Return to Oz

Greetings comrades! How have you been? The jet is lagging today, so I am just going to jibber incoherently for a few paras. I got back to Scotland on Saturday afternoon after 36 hours of travel including 4 hours of fitful sleep and 2.5 hours of 'Australia' on the inflight entertainment thingy. Australia The Movie = Bollocks. But Australia The Country = Brilliant. I didn't want to leave! It was good times, people. Good times. At the departure gate I turned back for one last mournful glance at the wee newsagents, soaking up the tidy racks of Australian magazines and confectionary. I could stay, I thought. I'm totally allowed! I have the appropriate paperwork!

But I came back and it's all good. Spring sprung in our absence which made re-entry more pleasant than our last trip to Australia when we cleverly timed our return with the end of daylight saving for maximum darkness and despair. This time the garden was full of flowers and bumble bees and Eating Disorder Pigeon waiting expectantly by the empty bird feeder. Benito the Robin was nowhere to be seen however, leaving Gareth with a crushing case of Empty Nest Syndrome. "How could you leave me; I fed and nurtured you!" etc etc etc. Anyway. Oz. It's crazy trying to squeeze three years of absence into less than three weeks. You line up appointments with family and friends like you're the freaking Queen and just when we gets comfy it's all, "Must DASH, one has an afternoon tea to attend". It's impossible to get round everyone especially with the sprawling nature of the country. It's all very well for the likes of Metallica, having thousands of people wanting to see them. They just say, "If you want to see me, give me $200 and get your butt to Madison Square Garden". Whereas I would barely fill a quarter of Cowra Greyhound track with my pulling power. So the trip consisted of dashing from from house to house, guzzling loved ones tea and trying not to sob all over their shoulders because it had been too, too long.

Oh man now I'm going to blub again. Next subject! Weight Report: I gained 2.4 kilos on the trip. Don't gasp! I gained 6 kilos last time round so… result. Food Report: I'd been looking forward to gnawing the ears off a Red Tulip Easter Bunny but they didn't taste quite as orgasmic as I remembered. Same with the Red Tulip Mini Eggs. Of course I had to test FIVE mini eggs to make sure, before palming them off to my friend Row for her kidlets. Then I bought some Darrell Lea ones in case THEY were the tasty ones I'd longed for but they were unremarkable too. Maybe I've been spoiled by the Green & Blacks? But don't despair, I've not become a chocolate ponce. My favourite choccie in the universe remains Cadbury's Top Deck – a block of chocolate with milk choc on the bottom and creamy white upstairs. Rhi, Gareth and I shared a 250g block. Well Gareth didn't get that much of a look-in. Hehe. Best newcomer: Wacky salad leaves. I loved the leaves before I left in 2003 but there's even better ones now. Tiny delicate little fellas in all shades and shapes. "I wish you could live in two places at once," I said to Rhi during the never-ending flight to Dubai, "There's so much to love about living in Australia, but then Scotland has stuff I can't imagine being without now." "Yep. It's just like supermarkets," said Rhi, "You can never get everything you need in just one."

43 thoughts on “Return to Oz

  1. Welcome back to sunny scotland…well, at least its sunny today! We’ve missed u! Glad you had a ball xx

  2. You’re back!!!! I’ve missed yooooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuu!!! *grabs dietgirls leg in clingy toddler style…*

    Glad you had such a great time!

  3. See? I TOLD you it’d be all good, because you’d have summer to look forward to on your return. Pity us here in Melbourne, heading into miserable winter. πŸ™

    It was so great to meet you – I seriously wanted to kidnap you and take you home with me. But maybe Dr G might not have appreciated that. πŸ˜‰

  4. Welcome home! I am about 90% certain it is the Green & Blacks. You turned me onto it, and now I am ruined for other chocolate. This is actually quite handy as it keeps one down to 5 mini eggs rather than, say, 30. It can also be a problem, though, because my brain now includes a perfect map of which shops in Toronto carry G&B’s, and my new excuse is, “but it’s quite difficult to find here, so I should buy a bar when I pass this shop or that one”. And by bar, let’s face it, I mean 100g, not 35. πŸ˜€

  5. SO glad you’re home! Can’t wait to hear more once you’re over your jetlag. {gets arms around you as far as Kiddlywink allows for a hug these days}

    Rhi, is SO right. My heart has two homes now. Well, three if you include Alaska.

