Suffice to say that we got back to Heathrow to sub zero temperatures, snow, and cancelled flights to Newcastle. Not only Newcastle, but Munich, Franfurt, Nice, Lyon, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and others were closed because of snow. No flights out that night, so slept on the floor to be ready for a 7.15am flight. Cancelled at 7.05. Back to baggage claim for second time to reclaim cases and rebook a flight. The queues were enormous. Noon and four o'clock flights full, standby list of 27. We opted for firm booking on 5.30pm flight. Ushered into Business class lounge for free food and drink but the serenity of the Australian First Class lounge was missing. People overflowed in this one., all looking rumpled and furiously using mobile phones. Landed at Newcastle, and the runway was covered by snow, the hard, rutted variety. I wanted to burst out in applause that we'd finally made it. Taxi drove cautiously, had to stop at cashpoint 'cos we'd spent all our spare cash eating at prohibitive prices in the airport, and the snow got deeper and the tarmac trails through it narrowed. The last hundred and fifty yards we did on foot, tugging cases through snow because the taxi driver would never have got up the hill and out again.
Then it was a case of digging out the drive. Into garage for shovel, and garage door came off its runners. Managed to winkle the mini out underneath it, only to find a flat battery. Honda slid backwards down the hill. Put mini on charge, and half an hour later roared up the hill to get to supermarket for food. Got stuck on the frozen ruts in the supermarket car park, pushed out by kind, tall gentleman. Fixed garage door. Then discovered waste bin frozen shut beneath fifteen inches of snow. This morning the back door to the garden was frozen shut.
Life is such fun. Memories of wonderful beaches such as that at Manly are all but fogotten. But you know, I'm beginning to look for the next challenge already.