Friday, August 05, 2011

We Went to Wales Today!

By Belinda

Regular readers here may remember that last October Rob and I made a trip with Mum to North Wales. It was a special trip to celebrate our Auntie May's 80th birthday. Auntie May is technically not an aunt, but one of Mum's treasured friends. It is 65 years since they met as part of a group of young, carefree women from all over post war Europe, working in a hospital in Farnborough, Kent, as maids to the sisters.

Auntie May and Uncle Tommy live by the sea in South Sheilds, in the North East of England, but their two daughters, Diane and Trudie, live in North Wales, so that central point is where we planned to meet again this year.

Mum is frail and struggling with a chesty cough that we are watching closely and she was content for us to go and carry her love with us, so Rob and I set out for the drive of just over two hours, first thing this morning.

We had researched the route on the internet and I had written out detailed directions. We even bought an Ordinance Survey Map...just in case! I was the navigator so I had to keep my wits about me--no nodding off allowed (at least on the way there.) :) This is the land of roundabouts every few miles, so I am becoming adept at directing which number exit to take while whizzing around them. Between Rob and I we have one good head for directions.

The route we took included country roads and I was so glad we weren't just on the big motorways where so much of the countryside is missed.
The fields were ripe and ready for harvest and I did my best to capture a few shots as we drove along.The scenery could have been painted by John Constable.

I just liked this truck--the colours, and the question, "Wisely Driven?"

And here in the distance are some of the beautiful mountains of Snowdonia.

What a precious friendship of two families. As the second generation, we have always known one another throughout our lives and connected whenever we could. Diane and her brother Paul (Trudie was born later,) loved coming to Alvechurch, climbing the trees in the "football field," playing with Topsy the cat and going to The Meadows playing fields. We, on the other hand, were thrilled to go to South Shields (to get there involved a 10 hour lumbering bus ride) and walk along the cliff tops by the sea and marvel at Marsden Rock

Auntie May said that Mum always wore white ankle socks, so she decided to wear them too. Mum was seeing a handsome guardsman who she would marry in 1948 and one day Auntie May went with her on the one and a half hour bus ride from Farnborough, Kent, to Windsor Castle to see him. As they crossed the courtyard of the castle, a chorus of wolf whistles greeted the pretty blond and brunette but they could see no one. Mum pointed up to the slits in the castle walls and told Auntie May that behind each one was a guardsman. Auntie May decided that the ankle socks must have done it!

The day was wonderful. We brought home a beautiful orchid for Mum, from Diane, and a basket of strawberries that smell like heaven. I can't remember when I last smelled such fragrant berries. A treat for tomorrow, with Walls Vanilla Icecream!


Marilyn Yocum said...

I cried......but I think it was a good cry! This was simply wonderful, Belinda.

Susan said...

Generations of friends! Who says blood is thicker than water.

I loved every minute of our visit to South Wales...

Belinda said...

Thank you, my dear friends Marilyn and Susan. The gift of relationship has to be the most precious gift of all. And Susan, you are right, blood has little to do with it. :)