For the past three weeks I’ve been in England, enjoying remarkable summer heat and generally catching up with family.
Because I’ve lived away from the UK since 2001 I only ever see the country in snapshots of time, and it’s been a very long time since I was there for August Bank Holiday.
This is what Bournemouth looks like in the postcards – I took the photo below on the afternoon I arrived. It was perfect.
After a week in Bournemouth we went by train to Macclesfield where my husband attended a conference. While he was busy, I played solo tourist. It wasn’t long before my negative childhood perceptions of the region were dismantled.
Towards the end of the conference my mother drove up from Bournemouth to join us, and once the conference was over the three of us embarked on a road-trip, passing through the Peak District, historic Warwick, the Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace, ending at Heathrow where we deposited my husband for his flight back to the US.
For the last few days at home I spent ‘helping’ my Dad with his book. We went on a photo shoot, and laid out pages on the computer as his deadline approached. By this stage the weather had deteriorated to coldish and rainy and the leaves were starting to turn.
We spent one afternoon searching the countryside near Bournemouth for Sloe bushes. The sour blue fruit is the key ingredient in Sloe Gin (aside from gin, naturally) and no-one else had been able to find any in the area. We were reasonably successful but spent the rest of the day nursing our shredded fingers.