And so I begin... I set off on Monday 16th September at 9pm from London Heathrow and I was so lucky to be able to see my nephews and my Hannah at the airport as she was picking up her mum. It couldn't have worked out better- like out of a film, I get the phone call "Where are you?" - "Outside terminal 3 departures, where are you?" - "The same, which letter?" - "All of them haha?" I start looking around and low and behold a vision of blonde and white appears about 20 meters in front of me! I won't lie... I ran!! Haha! Then after lots of cuddles with Oscar and James and Hannah and Wayne! My parents walked me upstairs to security- just to make sure they were getting rid of me!! And after big hugs and kisses I walked through with an elevated heart beat and a smile on my face :-)
Once on the plane the slight drama of no one knowing which was row was L and which was J (me being sat in seat 19J) and by no one knowing I mean the air hostesses, however after a quick check they got it sorted out after about 5 mins!
Got tucked into my seat and soon enough we jetted off. Was sat next to a lovely Ethiopian man who switched seats when I joked if I slept he had permission to clamber over me or wake me and on hearing this he said he would be up and down a lot so would I like to switch. This was fine by me as I wanted the window seat anyway!
About an hour passed and In this short space of time I rediscovered my love for Ludovico Einaudi and if you get a chance check out his compositions called 'The Earth Prelude' and 'Nightbook' absolutely gorgeous pieces of music!
Then I noticed my seat friend was watching Iron Man 3 (I had gone through the selection of films earlier and have to say was greatly impressed- the above, Star Trek- Into Darkness- Monsters University and We Bought A Zoo) I've seen the others so chose We Bought A Zoo and actually quite funny! This took me 3 hours into an 8 and half hour journey so after this finished I closed my eyes and woke up 5 minutes from Addis Ababa. AMAZING ;-)
We departed the plane and I went straight for my security gate fearing I did not want to miss it (lone travels panic mode) and once through security asked if there was anywhere I could go for a cigarette. He said yes back through security and down at the bottom, I asked If I had time and he said yes absolutely so I wandered back and had a fag IN the airport- crazy it seems now!! An then bought a bottle of water from a cafe which I pretty much downed had another cheeky fag there and went back through. Every single time setting off the alarms (Heathrow included) before I realised it was my metal bracelets (Duuuuuuh!!) so after waiting about half an hour we boarded the plane again.
This time I was sat In the middle three seats rather than the two by the window- I forgot planes looked like this its been so long since my last long haul flight! Sat next to a lovely Zimbabwean woman and we had the seat between us empty so we both made use of it!
We headed off for Lusaka airport in Zambia where we would wait for half hour for more passengers to board before heading to Harare.
I did not realise how long that flight was to Lusaka.... Pretty much the same as the first leg!! Who knew!? Britain is a needle pin head next to Africa!!
But luckily I fell asleep for the entire journey :-D was amazing!
Briefly woke up in Lusaka but again slept for about half an hour of that last 50 min leg, and before landing and I was given a drink and a packet of Ethiopian jet plane biscuits (made me lol a lot!) they weren't actually too bad... However... After 16 hours of traveling, 2 planes, 3 different countries in 2 days; I was feeling a bit run down and the way down to Harare was a little bumpy... So lets just say without graphic detail I found myself reaching for that ever so handy little bag they keep in the pockets on the back of the seats. The lovely Zimbabwean woman then gave me hers and found me another. It was a tiny bought- I blame downing the bottle of water! And she was very kind and asked me if I wanted her to tell the staff but I felt absolutely fine after this so there was no need. I was so tired I was past the caring of embarrassment- it happens- marlesh- so got my stuff together, handed the air hostesses the bag after apologising lol and went out to immigration and bag collection.
Harare was silent it seemed we were the only flight- not shocking really just a surprise when you get used to London airports. Sailed through immigration and got a double entry visa so I don't have to pay again when coming back In from Malawi.
Waiting for my passport to be stamped I saw my Aunt and Uncle waiting for me at the top gallery and waved, collected my bags, big hugs and greetings and then off we went back to my home for the foreseeable future.
We got back and I dumped my bags we had a drink and that evening popped to my cousins Grant's and Glynis and their two gorgeous kids (my second cousins) Connor and Michaela. I met Connor last year when he was down for the kids BMX world championships but I had never met Michaela so that was absolutely lovely!
Wednesday- I slept until about 10 woke up and pulled open the curtains and sliding doors and walked into my Aunts gorgeous front garden to the sun beaming down. I sat in the sun reading my book with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and basked- grinning like an idiot the whole time!
Me and Sheena then went to pick up Connor from school and take him home. And then when Sheena went to her book club she dropped me at Grant and Glynis' and chatted to Connor for a bit and then Glynis got home picked up Michaela from ballet and took her to tennis with us in tow. The tennis teacher does this from her house/garden and she also has a pool so kindly let Connor and I splash about until Michaela was done which was just lovely!! She kindly dropped me back on the way home and I read my book for a bit realised we had power and logged onto FB - typical!! But a really lovely few days so far my Aunt and I sat outside with a glass of wine last night watching the moon blind the stars in all it's glorious brightness.
Today my Uncle John went to SA (South Africa) to visit my cousin Andrew who I will also be seeing on Saturday. He left early this morning so take cares were done last night!
The same routine happened this morning, coffee, cigarette, sun and book, and then I decided to sort through what clothes I wanted to take to Malawi- they are still on my bed so in true Zoe fashion I've gone half way and procrastinated!
Sheena then took me into town to 'Sam Levys' which is an incredible little shopping village were we had a lovely lunch and we went to get more wine- standard family trait! And she showed me the art shop (big mistake!!) then we headed back and I started on a new drawing not Africa inspired yet! But I have no doubt it will come!
Then we had some tea and here I sit now updating my blog finally...
This is it for now... But so far... I couldn't be happier :-)