    Only three weeks? Man, SIX wasn’t long enough! LOL

    How’s the Mothership finding cohabitating in marital bliss after all those years of not having to share? {grin}

  6. Now you have made me homesick for Scotland. I love spring – a proper spring with tulips, daffodils and real bunny rabbits jumping about (I spent the whole day squealing and pointing at them when we first discovered them on Arthur’s seat – the locals thought I was a complete fruitcake). Sigh. We just don’t get seasons here in Qld. I seriously need to find a job that requires me to spend 6 months at each end of the planet.

    Glad you enjoyed your trip back to Aus. I have to agree with you – I think red tulip has gone down in quality recently. The bunnies just don’t have the sparkle they used to. Or maybe we are all just getting old (we’ll call it ‘mature’).

  7. Missed ya! Good to see you back safely. Read the book while you were away. OMG I laughed and cried all the way through “call the ambulance red” is still making me chuckle to myself. πŸ™‚ Get DrG to buy some dried mealworms for the robin (bird equivilent of Green & Blacks!)word will get round in birdland & Benito will return.

  8. I missed your posts and am happy you had a good visit. Too bad it felt so rushed. I think you were very brave to leave your home country and go somewhere so far away, especially knowing it would be such a long, expensive trip each time you visited.

  9. How can you forsake the Red Tulip Easter Bunny?? It is the best thing about Easter. Something you look forward to all year long. Next thing you will be telling me is you no longer like Jaffas.

    Obviously Scotland has corrupted you.

  10. Shauna, you are so funny! I read your book and passed it off to my mother (i just got back from visiting her too; same country though!)

    anyway, SO GLAD you had a lovely time but glad you made it home safely. i must try these green and blacks…the cadburys are to DIE for! i like the creamy white ones…my boyfriend likes the caramel filled ones…not so much for me.

  11. Shauna… you ARE so funny… πŸ˜‰

    My love, I was really hoping we could talk you into moving back to Canberra. It’s very clean you know.. and we have a fountain (that’s er.. not working) and… erm.. so many exciting things.

    But I know how hard to can to be to love two countries, as long as we have email/text/twitter/facebook we will be ok xx

  12. Glad you made it home. I had to read the section about being the freaking queen to my husband, to funny lol. It’s always hard catching up with everyone when you go home.

  13. Welcome back, Shauna. I’ve missed your funny posts! And the same thing happened to me this year with the Palmer’s Easter Bunnies. Of course, I still had to finish the one I got to make sure I was over them….

  14. I’ve just recently finished your book. It must be such a mixed blessing to have acquired such a following via your blog and your lovely book. On the one hand, you have made friends around the world. On the other, you must often want to just live an anonymous life, shut off all things techno, not have to reply to any more emails or letters, and just–not be such an inspiration! The problem is that people see you as such a real, normal person, that they all want to be your buddy. In spite of these sentiments, I am no different–I found myself checking your site for more than a week! What can I say? You inspire so many people to not give up on themselves, and to find a life beyond the shame that so many of us suffered. Thanks, Shauna.

  15. I’ve been wondering how your holiday was going. Glad it was good and that re-entry to Scotland hasn’t been too painful.

  16. Welcome back!

    Is Scotland enjoying the mini-heatwave that we’re enjoying further south? Hope it eases the shift from sunshine to showers.

    Three weeks obviously aren’t enough so you’ll just have to write another book and do a world tour!! In the meantime, really pleased that you had a fab time, even with the super sad wrench that comes with the departure lounge.

    Since it’s all about the weight loss (err, right?!), congratulations on not ballooning after being a permanent guest and never the host for three weeks. And with some serious chocolate focus-group activity going on! As you say, result!

