Saturday, 12 January 2013

Boxing day - the best £6 I've ever spent

Boxing Day

So this is it, we are now really on our way home. We wake up to a lovely sunny morning and head over to the farm house.  The sun is shining we are hangover free and the world looks a lovely place. We have a brew and say hello to the kids.

Kate and Phil come down to join us and we say our final goodbyes, yet another round of tears, how much can one person cry????

The offer of a horse ride is given again and once again is refused. I must get out of this terrible habit of thinking it is a fantastic idea to ride a horse after a few glasses of wine, as 99 times out of a hundred in the cold light of day and minus the bravado provided by wine, I always realise that they are nice to look at but are big, fast and do not have any brakes!

We get into the car and set off on our journey, the sat nav has a strange idea of which way to go, and for some reason takes us through country lanes and numerous villages before eventually landing us on a motorway, thus defeating the point of staying at the farm as it is close to the motorway and will make our journey much quicker.

On the way to Gloucester we notice a lake at the side of the motorway and we are sure we don’t recognise it, but even I can’t get lost on the M5, we then pass a sign for the River Avon, it wasn’t a lake, the river had flooded, WOW we knew it had been raining hard, but WOW!

We arrive at my brother and sister in laws and relax for a couple of hours, I think my brother is regretting the phones that he bought my nieces for Christmas as they have some gadget that allows them to ask questions and the phone answers, apparently each had spent Christmas day asking why does Megan smell and why does Carla smell, the joys of having kids.

We leave after a nice buffet tea and head for Plymouth

We drive for what seems to be about 4 days before arriving in Plymouth, the journey took only 4 hours but these were the longest 4 hours of the past week, why is it when you need time to drag it flies by and vice versa. The time spent with family at Christmas was so short and yet this journey seemed to be endless.
We sit waiting to board and I text and talk to my daughter and John talks to his and I feel my tears flowing once more, I am torn between the excitement of going home and the knowledge that I am leaving my baby with her new baby in a different country, I am actually starting to well up as I write this. The feelings are so strong and I wonder if it will ever get easier to leave (I am also writing this on New Year’s Eve , which is such an emotional time any way and I realise I will not see them in the New Year, Oh My God what have I done?)

We get on to the ferry and go straight to our cabin it is so much bigger than we expected and the port hole does make all the difference, it was the best £6 we have ever spent. The idea of spending a night in a metal coffin under the sea, still sends shudders down my spine. At least this metal coffin has a window!

The sea sick pills have been swallowed and I’m keeping fingers crossed that they work. Having a private room with a TV and tea and coffee facilities makes such a difference, this is far better than wandering around the boat trying not to be poorly.

After a rather miserable fish and chip supper (with no pea’s as they had ran out!!!!!) we settle down for the night, have you ever tried to sleep on a moving swing? It is not easy. At one point during the night John had to pick up things from the floor and put them back on the table, and this wasn’t because we had knocked them off!

The alarms ring and it’s time to wake, we then hear gentle music being piped in to the cabin and think what a wonderful way to wake up, 10 minutes later the gentle music plays again, only this time it isn’t so gentle!
We’re finally of the boat and now we are truly on our way home, it feels so good to be home, and yes this is where we now consider to be our home. We love the kids and our friends and families but Manchester is no longer our home town, we feel like we belong in France.

It is hard to describe the feeling as we drive down our road, in our village and pull up outside our house, as we enter; it is as though all the weight in the world has been lifted from our shoulders, and all the stress from being back in England and working again disappears. It is surprising how easy it is to slip back into the stressful rat race and become submerged in politics and legal wrangling and we make the decision that I will not continue working in England as I had planned even for only 2 days a month. The stress is not worth the financial benefit.

As we enter the house we notice there is a roaring fire and milk and bread have been left in the kitchen, Sheila and Brian, I think I love you!

The house is still in one piece and we unpack the car, we then go for a lie down in our own bed and promptly fall asleep for the rest of the day.

The following day I call down and thank Sheila and Brian properly for looking after our house and ask Sheila if she is still keeping fit, she is and we arrange to go for a daily bike ride. I also offer to take them both out to dinner as a thank you, but they won’t hear of it and offer to cook dinner for us that evening.

John has finally caught the dreadful cold that I have had for the past 2 weeks and feels like poo, but a nice home cooked meal perks him up.

I grab a shower and find that the water is only warm, but the bathroom is so bloody cold I can’t wait for John to mess around with it, I come down dressed and have to stand in front of the fire for 10 mins to ensure that hyperthermia does not set in. The temperature is much colder than when we left and we realise that the skylight windows will now take priority in the work schedule if we want to stay warm. Luckily the duck feather duvet that we bought keeps us warm at night.

I have skyped Kayleigh and the baby each day since our return and I can see her changing daily, I don’t think we could survive without Skype.

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