Recently by Ann Clare

Back home .....

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Well - having omitted to blog during the trip, I will make a contribution now that I am home again!

First of all - congratulations you lot for reaching Mumbai!!!  Really glad that it all went well (apart from the dents and the Langurs) and I have to say that I am insanely jealous and will have to visit Rajasthan myself, to make up for having to come back .... Good luck with the next bit and hope you get through all the formalities okay ..... And hope the Yacht Club is good (if you go) - and .... I don't really want to hear any more because life here is just not quite as exciting and much too predictable (although Barnsley keeps me on my toes... and I'm sure my colleagues would agree.)

The Gulf Air flight was fairly uneventful and uncomfortable with some okay films, but best of all they allowed me on with 10kg of excess baggage, which they didn't query.  The same was not the case for the flight to Manchester, where BMI baby made me re-distribute it into two  bits of handluggage to avoid paying an extra £70, although the whole lot weighed exactly the same ... Anyway - I got my carpets back ....

I have arrived home and taken up the usual pace of frenetic activity - with a childcare takeover which involved him leaving at 5am and me arriving at 10pm the same day.... followed by work a day later and then a trip to Glasgow to take my daughter to university.

And I must say that thinking about it afterwards, it just wasn't quite the same .... Everything was so tame.  I mean, I drove up the M6, and yes the scenery was beautiful, and I even passed the turn-off to Sedburgh (so it really does exist - wonder what its other products are like? I felt like having a look ..) but - my 1100cc car felt so tinny, compared to the Landcruisers .. I keep putting on the windscreen wipers instead of the indicator, I just don't get the feeling that things will move out of my way.  And worst of all, it was so uneventful - not a single melon was passed through my open window, nobody cycled the wrong way down the motorway, there were no cows or people to avoid, I couldn't even do a U-turn if I wanted ... no-one cut out in front of me - there were no side roads to do that ...  And when I reached Glasgow (although that definitely has potential as an interesting and friendly city), nobody jumped into my car to show me the way!  There were no taxis to follow - and noone invited us to their house (although the hotel receptionist did remind me to buy a birthday cake for my daughter, and told me where to get it) ... (I paid the same price for the hotel as we had for the Oberoi).  Though I think things were much more eventful in the student halls - someone manged to jump out of a window and break an arm .....

So - while I'm still re-adjusting, I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank-you for all the hard work that was involved in the pre-trip preparation, especially for Steve, and to everyone else for making it such a good time ....and even for the difficult times!  It has certainly re-opened the door for a lot more travelling as far as I'm concerned and tied up some previous travel experiences, which it was good to be able to share....

Hope the Landcruisers get off okay and the blue barrels return safely too ...






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'I am Ann-Clare Fourcin - the last member to introduce
themselves, albeit when we have already set off and
now in Astrakhan (see a map)!

I couldn't resist the opportunity of a long journey
like this and when it was suggested to me by the
Hillebrandts did all I could to try and make it
possible.  This has involved complex childcare
arrangements and last minute reports at work- hence
the lateness of this entry. All I think, well worth it
- so far!

The ability to deal with the unpredictable and a
knowledge of car mechanics would be desirable
qualities ... '

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