Welcome to the blogspot of Melbourne writer, Elizabeth Jane

Welcome to the blogspot of Melbourne writer, Elizabeth Jane

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dyma fi yn Prydain Fawr eto - here I am in Great Britain again.

Dyma fi yn Prydain Fawr eto - here I am in great Britain again (sorry, too tired to work out whether Prydain needs a soft mutation). I must say, it feels freakishly normal to be sitting at Heathrow airport sipping a cappuccino.

The flight over was marvelously uneventful. I had a window seat on the Singapore leg, right at the back, with a spare seat between me and the next person. As an introvert, I would have say, this is the ideal economy location. No one behind, no one beside, just tucked in the corner with no one else to worry about.

I watched a movie: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was pleasant. But over-rated and entirely predictable. But Maggie Smith played Maggie Smith with her usual aplomb. I also watched an entire season of Big Bang Theory. This was an infinitely more satisfying experience -Oh to create a character as memorable as Sheldon Cooper.

On the London leg, I requested an aisle seat and, I must say that with regular walks and my new black airline socks, my ankles are not at all swollen. The worse part of the whole twenty four hour flight was my food restrictions. I decided to start out as I mean to go on this holiday - with a fructose friendly diet (I will allow one pork pie and one Welsh cake as a holiday treat). On an airline, this proved a bit tricky.

'We don't cater for individual dietary requirements,' the lady at Qantas told me, 'you have to select one of our standard allergy options.'

For me this meant glucose free, lactose free, yeast free, and generally without flavor. For breakfast I had rice cakes with canola spread and a bowl of fruit. Yum! Just what I needed after twenty-two hours flying. People all around me were eating cornflakes, yoghurt, and continental pastries.I could have eaten all these things on my diet, apart from the pastry. But due to a general lack of self control where food is concerned, I had to take the drastic menu option. After twenty-two hours in economy, I would have scoffed down that croissant without a moments hesitation.

To console myself, I watched another nine episodes of Big Bang Theory. With the aid of modern medicine, also managed to get a few hours sleep.

Arriving in London, I faced a first time, momentous occassion. I entered the UK on a British passport. I've been meaning to get my UK passport ever since my son Jack waved his under my nose eight years ago.

'Looks at this,' he said, with all the arrogance of nineteen years, 'I'm more British than you Mum.'

That's not the sort of comment you allow to pass unchallenged.

I approached the customs counter, heart pounding. Would they brand me an imposter? Clap me in leg irons? Send me back to the antipodes?

No, I entered the land of my birth, as a citizen. At last , an acknowledgment of my dual identity. I felt like turning round and announcing it to everyone in the queue.

First thing I did after getting my bags was to buy a SIM card. Now my iPhone is operational, I feel like a modern, fully functional human being again.

I dropped a bottle of wine in the baggage claims area - actually I dropped two but only one of them broke - as a consequence (seriously dripping bag), I left my folder with my Australian SIM card and my National Express ticket and all my travel documents at the tourist information counter. Never mind, I had copies of all my travel documents and, as it turned out, the very kind girl at the counter put it aside for me.

Why do the let me out? It's a good question. It just goes to show - anyone can travel. 😊

So, here I am sitting at Nero's cafe. You have to pay an extra 10p to drink inside the cafe and I suspect I have already out stayed my ten pence worth of welcome. But, Shh! No one in the cafe knows I have a UK passport. I can, therefore, sit in the corner hogging this seat under the guise of an ignorant Australian.

My bus to Wales goes in less than an hour and I am beginning to feel tipyn bach nervous. My aim is to speak as little English as possible in Aberystwyth. A noble aim. Maybe a tad idealistic? But seriously, it can only go two ways.

1) I take myself to the next stage of my language journey, finding reserves of strength and endurance hitherto unimagined while making new meaningful Welsh language friendships.

2) I will pass a silent holiday without connection or basic human fellowship.😊

The reality will probably fall somewhere in between. God, I hope so. Meanwhile, if you watch this space, I will keep you posted.

2 comments:

Hassan Ashraf said...

nice information keep it up best of luk! nice working i love your work stay happy:)
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Anonymous said...

Congrats, Liz. You're there, on your shiny new British passport. Hope you find more appetising food choices from here on.
Have a brilliant time and keep up the posts.
Chris