Sheffield – the weekend before Christmas

Sheffield – the weekend before Christmas

When the alarm went off on Friday 17th December it was still dark and cold – I didn’t want to leave the comfy bed!
I read in the Vietnamese news that a
shopping centre had been closed due to Corona, in Ho Chi Minh city, more here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/business/20211217/retailers-withdraw-from-shopping-malls-over-coronavirus-flare-up-in-ho-chi-minh-city/64763.html
Becca, Steve and I got an early bus in to town so that I could pick up a few things on my way back to Mosborough as we were off for a family meal. None of us could be bothered to shop really so when we got to Marks & Spencer’s (the shop I have missed the most) we just mooched around and I (who had a bad stomach from cheese and wine last night) used the facilities and the free WiFi.
When I got home I waited for Dad to finish in the shower so that I could get ready, then we all walked to The Mosbrook. I wore my new boots and my feet stayed warm and dry, the walk was mostly downhill but I found I was still rather slow at walking. When we arrived the staff were busy so we had to wait a bit to be seated, Gayle & Neil arrived shortly afterwards and seemed a bit flustered on account of Neil being late and on the cross-trainer, instead of getting ready. We waited a while to order drinks and I’d already decided I would be having pork for my dinner so I ordered a cider. The festive menu was available as well as the regular one so we each did whatever we fancied. Dad and Neil had pâté, Mom chose squid, Gayle had prawns and I went for butternut squash soup for our starters. For the mains we had the following; ma – Asian duck salad, Gayle – sea bass, Dad – Turkey dinner, Neil – steak, me – belly pork. It was bloody lovely and mine was so big a portion that it took me ages to eat it. In fact I ended up leaving some because everyone was fed up of waiting for me to finish my dauphinoise potatoes and wanted a dessert. There was no way I could manage a pud so my mom had my Christmas pudding, Dad had the same, Gayle had a lemon cake and Neil just a coffee because he had to go and pick up one or both of the kids and transport them about. After a lovely family lunch we decided to go back to my parents’ where Neil would join us later at the micropub if we could get a table. I tried to book in but it was full so I rang them and a walk-in table was still available. Mom was a bit embarrassed about going again, after Mad Monday, and she only drank coke, the bar man checked how long we planned on staying and we only managed 2 drinks before going back to my parents for another impromptu party/nightcap with Neil on taxi duty once again. It was a lovely family day and we had a really good laugh and catch up, it was nice to be able to be with my family when I know so many people who can’t be with their’s this year – I felt extremely lucky indeed.

What was tipped to be the biggest reunion booze up in Sheffield ever on Saturday 18th December had begun to reduce as fast as the Corona cases were increasing. So much so that what had been a possible wild night out turned in to a very tame, but wonderful, day. The virus was definitely having a massive impact on plans with friends and family being either cancelled all together or moved to something more sensible, in efforts to avoid Corona for Christmas. After my buttered toast and English tea I got ready to meet at a nearby spacious, airy and empty venue. Paz was unable to meet tonight but came to meet me for a hot beverage in the bar area of Mosborough Hall hotel, a short walk from my parents’ house. When I got there, a bloke from the previous night’s party tried to talk to me and mentioned he had been up drinking until 5am, had meant to have gone back to Wales but had booked another night as he was too drunk to drive home. I kept my mask on and my distance then went to order a pot of tea while Paz arrived. When she got there it was brilliant to see her, she looked so well and fresh and I noticed her hair was lighter – we couldn’t stop smiling and it felt good after all this time. Time went too fast but we decided the venue was a good place for us to perhaps organise an afternoon tea when I’m next back in Sheffield, so I popped that on the potential plan list for summer 2022.
When I got home my parents had their hairdresser over and mom was still getting her hair dyed so I had to wait a little for her to finish so that I could cadge a lift to the tram stop. I was off to Kelham Island to meet Luan & Paul for a couple of drinks in the afternoon. They’d also invited me to the cinema but I wasn’t bothered about that and thought it would be nice to watch the Strictly Come Dancing final with mom, I don’t usually watch it but when there’s an English ballroom dancing competition between a deaf soap actress and a gay male TV presenter it’s worth watching just to see my Dad’s confused face!
On the tram I bumped in to Luan and Paul who were just getting back from Wolverhampton and were pretty done in, this meant we could all call to Luan’s for a nice cup of tea and a natter. I’d prearranged to get the 6pm tram back so we changed our venue to go for a nice ale at Salt (used to be the Stew and Oyster) and was just round the corner. It was a nice pub and I really enjoyed the real ale without any side effects and we were non-stop chatting in the short time we had together. It was lovely to see them both looking healthy and happy together, they were so pleased to be able to be going to gigs again too and they told me of a great one next year that I’d love to go on too, as I have missed proper gigs! We all got the tram from Kelham Island, they went to town and I continued to White Lane where mom came to pick me back up, as she was also giving my sister a lift later too.
That night we had fish and chips from Tony’s chip shop and watched the Strictly programme. The fish was great and the portion of chips was enough with 2 portions between the 3 of us because I had to put my lounge wear on soon after snaffling it all. Next, Mom let me add some essentials on to her shopping order which was being delivered on Monday and I went a bit mad ordering slow cooker sachets, Henderson’s relish, sweets and some gluten free cherry bakewells. Dad and I shared a bottle of red wine and I was quite glad the day had been a lot quieter than the first plans as I was pretty tired and wouldn’t have wanted to be too worn out for the Sunday plans, either.

I was excited to have my mom cook me a bacon sandwich for breakfast on Sunday 19th December. I can get bacon in Turkey but it’s not as good and it’s expensive with it being a Muslim population so I don’t have it often. While it was cooking I did a lateral flow test which was negative so we were all relieved about that and my nose was getting used to doing them. I got told in Vietnam that if you breathe out through your mouth (or even say ah) as the stick goes up to the end of your nose it is more bearable.
In the news, Vietnam had reports of the spread of the omicron variant, more here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20211219/omicron-cases-doubling-in-15-to-3-days-in-areas-with-local-spread-who/64793.html
After my delicious bacon sandwich I spoke to Captain Caveman who was doing well, keeping busy, but was missing me now and I was him. My mom needed some bananas so she gave me a lift to my lunch appointment, Ma & Pa had been invited but they were trying to limit going out a bit more because of the operation and not wanting to be ill for Christmas either. Kerrie, Paul, Thomas and Jack were already at the British Oak having been to Disney on Ice earlier and it felt weird not hugging each other. I’d missed her hen do and wedding so it felt amazing to finally get to see her and the family. They were all so happy and it was fantastic to have a shared love for good food (pie for the girls, lamb for Paul and a massive Sunday dinner for the kids) as we chatted on about all sorts of things, including how much I love Henderson’s relish. I was so full that I didn’t order the sticky toffee pudding that I fancied but I did try a bit of Kerrie’s and it was gorgeous. The pub was quiet for a Sunday but customers were spaced out and the staff were really good so I felt it was one of the nicer meals I’d had in there. I got a lift back home with my mask on and I was sad that they couldn’t come in to see the finished house my parents were renovating when they last met but we hoped for a BBQ in the summer instead. I was so stuffed and just sat and watched a bit of TV, my Mom made a curry for dinner just for the 2 of them as I wasn’t hungry. Later though, I had some really nice treats; fruit cake, cheese, chocolates, crisps, dates and some wine with my parents. It felt like I’d never been away as we tried to keep up with Ronnie O’Sullivan on the snooker and watch the Sports Personality of the Year – I took my eye off what channel we were on and thought Ronnie had won the latter! Before bed there was more news that plans for tomorrow were going to be changed again and some friends who might have been coming to Sheffield could no longer make it, there was definitely a sense of people being concerned they might get stuck if a lockdown got announced and of course no one wanted Corona for Christmas.

Sheffield – 14th to 16th December

Sheffield – 14th to 16th December

We had a nice homely day on Tuesday 14th December and it was clear that, due to the pandemic, there was going to be a likelihood of me not getting to see some people who I had hoped to, particularly those who had messaged to say they, or people they lived with, had tested positive for Corona this week. This was the first time since the height of the pandemic that I knew several people who currently had the virus and it did worry me. My parents had some workmen pop in to service the boiler and a friend/work colleague called in to chat to my Dad. He was still there over lunchtime meaning we were delayed in getting to Tony’s chip shop for our lunch. I had been looking forward to English fish and chips after not having them for years but we only managed to just get there before they closed and had a chip butty each, as there was no fish left. They were lovely but a fish and chips meal was still on the list for another day and Dad made us all a cup of tea as he was the first to finish his lunch. I had a root around in the box of belongings I still had at my parents house and I was happy to see my popcorn maker, an ice bucket and some bits and bobs I had almost forgotten about, including my childhood bear, Patsy Panda. I decided I couldn’t be bothered to go through all the pensions paperwork today and would leave it for another day, before I left.
Mom prepared another delicious dinner, one of our favourites, spaghetti bolognese, and the portion was huge so I saved some leftovers for tomorrow.

