Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm Baaaaack

Guess who's back in town? Yes, moi.

We flew out of Toronto, leaving behind the long-awaited snow dump and very wintry temps. It was -12C (10F) with a wind chill of -20C (-4F), and fortunately dazzlingly sunny. If it was still snowing on Tuesday more flights would have been delayed. As it is, nature produced a most amazingly crisp sunset over Toronto as I waited at the gate. It went from shades of gold near the horizon to shades of blue towards the depths of space.

[Tooners, as I looked, I thought about what you said about North American sunsets and could only agree.]


The flight was only 5 hours long! That is not long enough to cause bad jet lag, while the 8-9 hour flight from Houston really wipes me out. Good thing, too, because although the flight was not full, the people sitting near me were annoying. There was only one seat between me and the guy who sneezed 100 times after take-off. The guy behind me coughed an equal amount at landing.

And there was nothing I wanted to watch. This plane didn't have a CD or
movie library in addition to the radio and TV channels as did the flight out of the UK. So I played
21, Trivia, and a crossword; watched Frasier, Hidden London, and listened to the
radio. For the first time ever, the movies on offer did not tempt me. In another first, I did not like the BA food and did not finish it, but did my best so as not to go hungry.

[Jia Li, we flew right over St Johns, Nfld!]


Do you ever think about how amazing landing is? "Here" we are, in a pressurised metal tube flying at 30,000 ft in nearly -70C temperatures and we need to go down "there". Descent is as thrilling as take-off because I really like the process. Coming down from cruising speed the engines become a bit quieter. Raising the flaps to cause drag, reduction in speed, that grinding sound as the metal fights the air, and thus we eventually approach the earth in a controlled fall with a little roller coaster effect and a bit of cross wind turbulence. (I sat directly over the wings so could hear not just the landing gear but the hydraulics too.) Then we touch down and brake so hard with the flaps and spoilers up that sleepers can fall forward in their seats. Thrusters in reverse and we roarrrr to a slowdown. I have been flying since 1979 and cannot count how many times I have enjoyed this most dangerous manoeuvre!

Ever since I can remember, I have thought planes were beautiful.


We landed in London at around 6am to grey skies and rain...surprise, surprise...even though it doesn't even rain that much here, it continues the stereotype. Having a bigger suitcase than when I went over, I decided to forego the Heathrow Express and the Tube at rush hour, and got a taxi home instead. It felt good to be back. (Shhh, none of that "I told you so." I still think about going back to the US every day, yes, every day, for over a year now. And now I even imagine going to Canada, snow or not - those of you who know me enough have heard me complaining bitterly about the winters!)

My room here is spacious with high ceilings, but I still had that sense I always do when returning from North America...of everything here being on a smaller, more compact scale. In fact, all day I couldn't judge the distances between anything in my small cupboards, or the stairs.

I sorted my mail - got 21 cards!!! Popped out to the local shops for milk and bread, etc. and by midday couldn't focus anymore, as I only caught half an hour of sleep on the plane despite my inflight boredom. I figured a one hour nap would be fine, but ended up taking 3 hours and then fell asleep again for an hour after dinner!

I talked to my mother, whose heart is aching. My aunt ran off to the gym before I left for the airport because she didn't want to see my Mum's face. J-J (upcoming blog) the dog missed me terribly. He'd got so used to the three of us sitting on the sofa together watching TV after dinner.

Yes, I fell in love on holiday, and the sentiment was returned. Mum says that after dinner the first night J-J looked for me - no Livia to rub his belly, or tell him how pretty he is; no Livia to make him sit and give him treats. He was so sad, he didn't even bark at people through the window. He looked for me the next morning too, and whenever anyone mentioned "Livia" he wagged his tail, bless his little cotton socks...


Don't worry, I haven't forgotten the blogs I promised :)


The Moody Minstrel said...

Welcome home!

(Am I allowed to say that from the opposite hemisphere?)

Lasto-adri *Blue* said...

Welcome back Livvy-lou..


Prerona said...

wow! do we and when do we get the details? and pics? :D

i'm so happy for you! it is a happy new year :)

Olivia said...

Minstrel - well, you've said it now, so it's too late for me to say no :P


Bluuuuuuuuue!!! Hellooooooo! How are yoooooou?


Prerona - In a couple of days, when I have done the laundry ;)

Anonymous said...

Welcome home!

Planes are amazing. My favorite part of the plane ride is the take off and the landing when the wheels touch the runway and the engines roar. It's incredible.

That said, I hate flying.

jia heart her clients said...

hey there u!

check out my design blog

jia hearts o said...

hey guess u are busy

Rebecca said...

Welcome back!

jia hearts o said...

aww, the part about J-J. Too cute.

have any pic's?

I will have many of tonight,,,1st Indian food then drinking.....wooooooooooo

Anonymous said...

