theonlywayismelbourne

Blogging from Down Under

Back blogging in Blighty

I’m here!
Finally!

First, I should apologise in advance if you can’t understand what on earth I’m talking about as I babble on like an idiot and you can’t make head nor tale of what I’m trying to say. No change there then, except this time I have a legitimate excuse – it’s the jet-lag. Boy oh boy is it the jet-lag. (I will be using the jet-lag excuse for pretty much everything for the next 3 months, that and pregnancy covers a multitude of sins/faux pas/general stupidness on my part I think!)

Right then, enough of that, onwards and upwards.
It feels really rather odd to be back in the UK and I am not sure I have quite got my head around it yet. Last time I was here I knew nothing about what my new life in Australia was going to be like so to be back here knowing I have left my life (and husb) in Melbourne is strange.
By the way when I say left my husb I don’t mean left, left, I mean temporarily separated. Actually that doesn’t make it any clearer does it, told you I was jet-lagged and talking jibberish. He is still there and I am here until he comes here, then we will be here together, then we will be back there together.
Got it? Good.
I don’t know about you but I think I recovered that one well!

Onto the journey then, where should I start?
It is long!
But then you already knew that.
It is really really long, given the fact that I have done it before on my own with the Bear you would think I would remember, but I guess it is like childbirth – it is horrendous at the time and then once it is done your brain wipes the horrendousness of it from your mind to make sure you do it again. Otherwise no-one would go anywhere.

It was actually a little bit easier this time, in comparison with the last time that I did it because the Bear is that little bit older now so I could reason with him a bit more and he was more entertainable, (I know it’s not a word but cut me some slack here people – don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on the good times, just blame it on the jet-lag – told you I’d be dining out on that one for a while). The hard part was lugging our bags that were packed with bricks, dumbbells and assorted heavy machinery (or that is what it felt like) with one hand, while holding onto the Bear and being shoved out of the way by stupid passenger people who have no manners at all, and being offered no assistance – anywhere on the journey. It wasn’t even country specific – I was and still am outraged by people’s lack of common decency. Outraged I tell you OUTRAGED. Grrrr.

However there is a sort of silver lining.
Sort of.
I did a spot of celebrity hob nobbing whilst travelling to the other side of the world. Check me out.

Now my non-Australian readers will probably be less than impressed by this as I think these particular slebs are really only known in Oz, but I will soldier on for the benefit of my Aussie ones who (hopefully) will be wowed by my celebrity shoulder rubbing.

It started in the lounge at the airport, I was pretty excited to spot non other than Masterchef Australia chef/judge George Calombaris wandering past and I put it in my pocket to blog about . . . .image

But then it got better.
Well it got worse before it got better.
But then it did get better.

We boarded the plane and headed further and further back, me trying to contain an excited and running Bear whilst steering my 17 hand luggage bags through the aisle without severing someones knee with my badly steered trolley case.
We arrived at the very last row, the smiling stewardess presenting us with our seats that, rather inconveniently, appeared to have a large aisle between them. Now while in my dreams this would have been lovely, I strap myself into my chair and the Bear causes havoc miles away, I knew deep down that this was not going to work and advised the stewardess that this seating configuration wasn’t ideal given that I had a 2 and a 1/2 year old. Her face dropped and the smile of before was replaced with a rather unattractive scowl as she told me there were not any seats together and then was about to walk off as if that dealt with the matter. I ‘gently’ advised her a little louder this time, that it wasn’t possible for us to be sat in that way and could she go and check if there would be someone willing to swap with us so that we could sit together. I think she was genuinely perplexed as to why there would be a problem on a 15 hour journey when a 2 and a 1/2 year old is effectively sat unattended!
Anyway as she made some very slow moves to see if someone would swap who should pop his head up from the row in front but Gary Mehigan (other Masterchef judge/restauranter).

image and his wife and they both very kindly offered to swap with us. He and his wife were really lovely and were really quick to move all of their bags and luggage that they had already stowed to make way for the Bear and I. I was so relieved and also pretty excited to be having a conversation with a celeb! I played it cool though!