On Wednesday 15th December I felt like I was so lucky, I’d slept well, I had a nice cup of tea and toast for breakfast and I had come to the conclusion that England definitely has the best toast – the bread is just so good and it was not making me poorly! I was so pleased to not have a dodgy stomach that I had the leftover spag bol with a slice of cheesy garlic bread for lunch. That evening I was invited to a small soirée at Clare’s house with Sue, over the past 3 years these ladies have been amazing online friends who were supportive during my lockdowns, had some of the best bits of advice and have a similar sense of humour to me, I also know them from working at Aviva. Clare picked me up from Mosborough, as she doesn’t live far away and we drove to her house. We chatted on over a glass of Prosecco with Chambord  (because we were being fancy) while Clare prepped what she called scraps. The idea was for us to have leftovers (scraps) as part of our buffet and Clare also got the crisps out while she topped up my Prosecco. Sue arrived after her hair appointment and it had been so long since I’d seen her in person that I hardly recognised her as she had lost a lot of weight and gone short with her hair. Within a few minutes we were talking about random subjects, laughing away and I was impressed by mini cheddars being available in stick form. Clare was absolutely the hostess with the mostest as we troughed through her amazing spread; including chicken tikka bellinis, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, a full cheeseboard, delicious roast potatoes. The time just went too quickly for a school night and I’m sure we didn’t get through all of the stripper stories!
Sue, was driving, and so had not been able to drink, unlike me – I was a little tipsy and had a lift home with Sue after a wonderful evening where Clare’s scraps were anything but and I even had some blue cheese to take away!

On Thursday 16th December I started the day by checking how much extra it would cost me to add luggage on to my return flight. I’d already bought new boots, bras, knickers and socks that needed to be added to the popcorn maker and ice bucket in my hand luggage and I thought that was a little optimistic. The good news was that it only costs £34 for 22kg and there was an option to add on an annual insurance policy which included Covid for £35 so I did that. I used my card and it worked fine so it was good that my Turkish bank card worked here.
My next job was to do a lateral flow test to check if I had caught Corona because later I was going to a friend’s house and didn’t want to put her at risk, she’d also been doing tests and working from home. I was surprised at the amount of plastic packaging in the 7 day kits but the instructions were pretty simple and I did it then set the 15 minute timer. I didn’t feel unwell but it was a strange feeling, waiting for the result to show up on the plastic cartridge. It was negative, I registered it with the NHS but I don’t have a UK phone so I gave my mom’s and she got a text to confirm the negative test.
I then decided I could pop to town to get a few more bits and would also have a look for a few Christmas presents for the family. Money was tight this year so I couldn’t afford to splash out but I wanted to at least get something small for everyone I would be spending Christmas day with.
After I’d ended up in a rather warm Primark buying myself more knickers (a specific kind that I had before and wanted some more) and some lounge wear/pyjamas I found myself a bit peckish. I was worried about eating somewhere busy (like Greg’s) or going in to a shop due to the Corona risk but I found a very empty precinct on the Moor which had a Nando’s in so I went in there. I was missing having the East Hill chicken in Phong Nha so the next best thing was ordered; a quarter chicken with corn on the cob and chips plus a bottomless coke. The place was quiet, customers spaced out, the staff were really good and they even took cash so I felt a bit more at ease. When I ordered, from behind a plastic counter, the guy serving had a bit of chitchat and I mentioned I’d been out of the UK for a while which was why I was asking if I could pay cash and didn’t have a Nando’s app. He was such a nice guy that he gave me a free drink and seemed genuinely surprised that I was there. The food tasted good, obviously not as good as an East Hill BBQ chicken but it was tasty and filled me up – I didn’t take the piss with the free drink by filling it up with a free refill.
My bus back out of town was busy but everyone wore masks and tried to sit on alternate seating, the only person who I saw not wearing a mask was the old dear at the front who had pulled it down under her chin and was coughing quite a bit in to the air without putting a hand over her mouth – she wasn’t on the bus for longer than 5 stops and all the windows were open.
I arrived at Becca’s at 5pm, when she finished work and was greeted by Max, the dog, but I could hardly see him as I was steamed up and dressed very warmly.
It was great to see Becca again after all this time and was sad that neither of us had made it to Cheese Night this year, a tradition which started 10 years ago and was the night I met Captain Caveman. We laughed until my face hurt, while we had a small tribute to a cheese and wine night instead. When Steve got home we had started a nice bottle of red wine and so we all sat chatting and laughing while playing with Max, who showed off with 5 toys in his mouth at once – surely that must be a record. It was a lovely night and I felt lucky because she was meant to have been wearing her sparkly outfit to her Christmas party. Becca had really been looking forward to going out to celebrate the festivities with her work friends but it had been cancelled. I was quite the night out in Redditch but I was definitely grateful to have been able to take advantage of her availability instead. That night I stayed over in the very comfy spare room, we didn’t drink as much as we would have done in previous years when we both had the next day off because I needed to be up quite early!

