Well, as they say, all good things must, sadly, at some point, come to an end.
Back here in Perth on a 37 degree day, after having gone for a run and a swim at the beach this brilliant Sunday morning, Paris and Europe seems a long, long way away.
I’ve survived my first day back at the office – a big shock to the system – I couldn’t even find my swipe pass to get into the building; but it was great to see the gang again and hear everyone’s stories and gossip.
For Nicki and I – it’s been harder than we thought to adjust back to beautiful Perth. Jetlag yes, but also – we have started to describe it to our family and friends in the following terms:- for six months, in the pages you have faithfully followed, we have had little more to ponder than – What’s for lunch? Can we make it to that museum this afternoon before we have a kick of the footy and find a playground? Where is there some decent wifi so we can catch up with the world on viber and emails? Why do Europeans (as a rule) drive way too fast and well in excess of the speed limits?
We simply lived in the present – which has been a real gift, and not dwell on the (little or big) issues at work, what high school the kids are going to go to, is our backyard big enough for Tommy’s torpedo kicks or whether Carlton will return to the top four after many years in the AFL wilderness.
Many people have asked – what was the favourite country, and it really is impossible to answer. We have had such diverse, magic experiences in wildly different places. We all enjoyed seeing our rellies in the UK, the cruise with Grandpa, the time in Norway, the week in St Jeannet in the south of France, the skiing etc etc… There were no real duds or downers, and the only time anyone got sick was on the plane on the way home, when all three kids decided to have good old chunder – Maddy’s was gold, all over Nic and the floor at Qatar airport.
Nic would like me to add in a few words about Paris – our last stop on the way home, so we can add some photos to this otherwise very wordy blog (especially for the younger viewers)…
So – Paris was in a few words: –
1. Freeeezing! It would have averaged about minus 5 degrees each day we were there, and thank golly gosh we still had all our ski gear handy. I don’t think I have ever been colder than standing in a queue at the Eiffel Tower waiting to get in. Speaking of…
2. Queues. Did everyone decide to go to Paris for Christmas this year? Far out it was busy, with queues outside churches, museums, monuments, and even shops. The Champs Elysees was so busy you simply could not get into some shops even if we had room in our stuffed suitcases for one more memento…
3. Beautiful. Museums, monuments, churches, etc etc – we wished we had come earlier in the trip when we could have lingered rather than scurrying to the next stop to keep warm!
We really wanted to say in one last blog – thankyou everyone for all your lovely comments following our travels. We sometimes felt a long way from home, but a viber, email or post from all of you to us made us remember what wonderful friends and family we have, and what great lives we have back at home here in WA.
Anyway, the kids are calling me for a swim, and I’d better check the BBQ before Dad comes over for dinner.
Til the next instalment – South America maybe?
Ian, Nic, Tom, Mad, Rosie (rocket) xx
Postscript: I wrote this blog about 10 days ago, just before the tragic terrorist acts in Paris. Its taken us a while to download our final photos and finish this blog, and also come to terms with what has happened. We were staying rather close to some of the incidents, and on another scorching day of sun, surf, swimming lessons at Cottesloe and bbq’s – we are feeling very fortunate to live in this corner of the world that we call home.