    Soooo great to have an update on the bird situation. Even greater to have you back, writing. About a whole lot more than the scales. : )

    We’ve missed you in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Big kiss. xxxxxxxx

  17. And please describe Jaffas? Aussie temps in our office rave about them but I’m suspicious of colonial chocolate (!) (Hersheys – yuck)

  18. Glad to hear you enjoyed your time back in Oz. Did you try the Coles mixed summer salad leaves? They’re yum. Think I agree with you on the Red Tulip Easter bunnies but I’d better have a few more just to be sure – I’d hate to make a mistake about chocolate!!

  19. So glad you’re back in blogland! Sounds like Oz was fantastic, as always. Rhi is SO very right on with the supermarket analogy. And it’s so true in the literal sense too – I shop at no less than 3 in a given week. I have my priorities!

    And I may or may not have a bag of Green & Black’s 70% dark chocolate pieces in my desk drawer at this very moment.

  20. Welcome home! (This is home now, right?) On the plus front, I may be able to buy you a pint on Thursday if you are still going to be joining in the Dutch yodelling!

  21. I missed your posts so much! I am a big long time fan that has been lurking quietly but it is so good to have you back!

    Yo Yo Al x

  22. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Except I have three homes. Or is it four now? I lose count. All so far apart…. :/

  23. The Red Tulip thing is down to packaging, I’m sure. When I was a kid, they had the brightest foil on the bunnies. But sadly…cadbury outdo them in the taste stakes!

    Was good to meet you in the Edinburgh Castle Pub…see you somewhere near the real one in January!

  24. Have you had the pleasure of Haighs chocolates from good old Adelaide, South Australia. As much as I am a fan and have loved their chocolate forever, this year was the first year I got an Haighs chocolate easter egg…. Bliss I tell you. Well worth the look out for next time.

    Welcome back…

    You do make me miss all that is wonderful about the UK though, so am loving those tales from afar…

  25. Welcome home! You must be exhausted after that whirlwind tour, even a couple hours travel knocks me out. Good for you testing the eggs; it wouldn’t really be scientific if you had less than five, would it?

  26. Gosh, that reminds me…I haven’t been home to Texas in years πŸ™ I know I’ll eat myself silly when I do make it back…now to figure out when that time would actually be. *sigh*

    Sounds like you had an amazing time, always so nice to visit old friends and loved one’s (yes I do understand that chocolate is considered family).

    We missed you (at least virtually) seeing as how you’re still across the pond from NYC, but very much adored!


  27. Your post reminded me of trips home from grad school, although they were more frequent and not as far as Scotland to Australia. Incredibly scheduled, eating constantly, sad to leave, just wanting more time with everyone, feeling torn about going back… Exhausting! At least I didn’t have to deal with jet lag too.

    Like everyone, glad to see you back online-you were greatly missed!!

  28. Welcome back! I am so with you about grocery stores – I visit at least two each weekend and my fiance does the costco trips. I swore I’d never be that way, but I just can’t get around it.

  29. Ah, you do realise I’m going to go and get myself some Top Deck right now once I sign off. The more people talk about food lately, the more it inspires me to eat it! LOL πŸ™‚ x

  30. I’ve just got back from Australia too. And I also watched Australia on the plane, though I didn’t think it was as bad as everyone said it was.

    I also gained weight in Australia but only 1.6kg and all on my honeymoon! I’m trying to lose it now.

  31. Welcome back to blogland!! I’d welcome you back to Scotland, but since I’m not Scottish… You were definitely missed. It sounds like eating disorder pigeon has missed you too!

    I’m out of Easter chocolate now after giving away the last Reese’s peanut butter egg to a colleague yesterday. Of course, there is plenty of non-seasonal chocolate to keep me nibbling, thank goodness!

    I’m so glad you had a great time! πŸ™‚

  32. I gurantee you that you could fill Cowra race course ;o) So wonderful to hear you mention such specific ‘homeland’ traits! yay to OZ!

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