Logo: Lobster cartoon

May 2005 - May 2006

Image: Union Flag

Image: Welcome Home

15 MAY 2005 - 15 MAY 2006

As I’m writing this update to my website, it seems incredible that exactly a year has now passed since I returned to the UK from my world travels.

I had of course intended to update the site on a regular basis, but time simply has flown by – apologies to everyone who has logged in regularly to check for updates. At least on this occasion you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Image: Back at Gatwick (15/05/05)

Arriving at Gatwick after the overnight flight from Bermuda, I was met by my mum, my older brother Chris, his wife Trudi and their two daughters (my wonderful nieces) Bethany and Hannah. It was great to be home amongst my family.

When I set out eight months earlier, it’s fair to say that I was a bit worried that I would miss everybody. However, I’m pleased to report that at no time did I feel homesick on my travels. The wonders of modern technology (internet and email) meant I was never out of contact for too long, and meeting up with so many family members and friends whilst I was away also ensured that I didn’t spend too long dwelling on what I’d left behind.

It was great to catch up with all my (English) friends and family. Good to hear everyone’s news and to find out what’s happened whilst I was away. And it was great to open up some Christmas presents ... I've not done that in May before.

Managed to meet up in East Grinstead with “the massive” for a lovely Thai meal. I had missed a couple of the regular pub crawls, so I had a lot of catching up to do.

Image: Friends at East Grinstead

Within four days of getting back, I made a quick weekend trip over to my friends in Belgium – with the main aim of seeing my godson Jeremy. He had no idea that I would be dropping in, so his face was an absolute picture when I surprised him with my arrival.

A few days later, and thanks to twin brother Nick, I was on the road being driven back up to Scotland. Well, it just wasn't going to be possible to fly back. While I was away, I occasionally sent back parcels of all the bits and pieces I collected on my trip. Imagine my surprise when I got back to find over 25 parcels waiting for me. I surely didn't send back that much stuff?! Anyhow, it was simpler just to load up the car, rather than think about all the excess baggage charges I would have to pay at the airport.

Going via the A1 and east coast of Britain meant that we were able to visit old school friend Mary for breakfast en route at Grantham in Lincolnshire. It was lovely to see Mary again after all these years, as well as meeting her son Peter for the first time.

Image: Scotland Flag

Image: At the Scottish Border

No sooner had I returned to Scotland (in fact, within one hour of me stepping through the front door of my apartment), my old boss Alan at Scottish Widows telephoned me to say that he had a project he thought I could help with, and to see whether I could meet up for a chat. Five days later I was back at work!

I haven’t stopped since. Well, that’s a lie, as my final contract finished on 2 May 2006, so I’m now officially unemployed/retired again. It’s definitely good to take a bit of a break, especially as a year back at work came as quite a shock to the system after spending a similar period in 2004-2005 not working.

Quick summary of the past 12 months:

May 2005: work
June 2005: work
July 2005: work
August 2005: work
September 2005: work
October 2005: work
November 2005: work
December 2005: work
January 2006: work
February 2006: work
March 2006: work
April 2006: work

Only kidding, but at times it definitely felt like it!


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