J's back... safe and sound...
I didn't end up going to the airport to meet him, although I did think about it... he ended up calling me from Perth Airport and told me to meet him at his parent's place instead. So I zipped down there and ended up wandering back and forth on the footpath outside their place for at least half an hour. And because I'd forgotten exactly what kind of car his mum drives, I was paying attention to every car that went past.
He hasn't changed one single solitary little bit... not one... he doesn't even have a slight accent... it was like he'd never been away.
I didn't stay for long... figured I would say hey and then let him do the family thing tonight (even though he said to me on the phone that I was more or less family anyway)... I have no doubt that as soon as he's bored with his real family he'll want to come and hang out here.
And the painting (or at least a portion of it... I originally had the full shot up, but changed my mind and went with this cropped version instead)... that's my birthday present from J... he painted it himself... and then had to carry it in his suitcase on three planes (they wouldn't let him post it in London)... but it survived unscathed... well mostly... since it was still a little wet in spots, the pattern of the bubblewrap got printed onto the paint in at least one spot. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better birthday present... I mean, c'mon.... he made art for me!