Homecoming: after a long trip, it’s good to get home

My expat life in Istria

We left Istria on Monday, October 17th. After a 19-day journey involving ten countries, a 3500 km drive, and voyages by plane, ship and coach, we arrived home very satisfied, but exhausted. A weekend sorting ourselves out was in order, before heading back into the fray.


Friday, 4th November 

Home in NovemberAt last we are home. As usual, the two-day run for home across Europe has been tiring, alternating drivers, keeping breaks short and to a minimum, and praying for few delays and no accidents. Today was the shorter leg of the drive. By overnighting just before Salzburg, our aim was to be home by 5.30 pm and we made it by 4 – the earliest ever :).

Coming off the Ypsilon (Istria’s only motorway) after a trip, I always go through the same ‘relief’ routine. First up is Bonaci: yes, the village is still there and nothing’s happened to it while we’ve been away. Then, the lane’s OK and we come to Matulini, which seems intact. We take the right-hand turn and swing round to our house. I consciously try not to think about it, but yes, our house is still standing – walls and shutters in place, the roof on straight. Crazy, isn’t it, but tell me you don’t do something similar when you come back from a long trip away?

Next it’s the cats – Baggy and Tally. I know Srdjan’s been feeding them and he’d let me know if anything had happened. But it’s a surge of relief when they come running over, demanding food and attention. They’re OK, the garden’s OK, the house is OK, it’s all OK – I’m home! I can relax.

What always hits me when I first get back is the peace and quiet of home, and the simple pleasure of picking up the normal, every-day routines: lighting the fire or switching on my own kettle. Silly isn’t it, how little things like this can come to mean so much.

Friday is always our favourite day to come home. It gives us the weekend to recover and recharge our batteries, before hitting our desks again on Monday. The plan is for a DVD orgy, cocooned in front of the TV and fire with a beer, watching some of our newly acquired stash. Of course the reality also involves a lot of unpacking, sorting out and sleep!

Nicky pinned to the sofa by Baggy and TallyOur main goal on getting home is recovery, but Baggy and Tally’s is ensuring the Great Food Provider God, is not allowed to disappear. This is done by sitting on me whenever they get the chance, purring loudly and repeatedly, making me acknowledge their existence. They usually shadow me wherever I go for the first few days, hissing over who gets the attention, and I’m repeatedly pinned to the sofa, one cat on my lap, another on my shoulder, both studiously ignoring the other. While it’s lovely being adored, it doesn’t last long. By the end of the weekend, normal order is resumed and I’m demoted back from god to cat-slave, only to be acknowledged when the food bowl is empty.

This weekend panned out pretty much as expected. I spent most of it asleep, but did get to watch some Battlestar Galactica and catch up with the latest Dr. Who – two of the DVDs we brought back from the UK. We’re completely unpacked, the shopping is put away, the laundry is started and the house is almost tidy. I’m back, Live Istria will resume on Monday.


 The tale continues as we pick up the threads of out life In Istria.

Read my blog in the right order – from the start in July


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