There’s No Place Like Home?

Today I am taking part in the #fireworkpeople blog hop. The #fireworkpeople is a community for creatives, dreamers and entrepreneurs who want to change the world which launched on Facebook from a Twitter Party on Tuesday nights at 9pm. You can see what everyone else in the blog hop has posted here.

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A lot of people don’t live where they were brought up or near their family like me and it made me wonder where you call home?

Even though I am English and living in Australia I do still consider England to be my home, especially my parents house where there are some of my favourite people and our animals.

When I visited England for two weeks in September I described it to people as going home and it really did feel like that when I got there and it was a wrench to leave my home, family and friends. However I do also consider Darwin to be my home and I had the same going home feeling when I arrived back in Darwin as when I arrived home in England. I wonder if it is because this is where I live with the Aussie?

Thinking about it all, I think that the saying “Home is where the heart is” is very true, for me at least. England has my parents, extended family and my best friends and when I saw them all even for that short time it was as if I hadn’t been away. We started up where we last left of by text, FaceTime, email or What’s App message and carried on as if I had actually seen them last week in person, it felt exactly the same as it was before I moved to Darwin.

Being back in Australia has been the same although I do miss spending time everyone in England in person, especially with these god awful time zones!

Arriving back in Darwin though made me realise what I have here as well. I’ve got a great job, lovely apartment, awesome friends and always seem to be busy. Every week in Darwin we seem to meet new people as well and they always make an impact upon you even if it is for a short time.

So I think that the reality is that you can have several places that you call home and will always love to visit or return to each of them because of what that place means to you. The fact that you miss people and a place means that they have a hold over you and will always be special to you.

So yes I believe there is definitely no place like home but I think that home is whatever you need it to be.

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Keeping My Feet On the Ground…

At least for the time being anyway!

So I have finished my adventuring for a little while. In the space of 3 and a bit weeks I traveled from Darwin to Somerset in the UK to spend two fantastic weeks with my family, attend one of my best friends weddings, catch up with my other great friends from home and work and catch up with my extended family which I loved.

I arrived back in Darwin 2 days after leaving the UK, due to the joy of time zones, and after a short day at home was back at work, for 2 days, before jetting off to Melbourne for a girlie weekend with some of my great friends from Darwin!

We had a brilliant time in Melbourne and I will write a separate post about our visit because we did and saw lots and I fell in love with the city just a little bit.

Anyway it is lovely being back in Darwin and sleeping in my own bed but again I feel the pull of the UK and everyone who I love being there whilst I am so far away. I’m luckily to have two “homes” with wonderful people I care about a lot in both places and everyone is so good at keeping in contact it does feel a bit like I have never been away when I am when I am home.

After a short break from adventuring it will be time to plan the next one – until then here is a video of a penguin being tickled, you are welcome!!!

Only in Australia….

Could we be enthralled by kangaroos fighting in the street but we are!

After my trip back from the UK I am off to Melbourne for the weekend (international jet setter and all that! I wish) so I thought I’d share this video just in case you’ve missed it!

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

Love You England

When this post publishes I will be on a plane somewhere between the UK and Darwin. I have been having a blast during my trip to the UK and not even an ear infection can dampen the spirits (even if it happens 3 days before I am due to fly back to Australia as well!).

View of Cheddar

I’ve spent lots of time with my parents and brother which has included trips to the seaside and Cheddar hunting for some good old Cheddar cheese as well as some lovely days at home with them and our dogs. We’ve been exploring the village where my parents live whilst taking the dogs for walks in the evenings as well which has been fun as there are lots of nice walking tracks to wander around.

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My Mum has cooked me some of my favourite meals of roast turkey, lamb and beef, beef stew (not the wisest of choices on a 25 degree C day) and cakes and we also enjoyed some proper cod fish and chips as well.

Cheese Cheese Cheese!!!
Cheese Cheese Cheese!!!

I’ve also spent lots of time with my Grandma, cousin and Aunties and Uncles which has been lovely as I haven’t seen them since before I left for Darwin and I’ve missed a couple of family get together’s whilst I have been away. We had a lovely lunch on Saturday and I was even surprised by my Auntie and Uncle coming along when I thought they would be away.

As I mentioned in this post, I came to the UK in September to attend and celebrate my friends wedding which meant catching up with her and some of our friends who we went to school with at a dinner and then at the wedding.

I also managed to catch up with my old housemate who I lived with for 5 years through University and also for a bit when we started work. We both started our first job after university on the same day on the 27 September 2004. We always remembered our joint work anniversary and she realised that it is 10 years since we both started work when I was at home. We spent a lovely afternoon together having lunch and wandering around the shops in Bristol, and if the Aussie asked I definitely didn’t buy anything!!!

Have to make time for cocktails
Have to make time for cocktails

There was also time to catch up with my friends from my last two jobs in Bristol and we met up for lunch in my first week home and also cocktails at my favourite cocktail bar called Coal (two for one cocktails too! and dinner this week at Brasserie Blanc which was pretty amazing food!!

Dinner at Brasserie Blanc
Dinner at Brasserie Blanc

All in all I have crammed a lot into these short two weeks and have managed to catch up with almost everyone that I wanted to see. Fingers crossed I will be back at Christmas so we can spend even more time together.

