Homeward Bound

Well, thanks Yorkshire, it’s been emotional and calorific as always. It has been genuinely lovely to see my family and friends over the last week, may it not be 2 years before I see them all again this time.

Honestly though, I am ready to return to the quiet and the no people. Totally ready. Leeds City Centre was fun as always. The shops I have indeed missed. The roadworks, the traffic, and the sheer number of people – I have not! Was slightly exacerbated by John Lewis’s escalators all being broken, and several times we found ourselves in lifts with a dozen or so mainly maskless people. I wore masks in all taxis I took, because I think it’s respectful to do in someone’s place of work, but the majority of taxi drivers didn’t reciprocate, or favoured the “chin warmer” approach. The lack of masks is weird, and I’m happier when I and others are wearing them. I have hand sanitised to the point of becoming reptilian by way of recompense.

To recap on my week.

Wednesday was Ikea breakfast club with my oldest friend and my sister. Which rolled on into a good wander around Homesense, Pets at Home and The Range. Love you loads and thanks for the squeaky bum time text yesterday…. More on that later…..

Thursday – and I’m not proud of this one, I met my other bestie for Japanese food and a good old catch up. This turned into drink mixing of epic proportions on both our parts, and lots and lots of drunken singing videos being posted to my Insta stories. I know from my overflowing inbox that you were loving those. So, it turns out that this 46 year old thinks she can still smash in, beer, Prosecco, several amazing old fashioneds, multiple double jacks and some dark and stormies that I couldn’t even taste. Despite being fine, although sleepy in the taxi, I was sick as an actual dog. I woke up to my Mum yelling at me to come and clean the toilet – just like a flashback to my 17 year old self. Oh dear! This is why I cannot only go out on the full lash once every 3 years and expect things to stay sensible. God it was a good night thought, and at least I wasn’t the only one that was also not feeling belting the next day…..

Consequences of these actions meant that I had the mother of all hangovers on Friday morning, and I was meeting the best damn procurement team in the West for lunch. I felt like death. I managed to sling a load of Gaviscon down me, followed by 2 Rich tea finger biscuits that I had to wash down with water as if I’d just taken a paracetamol. I met them, we had I don’t even know how many hours of most excellent bants, I managed 3 peppermint teas and precisely 8 chips from my lunch, but did start to generally feel better. By early evening I’d ordered more chips because starving, and I nursed 4 halves of lager pathetically. I love this bunch of humans massively, from a time when going to work was like seeing family rather than hell on a stick. A big mwah from me.

Then back to Saturday. Long awaited lunch and shopping with my niece. I am in awe of the people my little niece and nephew are becoming, I’m so proud of them. We had tonnes of fun, I introduced her to scones as a vehicle for clotted cream, and we did lots of wandering and chatting. Bumped into 2 most excellent friends in Victoria Gate which was an added bonus! – Next time I’ll be able to spend more time with you I hope.

Saying goodbye to my niece last night, she was really upset, and my Mum I found particularly difficult after being so long without seeing them. It is really hard. Any one of us that has made a move like this to another country, knows this is the absolute worst part. It’s like seeing them in the flesh has made missing them a million times worse when the time comes to go home. I’m sure we’ll drop back into our regular routines of Skype and WhatsApp, and better still, be able to visit them at least twice a year, but it’s not the same is it. It’s just not. This is the negative side of following your heart elsewhere. You feel guilty and selfish, even though you know it’s a thing you need, for your own sanity. Does that make sense?

I’m currently in the bar in Leeds Bradford Airport, sadly nowhere near a screen for a departure gate, having been up since 2.45am. I’ve had a dreadful vegan breakfast with the most evil sausages the world has ever seen. The vegan burger I had in the Botanist yesterday was spectacular by contrast, so it doesn’t have to taste like melted flip-flops. It was about £347.

I have secreted 2 packets of Walkers Prawn cocktail crisps about my person though. That’s exciting!

But, it nearly was not so! My bestie texted last night to say she’d been pinged by the Covid app for close contact on Wednesday, the very day she had spent with me. A rapid Covid test was in progress. After some agonising minutes she tested thankfully negative, both for her and for me, as I wouldn’t have been able to fly if she hadn’t – phew! So thanks Yve for scaring me in to next week lol……

I’m going to go and search out a screen now, before this chubby eagle returns to the skies.

See you on the French side. Love you all, and missing you already xx

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