Standards at Salisbury

Home and History

Birthday Boy

We have been back for over a week now, and I wanted to capture the memories of a wonderful trip home before they become more elusive. Memories always fade somewhat, no matter how hard you try to keep hold of them. Usually they are mysteriously replaced with overall impressions of how awful the weather was and how wonderful it was to renew friendships and have instant access to our families.

Being back amongst familiar shops was a big part of the trip. Despite all my previous resolutions to the contrary, I ended up dragging back heavy, overflowing bags of stuff back that I suddenly found myself unable to live without after two years of not really giving them much thought. It also has something to do with my refusing to pay that many dollars for imported Salad Cream and Branston Pickle. 

Sailsbury Cathedral

I also happily managed to catch a bit of the GB patriotic fever – a strange and elusive feeling to the cynical majority that has been bought on the unusal conjunction of the Jubilee and the Olympics. Now our house has more Union Jacks than ever and loads of bunting carefully stored for the right occasion. 

We left my sister’s place and headed towards Stonehenge, where the boy was suitable unimpressed after I tried to explain the mystery behind the impressive monument: ‘Just old stones, Mummy’. Admittedly I had a similar reaction the day before while trying to explain the significance of the Magna Carta while showing him one of the original copies of the document in Sailsbury: ‘This is the way out Mummy’. 
Perhaps I should just enjoy a snatched five second quiet contemplation of these historical artefacts instead of trying to explain it to an uninterested 5-year old?

We enjoyed being reunited with the rest of our family in Kent and managed to catch up with a lot of friends when we were there. As usual though, even though we were away for a month, there was never enough time to see everyone or catch up intimately enough.  

Top of the list (in Kent), in no particular order, were the following:

  • ‘Glamping’ at Port Lympne Zoo Park (thanks Dad for a wonderful weekend) – we slept under canvas on one of the windiest, wettest weekends in the month. Fortunately the tents had wooden floors, log-burning stoves and private bathrooms. Definitely the best way to camp. We spent a couple of happy days exploring the zoo park, on foot and by safari truck. A big highlight was the kids feeding the lemurs – we all went in the enclosure and the three kids got to feed the mother, two ‘babies’ and the father by hand. Truly an unforgettable experience and one that has made an impression on Seb – maybe I’ll forget historically significant stuff for now and stick to the animals?


  • Trip to London on the high-speed rail link to meet my aunt who also happened to be in the UK that month. We had a very touristy day out, rode the open-top bus and had ice-creams in the rain – what else do you need from London? Seb was clearly excited by all the Olympic preparations, and was beside himself when we spotted Big Ben for the first time. He was also quite relieved that we passed the Tower with our heads intact (managed to sneak a bit of history in there). Finally we meandered down Whitehall, past the Horse Guards, to introduce Seb to his Great-great-great-great Grandfather at Trafalgar Square. 
  • Just chilling out at the end of the trip, spending time with Mum and my other sister. We had plenty of picnics on various beaches, and even braved the sea (no wet suits) in some places. Even the Funicular Railway in Folkestone was working!
So to recap my Facebook comment on return: 
Back in the USA again, looking forward to the rest of the summer!

Thanks to all of our lovely friends and family for showing us what we are missing back home and making our trip great.’


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