Thursday 16th January to Thursday 23rd January 2014
I made mention that I was looking forward to the
cooler/colder weather and getting back, but I neglected to also say that of
equal eagerness was the return of Mitch and Sara from their holiday time in the
US – visiting and catching up with family there.
They returned with a sort of look of being tired and
refreshed – in any event it was great to see them back.
And then so it was time to start the journey back to Diane.
Goodbyes, aside there was little that needed to be done –
the cut on what made it into the cases and what didn’t was completed – still
ended up being 1.7kg over, but the lovely young lady (aren’t they all) behind
the desk eventually let me through free of charge.
Luckily she didn’t see the 2 laptops that I also needed to
The flights were uneventful – for the first time in a while
I wasn’t able to sleep all that much.
Dubai airport continues to expand – this was the first time
that I needed to actually change terminals – the complex, at present has five
enormous terminals – who knows how big it will eventually get.
A 50 minute journey through immigration/baggage
collection/customs was very quick – gotta love Birmingham airport –and I was
The good lady wife was there to make sure that I found my
way back to the boat.
What a quick trip it all was – the short monorail trip to
Birmingham International train station, followed by a direct train through
Stafford and the wonderful Phil there to pick us both up and drive us back to
From landing (at the airport) to stepping onto the boat was
less than 2 ½ hours.
The usually realignment of body clock with local time took
place. A reintroduction to The Exchange was the Monday assignment, but it did
allow Elaine to join us – at this late stage she couldn’t risk too much
exposure to the cold.
Tuesday was Christmas Day for Diane and I - we could not be
together on the usual date so this was a good day to have a lovely dinner and
we were very lucky to have Dot and Gordon join us. Games ensued once the cook
dispensed with the dishes – naturally we had to keep playing until Diane had
won – she’s a good winner.
Wednesday was tidy up day – we finally had a chance to sort
out the contents of the cases that had come back; it was also back to work day
– but by the end of it all, the Xmas decorations were all packed away; the
suitcases were away; the lounge and dinette were once again tidy and if only we
had a cat there was enough room.
Whilst I was away Diane has kept immaculate records of the
use of the diesel stove and working it all through, the usage per hour is about
the same as we found in October/November, but interestingly with the weather
being much colder over December than the earlier period the cost of keeping the
boat warm and cosy was relatively inexpensive. The stove used 180 mls per hour
of use, which came out almost 3.2 lts per day and at marina rates meant an
expenditure of about £18.50 per week
We had made some visits to drop off things that had been
added to my list of things to bring back; we had seen just about everyone that
we needed to – everything was back to normal and I was home.