I knew it wouldn’t take long before the realities of being home hit me.
I remember being in Jamaica and saying to my other half Matt: ‘You wait, we’ll get back and see everyone once and then it will feel like we’ve never been away.’
I was right. Once we’d had the obligatory few bevvies up the pub the weekend we got back to Portsmouth, when Monday hit it was like reality came and smacked us round the face.
But there you go. As everyone reminds me (constantly) after 14 weeks spent in four continents filming a new TV series called A Vegetarian Abroad, ‘you can’t travel forever’. Yeah, yeah, I got that.
There are a few people in my life who haven’t yet got complacent about our return. Thank goodness for the children in my life, that’s all I can say.
I have two nieces and a nephew from my sister’s side, a niece from Matt’s side, one on the way for his other brother and his fiancé and my friends’ kids who I also consider to be family.
The oldest, Millie, is 12 and I was in constant ‘wassup’ communication with her whilst I was away.
Hollie is four and Lewie two and since I’ve returned both have hardly left my side. I’m not sure if it’s normal for an adult to feel like this, but I really do love the children ‘needing’ me.
Hollie is constantly asking me why I went away and why I wasn’t home for Christmas and I feel guilty. All the time. Perhaps she’s super-intelligent and thinks ‘if we make Auntie Chezzy feel guilty for going away, she’ll lavish us with attention and sweeties.’
I took them to the soft play area at the Sovereigns pub on Kingston Crescent in Portsmouth this week for a bit of a treat and they all ran rings round me the whole time.
Usually I’ll play for a bit and then sit down and let them do their thing. But not this time. I came out resembling a very bruised blueberry.
Not only did I have Hollie, Lewie and my best friend’s child Bella to look after, but I also found a new friend called Julie who jumped on my back, so there were four under-fours to contend with.
I didn’t know who to give my attention to first. Have I done enough to compensate for my long absence? I do hope so.