2019 - Japan - Travel to Airport


It’s only been a short time since we arrived back from Dubrovnik and the time has flown by. This was primarily due to the virus I was going down with on our last day in Croatia which really wiped me out. My get up and go, got up and went. It went for a while. I missed Easter completely. I am still not fully over it. Even Karen was sympathetic for a while.

It also seems much has happened during our time at home, although this has been mainly centred around the Canaries.

I probably didn’t help my wellbeing by dosing myself up to get to the Good Friday match (although I did see what I thought was the Goal of the season).

We then had tickets for Stoke away on Easter Monday. I don’t think I physically moved between the games. Somehow I managed to get in the car to be driven by Neil to their stadium. It was a really good family day out, even if we didn’t clinch promotion that day.

For the Blackburn game I was lucky enough to get Karen & I corporate hospitality tickets where we saw the team finally get over the line. It was and still is glorious. I am still not sure why the success or failure of the team impacts me the way it does, but I do have Yellow & green running through my veins. I am not ashamed to say that I had real tears in my eyes when that final whistle went and we finally clinched promotion. I just kept silently saying 'Thank you' to the team. I was just so happy that for our boys to be able to watch Premiership football again. I honestly thought it may never ever happen again.

For me though the journey is better than the destination and I don’t really like the Premier League. I hate the money involved and the fact that the big teams will probably rest some of their best players against us and still in all honesty probability beat us. We just need to ensure there are 3 teams worse than us which I think will happen.

Neil & I managed to get a great spot outside City Hall to see the trophy lifted and again I welled up (as did many people around us) as Delia spoke from the heart on the balcony about the club, echoing what we all felt. I think on the day we would also have all elected Kenny McLean as Prime Minister alone Mayor of Norwich. He cannot be any worse than all the muppets we currently have in Parliament.

Karen picked up a few days work in the few days between these trips leaving me to wallow with my virus alone for several days. We also celebrated Barry’s birthday and it was lovely to see him finally really enjoy his day. We all had a good meal with him at The Belgian Monk in the evening. We can all see positive impact of the ‘Ellie’ effect on him and long may it last.

I still find it challenging to be a parent. For me it is an unconditional love which means that, whatever ,whenever, I want to and will be there for them. I know that you have to let them make their own mistakes but that’s the bit I find it really difficult. Especially when through experience I can see problems ahead. There is a fine balance between ‘guidance’ and ’telling’. To the boys frequent annoyance they believe I stray much too often into the latter. For that I can only apologise each time, but it comes all from good intentions and the desire for them not to make mistakes.

Whilst getting ready for this trip in-between spells of feeling poorly (did I mention I had been hit with a virus?), I realised that I was feeling mildly apprehensive about visiting Japan. I didn’t think much of it until someone asked if I was excited by the prospect of the trip to which I replied ’Not really’. This caused me to think hard as to why.

Firstly we had booked this trip originally because both of the boys had talked for years about all of us visiting Japan together (and in particular the two Disney Theme Parks). Then Barry not unreasonably and quite correctly wanted to go away alone with Ellie and so sadly couldn’t make it because of cost. Then for a while Neil was unsure about joining us but did eventually get round to arrange to meet up with us part way through the trip. So there was the sadness that Barry (and Ellie) weren’t going to be with us, but mainly there was also the fear of the unknown. Neither us knew how much English would be spoken and we both had some concerns about the food as neither of us like Japanese food. Everyone we spoke to reassured us that we would be fine and would have a great time but when we said we might need a holiday in Florida to get over the trip we did wonder why we were doing something which is taking us again so far out of our comfort zone. It’s probably a sign of something - levels of maturity or age probably. It was apprehension but not fear which is probably not a bad thing

Anyhow we were finally all packed and ready to leave at 7.25pm on the Monday evening to get down to the Heathrow Central Travelodge. It was a smooth and easy drive down aside from the challenge of finding a car parking space at the Hotel which we did eventually. Karen was not keen on having the football commentary on in the car as we drove, so I was not aware of the Liverpool comeback against Barcelona until I switched over for the last few minutes.

Our room was clean, quiet and comfortable and perfectly satisfactory for the 10 hours we were to spend in it.


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That was the year that was. 16 flights, covering over 52000 miles. 91 nights out of the country. 4 Continents. All at a financial cost that I am too afraid to work out. Would I do it all again? - Yes

Today started quietly. Whether that was because Neil had by now safely arrived at home, the fact that the holiday was close to coming to an end for the rest of us or general tiredness I am not sure. I