Sunday 22 January 2017

Where We Were

Our family is finally fairly settled in our new (temporary for a year) home in Hamilton, Ontario. So after all the energy and emotion of moving it's a real pleasure to sit down and dive back into, to savour, where we've been. Our adventures last year in the U.K. were also full of energy and emotion, but of a very different kind.

A different perspective:

It's the first time we've immersed ourselves as a family in an "other" place. There have been a couple of trips with extended family, and much camping with family, friends, and just ourselves, but this was our first overseas adventure.

It was surprising, delightful, the people were kind and helpful, and, through some kindness of the universe, everything fell into place, everything clicked for us on this trip.

Mr. S. in originally from Europe, I'd lived for a year in Paris when I was nineteen, and we'd both travelled a little as younger people and lived in other places as a couple. But it had been a long time and it was a good reminder, especially after the uniquely necessarily introspective view that being a parent of younger children generates, that the world is actually a very large place with many interesting and very different people in it. Living within a bicultural family in Canada you'd think we'd know that, especially living in Toronto, but knowing your familiar diverse hometown is different than experiencing someone else's hometown. Neither Mr. S. nor I have any familial background that originates in the U.K. so it was an alien and beautiful place for us both.

Though not entirely unfamiliar ;-)

Beside the three wonderful farms that we were lucky enough to spend most of our time on, we also were fortunate enough to spend time in London and some other lovely lovely places thanks to our rail passes and the U.K.'s fabulous train network (sooooo jealous as a Canadian).

There was a lot of walking. And not "beside-the-roads-gagging-exhaust" walking. Quiet trails from town to town, cutting through fields, up hills, by old stuff, by sheep, by old names, by the sea, through forests. Glorious.

It only really properly downpoured once....which, for Britain....:-)

The kids met the Atlantic for the first time and we dipped our toes in the English Channel....

The trains, even though they were an adventure in their own way, often provided respite between busy days.

We also went to a truly amazing and unique place. A place that all four of us agree we would go back to in a heartbeat: Lundy Island. However, Lundy requires a dedicated post, so I'll save it for later...

There was a lot of exploring, but mostly we went there to learn and help on the farms. So, after this little taste of travel deliciousness, instead of an ordered travelogue I'm going to write about the three farms we stayed at in detail, so as to share (and maybe inspire in others) more WWOOFing.

Please stay tuned!

(p.s. please excuse the quality of the photos - we travelled light - just one backpack and one bag each - sometimes all of which Mr. S ended up carrying - so no camera, just my phone :)