Like a Whirlwind
Well what a few weeks it’s been! About 10 days after my last post I was, unfortunately, knocked off my bike again. Thankfully I wasn’t badly hurt with only a rather bad gash to show for my ill fortunate; my bike on the other hand wasn’t so lucky. So we’ve been dealing with the insurance company this time and, while still not a fun thing to be doing, it’s all been settled much more quickly than last time. In fact I should be able to go out this week coming and replace my bike which is awesome as I’ve really missed riding to work and what have you.
I’ve also been back to Blighty in the last couple of weeks too though the circumstances weren’t ideals as my Grandma had passed away. I felt it was important to be there to support my family and to say farewell to a wonderful lady. Work was very supportive and signed me off for four extra days of compassionate leave beyond the three I would normally receive. I then booked the tickets on the day and flew out to England via Hong Kong. I flew Virgin Atlantic of all airlines and, due to the short notice of my purchase, flew Premium Economy on the way out and boy was it nice to have the comfy seats! The food was pretty good too and, due to menu issues, I ended up getting the steak from Upper Class; wonderful! I even managed to get some sleep on the flight which for me is something of a revelation and meant that I was able to pretty much avoid the jet lag altogether. After a rather anxious wait for my baggage at the airport I hopped on the train and met my brother in Edinburgh. It was great to see him and catch up over a coffee before we headed back to his flat where I spent the arvo whilst he went back to work.
I had a day and a bit before the funeral so I caught up with a friend in Edinburgh and my parents arrived which was awesome. We may have only been living in Australia for 18 months but when you haven’t seen someone in person for that long, especially family, it’s really something to see them again. It was really nice to have dinner that night together ahead of the funeral the next day and I’d also discovered I forgot to pack smart shoes. Thankfully Next was open rather early the next day so I picked up a pair and then we all headed to Greenock and my aunt & uncle’s ahead of the funeral. Again it provided me the opportunity to catch up with family I hadn’t seen in a while and be updated on life’s coming and goings. It’s one of the truths of life that the things that brings families together are hatches, matches & dispatches but either way it was lovely to catch up with everyone. We then headed to the crematorium where the service was to be held and lead by one of my uncles; it was a wonderful service. If you went not knowing my Grandma you’d leave with good idea of the wonderful woman she was.
After the service we headed to the wake held in a hall nearby where conversations continued. Here I had a good chance to catch up with my sister and brother-in-law which was lovely. We then headed back to Edinburgh for takeout and, for me, a chance to meet my brother’s girlfriend who so far I’d only met on Skype. It was a lovely evening and a great way to round off my time in Edinburgh before heading back with my parents to Hambleton. Here I took the opportunity to watch some football down the pub, buy copious amounts of chocolate and sweets to take back for Cat and me as well as having a Sunday roast lunch to start my travels back to Oz in the best way possible. The trip home was as straight forward as the trip to England albeit in Economy this time. I managed to pretty much stay awake as far as Hong Kong and then sleep afterwards to some degree arriving in Canberra around 11am on Tuesday; it was good to be home.