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Back from UK holiday

Back from UK holiday

Old May 29th 2011, 1:53 am
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Default Back from UK holiday

Hello Expats

Well I have returned from a 3 week holiday to the UK for the first time in 4.5 years and I can honestly say I don't think I will be homesick anymore! My first impression after arriving there at 6am on a cold wet Saturday morning was that the weather was just as I remember it! It rained all the way down to Devon and then the sun did come out for a while.

My next negative was the state of the roadside in the towns and villages, weeds knee high, when I asked rellies about why the verges looked so scruffy they said that the council's were making cutbacks and this included not keeping the verges trimmed so often which makes it look really scruffy. A big difference to NZ where the owner is responsible for the whole of the front including the bit by the path! The cars were parked on the roadsides both sides which made getting down streets very dodgy, now I know I grew up with this but I had forgotten how narrow the streets seemed to be after our wide streets and most people parking in driveways or in their own garages here. Garages in the UK seemed to be used for storage and not vehicles which of course I also was guilty of back in the day when we lived there! In the turning part of my daughter's close the cars were parked 2 abreast!!! Very dangerous should there be an emergency situation. You had to do a very tight 3 point turn if you wanted to turn around

Parking charges were a rip off, we paid a pound to park every time we went to somewhere like The Range or Matalan but you could get this back if you bought something. It cost us 3.80 GBP to park in Cornwall and Sidmouth car parks. However, I did get to see them filming the latest series of Doc Martin with Martin Clunes in Port Isaac in Cornwall also known in the series as Port Wenn

Fish and Chips we bought in Devon cost us 11.50GBP for 2 lots, we pay $6 for 2 fish and a scoop of chips here! Eating out was expensive and supermarket shopping in general was expensive. However there was more variety of bread and meat and vegetable products. Cornish pasties were still delicious though

OH took the grandchildren to the pics to watch a 3D movie and paid 36GBP for one adult 2 children and a bucket of popcorn!

I loved the greenery of the countryside and the way the trees form a curve over the lanes, however the country lanes scared me! After driving on our big roads I was freaked out at having to pull over to pass a car coming in the opposite direction. I loved the closeness of the towns and villages and always coming across something that I had forgotten was there, a lovely old church or a country pub and lots of history.

We had a week in Majorca, that was just as scruffy, lots of weeds everywhere we went! Graffiti clad buildings and unmade roads. Abandoned buildings and buildings with no planning permission left to decay etc.

The motorways were packed full of cars and I had forgotten how stressful being stuck in traffic was. It was a pleasure to drive off the beaten track in Devon and Cornwall.

It was however great to catch up with friends and relatives, the one thing that seemed strange was walking in my local town and seeing people from way back when doing the same things, going to the same places and generally being stuck in the same life and not trying anything new. Aren't we all brave embracing life in a new country, at least if you are reading this you have either achieved it or are thinking about changing your life in some way.

I think it has been good for me to make this trip, it has given me a new perspective on life in NZ. I was so pleased to see the snow covered southern alps from the plane window yesterday after that horrendous 24 hour straight through flight! I thought to myself, yes I am HOME! Whereas before I thought the UK was HOME, it has made me realise how priveledged we are to live in such a spacious house and environment such as NZ.

Forget Rip Off Britain I for the time being will be happy just to be here in the open space of NZ.
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Old May 29th 2011, 2:45 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

I love this post especially the bit about people doing the same old thing as they were 5 years ago - yes I think we all are a little bit brave, leaving our respective homelands for new pastures.

I have just been for a walk today with the puppy - just round where we live, green green green, tidy, trimmed, the Port Hills in the clear blue sky, and it's very warm. I even came across a small and perfectly formed wildlife park I had no idea was there! How could one not appreciate these little things, even if not all of ones life is perfect..... (referring to other threads here)

We go the the UK on Thursday. I went once last year and found everything to be as you said. Neil has not been for nearly 2 years, it will be very interesting to see what we think. Obviously dying to see all our friends and family, but our very best friends have actually got off their proverbials and come out to see us anyway prior to this

Was thinking of you actually Shirl, and wondering how you got on. And I still have your plate

Jan
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Old May 29th 2011, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Thanks for posting this Shirl - it's really good to hear from someone who hasn't been back since moving to NZ, especially when you were travelling around the part of England that I call home

I'm currently working hard on my OH to get a trip over sometime during the coming year (just trying to think how we'd get the kids to understand that we need/want to go on our own - two of them have been back already though). I think/hope that, like you, once I've made a trip home it will become clear to me whether I can stay in NZ or do need to shift back - after 8 years I suspect the UK will all seem very different to me too.

