All good things must come to an end and as September came into view we knew the holidays were over and it was time to pack up and head home. Our last few days coincided with my sister’s birthday so it was spent in a flurry of shopping, gardening and filling fridges with beer and wine in anticipation of Friday night’s party. When we were not shopping for presents and marquees we were tidying bedrooms and bathrooms, then re-tidying bedrooms and bathrooms when the kids came back from the beach trailing sand, wet cossies, goggles, soggy towels and souvenir special stones the size of grapefruits into the house.
Grant, my brother-in-law – aka Crocodile Dundee – took the boys downstairs to make boats out of wood in the workshop to distract them and later we floated them in the lake. We paid our last trip to the beach soaking up memories with the rays of sun, then on the spur of the moment Grant offered to teach me to drive on the wrong side of the road. He regretted it immediately when I tried to get into the passenger seat, but harnessed the nerves of steel he used earlier in the day when supervising three small boys using hammers, nails and an electric drill so we were soon on the open road. Luckily the car was an automatic so there were already three or four less things to worry about as I tucked one foot behind the other to stop myself reaching for the clutch.
The roads were empty and wide, and as long as I remembered to keep “in the middle of the road” it was alarmingly easy.
After a much less comfortable flight home – memo to Air Transat: Don’t tease us with individual TV screens on the outward journey if you’re going to replace them with 1970’s size shared screens on the way home – it might be a 21st century problem to some, but it’s not what you need after a four-hour transfer and an hour’s delay on the tarmac. And my special thanks to the two passengers we could happily have buried under the tarmac while they unloaded their bags after they decided not to board after having checked in. Why on earth would anyone do that??!! If you’ve got the money to buy tickets you’re not going to use, at least have the decency to travel light and stuff everything into a carry-on bag.
But thanks to lovely stewardesses – no wagon dragons on our flight – and time to snooze, we arrived home perky enough to enjoy the late summer sunshine and I was awake enough to get behind the wheel for the most important job of the day – collecting Doughnut from the kennels.
Despite jetlag I managed to stay on the right – sorry, left-hand – side of the road, and before long Doughnut was running towards us, fit and bouncy, and thanks to good grooming and fresh air, as tan as ever and maybe even a little heavier – a good thing for him!
Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn