After 7 months of what sometimes feels like a bit of a holiday, we have returned to the UK for a month to visit friends and family, and also to escape the Dubai heat for a little while during the school holidays.
I have had mixed feelings on coming "home" - where indeed is home?
Having now been back for a few days, I am now referring to Dubai as home! Yet the familiarity of the UK is very warming and relaxing - Dubai seems another world away.
Heathrow airport, as always, is miserable. We hired a car, so once we had completed the formalities at the car-desk, we then had to wait 15 minutes for a bus to drive us for another 25 minutes to their compound. What a palaver - especially with two tired children and heavy suitcases. Once on-the-road though, it was pleasant to be amongst far more civilised driving, rather than the unreliable hair-raising drivers in Dubai.
The day we landed, it was glorious sunshine and England looked beautiful - even driving along the M4. It was green and lush and the sunshine was streaming through the windscreen. Quite lovely. However, since that first day, it has mostly rained.
One thing that is making me cross - given how unreliable the British weather is, why oh why are there so few things for little children to do indoors? When staying with friends last weekend, we were getting desperate - the children needed to run and let off some steam. We could have gone to one of the indoor playgrounds, but none of us could face the grubbiness of the place and also the fact that it would be heaving. We thought about bowling, but it was fully booked and the cinema just wasn't the right place for the kids. In the end, we took our chances and went to a local farm. It was throwing it down, but we stuck it out and eventually had a relatively dry day . . . lucky! Why can't there be more things indoors to do . . . ???
Come on England, let's try and make more things for families to do when it's rubbish outside!