I'm back, I'm home after an emotional and at times hard holiday, but one that I wouldn't have missed for the world. It gave me a glimpse into my lovely Mum and Dad's world. Introduced me to their many, many wonderful friends and helped me understand a bit of their lives I had never been a part of before.
We went out on coach trips on some of the days. Here is grey and drizzly Portsmouth, this is HMS Warrior in the dock a beautiful old ship. I saw bits of Lovely Hubby's past (he's ex Royal Navy) and took photos of his old stomping grounds where he shyly admitted to having one or two drinks with his friends.
We nipped over to Rome to see the Sistine Chapel ......
... well really we stopped in Goring on Sea to see the only known reproduction of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in the English Martyrs Church. The work of one dedicated man, Gary Bevans, who spent five and a half years painting his parish church with an exact replica. Absolutely wonderful.
On the days without planned coach trips me and Mum ventured off on our own. We went to Weald and Downland Open Air Museum to see the lovely old buildings and farm animals. The sun shone and we enjoyed coffee and cakes in the grounds. We called in at a Garden Centre for lunch and then the next day got caught in the rain over and over again in the centre of Bognor Regis and spent far too much time in the bookshop sheltering from the downpour.
Yes, the diet went to pot this week, what with coffees and cakes and the wonderful food at the hotel, and the alcohol in the bar each night, what did I honestly expect!!
Me and Mum shared a dining table all week with Mum and Dads good friends David and Ruth, what a lovely wicked dry sense of humour they both have, such a lovely couple. So we enjoyed fine dining and even finer company.
Lovely Hubby joined us on Friday, it was the anniversary of his lovely Mum's death and there was no way in the world we were going to be apart, so I skipped across the aisle to join him on his table in the dining room. He insisted on a photo and as I didn't have the customary cabbage to hand, the drinks menu came in very handy!!
So of course I had to get a snap of him propping up the bar!
As is customary on the last night all the men wore bow ties and posed for the obligatory photo. A fine selection of happy chappies. It took us girls a long time to get them to keep still for this photo!!
There's just one man missing from this photo, but he was there in so many ways. He was there in the dances that he had taught the group to do, in the words of the songs that the singers sang, he was there when Mum got changed each evening into her posh frocks, and I could imagine his smile and the twinkle in his eye as he filled with pride, walking down to dinner with his lady on his arm
He was there in everyones memories of holidays gone before.
On the last day we waved the coach off after breakfast, back to Manchester with it's precious load, and we set off for Arundel Castle. The weather was lovingly kind to a girl who had had such a tough week and we basked in the unusually warm October sunshine as we walked the beautiful grounds.
We marvelled at the wonderful old castle, chapel and home, it's beautifully laid out veggie patches, gardens and orangeries and we drank coffee and ate shortbread in it's lovely restaurant, and then we climbed the steep and winding stone staircases to the very top turrets, feeling the history in the worn treads and gazing at the fine old paintings of some of the folk that had also trod those very steps. And then all too soon it was time to head for home.
A wonderful week and lovely company. Thank you Mum for letting me step into yours and Dad's world, I wouldn't have missed this opportunity for anything. And thank you to all your friends for the warm welcome.
I have to go now .... Lovely Hubby is knocking at the door of our future.
We have new plans, plans that involve lots of saving and working towards our shared future, plans that take us closer to family and our roots. Because that's really what life is all about sharing ... sharing lives and time, building and sharing memories of past, present and future.
Without the folk we love around us the world would be a bleaker place.
We are so blessed.
Beautiful pics Sue, glad you had such a good (if emotional) week, and good that you could get together with LH at the end of the week.ReplyDelete
Welcome back, and looking forward to hearing about your plans!
Regards, Sooze xx
So pleased you enjoyed your holiday with your Mum. I well remember Arundel Castle from a visit as a teenager when we were staying with my Aunt in Hove. I have a picture my mother took of me standing at the side of the lions that guard the castle.ReplyDelete
Hmmmmm plans, wonder if it involves a move........ will wait, wiht bated breath for your revelation.
I can understand why it would have been an emotional week, but also why you wouldn't have missed it. How fantastic for your Mum to have you there.ReplyDelete
I've been to the Weald and Downland Museum and loved it too. Good for research if you're about to rip apart your own timber framed house!
Great to have you back. Back on the diet now??? :(
What a lovely write up of your holiday. Such a mix of emotions. I bet the others loved you being there but missed your Dad.ReplyDelete
I went to on a camp near Arundel as a girl & wanted to go home all week !
Thanks for letting us come along,Sue....I enjoyed myself!ReplyDelete
This beats any "What I did on my holiday" that my pupils write! So many of those places are favourites of mine too- and how lovely for your Mum to have you there with her. Your shared mesmerism of your Dad will have been poignant but special. And how great that your other half was there too at the end.ReplyDelete
Now on to the autumn and your shared dreams...
I'm pleased you had a good, if emotional, week Sue. Your Dad will never really leave you - you have wonderful memories of shared times, and now have an insight into another aspect of his life, and his friendship with others. Your memories are very precious, and will become more so with the passing of the years.ReplyDelete
It sounds like a move back North is in your plans, which will allow you to make more precious family memories. I hope things turn out well for you and will be following your journey.
Thankyou for your lovely message over at mine - it is much appreciated. I'll be visiting often. x
Am so glad you managed to have some fun on your week away! The photos show everyone to be enjoying themselves, lots of smiley faces!!ReplyDelete
Oooo! What plans are afoot for your future then? Look forward to you sharing them with us sometime. You are right about being close to family. No.1 son who married in June has only moved 10 minutes walk away, but we were invited to Sunday lunch along with the lovely in-laws' last weekend and that was a new, but wonderful feeling for me, to be entertained by the next generation!!!! So glad the newly-weds have stayed close by!! Regards Heather X
What a lovely post. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for all these lovely comments.ReplyDelete
Our New Life in the Country