This week I went back to the homeland to pick up threads with a couple of old friends. I found myself catching up with a country.
It’s not as if visits haven’t been made before. I try and get over once a year or so, but we’re talking high population centres, family, shopping, culture for the kids. Manic, squeeze everything in dashing, which usually has me crawling onto the return ferry. This little jaunt however, was made as a tourist. Hitching a lift with an ex-pat pal to a friend in Somerset and road tripping it right down to Lands End. Can’t say there wasn’t an element of manic squeezing going on, but family (sorry guys!) and shopping were definately off agenda.
And how suprisingly refreshing it was. When you live away from your homeland and find a better suited life it can be easy to forget that the place you left still has some magic. Well that was kind of what I’ve spent this week rediscovering. So many random moments of Britishness that charmed me socks off.
Village greens, telephone boxes, belisha beacons. Surplus produce for sale at garden gates.
The language. West country accents. Yammering with perfect strangers in car parks and harbours. Those everyday humour stuffed exchanges that I’d forgotton the Brits do so well.
Saw moors and plains. Cliffs, beaches and birds. Ate pasties and mussels and fresh caught fish.
Tried mostly unsuccessfully to find a charge for the pod and a bit of wifi so I could contact home, but that did lead to some lovely meetings – all the staff at Costas in Shepton Mallet were brilliant in their failure to help me locate a friends field, they did though, when all else failed point me in the direction of a lovely pub where I sat supping ale waiting for her to find me.
The discovery of Karen at My Coffee Stop, (also in Shepton.) The hostess with it all and more for her welcome, generosity of humour, the comfy armchairs, wifi/electricity, vegan ice cream cake to melt for and an insanely cheap vegan green lentil thai curry, (not a lot of thai curry about it, but very tasty and like I said, absurdly cheap.) A quick stop stretched into the afternoon as the Madonna of the catering world (Karen is known for her constant reinvention) had me by turns, in stitches, nodding wildly in agreement and simply appreciating such a fine example of self effacing English excentricity ! The SOS Africa coffee was pretty damn good too.
No wonder my head is spinning. Which is why today all I’m fit for is some big animal love (ah my beasties were pleased to see me), some family time (they didn’t appear indifferent either!), a quick panic attack inducing tour of the garden and then collapse. Got a lot to assimilate et du pain sur la planche as they say in these parts, but I’ll get round to it all, dreckly, as they say down where I just bin…
have a great week,