Did you find that 2 weeks gave you enough time to really get a feel for what it might be like to actually live there again? My concern is that, as we have family and close friends all over England we'd end up spending so much time travelling and catching up with them that we wouldn't really get to experience UK life, if you know what I mean. Can't really see that we'd be able to stay for longer than 2 weeks though, what with work and the kids etc.

It's the uncertaincy and the feeling of not being able to totally settle that I find hardest to deal with
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Old May 29th 2011, 3:25 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Great to hear that you're back Shirl. You do sound a lot more positive about life in NZ than you seemed previously and that's good to see
Sometimes you need to revisit a previous life in order to appreciate what you have now. And the aftershocks seem to be getting less now so hopefully we're getting back to some kind of normality
x
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Old May 29th 2011, 4:19 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Originally Posted by Woodpigeon View Post
Thanks for posting this Shirl - it's really good to hear from someone who hasn't been back since moving to NZ, especially when you were travelling around the part of England that I call home

I'm currently working hard on my OH to get a trip over sometime during the coming year (just trying to think how we'd get the kids to understand that we need/want to go on our own - two of them have been back already though). I think/hope that, like you, once I've made a trip home it will become clear to me whether I can stay in NZ or do need to shift back - after 8 years I suspect the UK will all seem very different to me too.

Did you find that 2 weeks gave you enough time to really get a feel for what it might be like to actually live there again? My concern is that, as we have family and close friends all over England we'd end up spending so much time travelling and catching up with them that we wouldn't really get to experience UK life, if you know what I mean. Can't really see that we'd be able to stay for longer than 2 weeks though, what with work and the kids etc.

It's the uncertaincy and the feeling of not being able to totally settle that I find hardest to deal with
We had 3 weeks, my sister said it was not enough time however, after 2 weeks to be honest staying with rellies in cramped small homes I was ready to come back early. I was terribly unsettled especially more so since the quakes but now I have been, seen the same old same old and not looked at the UK through rose coloured glasses like I had been doing I feel more positive about my life here in NZ. I too was unsettled and had not made many friends in case I wanted to go home, lots of thoughts running through my mind about going home but now I feel like I have just arrived here for the first time and am ready to embrace whatever life throws at me here in NZ.
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Old May 29th 2011, 4:20 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
Great to hear that you're back Shirl. You do sound a lot more positive about life in NZ than you seemed previously and that's good to see
Sometimes you need to revisit a previous life in order to appreciate what you have now. And the aftershocks seem to be getting less now so hopefully we're getting back to some kind of normality
x
Thanks, Yes I do feel more positive and am going to embrace it all!
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Old May 29th 2011, 4:25 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Originally Posted by Jan n Neil View Post
I love this post especially the bit about people doing the same old thing as they were 5 years ago - yes I think we all are a little bit brave, leaving our respective homelands for new pastures.

I have just been for a walk today with the puppy - just round where we live, green green green, tidy, trimmed, the Port Hills in the clear blue sky, and it's very warm. I even came across a small and perfectly formed wildlife park I had no idea was there! How could one not appreciate these little things, even if not all of ones life is perfect..... (referring to other threads here)

We go the the UK on Thursday. I went once last year and found everything to be as you said. Neil has not been for nearly 2 years, it will be very interesting to see what we think. Obviously dying to see all our friends and family, but our very best friends have actually got off their proverbials and come out to see us anyway prior to this

Was thinking of you actually Shirl, and wondering how you got on. And I still have your plate

