08 October 2011

Postcard from England

Tap tap tap, go the keys on Grandma's keyboard.
Thank goodness that a picture is worth a thousand words because otherwise we'd be here all night...

We've been hanging out on the beach. With family.
Somebody got a haircut.

England enjoyed Summer's last gasp. We enjoyed it too.

Enjoying having a giggle at the English and their sun-worship tendencies. Mystified by people setting up their chairs facing away from the sea...

Why are they facing the wrong way? I asked.
Oh, they're not, they're facing the sun! I was told.
Ahhh. Of course they are. They are English.
The sight of the sun is a rare and treasured thing.
We Kiwis may slip-slop-slap and run for the shade, but a true Englishman dare not return from holiday without a tan. Or at least some ouchy sunburn.

So while the sun shone we delighted in family and strengthening the ties that bind...

...while generously sharing our food and impressing everyone with our charming manners. Ahem.

We've been treated to superb meals. Cooked by wonderful relatives.
We've all gained a few pounds - and not the kind you can spend either.

To work off all that good food, we've gone walking in the English countryside...

...where we learnt the valuable lesson that nettles {which sting} and dock leaves {which soothe} grow handily side by side. Isn't nature wonderful?

We flew a kite on top of a hill overlooking picturesque farms and villages.
Of course my camera batteries run out at the stupidest of times.

{The kite was a dinky £1.95 keyring that Grandma kept in her handbag for just such an occasion. It flew perfectly. Brilliant.}

We left behind the bustle of the city, headed for a village in the Midlands.
Reunited with dear friends, who indulged us with superb hospitality and fabulous company.

Our Kiwi friends taught our children Croquet...

...and took them on at Cricket. So very very English.

We've known these friends for so long, and sometimes don't see each other for years... but when we meet up, its just like it has always been. Easy. Enjoyable. Delightful. Superb. AJ & Vic. Maya. So many funny stories, so many shared memories.

AJ is a mad-keen photographer. You can find him on Flickr.

My gorgeous friend Maya {photo by AJ}; we've been friends for twenty years, flatted together, been bridesmaids for each other and though we live on opposites sides of the world when we get together its as if we've never been apart. 

Picnicking at Calke Abbey. Photos by AJ. We like to spread a rug and eat under the oak trees...
but the locals seem to like their picnics eaten in the carpark!?!?!? 

{NOTE: This group were not the only ones. I just had to snap them, another cute English quirk}

Miss Fab and Maya's sweet girl

Cricket turns into rounders...
Scrag and Maya's Little Joel {to distinguish from Big Cousin Joel}

We enjoyed al fresco lunch and dinner in the garden. A picnic at Calke Abbey. Up talking half the night. Our kids and their kids hanging together. The next generation of world-traveling pals.

Don't you just love friends like that?

I also love it when my husband launches an impromptu game of Statues in the courtyard
where we're eating icecream. He's pretty amazing that way. 

Tickle tickle. Who will crack?

Sigh. We must say goodbye.
Until next time.

We must move on, this time to a new adventure at CentreParcs, Whinfell Forest.
Grandma kindly treated us to a week at this fantastic place.
A bit like a holiday park, but in the woods. Nothing at all like Hi-de-Hi Campers.

We get our own log cabin in the woods. With open fire. And bikes.

We bike everywhere. I get lost often. I just can't seem to find my way to the Sports Plaza without touring half the forest. Its like I've lost my ability to know where I am when I am in the Northern Hemisphere. My magnetic poles are all out of whack {I tell myself this, it makes me feel better}.

There's a giant indoor waterpark. Think Wave Pools on steroids. You can bet my kids loved that. {Yes, I did actually swim. In my burqa rash top. Just once, but it was all day.}

There is so much to do at a place like this. My favourite bit {apart from getting lost in the woods and swimming all day} was a morning just wandering alone through the village. Buying a magazine at the Parc Market. Reading peacefully over a latte and carrot cake in a French Cafe.
That and the superb facial my hubby treated me and Grandma to.

I am sure that we will be back to stay at CentreParcs again, if ever we venture back to the UK again.
Thankyou Grandma for your kind generosity and great idea!

That's about all I have for now.
We have nine days remaining of our holiday. Nine days to pack in as much fun and family as we can before we head home.
The kids are getting a wee bit tired. All the packing and shifting and changing is a bit unsettling.
They're having fun but missing home. Missing their friends.
As am I.
I do love to travel, but I also love my home.
I've got a post scheduled for Monday I hope you'll all enjoy.
Its a linky. "What you love about where you live".
I hope you'll join in. Share what you love about your home, as I share what I love about mine.

And also on Monday... I'm off to Ireland with Mr G. A dream come true.

Our Trip So Far

PS: Mrs Readalot has been very busy reading some fantastic books. She is terribly sorry that she missed posting on the 1st of October... but she will have her post up with some great holiday reading recommendations ASAP ♥ 

The linky is being hosted by my lovely friend Lyns {who I miss a lot} over at Once Upon a Time

FOLLOW ME ON Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin //


Unknown said...

it is not picknicking in the carpark but tailgating! That's what we call it in the States

PaisleyJade said...

SO precious!! Loving the photos and memories (and giggling at the people facing away from the water!!!).

Jen said...

looks lovely :)

lol facing the sun on the beach

I can see the advantages of picnicking right next to your car

Rebecca said...

Wow how fabulous!! Stunning pic of Maya, she looks just the same...Andrew too still action man!
Enjoy the rest of your time away x

Amy said...

Amazing memories babe. Drink it all in. x

banban said...

Wow, so much fun. Isn't family and true friendship amazing, picking up where you last left, I love that. Enjoy the rest of your time away. xx

Tall Pipi said...

Wow fabulous photos from AJ and from you! You look like you're making the most of your holiday. Love friendships where you can pick up again as if you've never been apart - true friendship.

Johnny said...

Fabulous stuff!! Love the pics and its a dream holiday hey?
OF COURSE you can come over for a catch up and some cakey eats when you get back. Can't wait!!

Post a Comment