I would have got a picture but he was asleep for most of the journey so I think taking a picture of him would have been a (slight!) invasion of privacy. Especially as he was super nice.

So there you go check me out! All through our little exchange I was cool as a cucumber, and like totally didn’t scream once! To be fair, at the time I didn’t actually know his name (had to google it when I landed) although I recognised him and didn’t want to be all –
‘Ooh you’re the guy from Masterchef whose name I don’t know, can I have a picture?’
(Plus it wouldn’t have been a great pic as I don’t travel well, think bad hair, dry skin, gozzy glasses plus the pregnant belly- really not a good look).

The Bear was a little star on the journey though, although the first flight was long, after having food he slept for a good 5 hours and woke about 6 hours from the end but I managed to entertain him with my little surprise presents, iPad and food.

image

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imageDubai was hard as he was really tired at that point and it was quite a long stopover as we arrived into Dubai early. We managed to make it through though and pretty much as soon as the seatbelt signs were switched off he was gone again, fast asleep until less than 2 hours before we finally made it onto British soil.

imageimageThat was a Godsend as I didn’t sleep on the first flight so to have him zonk out was great as it meant I could catch a few zzzz’s too.

Once we had landed there was just immigration and baggage claim left to clear and we were home and dry (literally and figuratively). I negotiated the very very very long immigration queue and came face to face with my lovely friend who was checking passports, so the first familiar face I saw on landing in UK was her. I think the passengers behind me were a little surprised by the extra warm welcome I got and were probably expecting a ‘welcome to the UK hug’ themselves. I hope no-one tried they might have got themselves arrested!

imageOn to baggage claim, we faffed about there for a while, bags came through really quickly but got no help trying to lug them from carousel to trolley so it took me a while.

Then it was on to the big reunion,
the cheers . . . . .
the ‘WELCOME HOME’ banner . . . .
the champagne corks popping . . . . .

Hmmmmm

I came out to be met with a sea of non familiar faces.
No cheers.
No corks.
No banner.

I wandered to the left anxiously scanning the crowds for some sign of recognition.
Nothing.

I doubled back to my right and slowly (couldn’t really do much else given that I was pushing 4 suitcases with 1 hand and holding the Bears little hand in the other) and purposefully walked along the line of people, to ensure that whoever was there to meet me had chance to hoik up the banner and cheer me over the UK threshold.

And then, there they were – my welcoming committee.
Mum, sister, baby nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law.
Cheers – no
Banner- nope
Champagne corks- nah
Any recognition that I was there – nada

What were they doing? All having a little chat amongst themselves until I went over and tapped sister on the shoulder and announced my arrival, that’s what.

Never mind.
I did get some balloons though. 🙂

image

I’m finally here, back blogging in Blighty. (I should add that it is some ungodly hour in the morning and I am the only one up, but still, I’m here – woooohooo).

*photos courtesy of Masterchef website

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4 thoughts on “Back blogging in Blighty

  1. WOW what a flight – or two!!! How nice of Gary, I always thought he was a dude!!! Love this post, it was funny, scary and I have to say I was a little miffed for you at the end – WHAT WERE YOU WELCOMING COMMITTEE THINKING!!! Can’t wait for another update! Enjoy Autumn?! xx Em

    • Yep, I am glad it is over that’s for sure! Gary was lovely-he’s my new BFF (though he doesn’t know it).
      I know what you mean, I can’t believe I was so let down right at the end of the journey, I think my sister was being chatted up!
      I will be sure to keep you updated on progress! Xx

  2. What was he doing all the way in the back of the plane?! Or did you mean you had to go all the way to the back of business class? HA! I couldn’t fly on my own ANYWHERE with Nick, let alone across the world, so well done to you! Are you home for THREE MONTHS?!!??! You won’t want to come back!! x

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