14. May 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Reviews · Tags:


In March I ended up between jobs, and although I had a new contract signed, I couldn’t start work until the nice Immigration people granted us a new visa, and we had no idea how long that would take.

So, after spending some weeks in Sydney, making pasties, cakes and nice dinners and very quickly getting fed up, I figured it was a good time for a trip back to the UK. We weren’t planning on heading back until Summer 2015, but with free time to kill it seemed like a good plan, and overall Matt would be less jealous than if I went to New Zealand, Fiji, Bali or Thailand!

I flew back with Cathay Pacific. I’d not been with them before, but as I waited a long time to book flights they ended up being more reasonable than Emirates. As they’re the national carrier with Hong Kong, that’s where I stopped over briefly. It was 9.5 hours there, then 2.5 hours in the airport and 12.5 on to London. I got bored after a film and some comedy on the first leg, looked at where we were and had only made it to Darwin! The flight was very dull and I didn’t really sleep (as expected). Overall I think the Emirates service and food is definitely better, but you do pay more.

I managed to get over the worst of my jet lag in about 4 days, although for a bit longer I was still getting sleepy in the afternoon and waking up a bit early. On the way back it wasn’t really an issue at all. I landed at 8pm, got to the flat and sorted for bed about 10.30pm, had a pretty good sleep and was then mostly OK.

Over here, I wrote a list of the things I wanted to do on my visit, and I made excellent progress, and very fast near the beginning. After the first week and a bit I’d done almost everything or had it in the diary. That said, there isn’t a limit on how much I wanted to do each thing, and I can always eat more marmite, socialise more, eat more and shop more! In the end the only thing I didn’t do was have a charcoal BBQ as it rained at Easter. It would take me too long to write about all the exciting things I did, so here’s an overview and some thoughts.

Propaganda in the Cox spare bedroom

Propaganda in the Cox spare bedroom

I did feel cold at the beginning of the trip, but got used to wearing extra layers and made a mental note to bring some slippers with me next time! It was really great seeing people in person, and I got pretty excited about the shops, fields, old things, marmite and the price of peppers!

Travelling around and doing lots of socialising is pretty tiring! Next time I’ll try and spend more time in one place and make people come and see me. I was over a nice long time, and it did feel like ages, so in future we would probably condense that – mainly out of necessity for not getting much annual leave as much as anything else.

Doing a couple of yoga sessions with friends was great. I did the first one the day after I arrived, which was a great way to get over some jet lag and all the aches and pains from the plane.

I’m still not sure if my trip was a holiday or a visit. Some of it was like a holiday, but then I did live for 30 years in the UK, and have only been gone just over a year, which made it more like a visit to the old stomping grounds. Maybe it would have been more like a holiday if I wasn’t unemployed at the time.

I also pondered “where is home?” I visited our old house which was pretty strange as I met the people now living in it. Its still mainly in good condition which is great. I referred to coming back to Sydney as going home a few times. I suppose it is where I live now, and where Matt is, but then again its not where I grew up or where the majority of my friends are. I suppose its just semantics really anyway. For now I reckon they can both be home.

It was very nice to be back, but it did also make me realise we’re not done with adventuring at the moment and aren’t ready to move back just yet.

Finally, there’s a few things which either surprised me, or I enjoyed unexpectedly:

  • Seeing friends that I didn’t think I’d be able to catch up with was excellent
  • I really enjoyed the company of people’s pets – that’s Chekov, Rocky, Yoda, Chewy and Bink (even when Yoda did try and wake me up in the morning by jumping in my bed)
  • Hearing proper posh and West country accents
  • Doing baking in other people’s houses and
  • Doing jigsaws (this confirmed it was indeed a holiday)
The cat invasion (Yoda, Chewy and Bink)

The cat invasion (Yoda, Chewy and Bink)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *