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'Gimme a Ginsters'
England - DEC 2003
'When are we off again?'
Saturday 20th December 2003 Romsey, Hampshire

It took ages for our bags to appear on the carousel. Nothings changed there then. After waiting a good 30 minutes sarena then wanted to find the loo. We finally made it out of into the departure lounge to be greeted by Clare flashing her camera at us and Gus waiting to the side.

It was a wet gray miserable day. Just what I wanted... some familiarity! Gus drove round the car park a few times before he found the exit and then we where on our way down the M3 and back to Hampshire. On the drive back we forced gus to stop at a service so I could get a Ginsters Chicken and Mushroom slice. I had been craving one of these since I left home. To my delight they seemed bigger and fuller than I remember.

Gus took the scenic road home. English countryside is just amazing, hopefully now I will appreciate it a lot more. First stop was to visit mum. She had no idea that I was home although with Grandma passing away she probably had a good idea that I would turn up soon. It was very emotional and I was even presented with a dog in swaddling clothing! We then paid a quick visit to my dad who since I left over 2 years ago is now living somewhere else. Dad knew I was home but it was great to see him again.

The next surprise was over to Sarena's mum in Romsey. We rang the door bell and she opened it and just stared at us for ages. She thought we where special needs selling biro's. It took her ages to even recognise her own daughter. But when she did she went absolutely mad. Good job I wasn't in hugging distance as I think I would of been crushed. Poor old Gus and Clare drove us around everywhere and had to endure all our visits to family. The final surprise of the day went to our friends Pat and Jack. Pat was just as shocked to see us (Jack was in bed).

We dropped Sarena back of at her mums for the night and I headed home with Gus and Clare's and back to my old bedroom which I haven't slept in for years.

Walked through the gates at Heathrow to be greeted by a grinning Clare with her camera and a very happy Gus who gave us monster hugs before taking us back to the car and Toby's house. The weather was blinkin awful and very gray which seems was the first bad day England had had in a long time - typical. It didn't seem weird driving back along the motorway not like it did last time i came home 2yrs previous which was strange. I made Gus stop off at a service station so Toby and i could finally get a Ginsters pie and a Packet of Walkers Salt and Vinegar crisps - we had both been craving these things for a long time, how sad is that.. We munched our way through all our junk food whilst Gus took us all through the quaint old English villages making me realise how beautiful the countryside is. The houses looked sooooo small!!!! in fact everything looked so small and old.

When we got to Toby's mums house in Lockerley we hid in the lounge whilst Gus and Clare went upstairs to find Marianne who didn't have a clue we were coming home like everyone else! She walked into the lounge and was just so pleased to see us but over the moon to have a hug with Toby whom she hadn't seen in all that time.

We then flew over to My house to surprise my mum who we knew would be vocal !! Mum answered the door and didn't recognise us, thinking we were knocking on the door to sell something, it was only when i said 'hi mum' did she scream and go berserk. Clare and Gus could hear her from across the cul d sac.

After a couple of hours of catch up and me not making much sense due to the lack of sleep we then got taxied over to Pat and Jacks house where we had more hugs and tears and some more tea then Gus dropped me back home for some sleep in my old bed.

Sunday 21st December 2003 Romsey, Hampshire

Some more surprising on the cards today, but the first stop was to spend some time with Dad and help stomp on a few rats that have invested his workshops and chicken coup. We tried smoking them out with a pipe on the exhaust of a chainsaw and then let a friends crazy dog try and chase them down. We only saw two very fat and healthy rats but didn't manage to bag any. After half an hour of hard rat catching we headed to my old local, The Kings Arms. To watch Southampton beat Portsmouth 3-0. Fantastic - pompey scum! Also had a great cheddar ploughmans, hmmmmmm. Met up with some of the old pub crew, Dommo, Lee Roy, Chicken Head, Glen, Abbo, Danny and the new landlord, Tombstone Terry.

That evening Sarena and I went on a hunt for our two old freinds, Deon and Shelly. Eventually we found them. It was so good to see them again. Our priority was to organise a curry.

So that's it. We are officially home. After 2 years and 4 months, the end of our big trip out and the end of our diary writing. It has been a challenge keeping it up, but we are very glad we have, If only for our own memories, If anyone else has enjoyed them then that is truly a bonus. I am sure we will miss the whole experience and find it very hard to get back into a normal life again. We are now broke, unemployed and not quite homeless (for as long as our parents can stand us) but we are very fortunate to have some amazing memories and experiences that no one can ever take away from us. We have made some amazing friends both around the world and some that have also returned to the UK so we can now look forward to meeting up with you all again, and a few beers :-)...

... THE END.

It was Nicky's (my bro) Xmas party today which he was having at his place in Ringwood. Dad Trixie and mum were all going up together so as they didn't know we were home yet we thought it would be a good idea to go around and surprise them, then go to visit Nick with them. Dad didn't even recognise me and just stood in the doorway with his mouth open not saying a word !! after more hugs and a few tears we all bundled into a car and drove up to Ringwood where i walked into Nicks room and surprised him, got the biggest hug i have ever had off of him ever then went for some food with the rest of the residents and parents. They had done a huge spread which i just couldn't touch as i was feeling quite peculiar and out of touch with everything.

Caught up with Toby a little later and went round to see Shelly and Deon who were sooooooo pleased to see us!! had a couple of drinks in the local which was very strange then went home to central heating and no Toby....

I really don't know how to end this whole thing really as it just feels so utterly sad to me, i know Toby loves being back especially being in the Countryside again but for me it's not what i want. I don't know what the future holds for the both of us or where we will end up living - might not be in the UK that's for sure. I have had a life changing couple of years and have met the most wonderful funny and inspirational people in all the countries we have visited. It certainly means i can never do the 'normal' lifestyle of holidays every again,. I know i will have to get some agency work and will end up in an office for a little while for the dosh, but I really want to get myself a job now where i give back to this amazing planet - yes I know i sound like a greeny but I don't care because that is what I have become and look forward to doing something fulfilling. At the moment we are completely penniless and have nowhere to live apart from the parents places but it was worth every penny and i would do it all again tomorrow.

My suggestion to everyone is to get out of the bubble you now live in and stop worrying about all the small and insignificant things that in the big picture, don't really matter - see the world with your eyes, ears and mouth and not just on the TV - live life and open you mind.

Sarena Jane Perry - a changed woman

THE END.........


< SPAIN DEC 2003

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