I try to get home to England as often as I can, particularly lately as my dear old mom isn't getting any younger (who is)? She will be 94 in October so even though I only go for a few days I still try to take the time to get back to see her and (some) of the rest of my family in Dorset.
I was able to take a long weekend at the beginning of August. Flew on the Thursday night and back again to Geneva on the Monday. But what a lovely weekend it was. I had been nagging my kids to get over to see Nan because "she isn't getting any younger you know" and unbeknowns to me my eldest and his girlfriend (André and Lily) had also booked to go to the UK that weekend. So I got to see them too, which was a nice surprise. I stayed with my sister and her husband in their lovely home on Poole Bay and guess what, the weather was fantastic!! Who wudda thunk! At least 10 degrees cooler than here in France so a really, really pleasant temperature compared to the heatwave we have been experiencing. On the Friday my brother and I went to see mom in the wonderful care home where she lives (she has visitors every day and comes out as often as she likes - which is less and less often now strangely - but I guess she feels more secure there). Well the conversation usually goes "How are you doing mom?" "Aye?" "How are you doing mom?" "OK". "Errr, so what did you have for lunch?" "Aye?" "So, what did you have for lunch?" "I can't remember now but it was good!" You get the gist, rinse and repeat the next day. Anyway, André and Lily arrived in London the following day and drove up to Dorset so the three of us went up to see mom on the Friday.
Cue - repeat same conversation as the previous day - but at least I am glad they got to see her. I was also able to fit in an optician's appointment and order two new pairs of glasses that day for the grand sum of £155 (as opposed to about quadruple that price here, so definitely a good day).
On the Saturday Lily stated that she wanted to visit "Dumbledore", which we eventually figured out was "Durdle Door" (it's about 30 minutes away). Well what a lovely day we had. The weather was superb and the Dorset coastline and countryside didn't disappoint. In fact, Lily, who is Swiss, wants to move to England and buy a thatched cottage in Dorset (although she probably wouldn't be thrilled to have all that tourist traffic driving right past her living room window, to be honest)!
Wow talk about pretty. I have always loved that part of the coastline, of course, but rarely managed to get home in the good weather. Yay me. From there we went on to Corfe Castle, had a drink in a lovely old pub and André and Lily went off to visit the castle while I sat in the gardens listening to a wonderful, live band. Bliss! Corfe Castle, like many heritage places, is owned and run by the National Trust and if I lived in the UK I would definitely
join up as they do wonderful work in preserving the natural beauty and heritage of the country.
Then that evening six of us went and had a lovely (and VERY cheap by our French/Swiss standards) meal in a pub on the quay in Poole. Wonderful. The only down side was that, not being prepared for the warm weather and strong sun on the Saturday, guess who got sun-stroke! I kid you not. I spent the whole of the next day in bed, but looking on the positive side, at least I wasn't travelling back to Geneva until the following day.
The kids did a lot of clothes shopping (again very cheap comparatively speaking), before heading off to spend the night exploring London where they and I flew out the next day (although from different airports). So all in all a lovely way to spend a weekend. Ahhh. I love going home.