Friday, May 11, 2012

Home Thoughts From Abroad

Home Thoughts from Abroad

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Last month, April , hence the poem we were back in the home country. Not really a holiday. Stephen's Mum has been in hospital for the last four months ( on and off for the last year. broken hips, broken arm, broken leg, poor thing) So it was time to visit. It has been 12 years since Stephen was back, so it was about time ( my last visit was in '07).

It was lovely to go back although the weather was just as I remember. Rain , rain and more rain. I think we only had a couple of dry days the whole time we were there. Some things never change.

Left to right..Kevin,Karen,Janette,Stephen,Christine and Jane.
It was nice to see family again. Stephen's sister Jane was over from South Africa so it was the first time the whole family have been together in 12 years. We had a great night out with them and it was great to catch up and do some  good  old fashioned reminiscing . Growing up as an only child it was fascinating to hear what they all got up to. Although knowing how the The Dodwell's are prone to exaggerate ( you've got to believe it) Im sure some of the childhood stuff was somewhat remembered slightly different to how it actually happened but it was good for a laugh. It made me realise how alike some of the siblings are . Stephen and Kevin ( his younger brother) have definitely got the same sense of humour and are both gadget guys...... if they could they would have a gadget for it. The girls?..........No, not going anywhere near that one, on the grounds that it may incriminate me. Regardless of what people say I DO know when to stop while I'm ahead. Just let me say I love Stephen's family dearly.......Phew I think I got out of that one.


I miss England......there !............I've said it out loud. Up until now its never really been something that I have thought about a lot. But this visit did it for me. I was a tad homesick.

I had forgotten how lovely England is. Even on rainy days the scenery can be quite breathtakingly beautiful. Water droplets (ok rain) falling on a mother duck and her chicks swimming on a village pond surrounded by stone built cottages really does stir the soul.

The cosy atmosphere of a small rural town with its local shops and village pubs still exists. Having said that I know that I have a rather rosy view of my homeland. Things are tough in England and friends have sad stories of town centre shops going out of business and lack of jobs. 

However it does seem cheaper to live there than I remember..... compared to here in Canada anyway. Cell phone charges are substantially cheaper as is wine and clothes. A good bottle of wine is only 5 pounds which is about equivalent to $5 in real spending terms. There are such a lot of places to shop, just way more choice....... Well thats the way I saw it anyway.

It was funny at first  being berated with English voices at every turn and it needed a shake of the head  to realise that no , not everyone was  imitating the British accent . They actually were British. We really have been away too long.....

Karen and Stephen
Half a bitter and a lovely open log fire on a
cold and damp day. Just what the doctor ordered.
Our first week ( apart from visiting Stephen's Mum ) was spent doing some of the things we missed and chips...Mmmm theres nothing like a  chip butty.......tick.... and a good British pint in an olde worlde British pub....tick. Although Stephen got a little excited and spilt most of it before he'd even sat down.

Toasted teacake was next on the list............tick..........oh and then there's Rowntrees fruit gums . I think we overdosed on them.......... tick........ there were quite a few other things we managed to tick off that list too.

We did manage to get to see some friends but not for as long as I would have liked. There were also  friends I would like to have met up with but just didn't get the time . Maybe next time ?...... or they could always come over and see us in Canada.... now there's a thought  you guys. 

So all in all a good trip..... Stephen's mum is doing fine. There is still some talk of another operation but we won't know more until she had her assessment in June. In the meantime she will be moving to  care home which we were lucky to see with the rest of the family while we were there. It's a beautiful place in Bourne where Karen lives so she will have family on the doorstep and close by too.

The other news is ....... wait for it..... we will be moving again......Yes, yes, yes I know what you're all saying..........

He has been wanting to get 'back into' hotels again. I think we're done with being self employed( although I never say never) he wanted a 'proper' job again as he says. the job that came up is in Alberta as general Manager of a hotel in Vegreville..... or as I am calling it Vagrantville....... and I am getting told off as I write for calling it that....... but Nova Scotia Alberta is not. I love Nova Scotia ( maybe because  it is so much like England) 

Stephen leaves tomorrow. (Saturday 12th.May) I will stay here until the house sells. Not looking forward to it. If I thought I was bored before I am certainly going to be bored now. The funny thing was that I have been trying to get a job since I have been here and just before Stephen got this job I applied for a job for what I thought was a few hours working in a dress shop. It turns out at the interview was for manager of the dress shop....... I thought the interview was a little intense for a few hours work. Anyway I got it but had to say no as it wouldn't have been fair to take a job knowing that I wasn't going to be around long.......... mind you who knows how long it will take to sell the house......Fingers crossed everyone.
My cousin ( my only family really) is coming to visit soon I hope. I want her to see Nova Scotia before I leave and of course it will relieve the boredom for me .... method in my madness you see?

So there may not be any more blogs for awhile as I write these on Stephens computer and I have an iPad and I don't know how to do the blogs my iPad. If anyone knows an easy way on the iPad  let me know please .

Just to close a few extra photos of England in case you're interested.........


Brenda Maas said...

I used to live about 1 1/2 hrs. from Vegreville and have a sister in law who lives there.
The town has a huge Ukrainian painted Easter Egg as a tourist draw and yes, a lot of the inhabitants of the area are of Ukrainian ancestry.

Mic said...

Beautiful photos. Having never been to England, it's quite silly, but they made me homesick also. Have always wanted to go wander around England for awhile.

Janette said...

Paula you did us and England justice we loved seeing you both let's not leave it 12 years next time x x miss you both lots of love Janette great news about the house though ! X