Friends and family reunited

13 Jan

I found an old jumper at the back of the wardrobe a few weeks ago. I tried it on again; it felt a little odd at first, cold and misshapen, but after a while the fibres stretched and relaxed and it was comfortable and cosy again. Coming back to England felt a little bit the same.

It was always going to happen., it was just a matter of when and for how long. We were both curious as to how it would feel; would that walk along the river still seem familiar? Would stepping back into the house I grew up in still feel like home? It is amazing how much and yet, at the same time, how little  can change in just two years.

Babies have been born, dogs have been bought, walls have been knocked down, rooms have been redecorated, barns have been renovated, but the weather is still wet, the Underground still heaving and the conversations are still the same (apart from when now interrupted by an 18-month old.)

Despite our reservations about how hectic our trip would be, we had a proper break and thanks to so many friends and family who put us up, fed us and basically made the effort to come out on cold, wet and windy days to see us, we had a a fantastic time. It was the people we had come to see and they are what made the holiday, but we surprised ourselves at how much we enjoyed being back in England itself. There was something strangely comforting about a howling gale and lashing rain and there is nothing so good as coming in to a log fire or a glass of mulled wine, which just aren’t appropriate at Christmas in Sydney! In fact, if there is one thing England does well, it is a cosy Christmas.

Our trip took us from London down to the south west, back across to Chichester and Portsmouth, up to Stamford via St.Albans and Bedford, over to Staffordshire, into Wales, down to Bridgnorth en route to London, and ended up full circle, back in Somerset for the last few days.

Although we knew we had missed our friends and family and admittedly, a traditional English pub, we had also missed green, rolling hills; historic towns and churches; and yes, perhaps even the cold! We were lucky to visit some of the picture postcard, quaint English towns and villages, experience London in all its illuminated, Christmas glory and see nearly everyone we wanted to while they were off work and enjoying the holidays.

Sloane Square at Christmas

Sloane Square at Christmas


Eccleshall Church

Eccleshall Church


View from Bridgnorth

View from Bridgnorth

Stormy Lyme Regis

Stormy Lyme Regis

As we headed back to the airport for the final leg of our trip, we had to remind ourselves that we had come at a very special time, that the things that frustrated us two and a half years a go still existed and that ordinarily we would not be seeing ninety of our friends and family in three short weeks. Even the thought of heading back to summer did not appeal that day; we were leaving again and the only thing that made it a little easier to say goodbye was driving back in the grey, the Christmas lights extinguished, the trucks towing away the town Christmas trees and seeing the resigned faces of those returning to work for the first Monday back after New Year.

For our friends and family who read this, thank you for your hospitality and for looking after us so well!

Friends Reunited


Family walk

New Year friends

Father and son


Despite having established a new life in a new country with new jobs and friends, when coming back it really felt as if we had never been away and just like an old jumper, England was cosy, comfortable and it was really good to be reunited.

Mulled cider


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