The holidays by numbers

I was one lucky expat this holiday and got to go home for a whirlwind trip – six days (three of them travelling) overflowing with family, food and surprises. I could wax lyrical about that home-for-the-holidays feeling, the novelty of winter and the precious time spent with loved ones, but I don’t quite know where to start. So, instead, here’s my numerical recap (SUBTITLED: Travel with kids never did run smooth) …

Distance travelled: 8,650 miles (in 2 planes, 2 trains, 1 tube train, 2 cars and 2 taxis)

Family members visited: 24, including DH’s 95-year-old Grannie

Visas forgotten (due to being in old passport): 1, causing immigration officials to shake their heads and tell us we couldn’t travel (in the end, they took pity on me)

Visas reunited with: 1, thanks to two special people: C who searched our house to find it; and DH who discovered that overnight FedEx delivery doesn’t apply when there’s bad weather in the UK

Skipped heartbeats: 3, when the concierge at the hotel the visa had been delivered to by a fellow pilot mistakenly presented me with a box of jewellery instead of an envelope

Waterlogged UK, but wonderful nevertheless
Waterlogged UK, but wonderful nevertheless

Passports lost: 4 (Yes, seriously. I think I was cursed)

Passports found after 45-min panic: 4. They’d dropped into a black hole in my suitcase

Children lost: 1, before the pantomime at Birmingham’s Hippodrome, triggering a full-scale search for Son 2 via walkie-talkies. (I know, I know, we’d only been out of Dubai for five minutes)

Children found: 1, in a deserted area of the theatre, clutching the booster seat they give kids like it was a life raft

Christmas dinners eaten: 3

Floods (or water ponds as they’re called in Dubai): Too many to count

Fish rescued: 2, found in a puddle, as floodwater receded from my parents’ garden; they were returned to the fishpond they’d escaped from

Minutes stayed up past midnight on NYE: 7

Speed of gusting wind as plane sat motionless on taxiway: 40mph

Memories made: Priceless

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (and thank you for reading Circles in the Sand in 2013) x

8 thoughts on “The holidays by numbers

    • Wishing you a great 2014 – and keep the wonderful blog posts coming. They really make me realise that Dubai is such a soft option! I hope all is going well – and I hope you can nip home soon, too. xx

  1. Audrey says:

    Love it! I stayed here in Doha the entire time this year and have to say that it was a pleasure NOT having to deal with all the drama of travel… I did miss home though. Happy New Year and thanks for this great story! 😉

  2. Happy 2014!!! Our only passport-related incident was Son#1 getting to the airport for his flight to Seoul and discovering he’d forgotten his. THAT was quite the go-round…and his dad was none too pleased about having to buy him a last minute replacement ticket. 48 hours’ delay and Christmas a day late – but all’s well that ends well, I suppose….; )

    • Good to hear from you!!!! I keep checking your blog to see if there’s an update! Poor Son#1 must have had such a shock at the airport – and I can well imagine the last-min replacement ticket was a shock too. Happy New Year! xx

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