Returning Home

By Adele Sharman

5 November 2021
The true excitement is when you know you have booked that flight to return home. Leeds will always be my home and means a lot to me; most of my family and friends live here

The true excitement is when you know you have booked that flight to return home. Leeds will always be my home and means a lot to me; most of my family and friends live here. My mum had not been too well, and that’s when I knew that flight was getting booked and I needed to be at home.

We had to fly to London Heathrow, so that worked out well. We could visit the kids, and my sister and I would still feel like I was on holiday (even when I would be quarantining). I can’t explain the feeling I got when I landed. My first reaction was, ‘Thank God it’s not raining.’ It was pretty warm, so the jeans, jumper and coat didn’t have to come out of the suitcase. I didn’t have any of the items anyway, so it would have to be a beach towel around my shoulders. I love landing back in the UK…Most people travelled in shorts and short sleeves, then realise it was 30 degrees cooler outside, so they got off the plane wearing the free flight socks with the blanket.

I had butterflies in my tummy and tears in my eyes when I saw Leonie, my stepdaughter, and son-in-law David. I hadn’t seen them for over ten months! I also met Ned, my grand furbaby, for the first time. He was super cute and fluffy. I still felt like I was on holiday because it wasn’t home and the sun was shining. We even got welcome home balloons, champagne and a bacon sandwich – life was good. The excitement lasted for a few more days. I met my daughter Ollivia, who I had not seen for over a year. We had a sweet tear shedding moment (well I did) and lots of cuddles.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see my youngest daughter Polly, but I hope we can do it very soon. The next meetup was with my amazing sister and fabulous sister in law, who kept me sane when things were (a bit of a struggle) during travelling. I could call, FaceTime or text, and they were always there to listen to me ranting about my husband doing my head in
(Yorkshire saying) and getting on my nerves. There were days when I felt guilty for enjoying my life, so my girls gave me reassurances, and I felt so much better after our calls.

It’s hard to believe that some things could go wrong when staying in 5-star hotels and having the sun, sea and freedom. I did have off days, but there were also days when I just wanted to fly home, which wasn’t as easy as you would think. In the world of a pandemic, I couldn’t rock up to the airport and jump on a flight.

I had a few fantastic days in London catching up with my London Family, but now it was time to head north. I was like a little kid on the journey. I knew my mum and dad would be waiting for us at our house. My mum had asked what I wanted to eat, and I wished for spaghetti Bolognese. I missed certain foods when I was travelling. Having fish and chips in Florida isn’t the same as the ones with mushy peas back home. A homemade roast dinner with Yorkshire puds and lots of gravy, I had a few of these.

As I opened the door, I saw both of my parents smiling at me with their open arms. That cuddle we’d shared made me feel like I was a little girl again, and yes, I cried happy tears. I had missed them so much. We sat down for food and even had Christmas presents to open. I was so pleased.

When you have been away for over ten months, there is a lot of catching up to do. Thankfully to the housekeeper, (my mum and cousin Jodie), our house was spotless, and the gardener visited every couple of weeks to make our lawn look even better. Post, post and more posts… I have a fantastic postman and even more fantastic cousin Tracy who would do FaceTime with me and open my mail. She became so good at it that she knew exactly what letter would be inside after ten months before she even opened the envelope. I was enjoying the time catching up with my family. I had a fantastic brunch at the Ivy with my cousins, Jodie and Nell. Even though I face-timed them regularly, it was lovely to see and cuddle them. Then I had more lunchtimes with my cousins, calls & texts with family members, friends, and neighbours.

As the days flew by, I was missing the sun, sea, morning walks and swims, yet I was so busy catching up with people I didn’t have time to think about that at all. By the time we had spent three weeks in the UK, my mum was doing better, and we sorted things out at home. So that was a sign to restart my adventure. We planned on coming to Antigua for two weeks before entering the USA. I got that giddy feeling that I was travelling again, but I also felt sad to say goodbye, and yes, I cried like a baby saying bye to my mum. She reassured me she was fine and asked me to go and enjoy my life. Flights and hotel booked, cases repacked – it was time to set off on another adventure.

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