I left my London hotel at 9.30 am on Tuesday and arrived at my home about 11.40 am London time on Wednesday (8.40pm Adelaide time). Heathrow was relatively easy, Dubai was difficult - involving unexpected change of terminal and lengthy walking through shopping malls without much direction or help at 1am in the morning local time. Then long, ineffective bag checks.
However, I made it in one piece and had about 5 hours sleep on the way to Adélaide (at a time that corresponds to about 6-11am Adelaide time). I was helped along by onboard wifi and messages from friends and family.
I was somewhat disconcerted by the flight path screen that continuously depicted the world thus
I am not sure what this shadowy world is that I have flown into but it is a very odd view of the world outside of Europe- unless Hades were always part of the Downunder metaphor.
My passage through customs, luggage and quarantine was seamless and I emerged to see Fionn's lovely face grinning at me around the barrier. Then Niamh, Katherine, Veronica and Anthony appeared - so surprising and delightful to see them. They came knowing I had a car service,courtesy of Qantas, to pick me up, - so really generous and I wished the car service wasn't booked. It would have been fun to have them all come home and help me unpack. We parted at the airport with promises of catching up tomorrow.
There was a lovely welcome home box of flowers from Alison
Robbyn, who has been staying at my house was there and I caught up on a bit of Embroiderers' Guild activity. I have now unpacked, showered and begun to get my head around being home. I'm itching to get things in order at home -to get out my Scotland projects and to process it all - but also to see friends and resume some normal routines, like market shopping, Pilates, and coffees.
It will never, however, be quite the same. I have re-established my place in a wider context - of UK cousins, friends, history, culture and geography, as well as my Australian context and ties. I know I am stronger for this and have confidence to bring it all together in how I live my life and shape my home.
Thank you so much for such a rich experience and the love and support that has upheld me - an a renewed sense of connectedness.
I intend to create 2 books from this blog - one for the whole and one of just the Scottish trip. It will be a free eBook and a print copy on demand. I'll let subscribers know so they can have a look.
Until my next travel blog!