Published: October 3rd 2009October 2nd 2009
Older than oldness.
This really is the absolute last minute; we're moving into our student flat tomorrow morning. This will have to be my fastest blog of all time- less than an hour. You may think that I compile these things with a casual abandon that somehow magics everything together seamlessly, but it's not true. I usually chop, change, edit, hack and re-edit these many times over before they're released into the wild.
Anyway, after five years, I have no idea how many countries, two jobs and a wedding, we're England again. Having realised in New Zealand that I had to do a Master's degree to get where I wanted to go, I had to pay off some debts. So, from New Zealand to Japan, saving money to pay off and stock up. Job done, we arrived at Heathrow on a cool but sunny Friday morning. Having been met at the airport by Louisa and Mog, we were whisked home for lunch and then scooted into town to set up joint accounts and stuff. Went well. After this, a whirlwind of eating, shopping, catching up, a little touring and planning ensued. This week we...
...ate so much! I had missed a few
Friends for about 20 years now.
things not available in Japan, the first and foremost being decent bangers with mash. This was rolled out on the first night, and followed by Louisa's chili (a long-running tradition for party-goers at our house), and roast chicken. A quick trip to the supermarket saw me smuggling Monster Munch, Party Rings and Maltesers into the trolley, to much amusement from the others. This all necessitated drinking a little, well, not a little. Some close friends came round for chili and we finished at 3am with the line from Laura: 'Tom, we're going home- you're being weird'. Boozed indeed.
We managed a quick trip down memory lane for me, visiting my prep old school (and, off the cuff a house where we used to live, years ago plus my grandparents' old place), in a circuitous route that took us via Stonehenge (a must for all visitors to the UK), the Iron Age fort at Badbury Rings (including the coolest road in the UK which goes past it), and stayed with my cousin Jelle and her husband Chris. We spent loads of time playing with Wellington, the almost perfect labrador and the cat Mate, while being superbly fed, watered and entertained
by our hosts. Pub lunches on the way there and back were greatly appreciated, as were a drive past Corfe Castle, a wander in Wareham and a walk at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt (autmn leaves, well worth the trip).
What else? Mostly catching up with people, meeting at the pub, popping into work, picking up the keys and inspecting our flat for next year. The people are what I've missed the most, and the late nights (Wii-assisted or otherwise), good food and conversation have been brilliant. We've been bowled over by the hospitality of my friends and family, so a big shout out to them. Mitsuyo has done an amazing job of not being mystified by the blizzard of new faces and names, and seems to have liked everybody very much! Good news indeed.
You've been inundated with news from me recently; you'll be pleased to know that I'm likely to be beyond busy for the foreseeable future so please sit back and enjoy the peace. But never fear; I'll be be back.
There are more photos below