06 October 2009

So Long, Farewell

The sun has set on our last evening in England. Tomorrow we fly home to New Zealand.

As I write this I have a funny nostalgic lump in my throat; this has been a trip to remember and treasure forever. The four weeks feels like eight; one month? More like two. We have done so much, been so many places, spent time with so many wonderful friends and family.

Man, it's so hard to say goodbye!
Last night Mr G took us all out for dinner; 21 family members. Winnie's siblings and their kids and partners. We made a merry crowd. The restaurant was a perfect cosy little Italian place in West Jesmond called Avanti. As I looked around the table, I was struck by how these wonderful people aren't just Mr G's family now but they truly feel like mine too.

They love our kids. Again I had a lump in my throat and a soppy smile on my face as I watched...

Miss Fab cuddling up to Aunty Irene...

Scrag snuggling Uncle Alan...

Dash wrapping himself around Uncle Phil and Cousin Sam...

The kids feel so loved and accepted (or should I say adored??) This place feels like another home now.

The expense, the effort, the hard work - all worth it. Mr G and I agree that you simply can't put a value on what we have gained by coming here... what the children have gained. And we are also amazed at how much family an only-child from a single-parent family can have.

Tonight we went for one last fish'n'chip supper with Aunty Irene and Uncle Alan; they took us to the beach at Blyth (where I took the top photo of the cute beach huts). Cousin Cath came too with her man Stu (who plays football, so Dash is well impressed). One last play at the park, one last game of footy, one last hug, kiss, photo...
Then we went to say farewell to Great-Grandad. More hugs, tears, photos.

Here's Uncle Alan & Aunty Irene with Grandad at his window, waving. I turned around from taking this to see Scrag, in daddy's arms, waving and blowing kisses. Precious.

So thanks to everyone in the UK who has welcomed us with open arms and made our trip so memorable...

The Newcastle rellies:
Grandma Winnie for giving up your flat while we were here and being such a wonderful granny and ma-in-law
Uncle Alan & Aunty Irene for taking so much time off work and showering our kids with unconditional love
All the cousins, aunties and uncles who showered our kids with £££'s and gifts, played football and gave cuddles and kisses.
Great-Grandad... for being so cool and for eventually remembering who I am (and for saying I look better now than last time you saw me... bless you!)
Uncle Phil for teaching Dash magic tricks and letting him snuggle you... and Sam for not being too cool to be kissed and hugged by a 6-year-old (Carolyn... your card made us cry xx)
The Haltwhistle crew for giving us a special day (special mention to Aunty Margaret and long-suffering cousin James)...
AJ and Vic; Maya and Andy... for being true friends although half a world away; and for your wonderful hospitality

The Scottish rellies, especially...
Aunty Sandra & Uncle George for your generosity and putting up with our noise and mess
Uncle Jack for travelling from Holland
And Cousin Libby... for being so sweet and such a lovely girl.

We love you all!
It's not really goodbye, it's just see ya later. Cause we'll be back before you know it (don't groan like that! It's a promise not a threat!)

Anyway, there's always The Blog... Now I know y'all read it! And remember, there's always a bed at our house for any of you who want to see New Zealand. Come on over!

Now it's off to bed in readiness for another mammoth 30-hour flight... think of me won't you??
See you all on the other side.

Did You Catch them All??
Here's a a list of all the stories about our trip. Catch any you missed...

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Widge said...

I looooove that top photo! awesome

Trees said...

Thinking of your flight, hope it's as straightforward as the one over x

PaisleyJade said...

That waving pic and the end nearly brought tears to my eyes! Have a safe flight!

Melinda said...

Hi Simone! What a wonderful trip ... your kids are so lucky to have all that love! ;0) Beautiful pics.

Anonymous said...

Love the top photo too!! that is a framer!!!
Reading this good bye post brought a lump to my throat too.....what an amazing family, what an amazing trip.
thanks for sharing it!

Cat Pickers said...

hey guys

the blog is great of your tour, lovely pictures of the family.

back into the old routine i guess by now, hope all have settled in nicely.

speak soon love Catherine & Stu x

Anonymous said...

I dip in and out of your blog from to time to time. It really is a joy to read about what you so passionately write about. I loved reading about your time in the UK recently, and I got quite homesick (I am a Brit from the north of England living in Asia) but it was wonderful to read all the same. I just read some of your thoughts about when you were undecided about having baby no. 3. I am at that, 'shall we? shan't we?' stage. It's funny how other people's lives (even strangers) can parallel our own. I guess people aren't really that different from each other...

Many thanks for your insights and sharing your thoughts. And NZ is next on my list of places to visit with my family!

Charlotte in SG

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