I have also invited everyone I’ve seen to come stay with me and the Aussie in Darwin. We only have one spare room so fingers crossed they won’t all rock up at the same time, although I think it would be fun!

Places I love to Visit in Somerset – Part Four

The Glastonbury Festival is not the only great thing about the town of Glastobury, there is also the Tor and Abbey as well which are well worth a trip if you want to indulge in a bit of west country history.

When the Aussie visited me in the UK in 2011 we did a bit of a UK road trip which included Glastonbury and I think its fair to say he really enjoyed his visit to Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey is situated on 36 acres of beautiful land. It is one of England’s earliest Abbeys and is a really interesting place to visit because of the history involved.

Abbey Kitchen

You can read about the history of the Abbey here. It is said that King Arthur is buried at the Abbey and it is believed that there is a connection to Avalon at the Abbey as well.

At the Abbey

The old kitchen still exists in the grounds but much of the actual Abbey is now in ruins as you will see from my pictures. Even from the ruins though you can see how big and impressive the Abbey would have been.

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I think that every time I have visited the Abbey it has been raining which is always interesting when there is no roof but it didn’t dampen the visit 😉 and I still found it really interesting to wander around. The grounds are also very nicely maintained so worth spending the time to take a stroll through.

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Glastonbury Tor
The Tor is full of history and according to the National Trust, excavations at the top of the Tor have revealed the plans of two superimposed churches of St Michael, of which only a 15th-century tower remains. Glastonbury Tor is known as being one of the most spiritual sites in the country. Its pagan beliefs are still very much celebrated.

Up In The Clouds

When I was at primary school I remember visiting and walking all the way up to the top of the Tor which is 525ft high. Once you reach the top of the Tor, you will on a good day have views of beautiful Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Wales.

Glastonbury Tor

Historically Abbot Richard Whiting was executed here in 1549 on the orders of Thomas Cromwell, the first Earl of Essex.

As I will shortly returning to Darwin this is the end of my Somerset series but if you are ever in the UK and get the opportunity you really should pay Somerset a visit!

Our Best Friends Wedding

I came back to the UK in September because one of my best friends was getting married. It was such a lovely and exciting day to see one my favourite people in the whole world marrying such a wonderful man.

I have known the bride since our first day of secondary school in 1993 and we have grown up together sharing and celebrating many important moments in our lives. She has been there for me throughout and has been a huge support for me in my move to Australia, being at the wedding was very important to me.

The bride and groom asked me to do a reading at the wedding and after scouring a lot of wedding readings I found one by Edmund O’Neill which they and I loved. It was an honour to play a part in the ceremony and to share the day with them.

I was asked by the brides Mum to take a few photos at the brides house before she left for the ceremony as a surprise and I was very glad I brought my DSLR camera home with me to the UK so I could do this. I had fun taking photos as everyone got ready to leave for the venue.

It was so lovely to share this time with the bride because I was able to help her get ready for the wedding and also stayed at her house with her until it was time to leave which meant we were able to spend some quiet time together with her step dad laughing and reminiscing.

The weather was perfect, the bride look stunning, the groom looked very handsome and everything went smoothly. I spent the day with our other school friends who I have known since I was about 5 and met the brides lovely other friends who she has met whilst living in London.

We danced until the music stopped and then stayed up chatting about how great the day was before meeting again for breakfast the next day. The only downside was that I had to leave the Aussie in Darwin for the trip this time and he missed a great day but I have told him all about it!

There were a few tears when we had to say goodbye as the bride and groom were heading off for their mini moon the next day because they wouldn’t be back until after my flight back to Darwin left.

I’d like to wish them a huge congratulations on their wedding day and I cannot wait to hear all about their mini moon.

WEDDING PICS

Places I love to Visit in Somerset – Part Three

I am maybe a bit of a geek but I always enjoy a trip on the West Somerset Railway which runs steam and diesel trains from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead. My Dad also loves these trips so his birthday is always a great excuse for a trip!

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A trip on the railway is always good inspiration for my photography especially with the views of the Quantocks as you fly by on the train.

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The train stops at a few different places along the West Somerset Coast and one place that is always worth a trip is Dunster Castle.

Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle is a National Trust property so if you are a member of the National Trust you can visit for free but even if you aren’t a member it’s not too expensive to visit and it is a castle after all!

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There is 1,000 years of history at the castle. The last family to live here, the Luttrells, moved in in 1376 and out in 1976, and changed a medieval stronghold into a comfortable family home.

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The village of Dunster is also a lovely place to have a wander through with its cobblestone streets and quaint little cottages and shops.

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Then at the end of the track you reach Minehead. Minehead is a popular tourist destination for people all round the UK.

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I love Minehead for its little shops along the high street, being by the sea and going for a walk along the seafront, especially if you stop off with some fish and chips or locally made ice cream!

Minehead SeaFront

I remember visiting Minehead for lunch with my parents after passing my law degree 11 years ago in 2003 and sitting on the beach enjoying some freshly cooked fish and chips. It’s funny how much things have changed since then and it’s a very special place for me to visit with my family.

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