It’s impossible to pack in everything that four girls want to do in England into 16 days. We tried our best, from curries to catch ups, countryside to beaches, villages to cities, stately homes to shopping centres.
Back in 2012 I took the kids to England by myself – and said I’d never do it again. This year, faced with the choice of not going back to visit or going solo again I caved and decided the latter. It felt like we’d left it too long already.
The best times were with the people we love and miss. Seeing my girls laughing and having fun with their cousins was precious treasure. Chatting with my sisters over a couple of glasses of ale in a proper English pub one evening that I wanted to last far longer than it did. Having my family all together (bar two) for a weekend for the first time in around eight years. Being able to go places with family and friends rather than talking on screen. Asking questions about what friends are doing rather than observing their lives on Facebook. Just being with them. It was worth it.
The sad thing was not being able to see everyone we would have liked to. It wasn’t possible to do that in the our brief visit. Southwick to Sheffield to Aylsham to Worthing. Four towns, five lots of packing and moving on and there is only so much talking everyone can do before space is needed to recharge. I know by the end, my daughters needed space from the very tired version of me.
We each experienced some of the stuff that we love about England whether it was being able to jump on a train to London, or the availability of stuff in the supermarkets, or blackcurrant squash, or Jaffa cakes, or Walkers crisps, or the Saturday papers, or quaint little villages, or colourful beach huts on the sea front, or the shops we like, or coffee shops and tea rooms, or just being able to be somewhere different in a very short time.
I realized how I’m used to big wide roads. I drove down narrow winding roads in Derbyshire and Norfolk flinching as other cars passed by. As for the south, it’s busy everywhere. I don’t miss that volume of traffic.
The thing about a visit is that it’s never enough – not for the people we visited (well, maybe it was enough for some!) or for ourselves. Mixed with the happiness of seeing people is the sadness that we know we’ll be leaving. Even when I know we’re in the right place for now here in Canada it’s tough to leave English soil again. There were tears as we never know how long it will be until we see some family and friends.
We found that we didn’t bring a whole lot back with us this time in terms of stuff – apart from Yorkshire Tea decaf teabags and marmite, and the essential marzipan and suet for Christmas. Partly because the Canadian dollar has dropped in value so much that everything was expensive, but partly because it’s impossible to bring enough to last.
Not so the memories, they are sweet and lingering, as I sit outside in the almost-twenty-degrees-higher-than-England sunshine. That British weather…
12 Comments Add yours
Laughed at the things you missed and caught up on and cried at what you’ve left behind again x
Makes me think of my sister n brother in N Z and how much I miss them all x
Big hugs and enjoy Canada xx
Canada is one thing, New Zealand is really far! Makes the times together really special.
Big hugs right back at you. xx
I enjoy your blogs, you often make me smile, make me think and remind me of truths that we should not forget. Keep writing!!
Thanks Stella. xx
“Facetime” can’t hold a candle to the real reach out and touch ’em face-to-face time (but it’ll do in the in-between times). Dorothy of Kansas was right: there’s no place like home. Wonderful that you and the girls got your feet back on home soil; loved reading about the places and people who are forever in your heart. Indeed, keep writing, Emma. Delightful! 🙂
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This really makes me want to go experience England again! My last visit was almost 30 years ago. So glad you had a wonderful visit and made new memories with loved ones!
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Glad you are back safe and had an amazing time. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see you again!!
Thanks Tanya. I hope we see you again soon!
Well done Emma, I thought you were amazing organising all four of you to do so much stuff and see so many people – no mean feat! It was great to see you. Did Tim manage to get ‘the essentials’ in?!
Keep on bloggin’
Thanks Pam. Tim did get the essentials in, and a few non-essential ones. Some things had been thrown out too which I wasn’t happy about…
just seen this! It’s taking me ages to learn blogworld…. I found out today I haven’t been receiving emails from yours. We’ll get there Em!! x x x