Sheffield – 13th December

Sheffield – 13th December

When I woke up at 6.30am on Monday 13th December I checked to see if I had my PCR results back yet and I had. The email had been sent at 11.55pm last night, after I had fallen asleep, and was negative so I could now go out. I googled the bus time table and saved screen shots as I wouldn’t have access to a phone, or be able to Google anything, once I left my parents’ internet and I went for the 8.35am bus in to town. As I hurried for the bus I heard my name called and turned around to see Amanda and her daughter off to walk her dog, what a lovely surprise. I was dressed warmly but I did feel the cold on my feet in my Volleys and thin socks as I waited for the bus, which came roughly on time and wasn’t too busy. A single bus journey to town (Sheffield) is £2.10 but a return is £3.60 so I went for that and the bus was occupied with only 50% mask wearers, the windows were open, no heating on and the driver didn’t wear a mask, which I was surprised about as there was a sign to say masks were compulsory. It didn’t take long to get to town and not much had changed along the route during the 3 years and 4 months I had been away. When I got off the bus in Fitzalan Square I did notice they had smartened up the area next to the bingo which lead to Arundel Gate and it looked much safer. I was at the bank by 9.05am but I wasn’t the first in the queue and had to wait a short while to sort out my expired/lost bank cards predicament. By 9.30am I was in a rather empty Marks & Spencer’s looking at winter boots to keep my feet warm and dry. I tried a pair on which fit perfectly and would be ideal in the rain so I bought them along with socks, knickers and bras. A lovely lady who worked there let me put my purchases to one side to pick up later and also I was able to use the free WiFi. My Mom sent me a message to say she was leaving home to go to the optician and, because I didn’t have a key or know if Dad would be in, I looked for an alternative to going straight back to Mosborough. I almost went to meet Gayle, my sister, at Meadowhall shopping centre but I’m not a fan of that place and a friend who worked there had just been commenting on Facebook how she was sick of people there not wearing masks in shops. Instead I decided to find a place for a spot of breakfast and saw that one of my old favourites was still around.

I decided to go to Marmaduke’s for my breakfast, it wasn’t too busy and the place had screens up between each table. I ordered a bacon sandwich with a cup of Yorkshire tea and it was served pretty promptly. The breakfast was excellent, there was free WiFi and I got a message from my Mom that she was back and Dad had been at home anyway. I decided to pay and go to get the next bus home, but I’d not accounted for the fact that, due to Corona, some places don’t accept cash and I had just cancelled all my English cards to get new ones reissued. All I had was my Turkish one which when presenting it to the waiter was told it was useless as it had no chip on it and I was meant to wave it at a tray like device he was holding. I had no idea what he was talking about and he now had to request help from his supervisor because I wasn’t allowed to pay cash. As I was explaining that my card is from a Turkish bank, he said the transaction had already gone through, without the need for a PIN or a signature, and I was shocked. Apparently I have a contactless card which I didn’t realise and so now I was able to get the bus back to Mosborough via Boots where I picked up some imodium, senocalm medication and a new ankle support (at a  cost of £23) as my ankle was still playing up from walking on hills. The bus station in Pond Street was very cold and completely empty, the bus had just 2 other people on. My sister had finished having her nails done and came over to my parents’ house bringing cakes and we all had a cup of tea while I tucked in to a massive piece of Yule log, Dad also had a piece but my Mom had fruit cake and Gayle had gluten free fruit cake. I had an idea that we should go out for a festive drink to the micropub on the Mosborough high street and I booked us a table online for 4.30pm. I’m not saying my Dad was keen to go but by 4.15pm he was at the door waiting to go to the pub. I’d not seen my sister in over 3 years so we decided to give the ball a bit of a kick, I had a gluten free IPA, my parents had a pint of stout each and Gayle had a mulled wine. I’d managed 2 pints of the IPA, 2 Brockman’s gin and ginger ales and possibly a Bailey’s.
It was great to catch up over a few drinks, the small pub was really good but, of course, we overdid it and by the time we’d had 6 rounds it was time to get a takeaway.  Gayle ordered curry from Khushboo and the rest of us ordered pizza but when we went back to get mom she was worse for wear and we had to send for reinforcements. My brother-in-law, Neil, came with the car and took us all the very short distance home and we had an impromptu party, where my niece must have thought we were all mental. This day has now been named Mad Monday by our family and we all burst out laughing every time we talk about it!

