Travels with Kathy – more of the UK trip

An idyllic day look at that sky ! - on the way to my sister's house......

With apologies to John Steinbeck – here are more Travels With Kathy in the UK. John Steinbeck has a wonderful legacy of wisdom in the books he wrote and Travels with Charley is one of my favorites. It is a work of non-fiction about a trip he took around America in the early 1960’s and the introduction makes me smile every time I read it. So much so that I put a copy of this book in every one of our rental homes. Anyway what he says – to paraphrase him – is that every trip, no matter how well planned and itemized, has it it’s own personality and is an entity in it’s own right – so that no matter what you think that you have meticulously scheduled – forget it and go with the flow of what is happening to you . Surrender your well made plans and enjoy what is actually the reality.

Lovely English countryside
Lovely English countryside

So the reality of my trip was that I really did feel very rough – the cold along with jet-lag were a strong combination and so I realized that I did need to surrender a few things and to concentrate on the solitude – which I had craved – and the joy of spending time with family and friends. As I wrote last week I had visited with our gorgeous grandchildren and Jessie their Mum, eaten with Bob’s daughter , her husband Billy and their eldest daughter Genevieve and her boyfriend James – and spent a lovely evening with Bob’s youngest son Cassius. One on one time is rare and so it was a special treat to enjoy that luxury.

Glorious copper beech hedging where I was staying.....
Glorious copper beech hedging where I was staying…..

The little cottage that I had rented in Northamptonshire was a real retreat – warm and cosy and set in charming rolling countryside – plus there was an electric blanket on the bed – heavenly ! It was ideally situated for spending time with both of my sisters and seeing old friends….. Don’t you hate that expression – what I actually mean is people who have been friends for many years.

Birthday meal with my sister Jane and her son Sam
Birthday meal with my sister Jane and her son Sam

Firstly I spent time with my friend Joy – she used to make all the soft furnishings for me when I had the business in England. She is a remarkable woman who has virtually singlehandedly raised 4 children – except of course now they are all adults – the youngest graduated from University last year – Yikes ! Anyway – you know that I love a bit of Mudhita – joy in the joy of others – and she had plenty to share. She went on a TV gameshow earlier this year and won a great cash prize – few people manage money as well as Joy does and somehow she has used this money to fit new windows in her house, completely re-fit her kitchen and fly off for a family holiday – just great to hear of something like this. She also made me some beautiful new cushion covers for my own house – which are now installed and looking great……

Great Christmas tree at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
Great Christmas tree at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

Then I spent a fantastic day with friends Jo and Rick in Leicestershire together with Richard and his wife Terri – Richard was one of my stepsons in a previous relationship. Sadly his father Pete was killed in a bizarre road accident 9 years ago – but it bought us together for the first time in 22 years. It is 8 years since I last saw them and we had a day of – ” Do you remember the time when…. ” – We laughed a lot and enjoyed a fabulous lunch in a gastropub owned by Jo and Rick’s youngest son !

From left to right - dear friend Rick, Me ! ,Richard my stepson's lovely wife Terri, Rick's beautiful wife Jo, Richard my stepson from a former life !, and finally Ben - Jo and Rick's son and co-owner of the fantastic gastropub the Blue Bell Inn.....
From left to right – dear friend Rick, Me ! ,Richard my stepson’s lovely wife Terri, Rick’s beautiful wife Jo, Richard my stepson from a former life !, and finally Ben – Jo and Rick’s son and co-owner of the fantastic gastropub the Blue Bell Inn…..

Some of the days were cloudy ,rainy and gloomy – but there were some where the sun shone and the sky was blue and England in it’s late autumn glory was heart lifting. Of course I did wear more layers of clothes than I have done in a long time – but I was warm and enjoyed the novelty of it.

Yes well - a tree trunk !
Yes well – a tree trunk !

So this trip brought me some much needed solitude – mornings were a particular delight – no rushing and no-one else to consider and breakfast whenever I wanted it. It bought me precious time with great friends and reconnection on a deep level. With true friends you pick up where you left off – no matter whether it was an age since you had last seen them. It gave me space to appreciate all that I have have now and all that I have had in the past. It seemed to sharpen my senses and made me truly appreciate the friendships and family that I have been blessed with…..

More Mudhita - Jane with her lovely new car !
More Mudhita – Jane with her lovely new car !

Lucky woman – and then the joy of coming back to Bob and Rudge and Eleuthera – very lucky woman……..

And finally - Rudge and Rufus - totally exhausted - but not as exhausted as Dan and Larry were by the end of my trip !!!!!
And finally – Rudge and Rufus – totally exhausted – but not as exhausted as Dan and Larry were by the end of my trip !!!!!

 

4 thoughts on “Travels with Kathy – more of the UK trip

  1. Oh Kathy! Despite your catching a cold, you undoubtedly had a well needed refurbishing respite. Your personal sentiments about life are inspirational, as always. Thanks…

    Been busy preparing to leave for GHB next Tuesday. Looking forward to some peace in Eleuthera after the upheaval and protests following the election here in the
    States. Peace!

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