It's all over, back in Blighty

It's all over, back in Blighty

Sorry to have left you all hanging back there in Austin. Blogging wasn't at the forefront of my mind while my body was objecting to whatever it was objecting to. I'm back in (almost) sunny Brighton now. Home. Weird.

It's Wedesday and I should be at work. I called in sick though with a combination of jet lag, a still slightly dicky tummy and no bike to hawl my tools with.

The return journey was a mixed bag. I still felt queazy but things were returning to relative normal in my digestion world. Unfortunately Rich's threatened cold had appeared with a vengeance (can you appear with a vengeance? or just return with one? Hmmm) so he went straight back to bed. So Jessamine drove me to the bus station. The bike's a nightmare to get around when you can't ride it, especially with all my stuff in a huge bag too. They try to charge me $40 to take the bike on the bus but reduce it to $15 following some whimpering from me. Just as well, I had just the right amount of dollars left to cover the taxi to the airport and some food when I got there.

The bus is busy but fine. I sit beside a chatty college girl who does the route all the time to go back to Houston to see her boyfriend.This means she can let me know a good time to call a cab.

Houston feels instantly sketchy as I step out of the bus station. People grab for my bags and start hailing cabs for me as I try to keep hold of everything and shuffle away from them saying I've got one booked. It turns out that I'd called a bit early tho and it's gone by time I get there. Rubbish. One of the guys comes over and chats. He's friendly and chatty and open about hussling and eventually a minivan (people carrier) turns up and he hails it and helps with my bags. I'm surprised that he doesn't look to me for money at all but I give him a couple of dollars anyway. Then the driver gives him a couple too, I guess that's where he usually makes his money.

I'm a bit stressed and running later than I'd hoped but it's all fine. The airport isn't big, checking in my bag and box is easy and security is fine despite me forgetting about a can of soda in my bag. I consider having a final hamburger, one last meaty farewell, but plump for a veggie burger. I can't eat much of it anyway. The flight's delayed by about an hour and I worry about catching my Non Transferrable bus at the other end. It's always good to have something to worry about.

The plane's almost full as expected. A couple sit beside me, a woman and a man at least, not a couple I don't think. She's a fair bit older and talks to him about her daughter and I don't know what else. When I'd checked my flights before leaving the UK I'd specified a veggie meal. The options given were Vegan, Veggie Hindu and veggie something I'd never heard of. I'd gone for the Hindu option so my meal was curry. It went down better than the veggie burger at the airport but it wasn't what I needed. The desert was amazing tho, it looked like ice cream but it was 3 sweet doughy cakes covered in slimy evapourated milky stuff. Looked a bit wrong but tasted divine.

The neighbours talking about I don't know what (I got headphones on) continues until about 5am UK time, which I was hoping to adjust to by sleeping some. Fail. I was happy to have remembered to take my Advil PM tablets. They make my body feel totally drained but my brain is still alert enough for my neighbours chatting to keep me awake. Bugger. I maybe shouldn't blame them, I don't easily sleep on planes and trains but i thought the pills would deal with that. I give up trying and watch some other film or other. Finally their incessant chatter stops and they instantly fall asleep. Bastards. It's too late for me.

I open the blinds to watch the dramatic colour changes of dawn and it's stunning. I'd spent the night thinking I should have got an aisle seat but this makes having been stuck in the corner worthwhile. And we're over the Cork coast by time there's enough light to pick out features on the landscape.
My food option seems to mean I get some extra breakfast which is nice.

We circle Heathrow a while and land just in time for me to have missed my bus. Happily they let me change my ticket but I've got an unwelcome hour to kill. But I'm in the UK and the shops and familiar and they sell familiar food. I get an M&S ploughmans sandwich. It's good to be home.

The bus seems to go pretty quick, maybe I sleep, I don't take much of it in anyway. It's a bit frustrating, I feel like I'm missing the things you only see when you get back from being away for a longish time. I'm too frazzled to care much tho. I text my mum and a few folks to let them know I'm back safe. The taxi driver to my house is way chattier than I'm prepared for. He tours a bit too and is full of questions but I'm feeling empty of everything. Finally I manage to manhandle the bike box up the stairs and fall quickly asleep.

So that's that. I didn't die. Woo hoo! I'll try to come up with some more thoughts about the trip over the next week or so. In the mean time I have to try to get my life back together, get a replacement frame and get back to work. Oooh and I think I might deserve a warm flat pint or 2 when my stomach settles itself down...

I somehow seem to have arranged to go to Scotland for a long weekend with A Certain Someone next weekend. Total madness. I wonder if it'll seem appropriate to blog about that? I've enjoyed writing this. I think it helped keep my positive and motivated when I was quietly trying to think of ways I could bale out while saving face. I thank you all for taking the time to read this and for the comments. I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Cheers!

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Thank you!

in reverse order:

Liz: yes I have a few other bike, none any good for commuting, honest.

Kev: cheers! was great to have you along for the ride, must catch up when I'm up next...

Walter: Yep, it's great to be back home in 1 piece. Thanks again for the hospitality, I'd be delighted to return the favour if you're ever in town!

Nat: Bloody hell, how long does it take?!?

Home too soon!

Can't believe you're home already, I've only read about the first 3 states!! Won't be talking to you until I've finished!! Well done mate, glad it's got a happy ending!!
Nat x

Glad you are safe!

Glad you made it home in one piece Iain! Also glad that us yanks weren't too hard on you. It was a pleasure to have hosted you in our place and maybe one day you can return the favor. haha

-Walter from Bowling Green.

Well done, son!

Impressive way to spend the last year of your childhood!

just one thing Iain..dont you

just one thing Iain..dont you have 13 bikes? haha..welcome home..see u for a flat warm pint sometime v soon ...L x

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