Well, I'm home. I've been back in Wellington for a week now and, surprisingly, the post-holiday blues have yet to hit. Flying back into Wellington airport I cursed living in a city where landings are never fun, but the sun was shining and I was happy to be back.
After a particularly bumpy start to the flight from London to LA, I finally finished a book I've been reading for about four months and started a new one. Customs in the United States were decidedly unfriendly, the guy who checked my passport made me feel like a criminal for travelling by myself. 'You've been to all these countries by yourself? Why?' When he asked which city I was born in, I made the mistake of saying, 'Masterton...but it doesn't really qualify as a city!' He was not impressed with my joke.
My flight from LA to Auckland cemented my love of Air New Zealand. We were on one of the newly refurbished planes, so even economy seemed flash (as did the toilets!). There were so many movies and tv shows and songs to choose from and even when the lights were dimmed and most people were sleeping, the cabin crew still came along every hour or so to check if anyone who was awake wanted water. Little things like that make such a difference when you're seven hours into your second twelve hour flight. En route from Auckland to Wellington, I finished the book I'd started on the flight from London, so I felt very productive. I watched a good movie called Toast about chef and writer Nigel Slater's childhood. Helena Bonham Cater plays his step-mother with whom he starts to compete for his father's attention through baking. She really makes the movie.
I arrived back at the flat feeling very awake and had all these grand ideas to unpack and then go off visiting people. I unpacked and quickly realised I wouldn't be going far at all, as I started to get very tired.
I went down the road to get some lunch and buy some groceries and had to take a photo of my haloumi and potato rosti stack from Baobab. I can now authoritatively say that Newtown has some of the best cafes in the world.
By 3.30pm I could hardly keep my eyes open and kept bumping into things, so had to have a little sleep. At one point I woke up and had no idea where I was - I panicked trying to work out whether I was at Chrissy and Piet's in London or Lisa's in Edinburgh or whether that really was my bookshelf across the other side of the room. I forced myself to get up at 5.30pm and make some dinner and I managed to last until 9pm.
This past week hasn't actually been too bad, I babysat Monday night, had a night at home on Tuesday night (during which I fed some of my flatmates duty free gin I'd bought), went to Eight at Circa on Wednesday night, went visiting Thursday night (the bus stop above was on my way home), and to Masterton for the night on Friday.
I got to meet my new wee cousin Isla yesterday. She is pretty tiny and generally lovely.
Everyone seemed to like their presents - I wasn't sure Hunter would be a fan of the tartan tam o'shanter I got him in Edinburgh but he put it on straight away and declared he would wear it to mufti day. Note the frost on the grass through the window behind him - it was COLD on Friday night.
Last night I went to the album release of St Rupertsberg - a very cute all girl band. And today the sun was shining again so I went for a walk with my friend Kelly along the beach at Lyall Bay and, unbelievably, to Maranui for the first time. The view is excellent and the food similarly good. This summer I definitely think more time at the beach is necessary.
All in all, I am very happy to be home. People keep asking what the highlight of my trip was and I keep saying I don't have one in particular because I loved it all. Paris was great so I guess that was a highlight. But after a week of work - and while everyone at work was very happy to see me, they didn't waste any time in giving me lots to do - it seems very far away now.