Friday, 3 September 2010

Back again


Well, the weather improved for the second half of our trip. In Anglesey, we had blue skies, cold nights and gloriously empty beachscapes like this, as the Littleboys reconnected with their four cousins and the extended family turned our hosts' thankfully large house into a sort of anarchic child zoo. The first overexcited yelp and patter of footsteps began the day around 8am, and it continued in the same vein until they all collapsed with exhaustion at some point during supper.

It was a vintage Anglesey experience; lobster and freshly caught shrimps for supper, paddling in rock pools, and possibly the coldest swim I've experienced since leaping into a river in Norway. The six children were in their element; riding on the back of a pickup truck, rock climbing, exploring gulleys and rowing in a dinghy. Even Littleboy 2 - the youngest at three - gamely joined in with all activities. The journey back - often a depressing crawl down the M6 - was an experience in itself, as we all met up and stopped in Snowdonia for a mountain-top picnic.

After all that, coming home could have been something of an anti-climax. But I have to say it felt good. After a tiring flight (not a vintage Virgin Atlantic experience; no inflight entertainment for the first 2 hours and no child meals left) and queuing at JFK, it was an immense relief to be returning, not to what felt like a foreign country originally, but to a familiar driveway, a house that somehow smelled homely, and a town I now think of as home. Littleboy 1, who had been desperately excited to go back to England, confessed today that he is really happy to be 'back in America'. And hopefully it's not just down to his joy at the new, expensive bath toys that I bought at the Heathrow Hamleys in an uncharacteristic moment of madness (a battery-controlled squid? What was I thinking....).


10 comments:

Almost American said...

No in-flight entertainment for 2 hours? Oh my! That would have been the death of me on our return flight as we spent the first 2 hours sitting on the tarmac at Heathrow as they fixed something essential on the plane! Fortunately they switched the movie system on, and brought drinks round every half hour (sadly just water!) until we took off. With videos to watch, we were all perfectly happy - at least until we arrived in the US 2 hours later than planned and DH still had to get up & go to work the next day.

DD, who's only ever been in the UK on vacation, cried as we left until I told here that she can go and live there when she's a grown-up if she wants.

Iota said...

We sat in the duff row on the way back. The tv monitors started off ok, but half way through the flight they stopped working. The flight attendants tried to reset them, but with no success. It was one of those "this is what it used to be like in the old days" moments.

A battery-controlled squid? In the bath? You'll have to tell all your American friends that EVERYONE has them in England.

Mud in the City said...

What a wonderful, proper, old fashioned holiday. Love it. And the sea should be cold. Despite the novelty I can never quite get my head around warm sea!

PantsWithNames said...

What were you thinking? The prospect of the long flight must have done funny things to your brain!

Glad you are back safe and sounds, enjoy the start of the routine again and hope you get a bit of time to yourself.

Hot Cross Mum said...

Sounds like a lovely holiday. I cannot begin to imagine the untold joy of a battery controlled squid! Darn that Hamley's shop and all it's pesky toys.

nappy valley girl said...

Almost American - yes, pretty hellish considering it's the only thing that keeps the Littleboys happy on the plane. Thank Goodness it started working eventually.

Iota - they had to reset the whole plane on ours, and it took over an hour. Wasn't perfect on the way over to the UK, either. Even in the old days, when I flew a lot in the 80s I never remember the film projector breaking down!

Mud - that's where you and I differ. I grew up with warm sea and still expect it to be acceptable!

PantswithNames - it was a real Heathrow moment of madness - tantrumming children, taking them to Hamleys to stop the crying before we got on the plane, and then giving in to their demands. I also bought Tony Blair's memoirs - make of that what you will.....

HotcrossMum - it's so successful that they can't wait to get in the bath and start asking when bathtime is at about 4pm. But I bet it has a limited shelf life...

angelsandurchinsblog said...

I've seen that battery controlled squid, and think it's brilliant - a fantastic buy! Welcome back to what now feels wonderfully like home, hope you enjoy the fall and your own lovely beaches.

Nota Bene said...

Sounds as though you had a brilliant time...sorry we missed you...and very pleased that the USofA feels homely!

Metropolitan Mum said...

Good to hear that you feel at home. It would be horrible to live somewhere you don't want to be.

nappy valley girl said...

A+U - i have to admit, it is rather fun. And it hasn't broken yet!

NB - sorry to miss you too, I'm going to have to work on persuading you to come out!

MetMum - absolutely. At the moment, I am totally happy to be where I am.