Sheffield – 12th December

Sheffield – 12th December

I was awake at 8am on Sunday 12th December but I didn’t really want to get up after only 5.5 hours sleep. It was 13°C today so not actually that cold but still the coldest I’d been in a couple of years. My Mom excelled herself by making us all a cooked breakfast and I got a lovely bacon and mushroom sandwich while Dad got his bacon and eggs with no tomatoes, which he had requested but Ma forgot.
In the news there was a suggestion that there could be potential daily tests if in contact with a positive Omicron person, here is the article:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59628609
Meanwhile Turkey reported their first Omicron cases:
https://www.trtworld.com/turkey/turkey-registers-first-omicron-variant-cases-52547/amp
I was still in my mom’s pyjamas (I didn’t have room to bring my own) when there was a knock at the door so my dad went out while I got my mask on and put my big coat on. I hadn’t realised the time and it was my first visit from a friend since arriving back home. As I had to isolate we had to meet on the back garden, keeping our distance, and it was absolutely fantastic to see Amanda and Chris again. I had been looking forward to seeing them after so long and we got chatting about anything and everything. The time flew by and we said once I had my negative result we could arrange to have a proper meet up again.
My lunch consisted of a Morrison’s mince pie which was so good and I forgot how much my parents love a cup of tea.
I’d hoped when it got to 6.30pm, 24 hours after my PCR test, that I would have the result but I didn’t and I had been warned it could be up to 48 hours as a maximum.
My Mom managed to pull all the stops out once again when she made us a proper Sunday dinner with pork and Yorkshire puddings, she even gave me the crispiest bit of the crackling and there was apple sauce. A nice bottle of red wine was opened and I made the assumption that the diet had absolutely gone out of the window until 2022!
At 8pm the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced all adults in the UK were to have a Corona booster vaccine to help protect against this new Omicron variant and that the NHS would possibly cancel non-essential hospital operations again to deal with Corona. We hoped this didn’t mean my mom’s operation would get cancelled. Before bed my Mom got me some of the stuff out I had left here which included my popcorn maker – I was so desperate to get that back to Turkey. By 10pm I was in the rather comfy double bed in the downstairs bedroom, with my phone on do not disturb, hoping that when I woke up I would have my negative result and could go to the bank.

Dalyan to Mosborough – 11th December

Dalyan to Mosborough – 11th December

Saturday 11th December was a day of travelling and a little bit of a shock to my system. I’d been in Dalyan for 79 days when my alarm went off at 7am, I had my last probiotic drink to try to prevent any stomach issues on my journey and the taxi arrived early, while it was still slightly dark, but I was ready! I’d decided only to take hand luggage because I didn’t want the added risk of taking luggage and changing in Istanbul so my rucksack was jammed full and exactly 8kg, probably from the weight of the Turkish delight. When I arrived at Dalaman airport I was early but the Turkish Airlines check-in was open, helpful and they managed to book me through from Dalaman to London, so I could have brought luggage, after all. I requested aisle seats on both flights and got given both boarding cards, my flight from Dalaman to Istanbul would be on time despite the storms and heavy rain, which was good to know. Near the gate I bought water and a simit at an empty cafe, which gave free WiFi (no WiFi is available in the main departure area, only at the cafe’s near the gate).

