Last year I determined that long-suffering
blog readers should be spared the domestic trivia of our trip back to
Europe but having enjoyed two of these interludes
now I realise I have been mistaken.
They are not breaks in our world-girdling adventure but integral parts
which deserve at least a mention.
We have had a wonderful seven weeks. There is no doubt that absence makes the
heart grow fonder and people have been heart-warmingly generous in their
enthusiasm for seeing us. We have
stayed with friends and family members for longer than we ever should had we
been living in the UK, and got to know them better. We have had a multitude of meals at
lunch times and in the evenings which can best be described as intensely
The family in Bath for birthday
celebrations - Sarah is camera woman
Briefly, we landed at Heathrow on
12th December after a gruesome journey; recovered for three nights in
a Surrey hotel while getting on with seeing people locally; stayed with friends
in Kent, brother Martin in Romsey, then travelled to
Bath for a great birthday celebration
weekend sharing a house with the Potters and Wilmshursts, with
invaluable input from the Nunns.
Down to Plymouth for a
foray into Cornwall, back to
Sussex and off to France/Switzerland.
Following further intense encounters I
returned to England after five days, Mags after ten and we
spent our last week in Europe at Harpenden.
We enjoyed a much better journey back to
the antipodes where we were picked up in Perth and whisked to Dongara some three hundred
kilometres to the north. We were
treated to a superb Aussie Christmas full of fun, sea-food and traditional fare
in the middle of Y-Not’s loving family before rounding off the Aussie section
with a visit to friends south of Perth that we hadn’t seen for twenty years and a
day’s rubber-necking in Melbourne.
Getting ready for Christmas lunch.
First catch your crayfish; measure them for size, et voila, a wonderful
back to New
at last we benefited from experience. Airlines are strictly enjoined by
government to stop anyone getting into the country without the means to
leave again - generally a return ticket. Last year we did not have the
paperwork and we also had another problem - we were massively overweight.
By great good fortune we fell between the two stools and managed to slip in
without having to buy the return or pay for excess. This year we were
better prepared with evidence that we would be leaving under our own steam, so
to speak, but even so the check-in lady had to consult her supervisor.
However, we were the talk of Area D; our lady had "never dealt with one of these
before" and we were nodded at and cooed over by her neighbours on adjoining
desks. We always make it clear that we are by no means unique in this
round-the-world thing - there are quite a few of us doing it, but I suppose in
the great scheme of things our community of funny yachties is quite
We arrived back in
Zealand just in time for
Auckland’s New Year’s Eve fireworks from the
telecommunications tower. Walking
round the harbour area the following morning we came across Ocealys, the
catamaran that took part in the rescue of Timella’s crew but to our great
disappointment the gallant couple were not on board to receive our
Fireworks from the
telecommunications tower, new year, Auckland.
Once we had recovered our
baggage on arrival at Heathrow (hold door frozen shut – the plane had to be
parked in the sun for an hour), we didn’t have a difficult moment or a scintilla
of regret and we eventually got back to JJ Moon in a state of mild
Now back to the usual round,
but no regrets about that either.