Dear diary, Well, it’s been a while. I feel far removed, both in time and place, from my previous entry on August 25th as I set off back to America. Having made the momentous decision to move back to England, about the week before I had an uneventful flight. I gave myself exactly one month to pack up my entire possessions into 15 boxes which


15 boxes

would follow me to Hebden Bridge in 8-10 weeks, and stored a few items of sentimental value at the house in Santa Cruz. I’d intended to rent the house out furnished but on the advice of the property manager I’d gradually come to the decision to rent it out unfurnished. This took many, many trips to the Goodwill thrift store, the library, Bookshop Santa Cruz, AA auctions,  Streetlight records to dispose of anything that I didn’t class as essential. In this I was helped not only by my children but by Alice, Pegatha, Bob, Sam  and Russ who stopped by to make the  trips so that I could concentrate on sorting. i sold my piano on Craigslist and it left for its new home on a cattle ranch  in Jackson in the Sierra Foothills.

A few days before I left Sarah put me in touch with a student family who were excited to


Tilly’s new family

adopt Tilly and we were even able to visit her in her new home, though apart from coming out to lick my fingers a few times she stayed firmly under the bed for the rest of our visit! Alice, Pegatha, Carol, Tom and Bob treated me to lunch/dinner before I left and

then the final Bon Voyage party was held at Pour where the girls decorated the big table beautifully with everything from balloons to a Willow Patterned teapot. We had a lovely time, and it was surprisingly upbeat. Two days later I boarded Aer Lingus for my trip to Hebden Bridge. I felt calm – perhaps that was how I was dealing with the trauma of the situation. Danny and Sarah said their farewells at my house and Anna drove me and Rachel to SFO where they assisted me in the check-in of two enormous bags. As they left I entered the line for security bawling my eyes out. The line was short and within 15 minutes I was in the Business Class lounge. I’d no idea that there were such calm, quiet places in airports. Faced with two hours to wait to board the plane to Dublin I would normally have become stressed by the hustle and bustle of music, light, hurrying people, flight announcements, security warnings. Here I was sitting silently at a bar watching the planes leave and land through the big windows. I’d treated myself to a Business class ticket because when I emigrated to America in 1985 we had flown Ambassador Class since Colin’s company were paying, and I was pregnant, so I thought it only fitting that I


All dressed up for my party


Gabrielle and Bob at the Bon Voyage party 


With Carol


Bob and the girls


Sorting stuff


Elegant Anna, vacuuming wearing crystals (a present to my from my auntie Elsie when I was a teenager)


Brunch at Iveta before leaving for the airport


Final flying fling!


Yikes! is this really happening? SFO lounge

complete the circle.