Well, Miss Dorothy got one thing right . . . there's no place like home. I've had a ball over the last 5 months. It's been brilliant. But . . . I'm really glad to be home.
There really isn't much to report about the trip home. It was pretty normal. Got on the flight in Chicago on Wednesday, changed planes in Cincinnati, got off in London at 9.00 am Thursday. Although, for a change, I did actually sleep much of the flight. That was a nice surprise. It wasn't great sleep, but it was sleep. So I wasn't totally trashed when I arrived. And, as a true act of friendship, my friends from church, Claire and Joe, came all the way out to Gatwick to collect me! So I didn't even have to lug everything through the Underground/Trains. Yeay! That was very kind, and totally above and beyond the call.
Friday I got up and went into Uni. Had a quick check-in with my advisor. Things are looking good on the PhD front. Had lunch with Jenny, and took a few photos of campus.
Saturday, I finally got around to to unpacking. Surprisingly, I managed to get everything done, including all the stuff I'd packed away so that my house sitters could move in, in under 4 hours! And no, that didn't mean stuffing everything into the laundry hamper. I mostly had clean laundry, anyway. Then, in the evening, my friend (also from Church) Rebekah came down from Cambridge and we played. Saturday we went to Nando's (one of my favourite cheap and cheerful meals!) for dinner, and watched Sahara at my house. Rebekah started playing with my hair and actually put me to sleep twice! Sunday we went to church, which was great. It was so nice to be back home with them. Then, after church Rebekah made me the most amazing Sunday Dinner. And let me get my head down whilst she prepared it! My body's mostly back to normal, but I am still feeling a bit of jetlag. She made amazing roast potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and sausages. And then for afters . . . oh my goodness! She's baked these scrumptious chocolate with white chocolate chip biscuits at home and brought them with. She layered them in with cream and cherries and raspberry yogurt for an amazing, light, treat. It was perfect. So we sat out in the garden (rather hideously overgrown) and enjoyed the fruits of her labours. What an amazing welcome home feast!
After dinner we went down to the river. Rebekah's an amazing photographer, (She's just started up a blog of her own, if you want to check out her other work.) and she'd brought her equipment, so she took loads of photos of me. Isn't she sweet? And some of those photos turned out amazing!
I'm now back into normal life. Well, sort of. I'm playing catchup just a bit. The garden had been let go whilst I was away. I suppose of all the things to neglect, that's the least problematic. But when I arrived and looked at it I just though, *sigh* That's going to be a bear to clean up. Fortunately, I have loads of marvelous friends. One of the Youth from church, Elliot, and his dad, David, came round today to help. Elliot cut the grass, David trimmed the edges and raked up all the dead bits out of the grass, and I clipped the hedges back. It's not done, but it's at least usable now. Hooray, and a huge Thank You to David and Elliot!