Jan
Oh yes do let us know what you think, I forgot to mention how expensive petrol is too as we hired a car for the time we were there. Don't worry about Sarah's plate, next time we see you, perhaps when you get back we can have a get together at our place and compare notes on the UK. Sarah and family have moved in with us today as they are building a new house and have sold their other one now. Who are you flying with. I loved the new A380 on Singapore. Oh and we had a sleep over in Singapore in the Transit Hotel as we had a 6 hour delay until the next leg. Trouble was those big A380's made the room and bed shake like we were in a quake again lol!!!!! The return was straight through with just enough time to get from one end of the airport to the other to board! Was glad to get home though after that journey.
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Old May 29th 2011, 4:29 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Originally Posted by shirl View Post
Oh yes do let us know what you think, I forgot to mention how expensive petrol is too as we hired a car for the time we were there. Don't worry about Sarah's plate, next time we see you, perhaps when you get back we can have a get together at our place and compare notes on the UK. Sarah and family have moved in with us today as they are building a new house and have sold their other one now. Who are you flying with. I loved the new A380 on Singapore. Oh and we had a sleep over in Singapore in the Transit Hotel as we had a 6 hour delay until the next leg. Trouble was those big A380's made the room and bed shake like we were in a quake again lol!!!!! The return was straight through with just enough time to get from one end of the airport to the other to board! Was glad to get home though after that journey.
def up for a get together when we get back!!

We go with Air NZ through LAX as I am on a work trip and have to use them, booked through work. It'll be OK though, we treated ourselves

Jan
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Old May 29th 2011, 6:10 am
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Originally Posted by Jan n Neil View Post
It'll be OK though, we treated ourselves

Jan
Again?
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Old May 29th 2011, 7:10 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Shirl,
Good to have you back in one piece.. Your nerves held out..

Seems like your time away has flown, doesn't seem long ago you was wishing me luck just before me leaving for NZ eh..

Glad you liked seeing friends etc.

Gary..
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Old May 29th 2011, 9:57 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Know what you mean about staying in rellies' cramped houses - even staying in hotels in your own country always seems really really strange to me. I'm pretty sure though that if I could temporarily chuck the tenants out of my UK house and magic back my furniture from NZ, all would seem much better with the world lol.
I think we find what we need to find when we return...and that's all good. Glad your trip served a useful purpose for you.
BTW I remember when grass verges looked awful in Essex back in the 1980/90s...it's whether the local councils can afford to do it but you are right it does affect the impression you get.
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Old May 31st 2011, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Back from UK holiday

Originally Posted by shirl View Post
Hello Expats

Well I have returned from a 3 week holiday to the UK for the first time in 4.5 years and I can honestly say I don't think I will be homesick anymore! My first impression after arriving there at 6am on a cold wet Saturday morning was that the weather was just as I remember it! It rained all the way down to Devon and then the sun did come out for a while.

I
Forget Rip Off Britain I for the time being will be happy just to be here in the open space of NZ.

great post. enjoyed reading it. i think we would feel exactly the same if we had to go back. i love that most of our rellies come out to see us rather than vice versa.
maybe as we've only been here almost a year- the worst of the UK is still fresh in our minds, and we have no desire to go back at the moment..
so welcome home again!
jax
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Old May 31st 2011, 1:21 am
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Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
I remember when grass verges looked awful in Essex back in the 1980/90s...it's whether the local councils can afford to do it but you are right it does affect the impression you get.
Nothing has changed.. I left some weeks back and they are still pretty sad looking..
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Old May 31st 2011, 3:37 am
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Originally Posted by Wessa View Post
Shirl,
Good to have you back in one piece.. Your nerves held out..

Seems like your time away has flown, doesn't seem long ago you was wishing me luck just before me leaving for NZ eh..

Glad you liked seeing friends etc.

Gary..
Thanks Gary, hope you are still enjoying NZ!
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Old May 31st 2011, 3:38 am
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Originally Posted by MattandJax View Post
great post. enjoyed reading it. i think we would feel exactly the same if we had to go back. i love that most of our rellies come out to see us rather than vice versa.
maybe as we've only been here almost a year- the worst of the UK is still fresh in our minds, and we have no desire to go back at the moment..
so welcome home again!
jax
It would be nice if more of our family came out but have only seen my sister recently in the time we have been here and she came for 6 weeks! My mum is too ill to travel and so is the MIL so that was the main reasone for going back. I laid a few demons to rest as well!
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