Whatever the Weather
26 January 2010 | Javea
As the day approached for me to fly back to the UK, I was keeping a close eye on the weather at home. The 'Big Freeze' was on. The whole of the country appeared to be smothered in thick snow and had ground to a halt as salt was impossible to find even to sprinkle on chips. A few days before heading out Alex called to say there had been a burst pipe in the utility room. This had meant he had coped with temperatures well below zero, with no heating or hot water, until a plumber could be found. This he did with a competence that left me bowled over with pride.
The snow was receding when I finally flew out to Liverpool airport and tentatively set out for North Wales in the dark in an unfamiliar hire car. In fact I didn't see snow until turning off the A55 but followed Alex's advice not to attempt to go down the hill to the house. Excellent advice it was, too, as the road was a sheet of thick ice. But a thaw had set in, the heating was now back on and it was good to be home - even if I did need to go to bed in granny nightie, dressing gown, socks and two quilts before I felt warm enough to sleep!
The washer had sprung a leak as well during the freezing conditions so I felt it was time to tackle the utility room and asked a builder to have a look at what was needed to stop the room succumbing every winter - more expense.
It was so good to see family and friends again and I confess to a bout of homesickness around Christmas. Apologies to everyone I didn't get to see, though, as time was short and mostly filled with medical appointments and sorting out paperwork. Back in Javea, the sun was shining and Neil was doing the long walks he had promised himself whilst I was away. I wouldn't have liked them, apparently.
I also confess to mixed feelings as my time at home was coming to an end. Alex and Amy had obviously got their lives sorted and friends and family all had their own concerns. The news from work (great to see you again, Sandra) while making me miss all the people, left me with a sense of distance and not really belonging anymore. The first tentative buds were appearing in the garden after the ice had melted. I have always taken great pleasure in watching the garden come to life and was acutely aware that I would miss it this year.
But I was missing Neil more. As the rooftops of Alicante became visible I was overjoyed to be back. On the ground I could see him waving as he waited for me to collect my bag. Home is where the heart is, even if it is raining!