Last Friday saw us begin a marathon of cross country travelling 'up North' for the funeral of Andy's Nan. Normally we'd have gone by motorbike and it would have taken about two or three hours, but with the UK suffering sub-zero temperatures and my arm being how it is, we booked train tickets from Oxford. So began a hodgepodge journey starting with us setting off the dark, icy early morning, layered up like Michelin men on the bike, leaving the bike with Debs-of-the-bees who lives nearer to the city, catching a bus to Oxford, then a train to Manchester, picked up by car, fed and watered by Andy's nice parents and another car journey to Yorkshire for an overnight stay at a motel. It snowed overnight and Selby Abbey, where the simple service was held, was looking stunning. The sun came out; a nice way to say goodbye to a long life which was finally at rest. Later that day we did the same journey in reverse, but slower. Driving through the vibrant city of Manchester to the station was a surreal experience for both of us. We felt a little like visitors from a secluded community, goggling at the new space-age office blocks, the hordes of shoppers clutching bulging shopping bags (how much *stuff* does a person need???) the crowded eateries, the groups of rowdy night-outers...it was like descending into some kind of urban hell, not improved by the various football fans being police-escorted and later on the train, the distinctly un-charming presence of racist thugs getting tanked up on cheap lager. We decided to stay standing up in the corridor well away from them, until they disembarked. It took over 6 hours to return, ending with a slow, wind chilled half hour ride near midnight, along treacherous roads covered in black ice, both of us frozen by the time we arrived back to a cottage full of sleepy cats. Rarely have I felt so thankful to be home. But this sad, necessary journey was a marker for us; we had decided that Monday was going to be 'N-Day' - a return to Normality. And so it has been. I am finally back in bed, bolstered up and last night had the best night's sleep I've had since my accident, comfy under a proper quilt and able to stretch my legs out. My arm is much better, thanks to my homemade physiotherapy of housework, sweeping with a dust-pan and brush proving painful but effective. While we were at Andy's old home, I took the opportunity to re-visit the very first needle felted toy I made, way back in 2008. He was a birthday present for Andy's mother; he is tiny compared to the size I work at today! He was a bit fuzzy after two years and I took the opportunity to give him a bit of a makeover - so although you may think that I have double posted the same picture, look more closely. Same but different. Rather like country folks and city folks.