I'm back, which is probably stating the obvious, but here I am at my desk, looking out onto the sodden fields and grey sky. What happened to summer? I seem to have missed it - even managed to visit Melbourne in their winter, only to return here and find the weather is about the same.
Jetting across the world is exhausting, even if you do it with some style, and although it is always easier coming back to the UK as far as jet lag is concerned, there is a point in the afternoon where the eylids droop and I wake up to find I've been dribbling and snoring in my comfy chair. It's the sign of old age, I swear, but I'm doing my best to ignore it!
Melbourne was cold, damp and grey, but we walked for hours through the city, marvelling at all the changes that have been made there during the eight or so years since our last visit. The art gallery was my first port of call. McCubbin's Pioneers calls me every time I'm anywhere near it, so I spent at least an hour just gazing at it. A group of schoolchildren joined me with their teacher, and it was interesting to hear their view on what the story of the tryptic was telling.
The Melbourne Literary Festival was making the city hum, and Spellbound on Southbank, which was the Romantic Writer's Conference played quite a part in the occasion. The first night was a bit nerve-racking, as I didn't know anyone at all, and was afraid I was over dressed. I needn't have worried, everyone was very welcoming, and as for the dress code - it was fancy dress! There were fairies of every size and age, witches, princes, princesses,, pirates - you name it, they were there. I wish I'd known, I'd have gone as something suitably fluffy and pink!
I didn't win the Romantic Book of the Year award, but I didn't really expect to, and when the winner was announced I was delighted, for I have read the book, and it was indeed a worthy winner, and I enjoyed it very much.
Him indoors drove the hire car out to Gippsland where the lovely people at Bairnsdale and Sale welcomed us so warmly we almost didn't want to leave. Drinks, nibbles, dinner and breakfast were provided, and to top it all, we were accommodated in a fabulous heritage hotel, complete with big brass bed and real lace curtains.
With the Bob Dylan song reverberating in my head (Lay lady lay - lay across my big brass bed) I was looking forward to a bit of fun at the end of the night. Him indoors had other ideas. As I was making myself beautiful - well, doing my best - in the bathroom, he fell asleep. I entered the bedroom and posed in the doorway to no avail, but to the sound of snoring. Charming! Now, if Bob Dylan had been there it might have been a whole different story!
We came back to the UK to rain. Went to Hereford to catch up with school pals I hadn't seen for x number of years - a lifetime really - and it rained. Then we went down to Cornwall. It was raining there too. At this rate I won't have a tan, I'll be rusty!
Him indoors began his usual stint of gardening, and gave me a terrible fright. He crashed through the front door, white as a sheet and breathing hard! Collapsed into the chair, groaned and sighed and was still breathing hard. I thought he'd had a heart attack. Frantic with worry, I knelt by him and asked what had happened. Turned out he'd fallen down a hole, ate grass on the way down, and took ages to get out again - it was a deep hole. I fell about laughing, which wasn't very kind. It was probably relief!
So, we're back here in Sussex again, someone is mowing their lawn in the drizzle, the shetland ponies are nibbling in the paddock and my cat, Tilly is sitting on the printer watching me type. I just know she's about to pounce - far too tempting to have moving things in front of her.
By the way, the back is well, just in case you were interested. It seems that all that sitting about during the so-called summer has healed it all by itself, which means I don't have to have an op, can go back to the gym, and generally get on with my life. Of course I won't be lifting heavy things again, will avoid gardening if at all possible, and will definitely turn a deaf ear when 'im indoors say's, 'Darling, can you just hold this?'
Bye for now. Will write again soon.