Yay! I have been home for a few days now, settling in to life as the "missing daughter". It's great - everyone wants to spend time with me and no one will let me do any housework - but the best moment was finally going through the gates at Tullamarine airport after a hellish flight and being blinded by the beams from my mum and dad. The crying started in earnest at that point, and at the same time I could feel my face break into a massive smile, the kind that takes over your whole face.
First impressions of Melbourne - so quiet and so immaculately clean compared to London that it seems everyone has been scrubbing the streets in anticipation of my arrival. The air smelled so sweet I could have taken a bite. And everyone seems so friendly and forthright. It has actually come as a relief (surprisingly) to engage in that straight-talking aussie way, where people talk to you as if they have known you for years. Even the shop assistants are so friendly you feel like bringing them home for dinner.
Good old Melbourne has put on a brilliant show of weather - rainstorms, hail, ice-cold days which would rival London for bitterness. But I don't care - I have my family to keep me warm!