Sunday, February 7, 2010

UK trip part II - conclusion

I wish I had more time to blog, events that I wanted to talk about whiz by, become obsolete and no longer topical. I've been back in "real life" now for almost two weeks, but I still want to finish the story of our trip to Buckinghamshire.

We were only there for three full days, but we filled those days to the brim. My old family home (a smallish 1970's four bedroom house, I hasten to add, not the Edwardian farmhouse estate that the phrase may conjour up) is so full of memories. I don't visit it very often, so being there is for me like stepping back in time. Standing in from of the big oval mirror in the guest room, which used to be my sister's room, I can almost see my 16 year old self, peeping through bright blue mascara and glittered eyes (actually my favourite silver eyeshadow might even still be in a drawer somewhere!), trying desperately to tease curls into my straight brown hair, and spinning around to make sure that my tiny flared mini skirt showed as much of my rather short legs as humanely possible without revealing my knickers. The framed "Dirty Dancing" picture that is still on the wall enhances the flashback atmosphere.

I could go on and on, but I'll limit myself to summarizing a few high points of our trip:

1. Watching Geekygirl get to know her grandparents and her cousins. She remembers them from past visits and looks forward to seeing them, and I wish that they could spend more time together.  It was lovely to see Grandma read children's books I remembered from my own childhood with her. Mum was a teacher so has a vast supply. We read Meg and Mog, The Tiger who Came to Tea, Dogger (at 3.00am, mostly. YOu can't really explain jet lag to a preschooler). These were books I had as  akid but have not seen in the US, and I realized that when you have a child in another country you miss out on the pleasure of reliving your own childhood just a little.

10,000 miles and back in 4 days was worth it though, just to see the cousins together. On the way home Geekygirl said to me "Mummy, next time we go to Grandma and Grandad's house, let's stay for a longer time". Here's Geekygirl with my sister's middle child, sharing a princess moment.


2. The main attraction himself of course, my brothers new son. We spent most of all three days with the little lad, and honestly I hardly heard a cry out of him. He was passed from pillar to post, never taking eyes of his very proud mum, of course, and took everything in his wide eyed stride. I may be biased but he was just about the healthiest, happiest baby I've met, not a trace of cradle cap marred his fuzzy head, not a sprinkle of acne on those chubbly cheeks. A picture is worth more than a thousand of my words, so enough already, here he is.
3. Being in my home town. After living in the US I appreciate the oldness of England, and the charm of the little place where I grew up. It's been around since 1086 or thereabouts, in one form or another, and here in 2010 it is a charming town, full of coffee shops and cute boutiques, a very nice toy store, three Indian restaurants and six pubs. When we moved there back in 1972 most of these store fronts sold or repaired tractors, and there was a weekly pig market that left quite a stink about town, so it has rather come up in the world! My parents thought I was nuts going out in the rain with my camera, but I wanted to share the place with you. Here is Olney, Buckinghamshire for your enjoyment. I spent every Saturday of my teen years working in the chemists shop with the green trim on the left of the first picture, and knew far more than I should have done about the ailments and eccentricities of my neighbours.

 

and 5. Seeing my old friends. On the Sunday before I left the house was filled, my old school friend and her son came over, my best friend and her two girls, her sister and her little boy. Along with my sister and brother and their kids we had a very full house. I'm sure to my parents it seems like just yesterday that we were all little kids, so having our childhood friends and their children all in the house must be a bit of a time warp for them. It was strange and yet satisfying to have all these faces together, and to see our little ones get along. Well, Geekygirl did poke my friend's child in the eye, but apart from that, it was an idyllic reunion.  Just too short. Its good to know that I still have so many lovely friends despite my long absence. Maybe we will have to go back, someday.

7 comments:

TheMadHouse said...

What stunning images, I love the one of geek girl and cousin oh so much

followthatdog said...

Beautiful. I'm glad you had a nice trip, seems like one hell of a way to go for three days.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Wonderful, you appreciate what life is all about. Scietist indeed, I marvel at the skills of 'young' people today.

Sandy Calico said...

Glad you had a good time. I thought I recognised the town. I have friends in Olney. I've been drunk in Olney Wine Bar on a couple of occasions! Love the other photos too.

Vinogirl said...

Your post has succeeded in making me thoroughly homesick!

geekymummy said...

Sandy, I was wondering if anyone knew the town, small world! I have had some good nights in the wine bar too! I wonder if I know your friends? My parents probably do, they know just about everyone in town!

Iota said...

Oh gosh, how lovely. Glad you had such a good time. Bet it whizzed by.

And yes, we do miss out a little, on reliving our own childhoods.

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