After Lizzie and Jarett had left me and made their way to Vietnam, I had a lovely string of days off, so I decided to go home for a few days to visit Mum. Since all of my siblings were elsewhere and Dad was flying, it was just Mum and me!

I landed into LHR and hopped onto the bus to Stansted airport, which is not too far from home. Mum had also just landed from Austria, where her and Dad had spent the past week, so I didn’t have to wait long for her.

Once we got home, we put the kettle on and sat down with some tea! Mum had told me to bring a big suitcase for my birthday present and I had absolutely no idea what it could be… so when I unwrapped this incredible knitted blanket I couldn’t believe it!

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Every patch is different and all of the colours go beautifully with my living room. It took mum around 2 years to knit it, and I never had any idea that she was making it!

We made some dinner and spent the evening watching The Apprentice and catching up.

The next morning I woke up with the sunlight peeking through the curtains, and was greeted by a lovely sunrise across the fields.

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Well hello there! First of all I’d like to apologise for being away from the blog for so long! I don’t even have a good excuse, I’ve just been so busy flying, going away on my days off, etc, that I haven’t had time to sit down and write!
Right now I’m on leave for just over a week, and I’m in England staying with Joey and his family. He’s out playing tennis at the moment, so I thought I’d sit down and write a quick post and update on the past couple of weeks!

I had a layover to Singapore, which was good (seems like so long ago now that I can barely remember what I did, even though it was only 2 weeks ago!) and then after that I came home, packed my bags and headed straight back to the airport. I had planned to fly home for about 4 days and my best bet at the time looked like flying to Munich and then getting the train from there. However, I got to the airport, went to check in and was told that all the seats were full! Quick look on the laptop to see where I could fly to and a change of terminals….and I was off to Prague! From there it was two very short flights to Vienna and Klagenfurt and I was home even earlier than planned! Matt was there waiting to pick me up at the airport, and a 10 minute drive later I was home! 🙂

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I didn’t really have much planned apart from catching up with my family and friends, as I was only home for a couple of days. I had a pretty early night the first evening, as I had barely slept since Singapore! The next day I just relaxed at home; the weather was fantastic, in fact almost as hot as in Dubai! In the evening our neighbours invited us over for dinner. They have a lovely little setup in their garden and it looked so pretty!

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They cooked us an absolutely delicious dinner, however I did have to leave before dessert as I had arranged to go for a few drinks with my friends Simone, Natascha and Maria. Unfortunately Maria was ill so she ended up not being able to come, but Simone, Nati and I had a great time catching up on each others lives whilst sitting outside enjoying a nice drink. Nati has just spent the past year and a half working as an au pair in America, so she had a lot of stories to tell!

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The next day I had to pick up a few things in town, and in the afternoon my friends Iris and Claudio came to pick me up (along with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend!) and we headed down to the lake for a few hours of sun and swimming! It was still beautiful weather, so hot and sunny, so we made the most of it and spent the time relaxing, sunbathing and swimming in the lake.

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Afterwards we all went to dinner at a lovely little Mexican restaurant. (The restaurant was nice, the food however was definitely nothing special!)

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Before I knew it it was time to pack up again and the next morning I was back at the airport ready to fly back to Dubai. As I said, it was a short but sweet trip! 🙂

Once I was back in Dubai I barely had any time before I was off on my next layover, to Perth! That’s one of the places in Australia that I’d never been to before, so I was looking forward to exploring a new city. It’s quite a long flight, 10 hours going and almost 11 coming back. Unlike other Australia flights though we don’t get to have a break in the CRC (crew rest compartment) – we only get an hour or so on some blocked off seats. As anyone who has ever travelled in economy will know, they aren’t the easiest to sleep in, so it’s pretty difficult getting any rest! Once we got to the hotel in Perth we all headed straight up to bed!

The next morning a couple of us met for breakfast and headed out so see a bit of the city. I wanted to go to a koala sanctuary which was around 40 minutes from the city but nobody was up for going with me 🙁 Unfortunately the guys were pretty boring and only wanted to go shopping…so once they went back to the hotel after an hour or so I decided to stay out and have a walk around. 

I walked down towards the river and came across the bell tower, which was a pretty interestingly shaped building.

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I decided to pay the entrance fee and walk up to the top, which was definitely worth it because I saw dolphins! (I stupidly forgot to put my camera on charge and the battery died just as I got to the top, so please excuse the poor quality of the pictures!) Also, you can’t actually see the dolphins in the pictures I took but they were definitely there, splashing around and jumping out of the water!

