Mateo was still at home though as he was full of cold, coughing and spluttering and not sleeping during the night, so at least I had both him and Cesar to see me off to the station.
I almost didn't make the trip - as it happens, only because I was feeling bad about something that could have been a whole lot worse. On the Tuesday afternoon, I had gone with Ruy and Romy to the commercial centre about 5kms away and on the way home, we were involved in an accident that completely wrecked the rear passenger side door, including smashing the top part of the opened window. Very luckily, no one was hurt at all. It was a very stupid accident and if the other driver had been as aware as he should have been, it would not have happened at all, but he didn't see me and moved into my lane coming up to some traffic lights on a roundabout - it all happened very slowly and so the impact was minimal though the poor car looks awful. He only lost the cover of his external indicator and it was a large truck. Despite our relatively lucky escape, I felt dreadful leaving Cesar with a car that was in a mess, insurance claims and garage visits and no window on one side. However, I needed to return to England to check the house, take a few more things away that we'd left, see my family and sort some other things out, so off I went feeling a bit miserable.. especially as the only reading material I had was Jane Eyre in Spanish. I now know lots of new Spanish words for feeling miserable, hard-done by, maltreated, outraged, indignant and all the other things the poor girl felt in her early life. (I haven't got very far with it yet!)
I was one of the last onto the very full plane and ended up with a crowd of school children on their first flight on a trip to Scotland, who were SO excited that it was impossible not to be caught up in their enthusiasm for the take off - which I always love anyway. And by the time we landed, I knew most of them (or felt I did) and I do hope they had a lovely time in Edinburgh with John, their English teacher, as they were a delightful bunch.
Having SKYPE, Facebook and email meant that seeing my sister again was just a physical extension of the close relationship we've always enjoyed - we have spent hours on SKYPE in the last few months, with videocam, so it has hardly felt like I've been apart from her. We just picked up from where we'd left off the day before - fantastic!
I hadn't wanted to broadcast my return to England as I was staying at Judy's and would be without my own transport, so the few folks I did manage to see are due a huge thank you for accommodating me so unexpectedly - and sorry if I couldn't manage to see some others who also knew I was home. Next time! I did get to spend a day with my mum though, which was good and something I haven't been able to do for ages and ages for various reasons.
I had a fantastic flight back from Liverpool as the sky was clear almost from Wales onwards and I derive huge pleasure from looking at the earth below - explains why I think Google Earth is so amazing - and was able to pick out various places in Spain that I recognised - including flying right over Valladolid!! I kept thinking that if Cesar and the children looked up (it was about 3.15) they could have waved to me and I would have waved back! But they didn't know and by the time I'd found my phone to text, I was well on my way to Madrid.
I had bought, from ebay, the most..no the MOST.. enormous suitcase which I collected from Altrincham on the Sunday before I came back. I had quite a lot of additional things that I knew I would be bringing back but the case was even larger than I'd imagined. It came up to my armpit when I stood next to it. My brother-in-law brought back some precision scales from work so that I could ensure I didn't overfill it and incur excess baggage fees. I had to take all sorts out to stay under 20kg and the suitcase felt half-empty! So I had to put heavy, but small things into my hand luggage and all the bigger, lighter items into the case. In the end, I think the two were almost the same weight! And somehow, I managed to get the whole lot across Madrid and onto my train back to Valladolid without too much trouble - a fact I am quite proud of.
And oh what joy to get off the train and know my family would be waiting on the other side of the platform! It was just the homecoming I wanted, hoped for ... and got! Everyone talking at once, huggings, kissings, the sharing of important news, the questioning about presents, the holding up of the traffic as we tried to get the huge suitcase into the back of the car and then all of us inside - (and me trying not to look at the plastic sheet over the window)...it was all just lovely. Even coming back to the place we currently call home - which is a little removed from our aspirations for life in Spain - was pure pleasure.
Home is where the heart is - most definitely!!