The novelty will never wear off. I love traveling. In October it will be 4 years since I left my enchanting, beautiful South Africa with its exotic combinations of landscapes and people. Visits home always seem to pass too quickly. I now feel as though I perhaps belong in two different countries. I have made such good friends in England, a country which can have 4 seasons in one day. I love the quaint red post boxes and when used always guarantee the delivery of your post the next day, the roundabouts (not circles), the traffic lights (not robots) and the lovely friendly people. I have learned to talk about the weather like a real Brit. There have been a few really hot summer days and while it is always quite unexpected, I think it rather funny when they warn you of a heatwave when those are the average temperatures at home. It IS hot though with humidity to make the coolest cucumber ‘glow’.
I have learned so much about caring in England. The NHS is constantly under scrutiny and there is so much negative publicity. My client had a seizure in the bathroom and the emergency services were in the bathroom and administering oxygen within 10 minutes. They were efficient, friendly and had my lovely client in the ambulance within half an hour. I cannot say enough about the hours in the A&E which followed. It was a long day but the nurses and doctors were amazing. Extensive blood tests and x-rays were done and I felt that she was so well taken care of. Well done NHS!
It is chaos at Heathrow this evening. It has taken me 3 hours to get through check-in, customs & immigration and I am now sitting at Cafe Nero with a ‘Coffee Grande’ and watching the hustle and bustle of people passing time on their phones and laptops or frantically rushing around shopping, buying things they don’t necessarily need but it is ‘duty free’. I love people watching and guessing how happy they are, it is one of my favorite pastimes.
I find that time flies when you are at an airport. All queues took hours though, traveling during high season is not great fun. I was so relieved to finally sit down and even more relieved to take off! Homeward bound! I love going home!
Window or aisle seat? I love the window seat so that I don’t have to fight for the armrest on both sides of me. Sitting in the centre would be pure torture, a serious invasion of my personal space. Sitting on the aisle seat means you have people climbing over you to go to the loo throughout the flight. I chose the window seat on my flight from London to Dubai. Big mistake! A lovely couple from ‘down under’ sat next to me. I couldn’t help but notice the amount of wine they consumed and the little pills which they surreptitiously swallowed after dinner, winking at each other as they pulled their eye masks over their eyes and pushed their seats back. Cute. I always keep myself well hydrated by drinking loads of water before and during my flights so that I don’t land up with ‘cancles’ (no difference between calf and ankle). I had six hours of trying to devise a plan on how to climb over these two comatosed strangers. Do I try and climb over my seat to the back but what if I fall onto the person behind me? I definitely could not do that very gracefully. Do I try and squeeze past them? The slightest bit of turbulence and I could land on one of their laps. Eventually, I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to climb over them so I started with a little nudge…nothing, a bigger nudge…nothing. Clearing my throat rather loudly…nothing. Mind over bladder (I mean matter) was going to be the only way to survive this flight. Aisle seat wins!
Since I started caring, every time I come home I seem to catch a cold and my first week at home is spent trying to recover from a little bit of exhaustion AND a cold. Most carers spend their first 24 hours after leaving their client, in very close proximity to loads of strangers in queues, on trains, in buses and most of all, in an airplane falling prey to dubious germaphobic behaviors. Mysophobia: – the fear of germs (who knew?). Caring has definitely intensified this fear as I am sure anyone who has done caring will understand…trying to flush a toilet with your foot, using tissues to open bathroom doors and slathering on antibacterial gel are common little idiosyncrasies for carers. Apparently looking for something at the bottom of your handbag with your whole head in your bag after someone next to you has coughed or sneezed is a pointless exercise. Once a cough has already occurred, it is probably too late. The particles travel very fast. Once germs are in the air, holding your breath will furnish little to no benefit. It might reduce your exposure to the pathogens floating directly in front of your face, but particles could still land inside your nose or on your eyes and lips. Apparently, the one way to almost guarantee that you won’t get any influenza in your lungs is to not breathe. But if you don’t breathe, you will be dead eventually. The cons definitely outweigh the pros.
I now up my vitamin C intake at least 10 days prior to my departure and have discovered a natural antibiotic called Septogard which I take as a preventative measure. I am very happy to say that I did not get sick after this journey and I am ready to enjoy my family and friends!