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When there’s nobody around to take your picture….the “switch camera” option on your iPhone comes in really handy!

I decided to get the ferry across the river to the other side of Perth. It cost me a whole 2 dollars! I had a little walk along the river bank with a nice park beside me, and found a little cafe to pick up a sandwich for lunch.

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The other side was actually not very interesting and there wasn’t all that much to do by myself, so soon enough I headed back towards the ferry and hopped on. All to soon it was time to get back to the hotel for a quick nap before my flight home!

I had my leave right after the flight and to make the most of it along with my days off I had planned to catch a flight to England straight away. All the flights to London were completely overbooked with absolutely no seats to spare….so I decided to go via Newcastle instead! This was probably not the best choice, as it left at 7:20 and I was supposed to land at 5:25. I even joked with the pilots to get them to take a shortcut somewhere so we could land early 😀 Imagine my relief when we touched down 15 minutes early….I couldn’t wait for everyone to get off the plane so I could go straight back to the airport!

I had planned to get changed at headquarters but realised I didn’t even have time for that….so I headed straight back to the airport in my uniform and managed to check in with about 30 seconds to spare, ridiculously sweaty from running carrying 2 suitcases and wearing heels! From then it was still a mad rush through security to the gate (I’m certain the gate was the farthest one away possible!) and then a looooong bus ride to the plane. I honestly couldn’t believe I’d made the flight, and even managed to get an exit row seat with extra leg room! I attempted to get a few hours sleep but even with ear plugs and an eye mask it just wasn’t happening.

Once in Newcastle I’d listed myself for a British Airways flight to London, and it was a couple of nerve-wracking hours waiting to see if I was on or not. Luckily I managed to get the very last seat on the plane. (Otherwise I would have been forking out over 100 pounds for a train ticket!) 

Once I finally reached Heathrow, Joey and his mum were waiting for me 🙂 They had very kindly driven down to meet me and once we’d loaded my suitcases into the car we made our way to his parents house. I’ve decided I’ll write another post all about this holiday as otherwise this one is going to be way too long! 🙂

So for now I’ll leave you with a picture of something I’ve missed….English countryside!

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With only 3 days to go now (actually only 2 full days as I will be leaving early Friday morning) I definitely needed to make the most of my last weekend at home. A couple of weeks ago I decided to organise a little leaving party, and told my best friend Lucy about it. She lives in England, so she checked Ryanair flights and believe it or not booked them a few minutes later, for less than 40 Euros return! So this Saturday I drove to the airport (one thing I’m not going to miss – driving on snowy and icy roads!) and picked her up. In the evening a group of friends came round and we cooked Mexican food, and then all went out into town, where a whole load of other friends came and met us.
We had such a good night out and it was definitely a great way to say bye to all of my friends!

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The next day (surprisingly we weren’t as hungover as we were expecting to be!!) my mum drove us up to a place called Magdalensberg for a late lunch. There is an amazing restaurant/guesthouse on the top of this hill, which serves traditional Austrian food and is all family run. It was the perfect day to go up, as although it was pretty chilly the sun was out and there was a beautiful clear sky. 
As we were having our meal the sun was setting, we even went out between courses to take pictures of the sunset! 

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On Monday we decided to do some shopping! We wondered round the Christmas Market in my town, but it was too cold to stay outside for long. Both of us managed not to buy too much in the shops, I have been having to restrain myself from buying winter clothes by thinking about Dubai every time I see something I want!

In the evening one of my good friends from work arranged to go for drinks, and when we got there a whole group of others from work had come, which was a lovely surprise! They also got me a book called “1000 Places to see before you die” – I’m hoping my new job will help me do that!

Yesterday evening and this morning Lucy helped me sort out my clothes – 1 pile to take with me, 1 pile to give to charity and 1 pile to keep but not take with me. Somehow I have a feeling I’ll never wear the “keep but don’t take with me” pile again, but I can’t justify getting rid of over half of my wardrobe! I don’t even want to know how many pairs of shoes were thrown away!

This evening after taking Lucy back to the airport, I started on the packing. I honestly have no idea how I am going to fit everything in! I’m allowed 50kg, plus hand luggage. One of my suitcases is already over half full and pretty much all it has in is shoes and underwear! 
Here’s a picture of me squeezing into one of my suitcases!
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Well, this was quite a long post! The next time I write anything will probably be from Dubai! Only 2 full days left, when did this even happen! I’m so nervous and excited at the same time – it’s crazy!