On the first flight, which was quite busy but not full, we were given a picnic lunch and we were all told not to open them all at the same time due to Corona (everyone did though) and masks being mandatory. I put mine in my bag as I didn’t want to remove my mask on the plane and was trying not to catch Corona for Christmas. I had 3 hours until the next flight in Istanbul airport and it appeared to be quite empty when I landed. Where the gates are, there were hardly any seats so I managed to get my G-Shock watch amended at the place where I bought it, as it hadn’t been accurate since I’d had the battery replaced in Fethiye. There was also a machine to get free WiFi but it only lasted for 1 hour. I found a quiet spot, away from any scheduled flights, to sit and eat my picnic. I noticed that at some gates they were doing random PCR tests and extra security checks which included double checking the vaccine proof documents. At the gate for my Istanbul to London Heathrow flight, the staff asked to check my vaccine certificate and the people behind and in front of me had to have their bags searched. On the half empty plane I sat next to a man from Torquay who had been to Istanbul for hair transplants but after take off we were allowed to move in to the spare seats. This meant I could drink the red wine and beef köfte and rice which they brought for our lunch without someone nearby. I watched a film called The Prestige which seemed ok but we were landing before the end of it and so I may never know what happens.

The flight from Istanbul to London Heathrow was due to land at 4.05pm. I had to get myself on the tube to London St Pancras train station to my pre-booked PCR test near to the Champagne bar. Luckily the flight landed a little bit early and I was on the very busy tube by 4.15pm, still masked up and trying my best not to touch anything. The queues at Collinson test centre were long despite everyone in the queue having an appointment and it being a bit chaotic. The staff were nice, most of the customers queued patiently with masks on but there were a few cantankerous old so-and-sos who weren’t behaving themselves and putting pressure on the staff to try to jump the queue. I had to wait longer than expected but, as the staff explained, the sudden changes in rules had lead to lots of demand and they were doing their best to cope. They were doing a fantastic job and I managed to get done before I had to get my train to Sheffield at 6.30pm, which I got sat on by 6.25pm so I was very lucky to have made it. The train was busy, hadn’t been cleaned and only a handful of people were wearing masks despite the constant announcement that it was mandatory. I’d unfortunately picked a busy time to be travelling, the Champagne bar at St Pancras had been heaving as I passed, the Leeds V Chelsea football match was on and there were numerous piss heads on a pre-Christmas celebration or work do. A nice Spanish family sat opposite me on the train and got a bit of a shock when Santa (aka shit-faced Alan) boarded the train at Derby with his inebriated elf mates. The profanities let me know he wasn’t the real Santa straight away and at first it was amusing that the children near me hadn’t sussed it. When Santa and his helpers burped, farted, sang and swore their way to a joke about Jimmy Saville I signalled to the mom that she might want to move her kids away – they got off at Chesterfield!
There was WiFi on the train so I managed to let my parents and sister know I had made it and would be in Sheffield by 9.45pm and would get a taxi to Mosborough, where I would have to continue to isolate until my PCR test result came back negative.

When I alighted the train at Sheffield I wasn’t quite ready for it, I felt like I had gone back a few years and landed in to the middle of a debauched Christmas do, not unlike the ones I used to frequent. I didn’t see many sober people, nor anyone with masks (but I found out later you don’t have to wear them in a taxi queue) and a great deal of people were absolutely hammered!
I decided to use the cash machine to draw out some extra Christmas cash but my card wouldn’t work, I was desperate for a wee, drink and a snack but decided Sheffield station would not be the best place for any of those and it would be better just to get to my parents house.
The taxi cost just £12.50, I kept my mask on but the driver didn’t wear one and was on the phone the whole journey. When I arrived at my parents I was so desperate for the loo that I bypassed both of them and went to the bathroom, where I also took all of my hat, scarf, gloves, coat and mask off beforehand. After a good wash and putting my outer garments in a plastic bag for washing I gave Ma & Pa a big hug. I’d been feeling so tired on the train but now at 10.30pm (1.30am Turkish time) I had a glass of water and some crisps, while Dad opened a bottle of fizz! It wouldn’t be a proper family celebration if we didn’t give the ball a right old kick and so we managed to stay up until 2.30am (5.30am Turkish time) meaning I had done 22.5 hours from leaving my Dalyan bed to getting in my Mosborough one! We were so glad to see each other again and none of us cared that we were up drinking so late, it’s not like we had anything much to do tomorrow, with me isolating!