As you can see from this photo taken in the airport, several members of each clan journeyed to London Heathrow (on numerous tube lines thanks to TFL's outrageously long winded upgrade plan) to see us off. There were some trials and tribulations on the way, namely a bunch of Aussie blokes singing rude songs about Yogi Bear and a few of his other Bear friends such as Cucum.
Despite all the odds (TFL, very large heavy bags and senior citizens - you know who you are!) we arrived safely at the airport with bags of time, pun intended. We checked in using a self service machine that we needed help with. Once checked in, we deposited our lives into the hands of the Heathrow and BA staff, always a daunting time.
Next we took shelter in a Costa to kill some time and for the Staines' to get there necessary hot drink fix. Conversation flowed between the two tribes which was fantastic for both Stacey and I to see. And then came the embarrasing picture taking malarkey that involved several "hurry up"'s through gritted teeth on my part. During the pictoral frenzy, Margaret (and henceforth "Nan") did her usual...she got chatting to a random woman! And ended up giving her a hug! Can't take her anywhere!
Once my face was blood red with embarrassment and aching from ear to ear from a hundred forced smiles, we came to say goodbye to our loved ones. I hate saying goodbyes, particularly when I am the one departing. We did the rounds, everyone had something uniquely special to say to us and some things in particular really touched Stacey and myself. My ribs have just about recovered from Nan's hug. Cheers.
So we then had to do it. We turned away and walked, I was asking Stacey if we should turn back around for a last glance but the answer was evident from the tears on her face. We will miss you all.