Brian Cheung
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Northbound

Thoughts, photos and anecdotes from my travels through Norway, Scotland and Finland.

There And Back Again

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It’s been an exhausting weekend, to say the least. I set off on Thursday morning to start the long trip back home. I’ve no idea how long the commute was exactly, but I walked back out of the terminal at about midnight on Friday (Melbourne time).

It was strange to be back so soon, and for reasons I had dreaded. Arriving home the house felt empty, and a little lacking somehow in the absence of both Yi Po and Charlie. But still it was so so good to see Mum, Dad and Mish again, despite everything that had happened. 

The funeral took place the next morning. It was a beautiful service, with a lot of people showing up to pay their final respects. They say you really get an idea of a person's impact when you see all the people that show up to their funeral, and this was very much the case for Aunty. Though she lived out her days as a widow, and had no children of her own, she became such an indelible part of our family as much as we were for her. I’m really going to miss her.

The rest of the weekend passed in a blurry haze. On Saturday night Mum cooked the sort of Chinese food that no non-relative could hope to replicate. Sunday was mostly spent eating food. Jake and I had a brief reunion over brunch and some familiar Melbourne coffee, which was followed quickly by yum cha with family. I digested that over an impromptu trip to Garden World (hands down my favourite nursery) before it was about time to go back to the airport for the return trip - of course with a detour to a ramen bar on the way out. 

It took me an extra 24 hours on top of everything to get back to Bressay, as the flight from Dubai happened to arrive in Glasgow 10 minutes AFTER the token Shetland flight for the day took off. But I’m finally back where I started, a bit jet lagged but mostly feeling just completely and utterly spent. 

I’m grateful that I was able to get back for the funeral, and to say a final goodbye. I won’t be thinking of how much it all cost years from now anyway. With everything that was happening, the last two weeks and the general month here at Bressay hasn’t been productive. My mind was elsewhere and the work that I did manage to finish doesn’t feel cohesive or innovative. After the last few days being back at home it feels in some way like a weight has been lifted. I’m tentatively optimistic and excited to be jumping back into work and putting my remaining time in Europe to good use. 

It might be painful or difficult in some way, but moving forward is the only way to go. 
陳玉珍 1927 - 2017

Brian Cheung