Today was the last free day we had before our trip away. There are a few more days before we go, but they’re not free. They have annoying stuff like lab work and spreadsheets lying in wait for me. And potentially a report waiting to leap out from behind a Tuesday afternoon and be dealt with.
So, obviously, we sorted everything out for our trip today. It being our last free day.
No. No, we didn’t.
Instead of that, we sat outside in the sun with friends and discussed fracking, Theresa May and the ridiculous price of private education in South Africa. The conversation was lubricated by several (or more) bottles of wine, a couple of Bloody Noras* and (perhaps to a lesser degree) by some non-alcoholic gin and tonics. Mmm. I know.
For the record, I regret nothing – except maybe the G&T thing.
Anyway, consequently, there will be some panic this week. Hopefully not too much, but it would be foolish to not take the opportunity to worry a bit.
Time to head home. Seeing family and friends in Sheffield has been wonderful, but there is a wife, some kids and a damn beagle to tend to back in Cape Town.
It’s been an odd time. It seems to have flown by, packed with concerts, tourist stuff, appointments, tasks and pretty much no beagles. And yet it seems like an age since I left South Africa.
There was time to grab one last quick pic of a Sheffield institution in our way to the station. Next time I’m over (whenever that may be) the old Hendos factory will have been sympathetically converted into a student pub, complete with Hendo’s inspired drinks.
We’ve quickly discovered that the ±25 hour door-to-door trip from Sheffield to Cape Town can be a little bit draining. Thus, while no-one wants to waste a day with friends and family, a ‘transition day’ between the time we get back and the time that we have to do stuff (work, school, extra murals etc etc) is actually a very good idea.
This “extra” Women’s Day (the new public holiday to hate) (trash talking Heritage Day is sooooo 2013, dahling) fitted the bill perfectly, allowing us to sleep in a bit, sort the washing, do the shopping, polish the beagle, and then reacquaint ourselves with that South African tradition of having a braai.
You can’t immediately leave the UK behind though; such severance would be extremely harsh and possibly even a little dangerous. A little English culture is called for and so it’s a touch of West Brom versus Manchester City and a glass of Marlon for me this evening.
And so we did get our snow in Sheffield. And we had huge fun in it until late last night.
But our concerns about getting out of my parents’ rather steep road were also well founded. The roads around us were littered with abandoned vehicles and there were plenty of accidents as well.
Other methods of transport may have been more appropriate.
But thanks to the community effort of the local residents, we’re out and on our way on the first leg of our journey south. It’s been an amazing break and it’s horrible to leave friends and family behind, but there’s sunshine and a beagle to look forward to, or so I’m told. Ahead of that, several (or more) hours of travel including three continents and at least two big aeroplanes.