10th September 2018. Journey Home.

We had mixed emotions today, we were sad to be leaving Northumberland which we’ve loved but we were both excited and nervous about travelling back to our home which we left on 16th May 2016.

Before we left Bishop Auckland Darren had one last task to fulfill, clearing out the toilet cassette.  He’s so wonderful to take on that task, mind you he had promised that he would always do it when he was originally selling me the idea of travelling round Europe and he’s stuck to his word.  He has two songs that go with that job.  1.  “Rolling the poo.  Rolling the poo.  Rolling the poo for you”, sung to the chorus of Kate Bush’s ‘Them Heavy People’.  2.  “Well I’m a super trouper going to wheel the pooper.  But I won’t feel blue.  While I’m wheeling poo, for somebody as lovely as you!”  Sung to the tune of Abba’s ‘Super Trouper’

It would be very strange to move back into our house after so long, we wondered what we would find, we’ve heard so many horror stories from other motorhomers who’ve rented out their houses while they travelled.

We had a reasonable journey back to the South East.  The best part was when we stopped at Darrington at a cafe called Busy Bee’s Diner.  It was very quirky.   The people serving were very friendly, we were standing at the counter trying to make a decision about what to have from the large menu when another couple, Australians about our age, came in.  The lady was asking all sorts of questions about the food, she couldn’t eat gluten and the owner answered all the questions patiently.  I had a little laugh to myself because normally I’m the one asking questions regarding whether there is a vegetarian option and I didn’t have to this time because there were LOTS of vegetarian options!

We sat and ate our meal, looking at the vintage items hanging on the walls (there was even a chopper bike!), the food was very good.  We were quite speedy for a change because we needed to get home at a reasonable time.  As we were leaving we walked past the Australian couple and I decided to stop and tell them that I’d had a grin at all the questions the lady had been asking and then explained why.

We ended up chatting for ages, in fact Darren had to come back to find me, he’d assumed I was following him out to the van!  You know what you do when you assume don’t you Darren!  They were lovely, they had flown over from Australia and had been doing a grand tour of the UK and Ireland.  It sounds like they’d had a superb trip, I hope we can do that one day, I’ve never been to Ireland and it sounds beautiful.  They told us they come from Margaret’s River in Perth which is one of the largest wine producing areas in Australia.  I felt rather embarrassed to admit that we hadn’t heard of it, no doubt we’ve tasted some of the wine from that area though.  We told them two of our sons had lived in Australia for a year and two years respectively but they had been in New South Wales.  After a long chat we said our goodbyes and let them finally get on with their meal in peace.

The only exciting thing about our journey home was that we saw another Frankia motorhome, they appear to be as ‘rare as hen’s teeth’.  In fact we were able to look at it for ages (I have to admit that the excitement started to dissipate rather rapidly) as we were sitting behind it on the motorway when we got caught in a traffic jam!

Our excitement grew as we drove through our local town, luckily this time the main road wasn’t closed off for a market!   [October 2015.  Collecting The Van]. http://hartfree-bright.co.uk/october-2015-collecting-the-van/

It felt strange driving in through our gateway, we’d been looking forward to this moment for a very long time.  Although our first tenants had left a load of rubbish hidden behind the shed our house was in a reasonable condition.  We had just over two weeks to completely redecorate the house before we had to move out of our rented house, that turned out to be mission impossible, in fact we’re still decorating the house and trying to tidy the garden 9 months down the line!  However, regardless of all the work there is to do we are enjoying being back in our home again.

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and we have discovered that every day one moment or another from our trip springs to mind but we hadn’t realised until we returned home that we’d missed our normal everyday life during our travels.  We missed meeting up with our friends and family and we missed the familiarity of our normal life, however we have also developed a wanderlust and plan to buy a smaller motorhome once the house is finished so we can go away for shorter trips in the future.