The journey was long, uncomfortable and boring and my seating arrangements were so dreadful I cannot bore anyone anymore about them, suffice to say that when we got to Heathrow to find it was 6am, freezing, dark and wet, I sent Michael a text that said, "we've landed, it's horrible we're just hopping on a plane back again"! There were pretty big queues at Passport contol so I thought I would take the opportunity to go and get freshend up, change into clean clothes and sort out Stan, when we came out the queue had trebled!! AAAGH,
I saw fellow parent of small children who had been on my flight and she seemed to think we would be able to get fast-tracked so we tried that but no officials were interested, then a man took pity and let me join him near the front of the queue, very kind man! Then an elderly lady said that her husband had gone to plea my case - we were now at the start of the zig zag section. Anyhow, he came back and pointed out a customs official who was waving me through - I felt like a celeb - albeit a not very galmorous celeb! News had obviously got through to the baggage handlers too, as my suitcase was one of the first to fly down the shute and then the buggy swiftly followed. So in the end I shot through in record time! Unfortunately no-one had told the M25 that such a VIP was in town, so there was no movie style, romantic, emotional greeting from husband and family, just a sad trudge along the line, realising that they weren't there and trying to be chipper!
Stan and I settled down to a grotty Starbucks breakfast, called them up and then bought the kids some Pain au choc - how do Starbucks make such a yummy thing so turgid and chewy?! and then, after a bit of a wait, they arrived, everyone beaming - G and R at me, Stan at Michael and at "Raaaf and Jer jer". We sat and ate breakfast and all spoke at once! The kids looked great, Michael too, they all seemed to have survived their mother's/wifey's absence, in fact I would say they may even have thrived on it, perhaps I should go away more often!
Home again - it's still standing and one expects much to have changed but really life has carried on at a normal pace and the garden looks as muddy and hopeless as ever, but there are a few signs of Spring with bulbs sprouting and a lovley clump of snowdrops and my garlic is doing well. Raff seems to have moved his fasciantion with train track onto Lego and spends most spare minutes crouched over it on the living room, it's very sweet. Georgia seems delighted to have me back and I just need to cope with the battery of noise that emanates from 3 children all demanding my attention plus Jambo! They are all in a pretty high state of excitement, which is lovely but when your body is still so weary, it's hard to practice all the calm positive parenting one hopes to! Stan woke at 5 am this morning and demanded to "see Raff, see jer jer" I tried to persuade him it was dark and sleeping time, but after 10 minutes I accepted that he was in fact wide awake and it wasn't too early in the scheme of things, so we came downstairs for tea and toast and I caught up on some of the weekend papers - as Sasha and Rich would agree, the quality of the papers in NZ is not great. Georgia appeared at 6.30. very sleepy and bewildered -"what ARE you doing downstairs?" she asked in a very funny role reversal!