Back to work in the middle of the night

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We’re back. Most of us didn’t sleep on the plane so we were up for almost 24 hours. In fact, the only person who slept significantly on the night flight home was only son, who spread himself across his parents and woke up for breakfast with renewed energy just as everyone else was lagging.

The lack of sleep followed a day of much activity. We went to a small island set in the most beautiful light blue sea and were accompanied for part of the route by two dolphins. We also visited a cay where there were turtles swimming in the wild and spotted a couple, plus a stingray and some jumping fish. Only son was particularly excited. My brother later informed me that tiger sharks like swimming in that area and that an eight-foot one was reported to be hanging out in the vicinity. The day before a barracuda swam very close while we were swimming. Fortunately, it was going in the opposite direction. “It’s likely that at least five sharks had you on their internal GPS when we were with the turtles,” said my brother encouragingly before recounting various close encounters with sharp-toothed fish.

During the journey home, my lips started to feel a bit sore. “Mum, you look like you’ve had plastic surgery,” said daughter three. Cue much laughter from the teens every time they looked at me. “Maybe you’ve eaten something you are allergic to,” said my partner. I had had one piece of KFC all day. My lips continued to swell during the journey, to such a degree that I felt I had to tell the immigration officer in case my passport photo gave a false impression. Daughter three lent me some coconut oil to calm the swelling.

It was quite a trip and it was good to be able to share with the family a part of my childhood. A lot of swimming was done, a lot of pool games were played, synchronised swimming routines were performed, we visited a huge complex full of amazing slides called things like the Leap of Faith and my partner got to sample conch fritters. The vegans ate a lot of chips and peanut butter and I still feel as if I am on a boat somewhere out at sea. We were greeted by a big welcome home banner from my mum who was cat-sitting and spent the rest of the day trying to keep people awake. Now back to work in what feels like the middle of the night…

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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