, but then I realized that that was somewhere around $160, and truth be told, I can't even imagine spending 85 dollars on a T-shirt. No shirt is that charming.
Around 1:30 I realized I was hungry, and spotted an Irish pub. This seemed the perfect solution to my eat in case you die on the plane issue. Dan and Maude had loaded me up that morning with yogurt and cereal bars and Oreos, but those were long gone by the time I got to the airport.
So in preparation for the flight, meaning, my possible impending death, I ordered an Irish breakfast, which they serve all day. Scrambled eggs, thick bacon, sausage, and really good thick fries. Oh, and a tomato garnish and some sauteed mushrooms, presumably to make it healthy. This I washed down with two pints of Guinness.
If the plane went down, I was definitely not going to be under-indulged.
I spent my lunchtime reading a memoir called The Tender Bar, which was a gift from my friend VVK. I found it fitting reading about the role this particular bar plays in raising and shaping a fatherless boy while lunching in a pub. Drinking Guinness. I finished it on the plane. It was a pleasure of a read, and a really nice present.
Betty very kindly picked me up around 8:15, after my gajillion hours of travel. I was pretty certain that, even though I get up all the time on the plane and do stretches and hydrate, I had Deep Vein Thrombosis, because my knee hurt like crazy.
But after a good night's sleep, and waking happily to sunshine and no knee pain, I'm now equally certain I'm just old, run too much, and can't sit for that damn long.