London – day 253 (J)

Having fallen asleep at 16:00ish I missed dinner. I woke at 01:30 and I waited with anticipation for people to be awake so I could use the microwave and have Roasted Duck & Prawns for breakfast. Let’s face it, I’ve had far worse for breakfast and it was divine.  I nabbed a lift from Narae to the train station and it felt weird getting out at Raynes Park at the platform that I normally debark upon. The lovely Sandra was able to arrange an appointment to see a doctor, as her work colleagues hadn’t sorted out the blood test form. A long queue for the vampire phlebotomist downstairs and I was now on my way to Tesco. Soy Chai Latte with my remaining free Harris + Hoole coffee vouchers and a proper catch up with Narae while the adorable Benjamin squirmed in and out of the high chair for banana cake. I even managed to catch up with Jason doing his regular Thurs shop and bumped in to others that remembered me from when I used to work there. They were all very sweet saying how the standard had gone done since I left. I couldn’t/shouldn’t comment. Ah hem! :)In to London to visit the passport office, I was nervous and excited about the possibility of what might happen. While travelling, I had received correspondence with regards an application… I had been issued my Gender Recognition Certificate! (We went to The Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai the day I received the news and despite being hot & sweaty we were allowed in and celebrated with High Tea in a posh place.) The passport agreed that everything was now in order and they would issue a new passport with the correct gender marker. I was ecstatic! Phoning Katherine in Australia to tell her the good news, the adrenaline was still pouring through me hours later. As promised I bought a Cornish Pasty before heading home, but waited till getting back and heating it, to appreciate it in its fullest. I had to go back out and get some new passport photos (they are horrible) and I started dinner when I got back. With Ed and Narae at a parent/teacher meeting thingy, I watched Alex and zipped between kitchen and sitting room for a few hours. My lasagne was nowhere as good as it normally is, but I’m sticking with my excuse of having not really cooked in 8 months. Brilliant evening catching up with Ed and finally staying awake long enough to try and get over the jet lag. Thursday 16th June 2016

Shepparton – day 253 (K)

Woke up at a reasonable hour (based on the fact my body is still on Bangkok time) and padded out of the ex-teenagers (now a sophisticated university student in Melbourne) bedroom that is now my home for the next 3 weeks until Jayne gets here. Wrapped up snugly in my new fleecy pyjamas, I made myself a coffee, flopped down on the sofa next to Tracey and chatted the morning away. Brilliant catching up where we both have so much that we want to talk about that we jump from one conversation to the next, without any logical flow or reasoning behind our conversation topics. If anyone was listening, we probably sounded like a pair of crazy old ladies jibbering away about absolute nonsense – I loved every minute! Started getting whatsapp messages from Jayne around 2am UK time (her body is clearly on Bangkok time too!!) as the morning turned into afternoon. Feeling slightly guilty about our total lack of activity, especially when Jayne has a list of jobs as long as her arm, I had a shower and got dressed before chatting some more whilst ‘Modern Family’ was on in the background (I’ve missed that show!). Headed out into town, stopping at the bottle shop to pick up some essentials…Also stopped in the RAC shop to grab a map of Australia so I can start planning our route to visit as many of the 19 Australian UNESCO sites as possible during our time here. Found out, randomly by accident, that Tracey is entitled to discounts at the cinema with her car insurance premiums so we picked up a few cinema and food vouchers along with information about other attractions around Victoria and New South Wales where she can also get money off – it might be a decider in some of the places we visit!!Next stop… K Mart! Desperate for some clothes that don’t have holes in them and some new underwear, I was slightly confused by a. my new body shape and b. the Australian sizing system!! Got some cheap t-shirts and underpants to try on over the next few days to work out what fits me properly and comfortably before impulse purchasing loads of stuff that was dotted around the store – haven’t shopped in over 9 months and you could tell… Had a great time trying on ridiculous hats and ear warmers, reminding me of when I used to do stuff like that with my ‘cousin’ Gaelle. ‘Who can find the ugliest item of clothing for the other person to wear?’ has become an essential game to play when you have some free time in a clothes shop!Headed next door to the supermarket where I must have seemed like a weirdo, picking up random bottles of jars and bottles before replacing them on the shelf, exclaiming loudly about them before continuing on my way. Have found that my British accent has come out much thicker and stronger as I am clearly, subconsciously, trying to convince complete strangers that I am not a total lunatic! A selfie with me and a MASSIVE tub of hummus may have made people think otherwise…Headed back to the house, to crack open the wine and there was serious talk of having another meal of cheese and bread but sensibility ensued and Tracey made Tacos instead (with cheese and sour cream though so almost the same!!). Started marking the Australia map after dinner with the UNESCO sites and cross referencing them with the Greyhound bus routes to begin figuring out where and what was feasible to achieve during our stay ‘down under’. Now I’ve got a vague route planned, I have to start researching accommodations and working out how long we can afford (time and money wise!) to stay in each place. Pyjamas went back on as we both collapsed on the sofa, topping up our wine glasses and finishing our meal with a desert of Mint Oreo Dairy Milk Chocolate (I’m in heaven – I love you Coles supermarket!!) and sweets whilst we watched ‘The Proposal’ and continued chatting about anything and everything. Still missing Jayne loads (although the Mint Oreo chocolate is easing the pain somewhat!!). 19 days to go!

Thursday 16th June 2016