She's back 💖
And so, yesterday evening (7.30 pm) we collected daughter #1 from Heathrow Airport, Terminal 2.
She'd been away for 12 weeks, touring all over South East Asia.
I had the pleasure of carrying her rucksack from the arrivals gate to the car; she told me it weighed 19kg. Like hell it did: it felt like 50kg, and I've no idea, together with her hand luggage, how she managed to cart that around. I'd have dumped most of it but then I'm a minimalist and can (seemingly) get away with very little.
She was tanned and looked radiant. My wife was tearful and embraced her for a good 20 seconds. I could see, though, she'd had enough of travelling that day having initially flown from Singapore to Delhi and then to London and no doubt just wanted to get home to Devon.
And so we drove.
And talked some more.
The stories came; the people who'd touched her were described in minute detail; and I kept largely quiet not least because I wasn't sure if she wanted to talk. I did keep saying to her to get some sleep but she said she wasn't ready.
In the end, we got home at around midnight, having driven 400 miles in under 8 hours. I didn't feel too bad and, likewise, I feel OK this morning, even though I've only had 5 hours sleep.
I'm going to leave her to sleep in today; she can have as much time as she likes. I'm off on holiday but will have to collect our dog, Alfie, from friends — it wouldn't have been fair to leave him on his own. After that I need to get the rest of the food for Christmas day and then plan what I'm going to cook for the three vegans — me and daughters #2 and #3.
At some stage (no doubt) I'll get a chance to sit down my eldest and talk some more about her trip; but again, I don't want to rush anything.
Not to be too profound, but I did say to her at one stage on the drive back that her generation might be the last to enjoy the sort of tourism that she'd so enjoyed. In short, given the impact on the planet of all that flying, it can't go on forever unless we want to hasten still further our eventual and inevitable demise. She recognised that but, hey, I wasn't about to put a dampener on her travels that I'm sure will have forever change her.
Onwards, forever onwards.
[The above picture show daughter #1 with the pint and the youngest enjoying one of their many moments of laughter and fun. I can't now remember where the photo was taken.]
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