Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Loving and Leaving the Homeland

After all the excitement of three big birthdays one of which was Jonathan’s thirtieth I would take it easy for my last week and a half in the UK but then if you think that then you obviously don’t know me. After the soul searching and thinking I have finally worked out what I want from life now and whilst the thought of the work it’s going to take to make them work is a little scary the rewards if I succeed will be worth it.

On my return from visiting my in-laws I still felt a little drained but with a renewed sense of purpose. My final days in the UK started by doing the boring tasks of washing and packing but being me I couldn’t resist a quick look online to see if I was eligible for a New Zealand working holiday visa. I was delighted to discover that I was and thought instead or an online assessment I had filled out an actual application I was able to put it on hold until I was ready to complete the application. I’ll put it the top of my list of things to do once I’m in Australia.

Having left the clothes I wanted to take on the bed in my parents other spare room and applied for my NZ visa I felt I had been productive enough and did take the time to read a book which had been given to me last year before I left. I took the chance to enjoy a couple of relaxing days at home before heading south again the following weekend. My major event of the week was completing the Ashvale ‘Whale’ challenge with my dad. As I fly out five days before his birthday this was my early birthday treat to him. Though I did manage to eat all of my humungous fish I didn’t eat for most of the next day and I don’t think I’ll be wanting to see a battered fish for quite a while. Lesson: Food is for enjoying not

Over the weekend I took the change to visit my aunt and cousins for the first and last time on this visit home. On the Friday we had a chilled evening in with just a few of the family in residence but on the Saturday they held a barbeque to welcome my middle cousin and his family home from the USA where they had been living for the last four years. It was great to catch up with all my family and their friends and I am proud to say not a drop of alcohol passed my lips all weekend. I was tempted but I resisted and I am glad I did. Not only do I remember everything I said and did I’m fairly sure I didn’t make too much of an idiot of myself at any point and I was able to ferry my family around. It was a pleasure to be able to repay the many lifts they have given me over the years and know that my sobriety was having immediately obvious good results. Not even the demon satnav which took us from there the most convoluted way imaginable and messed up nail polish made me give in to temptation. I have high hopes for this new life style choice and have therefore started keeping score. Currently it’s: Alcohol 0 Lyn 2. Go me eh?

On the Sunday I was meant to do a tandem skydive but the typical Scottish weather prevented me from going. Instead of jumping out of a plane together my friend and I had to make do with lunch and a quick catch up before I was off to visit my newly repatriated cousin and his family. I had met his son before but not his daughter and I was delighted to meet her before I left the country. I was also fortunate to meet my other cousins little girl who was equally cute. I am hoping this is evidnce of good genes in my family and not their wives gene over ruling them. Either way I got to meet three gorgeous kids over the weekend. Too soon it was time to head off and myself and a friend drove back north together. On the way we set the world to rights and re-assured each other of our mutual fabulousness. I must admit as disappointed as I was to miss out on the skydive meeting my second and third youngest family members and having good company on the way home more than made up for it. And hey, now I’ll just have to jump in Australia, what a shame.

Sadly not all was well in the world of Lyn this day. I arrived home to find out my mum would have to leave early the next day and wouldn’t get home until I had left. It was therefore out last night together. As sad as I was that this would be the last time I would see her for nine months in a way it made leaving easier. I am without a doubt a mummy’s girl and leaving my mum behind is one of the hardest parts of going. It is therefore unsurprising that once she went to bed I started packing and within a few hours was more or less ready to go. Really all that was left to do was to decide which films to take with me and to make sure my music and other files were backed up.

My last day in Aberdeenshire was spent packing the last minute bits and pieces before heading in to the city to have dinner with my eldest cousin. Along with the delicious duck stir-fry there were some last minute words of wisdoms and warnings to take care of myself before sending me on my way with a massive hug. I made sure not to stay too long as I wanted to spend some time with my dad as well. Sure enough I arrived home to find him watching his usual programs. It felt just like when I used to do a split shift at the restaurant. Before long though it was time to head to my own bed for the last time this year.

The next day I was up early checking I had everything I would need and wondering what happened to my good intentions to take less stuff this time. My dad drove me to the train station and soon I was heading south towards Glasgow as I would spend my last night in the UK in the home town of my youth. On arriving at my in-laws house the first thing I did was to take some photos of Jonathan’s garden then dismantle my camera and re-pack my backpack to ensure my precious new camera was well protected for its perilous journey through the international airports. Though my stay was short I was fortunate to see a few relatives and my brothers’ fiancée was kind enough to make me dinner and bring me up to date with the latest wedding plans. On hearing this my brother changed his plans so he could also spemd time with me before I left, though he didn’t seem as interested in the pretty cars and flowers as his fiancée and I. There were of course more hugs and promises of post cards and warning to stay safe and take care.

Finally the actual day of leaving arrived. I don’t sleep well when I’m due to travel and my last week in the UK was no exception but even in my sleep deprived state I was getting excited about all the amazing places I wanted to see and visit, not even the prices of the tours I looked at could dampen my enthusiasm . I was finally on my way back to the land of adventure and after my last amazing year there I couldn’t wait to see what this trip would bring.

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