Friday, February 26, 2016


Saturday 19th December
Today was a beautiful, crisp, cold day. The time change meant I woke about 2.30 am and remained awake till about 6 when I dropped off again! Anyway, after a lovely late breakfast we visited Homebase (Tesco) and bought a Christmas tree with decorations! It was refreshing to find that there were very few Christmas things in the shops... you had to go and look for them. Felt peaceful after the overkill of Christmas in UK!
Happy Christmas
We had coffee in the sunshine at the local park on the way home, and then went for a walk to the University.

Brandi and Phil at the local park.
 The University is close to Phil's and there are lovely walks around it...
University Grounds

The three of us.

In the evening we met up with Nate and Sunny for a meal round the corner... delicious! Then finished the evening at Marty's bar with a beer, chat and meet up with several other friends.
The next day I struggled a bit with Crohn's and jet lag so had a quiet day. I was so excited about 'the surprise' for Phil, Brandi and I dared not look at each other at times for fear of giving something away!  In the evening we watched a darts match at Harry's bar... clever machines - on line stuff - exciting but with Phil's team losing on the final dart!

Running alongside all this excitement and activity was deep sadness and love for John and Chris, Becky, Mike and Robbie and what they were all facing.  

Monday and Tuesday 21st/22nd  December
Phil and Brandi both went off to work but were back around lunch time.  I went out for a walk to the lake near the University where the sun came out. Later Phil meticulously prepared for the evening meal when a friend, John, came and joined us. Brandi and Phil cooked a fabulous meal and it was a lovely evening. On the Tuesday I walked into town after Brandi and Phil had left for work - I made soup, and met Phil for gun man du. In the evening Phil took me to meet Chris and we played golf on a golf simulator! It was huge fun and more than a little frustrating! We chose a difficult course and spent most of the time not on the fairway! But really good fun and nice to swing a club.
Ready to play!

Tomorrow was the big day... the surprise!

I'm back!

I'm back!
What an amazing trip I have had - huge thanks to everyone who has made it all so special. 
Now I'm home and on my computer, I'll be able to add pictures to my adventures... they tell a much better story than my words could ever manage.
The beginning...
Grey morning, not long till the off!

Packed and almost ready.
On the 15th December I was off at last! Judith and Carl kindly came for me to take me to the station for the train... I could just manage my case although it felt very heavy!
Paula was going to keep an eye on my house and a friend would be staying for a while, so I left my nest happily knowing that it was in safe hands.
I stayed with Bridgie a couple of nights and then the big journey began.

Thursday 17th December
Well, what can I say? Business Class! It has to be seen to be believed!
Asiana Business Lounge

I was astounded! Fantastic food and drink on offer... I was so naive I'd bought a sandwich before going to the lounge!  I sent messages and pictures to the family ... "Ah yes." replies Keith "That's my regular haunt." Keith has done so much travelling he's earned his points! It really was special. 
The flight itself was with Asiana and my seat was great - a flat-bed. This meant that I could lie right down flat and sleep (if I hadn't been so excited!). The food was excellent. We took off at 8.45pm  and we flew towards a beautiful sunrise and then endless snow covered landscape. It was fascinating watching on the flight map where we were. The Russian tundra seemed empty and endless, but eventually we landed at Incheon at 4.30pm on Friday. 
Phil was there to meet me, with a bunch of beautiful flowers! I don't think I have ever experienced being greeted at an airport with flowers before - it was lovelyl!
Phil bought me a ticket for the bus and then we headed to Suwon. It was so nice to share that journey, it didn't seem too long before we were walking over the wide bridge and  through familiar streets of Yeongtong to Phil's flat.
At Phil's

Sitting area

Kitchen and stairs to mezzanine.
 Brandi and Phil made me so welcome, they had a super meal ready for me which we followed with a walk out in the fresh cold clear air. Their flat is lovely and the sofa I can recommend!