The thing that most expats look forward to least when they return to England during the winter is the weather. To be fair, we saw very little rain in Manchester until yesterday. There were even periods when the sun shone and the temperatures were mild.
Yesterday though was wet, very wet. Thankfully we were not outside for long even when we dropped our hire car off at the Car Rental Village just outside the airport.
The flight home was trouble free as indeed was the flight to Manchester eight days earlier. That is more than we can say for the stay though. Once again Pamela was in bed for a day with some form of vomit inducing stomach bug and I had a day when I dare not stray far from a toilet.
We are either susceptible to these kind of bugs, having lived 11 years in a hot climate, or the close proximity to a lot more people brings us into contact with them. Either way, it doesn't make for a pleasant trip when you spend part of it feeling wretched.
We are not fond of the British weather any more. The cold and damp of winters in the UK is no longer a mere inconvenience, it is totally depressing. Neither are we fond of the pace of life in the UK, the roads are too crowded, the shops are too crowded and at nearing 70, we no longer want to keep up with life in the fast lane.
On the positive side though, our family and friends in the UK continue to delight us. Molly is such a treasure to be with and Rory is shaping up to be a real character. Like most parents, we get a lot of comfort from seeing how our children have developed and now our grandchildren are proving to be equally rewarding. Not all families are as lucky as us, we know that. Pamela and I have a lot to be thankful for.