Joanna, you really need to tidy your bedroom!!!!!
Brighton, 10th september
You really know you're home when a parent instructs you that your bedroom is a mess- "it's not my fault, I've been away all summer". Neither am I taking responsibility for the 'wild' garden and blocked drain. I think my brother must have been sitting on his backside all summer and not tending to grown up duties.
It still feels a little weird to be back, but not as strange as I felt just after disembarking the Eurotunnel. I have returned to drinking copious amounts of tea, playing with the ferrets, reading trashy mags and going to bed too late with great ease. Life is still the same, the only thing is that I now have four months of great memories to dip into whenever I feel like it. I have successfully forgotten how challenging the trip was and am already fantasising about driving back to Thailand the southerly route i.e. Iran, Pakistan, India.
Driving my car has been a challenge, as I have managed to stall four times and almost run over a cat- thank goodness for ABS brakes. TT is much more fun to drive than a car and once she has been sorted and registered I will take her for a spin to Surrey and Norfolk.
I have finally started to sleep well and for the last few days I have been suffering from a common condition called velcro bed. I've had quite a chilled weekend- playing with the ferrets, tidying all my stuff from the trip, dancing to Boney M in the kitchen, writing lists of things 'to do' and most recently a BBQ. A local cat decided to invite himself round and I was tossing up whether to have a cat kebab or give him some steak- I decided that as I am not currently in China I would give him some steak.
I will recap over our arrival last sunday. As Ants has said, it was pretty strange driving the last stretch to Brighton. I couldn't believe that we had actually made it in one piece and was totally paranoid about crashing just before we ended. We pulled up on the outskirts of Brighton to meet the Brighton tuc tucs, who looked so diddy next to TT. We then began the ceremonious two mile drive to the finishing line, lead by the Union Jack tuc tuc and beeping most of the way into town. Most people waved but one guy shouted 'shut the f*** up', to which I replied 'stop being a miserable English ?**?'. We pulled up just around the corner from Bartholomew Square so that Shaz could get the camera set up. I had a quick cigarette to calm the nerves and we drove the last hundred yards into the Square. We drove through a pink ribbon and were greated by shouts and screams of family and friends- it was such an amazing moment and completely overwhelming. I thought I would burst into tears, but my eyes remained totally dry until one of my ferrets (Shrimp) was placed in my arms and the waterwroks started. My mum said she thought it was nice the way I cried over a ferret but not over her- sorry mum, but if you had whiskers, fur and a pink diamonte collar you would make me cry too.
We had photos taken and a couple of interviews and then it was time to say hi to everyone who'd been kind enough to welcome us back. Unfortunately, there was not enough time and too many people there to properly speak to everyone. However, I would like to say a really big thank you to everyone who turned up- it was very special and probably one of the best moments of my life. TT then had to be driven back to her new home and we had to unload our bags, before a quick turnaround and back into town to the pub. For some reason I only had a couple of drinks and remained sober the entire evening. After the pub we went to a Thai restaurant, followed by home for my gang and partying for Ants' gang. The following morning was a horribly early radio interview, which went fine considering how tired we were.
That's pretty much it for this last week, as the rest of the time has been boring admin, tidying and ferret collecting. We have already raised a fantastic £24,000 for Mind, so thank you so much to all of those who have already donated. We still have another £26,000 to raise to reach our target for Mind and so the thinking cap is on for more wacky fundraising ideas. Oh yeah, one more thing- Ants and I have made it into the final two for Cosmo's Fun Fearless Female awards in the friends/family category. That means we get to go to a snazzy black tie do in november and hopefully increase the profile of our trip to raise even more money for Mind.
I'm off to play with my ferrets now, all 12 of them- bet you're jealous.