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Judy and David’s Travel Diary

Friday, 22 Jan 2016

MapFriday 22nd January
So here we are again...... we have been home for a week now and are gradually settling back into familiar routines, and getting used to having to wear jeans and jumpers again!
We had not anticipated that we would experience jet lag as much as we did for the first few days. Our body clocks were out after the long journey from Colombo via Singapore, which left us feeling quite disoriented and very tired!
We arrived at Heathrow to an emotional welcome home from Joel and Florence. They were waiting in arrivals with a massive "Welcome Home Planet Rangers" banner (see pics.)
Loved the thought of them drawing and colouring in together....just like when they were little!!
After hugs and warm words we went to leave the airport when Joel said "we just need to return our mics " and at this point a young man rocked up with a huge camera on his shoulder along with a young woman with a clipboard. They introduced themselves as Jonny and Cara and began to unclip microphones from Joel and Florence's clothing. They explained they were making a documentary for ITV, about the comings and goings at Heathrow airport.
They had noticed the banner being held by Joel and Florence, so approached them for the story behind it! Before they got to them Florence had gone off to the toilet and knew nothing about it at this point. Joel was happy to give permission for them to film our reunion and the first Florence knew about it was when she returned and they began to mic her up!! She was happy to go along with it! They had been interviewed and then left to await our arrival.
So....we arrive oblivious to the fact that we are being filmed!!
We have no idea whether our arrival will be included in the documentary, or even when it will be broadcast. Jonny and Cara took our contact details so hopefully we will be informed if and when.....!!
After that bit of excitement we headed back to Wokingham. It was bloody freezing outside and no consolation that people kept telling us that it had been a relatively mild winter until now!
It was a joy to return home to a warm, immaculately clean and tidy house.
Florence prepared one of our favourite meals (cauliflower cheese) and it felt good to be home.
The next few days were a bit of a blur. David felt dizzy and disoriented and put himself to bed late Friday afternoon. He wondered initially whether the children would mind if they stayed at home in the evening but he dragged himself out of bed not wanting to be a killjoy for them!!
The plan was (how wrong can you be!) to go out for a quiet meal with Bryony, Joel, Rachel, and Florence once Bryony arrived that evening after work.
We wandered up to our favourite curry house only to be greeted by a number of our good friends from the neighbourhood sitting around the table!!
SURPRISE!! A lovely celebration of our homecoming organised by Joel and Florence! We also used the opportunity to celebrate Les's birthday which was that day!
Added to which, we heard the happy news that David's son Simon and his partner Kelly became parents for the first time with a beautiful daughter, Mia.
It was great to see everyone and to catch up on the local gossip!
It was good to have Bryony with us for the weekend and the following day the five of us walked to the Crooked Billet for lunch - their treat!! It was a beautiful day...if a little chilly walking across the fields, but so good to be back in the bosom of our family after such an amazing adventure.
The following day our good friend Geggs popped round for coffee and catch up. She had very kindly ensured that our birthday presents and Christmas gifts had been sneaked into the house for the children in our absence. From what we understand....this wasn't straightforward, and involved a number of people....including Rachel's Nan and Grandad!!
We're still not really sure how it all worked but it did...and the magic of Christmas prevailed! Thanks Geggs!
Later, we watched the Arsenal game in The Ship (it was as if we'd never been away!) and although they could only draw against Stoke, David's eldest son Mark who now lives and works in the States popped in with his partner Donna on their way back to the USA having had business in Spain the previous week! Another lovely surprise.
They had known there was an Arsenal game on, so came to find us in the Ship before even calling at home! How predictable are we?!?
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So our blog comes to an end!
We have enjoyed writing it, although at times we have been frustrated with poor wifi. However, we are so glad that we persevered and made the time to write up each day. We are looking forward to sitting down together and reading it through, and to relive some of the wonderful memories!
Planet Ranger have the facility to turn the blog into a hard copy which includes photos and messages. It will be a great reminder of our fantastic time on the road together.
We loved knowing that people at home were following our journey and loved receiving their messages. Thanks peeps!!
The world is a big beautiful place and we've only seen a tiny part of it. Travel really does broaden the mind. It has confirmed for us that most people, no matter where they are in the world, simply want to live in peace and harmony with each other and with the natural world.

"Hagoonee" "Kia orana" "Kia ora" "Ya Minyah" "Ayubowan" "Farewell"