They say all good things must come to an end, and sadly at least in terms of our adventures around the globe it appears that ‘they’ are right (at least for a little while).
It ends how it it began, with an early alarm call, a train to the airport and a long haul flight with British Airways.
The phrase that Monday mornings poison the Sunday evening that precedes them is one that has, in the past, resonated with me at times. Often no more so than at the end of a holiday whereby the last few days can be distracted by a focus what is happening in your normal life.
Delightfully we have been free of any such nonsense this time and enjoyed the last moments as much as the rest. Maybe it is because we are in denial, or maybe because we can hardly remember normal life and when we get back ‘normal’ will have changed with new house, new jobs and new cars. Whatever the reason it has been wonderful not to suffer from that sense of dread over the last few days.
Landing and not getting a visa or passport stamp is the first real and unmistakable indication that this ‘travelling day’ is different to the others we have experienced since November.
No new languages await the other side of passport control. No new cultures, places to visit or days to plan. No timezones to calculate or currency conversions to consider.
Due to our Scrooge like approach to UK train tickets we purchased advanced single tickets for the journey back north. The risk of flight delay that doesn’t materialise means that we have nearly 3 hours in London spare.
As if to re-assure us that there are plenty of reasons to be glad to be back (especially after bypassing winter but still finding grey and rain sodden skies) this gap suddenly feels insufficient as good friends put themselves out to join us at Euston for a drink or two and we enjoy catching up with each other’s worlds.
After a (as suspected) underwhelming rail journey we arrive in Manchester after over 24 hours of travelling, but any measure of tiredness pales into insignificance at seeing my Dad for the first time since October.