After 27 hours no sleep, Aeroplane seat which was infested with fleas/other, so that I was bitten alive throughout flight, met at Heathrow by my sister Miriam and Rupert's sister, Andie. Was wonderful to see them and then, to our surprise, my parents, who I thought were in France, turned up, complete with Ukelele.
"I'm sorry we're late darling," Mummy said. "We've just had a disaster - we filled the car up with petrol, and since it's a diesel, it's now sitting in a car park in Kings Langley."
Miriam's husband, Chris, had come to the rescue, thank heaven, and so we got to see his lovely smile as well. And we were back in the bosom of our family, ukeleles, disasters and all. Then it was off to High Wycombe to spend first night with Rupert's parents.
Yesterday, our first day back, Rupert's mother drove Rupert and me over to see our house. Much to my surprise, the children weren't interested in coming, which was good, as there wasn't room for all of them in the car, but I had thought that they would be eager to see their new home. However, the delights of a new episode of Pretty Little Liars, and the chance to use up Nancy and John's (Rupert's parents) internet quota, proved more interesting. (though in the end they did go for a walk, saw four robins and found holly with berries still on it.)
So, the house. Seeing it in the flesh was just as surreal as seeing it in pictures. I was hoping I would fall in love with it, but, being completely honest, I didn't, though I think this is just as much about the fact that I was hugely jet lagged, with blocked up ears and could hardly think straight, than anything else. I didn't dislike it either, just couldn't quite believe that this was our house, or feel any excitement about it. It was also VERY cold and teeny tiny. The whole house could easily fit into the bedroom of our house back in Pullenvale and as for the garden - I PROMISE I AM NOT EXAGGERATING - when I say that it is rather smaller than the patio of our old house. However, it is very sweet and the village is far prettier than I had imagined, "Main Street" - the street on which the house is built, being a tiny lane, lined by chocolate box houses, all thatched and beamed and surrounded by rose filled gardens. But what are we going to do with all our big Australian STUFF when it arrives and won't even begin to fit into the house? We are not even going to fit ourselves into it, let alone camp beds and sleeping bags, or anything else.....
But we must, the cats arrive today and must be taken to their new home, though it is totally bare and we have no phone or internet till 29th of December. First stop, camping shop!
At least Rupert has a bank account now, though I do not. Though we arrived at the bank yesterday, armed with passports, English and Australian driving licenses, the deeds to our house, our marriage certificate - everything form of ID we could possibly think of, in fact, - because we didn't have a gas bill with my initials on it, I can't get a bank account. Grrrr. This is the country where you can rock up to Sainsbury's and buy anything from clothes, to baked beans, to any sort of alcohol, to your flu jab! Still, it will all come out in the wash, as they say.