It's been just over a month since we arrived back in the UK (doesn't time fly?), so time for an update.
We're settling back well, and in some ways it feels as if we've never been away. The house was dirty and just reeked of cigarette smoke (yuk, yuk, yuk - we had specified non-smokers), so Martin has painted most of the rooms just to get rid of the smell, the yellowed paint, and the dubious stains on the walls (more yuk). It's on the market but we may not move yet after all as I'm waiting to hear if I have a six-month contract for two days a week work in Cambridge. I'd love it, so fingers crossed!
The UK seems much the same except cleaner and tidier (a nice surprise). People seem friendlier too - even the ladies in our local Spar (a little supermarket attached to the garage round the corner) are much nicer. The biggest difference is in the food. I've bought a couple of foodie magazines and they're full of information about seasonal foods, local foods, organic foods, and ethical buying.
I've been wanting one of those organic veggie box deliveries for years, but we tried one once and delivery was a problem as we were out all day. Now we're back and at home I'm trying them again, and I have to say I'm impressed. Local organic veg and it tastes good too!
I've also discovered fantastic local sausages and cheese at the Saturday market. And even the tiny supermarket sells three types of fair trade coffee and fair trade teabags!
But, I have to say the thing that's impressed me the most is compostable bottles. I bought a couple of Innocent smoothies the other day (one of the things I missed while in NZ). I was doing my usual read the label thing and couldn't believe it when I read that the bottle was made of corn and compostable. So, here goes. We have some lovely compost (untouched for 3 years!) Watch this space!
And while I was outside I took some photos of the garden. It's been weeded and mowed but it's still very sad compared with how it was 3 years ago. There's not much left alive at all. This is towards the end...
And this is looking back at the house...