So, we all made it back okay. I spent my last few days in Germany visiting Christkindle Markts with friends and Angus whilst Ken and Mark, a good friend of Ken's from way back, went skiing with Blue. Angus and I did have a rather stressful last hour though! Not all went according to plan - we were both staying with Vicki and Denali and having a lovely time in Nurnberg Children's Markt, trying all the rides with Angus staring mesmerised at all the lights. We had been keeping a track on the time but suddenly seemed to loose half and hour. Not a problem, said Vicki, as the airport is only about 15 minutes away from where we have parked. Well, 15 minutes normally, but not when there is an accident, with several ambulances all heading in the opposite direction, traffic at a virtual standstill. I was getting a little stressed, to say the least. The flight was due to leave at 7.25 pm and we made it to the airport a little after 7.00 pm. There was not a hope of making the flight, particularly as I would have to check in car seats, buggies, and all the rest. The check-in chap looked at me and said with a smile, "Don't worry, the plane is 45 mins late and they are not even thinking of loading yet. You will have loads of time!" Hallelujah! Never has anyone been so happy that there was a strong head wind.
I haven't actually had much of a chance to talk to Ken yet, as he only arrived yesterday and was to blank to say much about anything. I couldn't even get a sensible answer when I asked him if he wanted a cup of tea! But I was certainly tearful waiting beside the plane and walking up the stairs. I have had such a wonderful year and met some wonderful people who I will miss enormously. There are so many people who have made our year special and people who I really hope will stay in our lives. Some I feel will sadly pass by the wayside as we don't have enough in common now that we are home, and some where the level of friendship hadn't passed the point where you are truly comfortable with each other. But there are others who I know could phone or email in five years time, and we would be able to pick up where we left off. For those, I truly thank God.
Coming home has been strange. We are staying with my mother, who has moved to just around the corner whilst we have been away - sneaky! She is so keen to be a participating Grandmother and not just an occasional one. But we are just around the corner of our house. The rental agency phoned this morning to say that the tenants have moved out and that our house is okay although not very clean, so we can move back in when we want. But walking around the town has been odd. Nothing has really changed, except my perception. The people here look so pale and ill, their dress sense even worse than mine and so lacking in style. It is really difficult not to sound like a snob, but Macclesfield is still dirty, damp, filled with litter and lacking in any sense of refinement. Driving up the motorway (freeway/autobahn) I was struck by the litter all the way up the middle of the road and along the banks. And then you hear people complaining that England is a dump - like me! What about pride in your country and litter picking or weed picking like in Germany? I know that some people do, but it is such a shame that more don't. A bit of a Catch 22 - people feel negative and see litter so don't see why dropping more is a problem, which further drops morale and leads to more litter and negativity.
I want to go back to Germany!
Oh well, maybe I just need to start a counter culture. Anyone fancy litter picking up the canal with me?
Oh. Blue. Ken and Mark had a lovely time skiing with Blue in the Bayerisch Wald. They took him to the vets on Tuesday where he was checked out and vaccinated. They drove to the ferry, booked him in, collected him the following morning and then noticed a huge hole in his side. Their initial impression was that it could have been caused by the ferry cage. We took him to the vets here and they said that this was caused by dental work we have carried out on him the previous week. The vets said that he was cold after the anaesthetic and they needed to warm him up - I guess they over did it. At least he was on antibiotics for a gum infection as the vet here said that it could have got very infected in the last week and even been fatal.
Will keep you informed on his progress which could take ages apparently.
Angus has been doing really well. He loved his trips to the Markts and the flight home. He was okay until Wednesday night when he went into meltdown at yet another place to sleep. He didn't settle until midnight. Last night he was awake for three hours between two and five. He seems to be alright at the moment but I would rather we weren't going to America so soon as this will be yet another disruption for him. We will just have to take it easy and give him loads of reassurance.
Got to go as Angus has just woken up from a three hour nap recovering from last night! Will attach a piccie of Blue's burn later - it's truly gross!