This is the last song, (This is the last song). That I will dedicate to you. Made my peace and now i’m through..
So here we are. I have no been back in Australia for just over exactly one week and the time has come to wrap up this blog with one last post. I thought about doing this as soon as I got back but thought waiting the week so that I could actually have some perspective on my return may be worth while. I also thought I could get away with being lazy as no one would care seeing as I was back. Although that turned out to be false as I have been reminded about by open-ended blog by a few different people.
I was also better telling a story when the chronology is correct so let me start back in London at Heathrow. I had enjoyed my time in the Hilton eating my free 30 quid Ribeye Steak, trying to make the most of the free 40 quid buffet dinner and having a few beers with Leath (a guy from Ballarat who had also taken up the almost too good to be true offer). As we were relaxing in relative comfort we waited until the last minute to check in. It all went smoothly and I got my voucher from Qantas that I could redeem for my money but there was the interesting point that had we checked in earlier, THIS flight was also overbooked and I could’ve doubled my money and taken the deal once again. I was happy to be heading home though…it had been a long 6 1/2 months so the fact 1000 dollars had slipped through my fingers didn’t bother me too much. I just had enough time to spend my last p and pounds on a magazine before boarding commenced.
Although I then spent almost a day on a plane as I boarded QF to Melbourne via Singapore it all went rather quickly. I watched Adventureland which although on appearances was a “poor man’s Eurotrip” was actually a rather brilliant coming of age film. I was pleasantly surprised. Then there was the fact that I was able to spend a lot of time asleep or at least in that ‘almost asleep stage’ which was good. Before I even knew it we had stopped over in Singapore and we were commencing our descent in to Melbourne. It was at this moment that I REALLY wanted to be home. I could see the finishing line just out of grasp and was really annoyed there was nothing I could do to speed up the process. I looked out the window and saw the lights of outer Melbourne and it looked familar. It was a view I had seen quite a few times in my life and was definitely “home-y”.
As soon as the plane landed I turned on my phone and was greeted by the familiar buzzing and beeps as I had been welcomed back in to the country by some of my friends. I then struggled to stay patient as we waited for the plane full of people to disembark (me sitting in the very back row didn’t help my lack of patience) and then quickly made my way through immigration and customs. As it was about 5am by this point the airport was far from busy but there was still a hoard of people surrounding me with the familiar yet foreign Australian accents. I can understand how laid back us Australians sound to foreigners now! My bag was one of the first economy ones off the plane and I was able to make it out of those big doors at Melbourne Airport as one of the first people from my flight. You can’t half tell I was eager can you 😛
Waiting for me on the other sides with a smile and hug (although they were obviously tired considering the time) were Mum and Dad. Some friends had planned to meet me at the airport as well but as much as they love me, I am well aware they don’t 4am wake up love me 😛 They had even made signs which didn’t go to waste as they had broken in to my house and put one on the stairs and one in my room which would lead to my homecoming grin getting almost inhumanly wider. I was really happy to see Mum and Dad again but it was slightly weird as I realised that I hadn’t been gone that long. Something I came to realise on the drive home is that although in hindsight I have done so much while away that I could’ve been gone for 2 years, not almost 7 months, and the sights and sounds of England and Leeds had become so routine I had ONLY been gone for almost 7 months and it was slightly weird that things didn’t seem more different.
My Sunday and the rest of the week were as expected. I caught up with my brilliant friends and family and hugs were well and truly exchanged (although there are still many to see still on my to-do list). I would tell the stories and show the photos of my adventures to anyone who would listen (although I am trying hard to not be that person who makes radical links to tell something about their time away eg “Oh yes and talking about super intelligent space monkeys who can solve partial differential equations in Russian,when I was at St Paul’s Cathedral…” – I have no idea if I have passed or failed though). I have also gone back to university, straight back in to the fire, and although the being back at work thing hasn’t annoyed me too much I did have some “first day of school butterflies” when I first walked to Monash which I haven’t had since it actually was my first day there back in 2006!
I have also had a few other things I have needed to adjust to such as saying dollars instead of pounds/quid as well as the feel of plastic notes and the fact that the numbers on price tags are approximately double. A tenner will no longer buy me dinner. However some things such as driving my car and even knowing the directions to certain places needed no refreshing at all.
So that is it really. After what is a lot of flights, a lot of trains, a lot of buses, a lot of hostels, a lot of firsts, a lot of fun, a lot of money being spent, a lot of good people and friends met, a lot of laughs and a few tears my time away has ended. I have come back in one piece. I have come back the same person, although a little older and maybe just a little wiser.
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- This is the last song, (This is the last song). That I will dedicate to you. Made my peace and now i’m through..
- I fly like paper, get high like planes. If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name. If you come around here, I make ’em all day. I get one down in a second if you wait….
- Just a little insight won’t make this right. It’s too late to fight. It ends tonight, It ends tonight.
- Everything has changed (everything has changed), the faces stay the same (faces stay the same)…
- Come on baby, light my fire. Come on baby, light my fire. Try to set the night on fire…
- Louie louie, Oh baby I gotta go. Louie louie, Oh baby I gotta go.
- Milo Venus was a beautiful lass. She had the world in the palm of her hand. But she lost both her arms in a wrestling match…
- Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir (ce soir, what what what) Voulez vous coucher avec moi
- I’m leaving for Paris, no I don’t think that I’ll see you. I’m leaving for Paris, no I don’t think that I need to. So I’m leaving for Paris, won’t you try to take care of yourself?
- Lillee’s pounding down like a machine. Pascoe’s making divots in the green. Marshy’s taking wickets. Hookesy’s clearing pickets…
- Board games have a double meaning in this caravan in Wales. You sink ships when we should be kissing. Monopoly has thrown us in jail!
- Little girl, little girl. Why are you crying? Inside your restless soul, your heart is dying.