I’m home twenty five hours.
The journey was not one I want to repeat. We were delayed nearly two hours (the flight only lasts around fifty minutes) and there are limited things to do at Belfast International. Plus Cousin and I had stayed up talking late into the night but in the morning her husband left the child/dog gate open so I was awakened by a scrabbling of claws at my bedroom door then an excited Westie Boy licking my face long before my eight hours were achieved.
It could have been worse, Toots and Pip might have been there too; twelve paws pulling at the sheets and fighting over my recumbent form. I got up, and felt ok, but sitting it out at the airport, which is yet to be named after some local luminary (Belfast City is called George Best airport, and doubtless a beacon in the lives of every one who has subjected their liver to extreme abuse) I could feel tiredness creeping through every pore.
To stop myself from dozing off and dribbling onto the shoulder of another weary traveller i ventured into the shops. I found some products by a company called Green Angel which I rather liked. My airline being budget and strict about hand luggage, I resisted temptation, but I shall look them up.
Once at Stansted things improved. The luggage was unloaded with commendable swiftness; I reached the railway platform two minutes before the train left for London. The carriage was fairly empty, but just behind me was a couple newly reunited at Arrivals. Sex was very much on their minds. They may have thought they were whispering, but my resolve to buy noise cancelling headphones was confirmed during that journey.
Only a ten minute wait for the bus and then a ride where I could feel sleep calling. The woman who sat next to me did fall asleep, and I had to disturb her dreams to get off. Drowsiness made her clumsy and we executed a strange dance of entwined limbs so that I could alight to the hot and busy Walworth Road with my bag. After the backwaters of Derry, London was a bit of a cultrure shock.
I wasn’t in Derry the whole time. For a few days I commuted to Belfast – Titanic; Uncle Bill; Hillsborough. Top of my hitlist this summer was Hillsborough. I have visited before, but knew that this summer the castle was open and there were guided tours. We went there on Tuesday, meeting up with an old friend, or rather a friend I have known since I was five, the daughter of the Big House for whom Cousin’s parents worked. Her friend Elizabeth was the guide, and she was fab. Hillsborough is very couth indeed, and the relocator in me started looking at properties. Unfortunately I had not charged my camera battery, so no photos other than on my ‘phone.
At home, MasterB looked at me as if at a ghost. No doubt he was anticipating being reunited with the Catsitter. Perhaps he had thought I was gone forever and he was embarking on a new life with Birgit. That might explain his assertiveness with her – making sure that she understood how he liked things run. He checked me out and became soft and cuddly; purring and refusing all opportunities to go out. It’s been rather a lovefest ever since. He quickly conquered his new wobbly egg bicuit dispenser, which is just as well as the biscuit ball has gone AWOL again; enjoyed being groomed from head to tail; lay alongside my leg and headbutted my hand. He was happy, had been well looked after and indulged, and I know there is one more person in the world I can trust to care for him if I am away.
By this morning he was more assertive, as though he had decided that I owed him ten days of attention. Fortunately I wasn’t out at work, though I have been a domestic goddess most of the day, so we rebonded and swore eternal love etc. The two new black and white cats continue to intimidate him, so when we were both out earlier I deployed the water spray to allow my boy some time in his own space, but I have cleared the litter tray three times since getting home. Tonight I went to those tax avoiders Amazon and ordered a water pistol which I hope will have a longer range. MasterB is outside now. I chaperoned him for a bit while I watered the thirsty tomato plants, but I was pleased when I came in that he was confident enough to stay in the garden alone. Hence this post.
I have come home to a situation about the compost bin that I do not begin to understand. Time to start thinking seriously about moving to somewhere where the garden is not communal. If only I could commute from Hillsborough. Though I am not sure my wardrobe would meet local standards of dress.