So I flew back to Wales last Monday. About an hour before my flight was due to take off from Milan Linate to Amsterdam it was already 15 minutes late. I'm an anxious person in general, so I only started to worry about it being delayed further and then what if I couldn't get my connection at Amsterdam? But I did, I got to the gate just before boarding started. Well, just before we got on a bus, got taken around the block, and then dropped off at the same gate. There was a technical problem with the plane - again, anxious person. But luckily after just enough time to buy a bottle of water at a vending machine (my head was pounding!) we were back on the bus. And this time on the dinky little plane. And we made it to Cardiff in one piece!
Needless to say, there was a massive difference between the five hour slog to Heathrow and the trip back home from Cardiff. My travel sickness and aching head really appreciated the difference. We stopped off for supper at the shiny new KFC in my hometown of Carmarthen, after only plane snacks and a latte macchiato at Linate I wolfed down the food quicker than I'd done for a very long time!
My first full day at home was mainly spent shopping (!), but I also had a lovely lunch with one of my oldest friends. As well as that I had a much-needed appointment at the opticians' - I can now see again, yay! After picking up my new glasses I randomly bumped into three of my old work colleagues from when I worked as a sales assistant back in the day! You know you're from a small town when you go back to said small town and see everybody.
Oh, and I also saw panettone and pandoro on sale in a 99 pence shop! Proper genuine Italian Christmas cakes on sale in Wales in March!
The 'wait, what?' expat moment of the day was when I was asked 'Milk or foam?' for my latte macchiato in a cosy new coffee shop. It was nice and all, but foam??
The middle of the week was spent visiting relatives, and also a spot of shopping (of course!) on Wednesday. On Thursday I met my gorgeous new cousin for the first time!
I spent my birthday in one of my favourite places in Wales - Tenby, on the Pembrokeshire coast. We had delicious fish & chips for lunch (again, wolfed down like no tomorrow) and later some serious ice cream - both at Fecci's shops. Luckily it stayed dry all day, even if a bit breezy. Oh, and it was also the day Schiphol airport had a power cut. Like I said, anxious person.
Saturday was my last full day, and as well as seeing yet more relatives, it was the day of the dress fittings for us four bridesmaids. My dress was far too long, and a size too big, but the seamstress did a great job. The highlight however was a fabulous Chinese (chicken chow mein how I've missed you!), washed down with some wine, and I got home in time to see my beloved Casualty on an actual TV!
Sunday arrived quickly and I was off again. Luckily, the hour change didn't cause any chaos, even though I would have appreciated the stolen hour's sleep. It was a very breezy morning up in the Welsh hills, and I was a little bit worried that it would also be windy in Cardiff. But oh no, it wasn't Cardiff where the wind was causing a problem...