Our First Fortnight Back In Britain - Family Visits, Reunion, Wedding, Easter And Now Motorhome-less!

So as we prepared this evening to leave my parent's house in Stone, which has been our base for almost a fortnight since returning back to the UK, I felt moved to share a quick summary of our first two weeks back in the UK.  It feels very strange to have arrived in Homer, our wonderful first motorhome, which has been our trusted travelling steed for the last 2 years and to be leaving tomorrow in a hire car to head back up to Durham.  The past two weeks have flown by but has been brilliant to see and be welcomed back by so many friends and family.  This short time already back in the UK has seen the start of another but very different leg of our adventures, particularly as we've already twice donned back tie / evening dress as opposed to our usual outdoor gear!  



Almeria To Calais In 3 Days - Sun, Statues, Snow and Swelling!

We arrived back in the UK earlier than planned - very early on Friday March 18th following our overnight travels to try and get back to Britain asap after the insect bite on my hand starting turning a bit nasty and painful (we suspect a hobo spider during our last night in Spain).  After a drawn out conversation to the 111 helpline (for various administration reasons), they advised just to go to the local pharmacy, I was then directed to the next door doctor's surgery by the shocked pharmacist, but was then  directed to A&E the nurse at the surgery.  So being very tired and having had very little sleep, it was a very strange experience to be sitting waiting in a packed A&E department as the first stop back in the UK.  Having the bite checked out and being sent away with antibiotics, we finally arrived late afternoon to my parent's house in Stone, Buckinghamshire.  Sadly my mum is currently away in Holland looking after and spending time with my soon to be 99 year-old Oma (Grandma), so it was my Dad and their dog Sam who welcomed us back.  And it was lovely to see my Dad, first time since last November in Holland, and get the opportunity to spend some time together.

However, we arrived shattered so after a quick hello and hug with Dad, we slipped off to bed to catch up on some sleep.  The next day we were off to our reunion at Wadham College in Oxford and after our wonderful friend Phil had arranged clothes for us we were ready to join the gathering.  It was great to catch up with old friends and we were really touched by people who were so encouraging about our more recent and personal posts about our health conditions, particularly as during our time at University Dan had been hiding his incontinence from everyone.

Don't We Scrub Up Well - Last Minute Trip To The Wadham College Gaudy Reunion - Oxford University

A late night home but the next morning we had to have Homer cleaned and ready for viewings.  As we have written it was a very last minute decision to put our motorhome on ebay as we were leaving Spain but by the time we were back in the UK we unexpectedly already had offers and viewings lined up.  And by lunchtime Sunday Homer was reserved by the first couple to view.



Monday saw Homer get the annual MOT check-up and final clearing out of our remaining things. The blister on my hand also finally burst - bit messy but it did relieve some of the pain and swelling.  Tuesday saw Dan going for a meeting in Peterborough - needing to borrow sensible shoes from my Dad as we didn't think either hiking boots, trainers or sandals were quire appropriate - whilst I stayed home, dog-sitting Sam and catching up on some much needed rest.  The previous few days had taken quite a lot of my energy reserves and I was aware that the next few days would be very busy as we headed to Nottingham.

Before we left though, there was a final goodbye to Homer as we collected the couple from the local station, signed paperwork, visited the bank to complete the sale and then watched (a bit emotional) Homer drive off for more adventures of her own with new owners.

Bye Bye Homer?? Motorhome Adventurers Without A Motorhome!


Straight away we booked a Travelodge room in Nottingham - now that we didn't have any accommodation, and borrowed my parent's old car and set off to attend Dan's brother Chris' and his fiancee Faye's wedding. We arrived in the early evening and popped in to see Dan's grandparents - again who he'd not seen since his visit in late November - who were pleased to see us safely back in the UK again.  Dan's dad Mick and his girlfriend Teresa kindly dropped off our clothes at the Wollaton Travelodge.  It was great to see everyone again but once again we went to bed early knowing that the next day would be another busy one and we wanted to be well rested.



After a very comfortable night sleep in the new style Travelodge, we were up and out early to get some fresh air, enjoying a run around Wollaton Hall, Gardens and Deer Park together.  It was a refreshing start to what was a busy and long day and it was a wonderful opportunity to be so close to the deer and enjoy the park in Springtime. 




