Monday, 25 September 2017

A time to take it easy

Thursday 21st September to Monday 25th September 2017

A few weeks ago when everything had not been finalised, I was talking to Diane, as I do everyday, even though we are a just few miles apart, and I felt that I just needed some time to myself before I flew back – not time that I would not see anyone, but simply time when I could be by myself – essentially not having to stay with others whilst counting down to my departure date.

She is an understanding woman and during this time I have been staying in hotels in different places and having a nice time of just being in my own.

Of course I have been seeing people durng that time, but able to come back to somewhere which is my own space.

The last thing that I wanted was to impose on others; to not have the freedom to do as I needed to do when I needed.

As eager as I was/am to get back to Australia, this short time has helped and I have enjoyed it all.

A last night in Market Harborough after all was completed with the sale of Ferndale; couple of days in Birmingham and helping Dot and Gordon (nb Ewn Ha Cul) up the Farmers Bridge flight; catching up with Debbie and James; a day/night with Maggie and Paddy (without whom we would have faced huge problems with our mail – they have been truly great); and a couple of nights in Chiswick, where we could see the Thames and had a lovely week with Mitch and Sara earlier this year.
There will be one last night before I fly back – a night at Heathrow.

I have also managed to sort out 40kgs of luggage into the 37kgs allowance.

The peace and solitude was what I needed; to be able to write the final parts to this blog; to contact the people that I haven’t been able to see in person; to be able to reflect upon the time that we have spent in the UK; to think about the future.

What we have done during the past 7 years cannot be duplicated; it will never happen again; people have asked would we come back later and buy another boat – no it will never be the same – we will come back again to see people but by then we will have moved on and so will everyone else.
It has been a unique experience.

We have seen more of the UK than most Brits do; we have learnt to understand what a Geordie or a Scouser it actually saying (it wasn’t easy to begin with); we have started to understand more of the fabric of the British way of life; we know where town and cities actually are – so if you say that you are from Yeovil or Scunthorpe or South End or Carlisle or Cromer, we know where they mean.

Living in Britain is not easy even for Brits; it is easier for us than some others because at least we know the language, but it can be awkward at times; we have experienced times when we felt a bit alienated and made to feel like intruders (not many but a few) – and we are from Australia (part of the Commonwealth), so we have an empathy for people who have less familiarity than we do.

We have seen the increase in nationalist pride in this country – but it is not pride for the UK (except when you are talking about the EU), but pride in being Scottish or Welsh or Irish and English – quite often, people describe themselves in those terms rather than saying that they are British – nothing wrong with a bit of parochialism so long as it is controlled.

We have often been amused with the depiction of Andy Murray in the press – when he wins he is British, but when he loses he is Scottish – any wonder he joked that he supported any team playing against England.

We think that people here take themselves too seriously and hold intransigent opinions about all things or in many cases just a few things.

As small as our travels in the US are, we see a number of Americans that have revealed a clear knowledge that they think the world is confined to the area occupied by the USA and beyond that is some vast unknown – a very introspective way of life; in many ways and many times, we have also seen that in Britain.

It leads to a lack of understanding of other opinions, beliefs, thoughts and attitudes – we see it in Australia as well (at times) – it is the extent that it permeates through a society that is the concern.

I seemed to have drifted, but time alone allows you to think on the past, the present and the future.

In looking at the future, we will be focussed on just a few things, primary amongst these is Diane’s mother – as I have said before; but equally important will be the manner and way in which Diane and I share the rest of our lives together.


  1. A very thoughtful and thought provoking post, Ray.
    Travel safely back to Oz and to Diane.
    I hope we get to see you both there in the future.
    Warm regards and best wishes for the new and inevitable adventures of life together again,
    Marilyn and David

    1. Hi Marilyn and David, we certainly hope that we can catch up in the future; I like to throw things out there, but it is all based on our experiences - ray

  2. Have a safe flight back to down under today Ray, love and best wishes to you both. x

    1. Thanks Carol, trying out a new airline this time, on the advice of our daughter Samantha - think she is using me as her guinea pig - ray