So I am eventually back in my homeland of real marmite, although it was a tad of an adventure to get here. Heading solo on the first leg of my journey, I flew Cathay Pacific from Perth to Hong Kong.
I had a funny feeling that something was not quite going to go right with my flight. When I arrived at the airport, the ground staff told me that I wasn’t booked as a disabled flyer (NB: I had rung the airline with my wheelchair dimensions so I know they did). Anyway, I boarded the full plane, and sat next to a nice American man. One movie down, and there was an announcement over the loudspeaker…
“Attention everyone on board. We have a disruptive passenger, and if he does not return to his seat in 5 minutes we will be turning the plane back round to Perth”
…Not the best thing for an already anxious Keira to hear… but at that point we could not actually see the said passenger. 10 or so minutes later this man flies through the cabin saying he’s going to crash the plane with his iPhone and he was recording us all for YouTube before we died… I did notice however he hadn’t actually pressed record on his phone and had the camera facing the wrong way. The aircrew convinced the man to take his seat (two seats away from me) in which he passed out… and didn’t wake up until we were in Hong Kong! Nothing like a bit of drama eh?!
Arriving in Hong Kong, I had the whole day to myself, and I planned on going to get my nails done, eat some proper food and get a mini massage. However, when I went to leave the plane, I found out that the airline had lost my wheelchair. Sneakily, I had about 20kgs as hand luggage, so including my wheelchair-seat that I’d removed so I could sit on it on the flight, and my one crutch, I was stuck not being able to move. I sat in a seat with all my bags close for the next 13 hours. This was definitely less than ideal moment- but I suppose it could have been worse. Once I was able to check in for my next flight, a man standing behind me overheard a teary Skype call to Elliot. He asked me what happened (by which time my chair had flown to Singapore and then to Hong Kong) and invited me to sit in the first class lounge for the remaining four hours.
Let me just say this was LUSH. Free good food, lots of wine and Wi-Fi… I was over the moon! The man I met then got my seat upgraded so I had lots of leg space for my spasming legs and help once I got to England with my ridiculous amount of luggage. For moving to the other side of the world I actually think I packed really well… except for needing a lot warmer clothes this side of the world!
So here I am, back in England, back with family. I’m reunited with yummy chocolate, fast and efficient trains and awfully cold weather. I know that even though todays high was only 8 degrees… it’s going to get a lot worse! Time to embrace the cold, luckily I love winter fashion! And fingers crossed for a white Christmas! There was definitely a sense of “home sweet home” as soon as I arrived in the country but a tinge of bitter lingered as I know my life here will be different! Different isn’t bad though, but it will take some adjusting!!
I am loving spending time with my family over here, and cannot wait to see the rest of the family in the new year! Having cuddles with my cousins inside cosy houses is ideal when its so cold outside. I can’t help but miss Elliot, my friends and whanau back in NZ. It’s like half my life is still stuck the other side of the world. Getting texts from my friends who were at a birthday drinks hit hard, this is the start of living my life separately. But as I’ve said before I am so happy that technology has advanced that we can send instant photos of our different adventures, and I’m excited for our adventures to cross paths!
I definitely don’t want to sound like I’m not enjoying England though… I am absolutely loving being able to attend family birthdays, day trips to London and seeing old friends. I have seen Emily, Emma and Livi this week from NZ too so that has been an extra treat! I also had a wonderful day in London with Helen, an old friend from Hayling Island, shopping and coffeeing- it’s almost as if ten years hasn’t really happened!
I have had a bit of grief settling in as it is impossible to get anywhere without “proof of address.” This can be a bank account statement or utility bill.. but you can’t get a bank account without proof, or a National Insurance number…. Or sign a lease for a flat… or sign up for a GP… or get a contract for a phone. I seem to have gone round in absolute circles with not much luck. Its definitely stressful not having a GP that I know well, but I am sure it won’t be long before they know me.. and hopefully one of the Marfan expert replies soon to get the ball rolling in that field! It’s strange for me not to be ridiculously busy all the time, but I’m catching up on a lot of lost sleep and TV shows!
Today I found out that I have a temp role with World Vision starting soon, and causal nannying work. So I definitely have a good start. The red tape of moving back is teaching me once again to be patient… and reminds me that all good things come with time. Once again I start thinking about all the adventures and happenings of the next few months and get excited! The adventures have begun!
Ps, good luck to the Heart Kids NZ crew at the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge this weekend, I am there in spirit!! xxx