After squeezing in a trip into Beeston to find some clothing items, we were ready just after midday and once again surprised ourselves that we could indeed scrub up OK for the occasion! After an emotional ceremony at the Town Hall in Nottingham there was a fantastic reception to celebrate the marriage of Chris and Faye Colegate at the unique Malt Cross venue.  It was truly a brilliant day and we were so happy for Dan's brother and Faye that they were surrounded by all their friends and family as they started a new chapter of their life together.  It was also lovely for Dan to be able to catch up with so many old friends and also spend a the day with his family.  It was particularly wonderful to see him with his nephew Dexter (Chris' son) and his niece Edith (his youngest brother Mike's daughter).



After a late night, the next morning saw me making use of the Travelodge's midday check out to catch up on some rest while Dan spent some more time with his Dad, taking a walk along the embankment in Nottingham.  In the afternoon we visited his grandparent's dropped by to say hello to his mum and picked up a few groceries from the local 'Out of this World' organic supermarket.  However as the car we'd been so kindly lent by my parents had developed an awful squeal due to its failing clutch we wanted to set off not too late and get back to Stone before dark in case there were any problems en route.  Thankfully the car made it!  
Saturday was spent with Dad as well as taking some time to sort out things, physical positions and some admin.  In the late evening we enjoyed a run through the Buckinghamshire countryside in the grounds of the Eythrope estate.

Running Joys - Exploring The Beautiful British Countryside - Wollaton Park, Nottingham and Eythrope Park and Gardens, Bucks

Then Sunday was Easter and at lunchtime we came together to enjoy the afternoon, a few healthy treats, taking a walk with Dad and Sam and in the evening watched the movie 'Rush' together - about the F1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt relationship and rivalry.  It's a film we've enjoyed together in the past as we feel there are some interesting life messages buried within the story and as my dad likes motor racing we enjoyed sharing it with him.     




Sadly during the evening and later during the night I started to feel really sick and unwell.  We had intended to leave the next morning to start our journey back up to Durham but it wasn't meant to be.  I found myself all day in bed with a slight fever, grumpy, wanting to be in the dark and being very ill (both ends) with a stomach bug.  I think that with the busy 10 days since leaving our winter base in San Jose and maybe also with my immune system taking a bit a knock because of the antibiotics for the infected insect bite, my resilience to the bug (which apparently went around a lot of people after the wedding) was low.  Not fun.  Tuesday, I continued to take it easy recovering still from the illness, whilst Dan continue to use the time to work on his writing and projects.   


I was feeling better enough, and it was a little less busy with family affairs, Dan and I did take the time to sit and think about our time in Homer and really take stock that she was gone and that we were now Motorhome Adventurers without a motorhome!  We really enjoyed the time thinking about what we've enjoyed about our wonderful first motorhome, what we'd learnt, how our travel style and preferences were evolving and therefore what had prompted the decision to try selling Homer and look for a new motorhome whilst we were back in the UK.  We didn't feel we'd be able to say goodbye without a proper review.....



Up on my feet again on Wednesday - more walks with Dad and Sam at the nearby playing fields as well as an unexpectedly trip to my Dad's old office to pick up his mended computer where I had the opportunity to catch up with my step-sister, Jackie, and my step-brother, Ian, both of who I hadn't seen for quite some time (at least before we first set off on our travels in 2014).  It was really nice to see them both and although we'd exchange news over email in the past 2 years it was nice to catch up in person, if only briefly and unexpectedly.  




So that leaves today, Thursday, where it was finally time to make plans for our return to Durham and as we were now motorhome-less it meant hiring a car, which we have picked up this afternoon and have started loading with all our possessions ready for the drive up tomorrow. It feels funny to think that two weeks ago we were still driving through France and later that evening would make the decision to push on through the night to Calais.  We seem to have fitted in so much since then - a new and very different adventure since arriving back in the UK.  But it's been great to catch up with old friends and spend quality time with both my Dad and family.  And we've made some very big changes and steps forward in planning and working towards our next adventure .... so watch this space.....!

  

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Adventures In Life, Love, Health, Travel... & Puppies!: Our First Fortnight Back In Britain - Family Visits, Reunion, Wedding, Easter And Now Motorhome-less!
Our First Fortnight Back In Britain - Family Visits, Reunion, Wedding, Easter And Now Motorhome-less!
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