Sunday, January 26, 2014

Home again.

We are home from our long overdue trip to visit family and friends in the UK and Ireland. We have been living in Australia now for 8 years and have had many many people come stay with us for up to three months at a time. It is only in more recent years that health issues have crept in and made it harder for grandparents to come to us and so we knew we needed to to make the journey to them.

We spent most of last year saving furiously and I worked many weekend shifts to help get together the money together. Even with family and friends very generously putting us up in their homes and feeding us the actual transport costs of five flights, ferries and car rentals set us back well over $20,000. Not a trip that could be done annually!

We packed a lot into the time we were away. We started the trip in Ireland staying with my sister and parents. It was great to see them all. They are very private people and so I agreed many years ago not to put photos of them or discuss their lives here on the blog. For that reason I have kept my photos of the Irish side of the trip to ones of Byron, myself and the kids or the places we visited...

The second leg of the journey was catching a ferry to Wales where we were welcomed with open arms into the family home of Byron's sister who we haven't seen since we left. It was emotional but wonderful. We got to hug our grown up nephew Kerry and his wife Sarah  and the kids got to meet their famous little baby Oliver at long last! We also got to hug our niece Louise and her husband Rhys. There was lots and lots of food, chocolate, more food and more chocolate!
We also got to stay a night with Byron's brother and his family which was wonderful and we finished the Welsh visit with a massive Chinese takeaway with 14 of us all squished into Byron's parents living room with every chair and table in the house put together to hold a banquet of fried rice and every main meal under the sun!

I swear the poor car struggled to pull away at the end of the week with all of us squeezing in a bit more fuller figured than when we arrived.

The next leg of the journey was spent in Northampton where we lived for 9 years when we were first married. We had so many friends we wanted to see that we hired the village hall for one night and sent an invite out far and wide to join us for an evening of hugs and story telling. It was a blur of friends, neighbours, work colleagues, my aunt and uncle and cousins. It was a crazy evening of unfinished conversations and hugs and "You haven't changed a bit!" in both directions.
The final destination was London. We stayed with friends who were living in Sydney when we first emigrated but have since returned to the UK. They let us use them and their home as a base to come and go into London and play "tourist" before we had to board our flight home to Australia.
I have so many wonderful memories and stories I am afraid I will forget the details of them. You may have noticed a few image posts that have also gone up today. My intention in this year of 2014 is to try to post an image every day. I think others who have done it before me have posted the images on an actual day-by-day basis. I'm playing catch up for now and will hopefully be more consistent once I make it to the end of the holiday backlog!

1 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. It takes special people to embark on a journey & embrace each day with such enthusiasm.
    Never was there a day that someone was tired, why was that? It was undoubtedly the joy and pleasure you exude as an amazing family..
    By the way the tins have been refilled!!!!!
    Amazing blog Gina xxxxx