Rejoice, for Angie has returned!
I stood on both sides of the Berlin Wall, shivered in an air raid shelter from World War II, and gasped at fireworks cascading over the Brandenburg Gate. I saw the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate and Nefertiti's bust. I visited the Eiffel Tower and the Catacombs of Paris and the Mona Lisa. I skied much too fast down snowy slopes, with my heart in my mouth and my nether regions clenched, and scraped my cheek and fell on my head and bruised my knees.
It's good to be home.
I woke up on Wednesday morning in my own bed (this is one of the things I look forward to most about coming home). As I lay there I listened to the leaves rustling in the warm breeze. It was one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard.
I didn't have to put on three layers of clothing before going outside. My shoulders were bare and I could feel the sun on my toes. It was incredible!
I went to the shops for some milk, and paid with brightly-coloured, clean-feeling, smooth plastic notes and easy-to-recognise coins. "How's it going?" asked the boy at the checkout in an accent similar to mine.
I walked to the train station, breathed deeply in the lemon scent of eucalypts, and nearly swooned with pleasure.
Do you realise just how lucky we are?
I know it's not Monday yet but I feel like saying it a little early.
Happy Australia Day.