Saturday, 15 July 2006

Home Again!

We're home!

We've had the time of our lives, dear readers. We saw friends and family while we were in England and Austria, met nice people on the bus tour with whom we hope to stay in contact, saw lots of interesting and beautiful places from air, land and river-cruise perspectives, learned much about 20th Century history and a bit about thousand year-old cathedrals. We gawped over any number of schlosses old and new, and stood in numb silence at the sites of Auschwitz and Birkenau German concentration camps in Poland.

Naturally enough, we ate too much food but drank barely enough good red wine (when can there be too much of it?). I left the vodka strictly alone after my first sip of something with green grass in it, but thoroughly enjoyed many versions of schnaps, one of which sounded like an advert for KFC with it's many herbs and spices - it tasted a whole lot better.

There was one really big surprise: the weather. I think of Europe as bleak and cold like England seems to be on the weather channel, but it was really hot in Central Europe - between 33 & 38C every day for nearly three weeks. That's not at all what we expected to experiece!

All in all, it was a trip of a lifetime. We have over 600 pics (all hail the digital age of cameras!). I'm going to set up the travel blog in the next week or so with pics and bits and pieces. Please check out Blissful Travels (link on left) sometime soon.

Meanwhile, we have reunited with the off-spring we left behind in Brisbane (including Gypsy Cat who obviously got fed everything she asked for) and we are back at work. Paul and I are sharing photos and souvenirs with the two oldest princesses today while in The Valley for yum cha. I hope they are as enthusiastic as the crown prince was on Tuesday when he came for a visit! David's overseas gap year when he was 18 years old was based in Germany. He visited many of the places we visited on our tour. Paul, David and I sat over a meal and whiled away about 3 happy hours sharing pics and our experiences of places we had in common (how lucky are we having someone wanting to listen to our travel experiences?). Paul also caught up with his cadet prince on Wednesday. This son was supposed to go with us, but was unable to do so because we couldn't get his mother to agree in time enough for us to get him a ticket and a passport. What a pity!

Sadly, that 'back at work' is more than a royal 'we'. I'm back teaching this term after nearly a semester off. It's time to stop enjoying myself with cross stitch, painting and playing in my garden and to, once again, earn money to contribute to paying off the mortgage and educating my off-spring rather than relying on the proverbial money tree in the back garden.

I'm doing supply work at my local high school and have several contracts which fill the term. Interesting enough, I'm teaching senior school modern history as one of my contracts (I'm a literature and language specialist but when one does supply work one teaches all sorts of things!). This term's focus is the Vietnam War. With the teaching focus and the tour exploring former Soviet occupied territories and the holocaust, my interests when reading are expanding rapidly! Don't you just love the notion of life long learning?

And so it's now back to life in Brisbane. This weekend is a mix of final unpacking of the suitcases and moving forward with daily routines and friendships. Also, we have a new bedroom suite arriving this morning. The chaos times post-painting are coming to an end, thank goodness! We then have the lunch with the girls, followed by a friend's 60th birthday celebration tonight and lunch with friends tomorrow.

One of the nice things about coming home after a long absence is the renewal of contact with those we love who live around us. Paul and I woke early one morning this week (jetlag and time differences between Australia and Europe have been a bit of a problem. It's made worse by my obsessive need to be up early for work) so we lay in bed talking about what we had to do over the next few weeks. One pleasure is the numbers of invitations to dinner or lunch we have received in the few days we have been home. We have about six things to go to by the end of the next two weekends.

Then there is the return of our youngest princess from Austria. Regardless of the fact that we saw her last week and spent the previous 3 weeks with her, this is going to be a big deal.

I could rave on and on, but there is only so much that you want to read so I'm ending this blog entry here.

I continue to wish you happiness and laughter in your travels through life.


1 comment:

My Daily Laundry said...

It's great to hear from you!
So glad your trip was successful! I'm looking forward to browsing your pictures. My parents like to travel as well. I wish you could get together and share your travels! haha...
Have a great day... is it already Friday there? It's Noon here on Thursday...I can never keep up. LOL

Be blessed.