The Joy Of Families…

September 22, 2011

The main purpose of coming to the UK was for work purposes but as we were travelling so far we decided to add 2 weeks of personal holiday time to the beginning of the trip so we could see a few sights and meet up with relatives on both sides of our family. Some we had met before and some we hadn’t.

Ian’s father was born in Harlow Essex and I was born in Beverley, Yorkshire. I’m unsure where my mother and father were born but it was in England.

Ian’s father was about 16 I think when he got a ’10 pound trip’ to Australia and I emigrated with my family (mum, dad and 3 sisters) when I was a toddler…I turned 2 years old 2 1/2 months after we landed.

There hasn’t been a lot of contact with family over the years, but the reconnections over the past 12 years or so have been wonderful.

On this visit we had a lovely catch up with Uncle Bill and Aunty Maureen, their son John and his wife Elly and their children Isobella and Oliver, and their daughter Lisa. We met at a beautiful hotel looking right at Tower Bridge on the Thames before heading over the river to a gorgeous restaurant where Ian and I had a very delicious meal of traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. We finished the afternoon with a very pleasant walk around the water front and said our goodbyes right beside the Tower of London.

It was a beautiful afternoon.

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Our next family gathering was at Aunty June’s place in Twickenham, we had 3 lovely days with June and Alan and then on the Saturday Aunty Joan and Aunty Susan arrived, cousin Kelley, Michelle and hubby and mighty man ‘Jack’, Nassir and Danny. We ate far too much food, laughed a whole lot and even cried simply because it was so lovely to be together. Families are like that aren’t they?

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After leaving London we spent a little while in Stoke On Trent for work related stuff and then had a 2 1/2 day break before the UCB Forum was due to start so we borrowed a car and drove 4 hours north to Scotland to visit my Aunty Isobel in a quaint little village of about 5000 people called Neilston about a 30 minute train ride from Glasgow.

What a wonderful time we had. First of all, her house was built in the 1770′s so it’s older than Australia’s settlement birthday of 1788…quite a shock for an Aussie who considers anything over 50 years of age to be ancient. We took a trip to Culzean Castle and enjoyed gorgeous weather and took far too many photos once again and when we returned home, my cousin Easton was there with his partner and step-son and we enjoyed a great meal together and laughed about all the goings on in Easton’s job.

Easton and I are only 2 years apart in age and I can’t help but wonder what I thought when I was a toddler getting ready to move to Australia with my family (having no idea of what was really going on), if I looked at my baby cousin and looked forward to playing with him not knowing that it would be decades before we would even know that  existed? All I know is that I’m so glad we know each other now.

I gathered a little more info about my dad and his family life as a boy and about other members of the family…some having passed on and others still alive and doing well.

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We headed back to Stoke On Trent yesterday and are now well into the UCB Forum not far from Stoke, but the time we’ve had catching up with family has been very rich.

Families are wonderful…treasure every moment you have with each other. Friends come and go but family remains forever.

Love family. :-)

Mandy

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