Hey! welcome back. I got to say my delta flight over here had absolutely nothing to watch except two of the lamest, touchy =feely movies its ever been my displeasure to vomit to. they were very pasty of five-esque in that no one smiled all the way through them and had very srong moral tales.

I am trying to convert some video files for my zune in case i have th esame misforture on the way back lol!

You have aringo account of anything liv? you can put your photos up for us all to see! :)

Anonymous said...

Olivia... my heart feels deeply for you. I could read in your latest post some type of sadness.... and I so can understand where it's coming from. I can also understand being glad to be back home... but there's something about leaving family, and missing - even - the dog. Things like that really bring me to tears.

The weather is terribly cold. I can only imagine what you're suffering thru in London. We're gonna be watching that documentary of Al Gore's soon on global warming.. I'm sure it'll totally freak me out.

Welcome back though... may your heart not feel as heavy in the coming days my friend.

Anonymous said...

and as far as flying.... ooohhh, the landing scares me. i hate flying! but planes mystify me, that's for sure.

Olivia said...

Matt - check out my Flickr account.
if you can't spot the link on the sidebar, sorry for being lazy with the html, but its at a

Olivia said...

Oh are too sweet for words. In fact, you made me want to cry. I wish I could hug you!

Yes, you are right, I have been depressed since coming back. I didn't even go to the store for the list I wrote last week. I've been eating delivery dinners and freezer food. So my housemate, who is feeling the same way after leaving her parents in China, is coming with me because we are both in the same state. Neither of us have unpacked either...

Oh, you know that docufilm of Al Gore can be seen for free on


Anonymous said...

i know what you mean... i do the same when i come back from the States.

i'm glad you have someone to share w/ though, who can understand your pain.... and i'm glad you post here.

have you seen that documentary? i didn't know you could watch for free. i think the hubby already downloaded it though, which was also for free... but don't tell! ;) altho, in thinking about it, we do have to pay extra internet costs if we download too many... so maybe we are paying for it. ;)

Anonymous said...

i meant to ask you about this and forgot... have you heard about this girl in London that saw some guy on the tube that she liked but was too afraid to talk to... so she took a pic of him w/ her phone (she was on vacation there or something), and has sent out an email wanting to find him. she lives in some other country and desperately wants to locate this guy to see if she stands a chance.

all the guys i know think she's bizarre and a freak, but all the girls think she's terribly romantic!

was wondering how much publicity that was getting.

also, what do you think about the whole Big Brother thing and the racist issues surrounding it? do you think that girl's comments were racist? do you watch that show? we don't get it here... i've only read about it.

Olivia said...

Tooners, it is readers like you who make a blog worthwhile.

I have not seen the documentary. I haven't got over Gore yet. Mum and I used to call him Ozone Man when he was VP, and I will just have to knuckle down and watch it and probably give him more respect in future.

As for the girl who is trying to contact that guy, it's not out of the ordinary, though her being from another country is unusual. It almost makes me think of the James Blunt song, where he becomes obsessed with a girl he has seen in passing only once and knows he can never have her.

I often see little ads in the free newspapers that are available for reading in the Tube - "Looking for cute brunette with yoga mat, seen between Baker Street and Bond Street last Friday". Needle in a haystack, if you ask me.

Now on to Big Brother.
I don't watch the show and I wish this could be the end of it forever. But I have seen the clips and boy do I have an opinion of it.
Have you seen or heard of the contestants before?

Jade Goody has had her followers, but mostly detractors because she is NO ONE. She made her name by being on BB before, flashing her boobs, being disruptive and disgusting. She is a total Chav. And she made millions through infamy.

For me the argument is a case of bullying. Jade is a bully and a loudmouth. God forbid anyone come across her drunk... She and her two sycophants Jo and Danielle saw Shilpa as ripe for the picking. Jade was threatened by and envious of Shilpa's success, classiness, education, culture, and beauty.

What a state of affairs for Britain when an ignorant chav makes world news. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

First... I may be stupid, but what's a Chav? I agree completely... I think it's a case of bullying. My immediate first thought was that she was jealous of Shetty. Maybe afraid she might get more attention from the boys or such. I'm glad Shetty stood her ground and didn't allow them to pull her down to their level.

I don't watch it here... don't even think it comes on here in Bahrain, but I did see a flew clips here and there, and read about it in the paper. Saw where this girl got famous from the other BB, and from the looks of her, figured she was some loudmouth.

It is too bad that she has made national news by acting this way. Really sad.

As far as Gore... I laugh at the Ozone Man title. He is for sure something of an Ozone Man, but... watched the docufilm lastnight and what he highlights and speaks of is extremely important and makes me rather worried for the future, and for what's happening in the world today. I think it's a must see for most everyone...