Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Trip Down Memory Lane...Windsor, England

Finally I’m getting around to writing about a recent trip my mother and I took to England which was actually almost a month ago now at this stage.
Not many know but I was actually born in England and spent the first 6 years of my life there. We lived in Slough and we spent a lot of time between there, Windsor and Eton where Mum is from and even though it was only 6 years I still hold a lot of memories from our time living there, I suppose because they were my first formative years. I remember so much from our time there and always feel a connection to there so I was excited when Mum asked would we go and visit some family friends who we had not seen in 20 years.
So we booked our tickets and for the first time in over 20 years we, Mum especially, were boarding a plane to go back “home”. I was anxious for her because she hadn’t been back there in so long and it’s where my grandparents lived, worked, owner their own business and now sadly are buried. She was nervous too I could tell, she wasn’t sure how she was going to feel being back there after so long.
I can safely say it was a wonderful weekend where we spent some much needed quality time with our family friends, mum’s childhood friend, “Aunty” Kath who we used to visit every week when we lived in the UK. Kath lives in Eton and as soon as we stepped through her front door it was as if we had never been away, I suddenly had visions of being there as a 6 year old on a Sunday afternoon with my older sister and Kath’s daughter Claire who is like my other sister, me more than likely annoying the 2 of them, they are 6 years and 10 years older than me respectively and drinking Vimto because Mum would never get that for us at home. The train track runs across the back of Kath’s garden and I remember being on the train with Mum as a kid and keeping a lookout for the house whenever we were on the train.
Things have changed so much in the last 20 years of course but it was so nice to see the places I knew so well as a child through my adult eyes. For Mum to point out places she used to go to as a child, where she went to school and the corner my Grandad used to stand on selling his newspapers. We drove past where my grandparents and Mum lived, where they used to own a shop and petrol station, which was now a hair dressers. I met some local people who remembered Mum and asked after her, this was so nice because obviously there is no one in our local area now that knew here before we moved there, everyone knows my Dad from years ago but not Mum so it was nice to experience people that knew her and she knew for a change.
I spent time catching up with Claire who now has 2 wonderful children, Elizabeth and Amelia. I think I’ve a new best friend in 4 year old Amelia too! We said it a few times, it really was as if that 20 year gap didn’t even exist. They took me to Windsor castle for a visit, somewhere we would have gone as children, back in the day when it was free to go in there! We did a bit of shopping, visited my grandparents grave and talked, a lot!
Mum and I have vowed not to leave it so long before going back again and keeping the lines of communication open between us all and hopefully not letting life take over quite so much again.

While Ireland is my home and always will be as it’s where I’ve spent the last 22 years, there will always be a part of us – me, Mum and my sister no doubt, in England where I feel that should we go back again which I’m sure we will it will always feel like a home away from home. 


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