So with fond farewell we left Munster on schedule on Thursday and made the journey to La tunnel sous la Manche in five hours. We had aimed to catch the 1907 train but luckily they squeezed us on to the 1737 departure - so were home in good time for a very large celebratory G&T despite the almost mandatory delays on the wretched M25.

Friday a good clear day for unloading my goods and chattels from the Peugeot and transferring most of it to the loft ( day it might come in useful! Do you know I think there's almost as much stuff stored aloft in the roof space as in the rest of the house....mmmmm...perhaps I should get on that tv programme "Cash in the Attic?") And managed to fit in a routine visit to the local surgery where the usual round of blood tests etc. were taken. Felt a bit like a pin cushion on completion!

Last night - being Hallowe'en we had the 'Trich 'n' treaters' calling. I had forseen the inevitable and bought a selection of chewy mice, liquorice rats, squidgy brains and sugary vampire dentures to proffer to the over 30 kids that knocked on the door. Most were really brilliantly dressed up including two delightful little "tots" dressed as pumpkins. Ahh sweet! I know some people get annoyed by the development of hallowe'en antics, but as long as the kids play by the rules, get nicely dresed-up and if young are accompanied by mummy and daddy, I think it''s quite good neighbourly fun.

Our hallowe'en party is tonight (Saturday) There'll be about 20 of us I think, and I'm currently preparing deep fried southern chicken, blackeye peas, cinnamon dusted roast sweet potatoes and mashed pumpkin followed by bannana pie. Now y'all, if that aint deep south, sure as hell I don't know what is! To drink?? Bourbon mixed with cranberry juice (red y'see!) and bloody marys (also red). Do you know what Australians call a bloody mary without the vodka?? No! Not a virgin mary but a 'bloody shame!'

Monday I start my new job with the "Ex Services Mental Welfare Society," usually known as "Combat Stress." It's based in Leatherhead, Surrey and I will be the Regional Welfare Office (RWO) for London - all, that is, within the M25. I will be finding out all about the job in the first two weeks 'induction period' and staying with family in Epsom during the week - after that when I start getting to grips with the job proper I am renting a room from some good friends in Brixton. More on all of this as the story unfolds - but the good thing is that I will be home here in Somerset for at least 3 and more often than not 4 nights a week. Now that can't be bad!

Tomorrow my fist visit as an "acting layman" to my local Catholic Church in Somerton. It will be really weird sitting in the congregation.

Time - methinks - for a nice cold beer!