Leaving Sri Lanka was a bit strange, a bit sad, but we know we want to go back, so it wasn’t goodbye, just see you later. However, after being there for 7 months it definitely felt like the end of an era.
So, onto the next adventure…
Rocky and I arrived in a cold and snowy England while Ian stayed an extra couple of weeks in Sri Lanka. We got the train to York from Manchester airport, passing all the snowy Yorkshire fields, and people rugged up, a far cry from the heat of Sri Lanka. But lets face it, we’re not in England for the weather, we’re here to see family, and I couldn’t wait to be ‘home’ for a whole month.
First stop Grandads. We timed our arrival over a freezing few days, -6 to be exact. It was the first time Rocky had seen snow so when we woke up the next morning to snow on the ground I wrapped him up and took him out into the garden to check it out. I think I was more excited than him, but then again he had no idea of the potential fun he could be having in this cold white stuff. Its a shame but there wasn’t quite enough of it to start building a snowman or go out and buy a sled. I put him on his back and encouraged him to make a snow angel but it was completely lost on him and he looked at me as if i was mad. It gradually warmed up over the next few days (and when I say warmed up I mean to 5 degrees) and so walks to the park were a little more bearable. We took Frankie the dog for a walk, an overexcited cockapoo with an incredible urgency to get to the park quicker than the speed of light. Rocky got to feel what it was like to fly when Frankies flexi-lead came to a halt. Luckily he was wearing 6 layers of clothing to brake his fall.
I was keen to find things to do in York which were suitable for a toddler and came across a great little workshop at York Theatre Royal. Crafty Tales run by Story Craft Theatre is a craft and imaginative play session based around a different childrens story each week. It was the perfect morning spent indoors in the warm whilst watching the snow falling outside.
We spent the first couple of weeks at Grandad and Grannys, enjoying walks to the park, trips into town, hours of fun at soft play, and plenty of peppa pig. One of my favourite days out was at the Railway Museum. I hadn’t visited myself since I was a kid but I knew Rocky would love it. He was in his element as he ran around amongst the huge trains around him. He was fascinated by the miniature railways too. Definitely one for kids of all ages, I don’t think he would ever get sick of going there.
I love being back in York, and taking Rocky to the parks I used to go to as a kid was really special. And not only that but my brother was able to share it with us too. Uncle Tim visited for a few days and we dragged Rocky round our old haunts, like the park in the village we grew up in, a walk past our old school, and of course a visit to the pub. Rockys niece and nephews came over for a pub lunch and it was so nice to have us all together.
After a lovely 2 weeks spent at Grandads it was time to head over to Manchester airport to meet Ian. After a quick visit to the wrong terminal we arrived at the correct terminal to greet him. Nothing beats an airport welcome like a 2 year old boy running up to his daddy who he hasn’t seen for 2 weeks.
Next stop was Ians mums, aka Grandys house. Rocky was greeted with a huge bag of toys and lots of cuddles. I spent a couple of days there before leaving Ian and Rocky to have some father/son time whilst I headed off for some much needed me time and a catch up with girlfriends. It always takes a bit of logistical planning when visiting the UK, we have to fit in time with family and friends whilst making sure Rocky gets quality time with everyone too. I think we did pretty well this time round, I was so grateful to have a whole month in the country, 2 weeks just isn’t enough time to see everyone properly.
After a couple of days Ian did ‘the handover’ on his way to London to see friends while I headed to our next stop with Rocky. Hanging out at the Frasers is always a huge delight and watching our kids play together just melts my heart.
Next up it was Grandmas turn and she picked up Rocky so that I could join Ian in London for a couple of days. This also meant she had Rocky all to herself for a couple of days which I know she was really looking forward to.
A couple of days later I dropped Ian off at Stansted airport so that he could head to portugal a week ahead of us. He was on a mission to find us somewhere to spend the next 3 months and sort out accommodation and a car, and all that is a lot easier without a toddler in the mix. It also meant I had extra time to spend with family in the UK so a win win for everyone. As I pulled into the drop off zone outside Stansted airport Ian got his bag and surfboard bag out of the car, he needed to rearrange a few things all in the name of reducing his baggage weight for the flight. As he went from bag to bag rearranging various things and adjusting his surf boards so they were less likely to get damaged, I noticed a sign saying that time spent over 15 minutes in the drop off zone incurred a 25 pound charge. so I quickly helped Ian load up a trolley with his bags and sent him on his way. I was truly pissed off with the world when I drove up to the barrier and it asked me to pay 25 pounds!
Twenty five pounds poorer I drove on to Felixstowe to spend a few days at my mums with Rocky. We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather our whole time in the UK. Since the snow disappeared it was blue skies all the way and so being by the beach was just lovely. Rocky played with train sets and kicked a ball around on the beach, what more could a toddler want? We also had another visit from his cousins while we were in Felixstowe which was amazing. Another melted heart moment seeing him with all his cousins.
The last leg of our month in the UK was spent back up in York, it didn’t end quite as planned though as Rocky caught some sort of virus in the last few days. He spent all day in bed sleeping and didn’t want to get up to do anything. Luckily he seemed to be feeling ok the day we flew to Portugal but it certainly didn’t end there…
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE OUR TIME IN THE UK SO SPECIAL, EVEN IF YOU DIDN’T GET A MENTION WE SO APPRECIATE YOU BEING IN OUR LIVES AND LOOKING AFTER US SO WELL XXX