The day of the wedding was perfect with everyone relaxed and enjoying the day and all plans running smoothly
. It was great to catch up with so many of you, our family and friends, and witness our last 'baby' getting married to an amazing, and already loved, young man (another incredible son - we are so blessed!!). It was also really great to catch up with our church family again whom we have missed and to join in worship together, with so much to thank the Lord for. On Tuesday we met briefly with Dan & Lill on their way to the airport to say our final goodbyes. We won’t be seeing them again for over 6 months, but know this will be a really special time for them, settling in to married life together. Saying goodbye to all the kids was really difficult as we miss so much the easy access of day to day life with them. Yet we are so thankful for skype that allows for regular contact. Also, having a home and friends to return to in the UK has made the transition much easier – a feeling of belonging! The cooler weather is also a big attraction.
Upon arriving at Heathrow airport, we picked up our car from the long term car park and headed down to Cornwall. Wow! The coastline is absolutely breathtaking, with the rolling green hills of farms running down to the precipitous cliffs of the many headlands. Little sandy or pebbly coves hide out between many of the headlands with the most quaint seaside villages nestled in around small bays and harbours. Narrow windy cobblestoned streets and laneways make their way between the old houses and buildings leading you on an intriguing maze like exploration. All this with the sea as a backdrop and the sounds and sights of seagulls filling the air and fishy/saltwater smells invading the nostrils. Many of the houses/buildings are in need of some TLC (painting and repairs). We stayed at a B&B on the waterfront overlooking the harbour of Newlyn, which is a working fishing port. Vern was in his element, inspecting the fishing boats and seafood catches
. The lady who owns the B&B had just returned a week ago from visiting her son and daughter and their families living in Caloundra, believe it or not! Small world hey! We also met a young Italian guy (over in the UK for 6 months studying English) and his girlfriend staying there and have been in email contact with him, he may end up visiting us at home here. Just off shore from Penzance (the next village over) is a medieval 12th century castle built on a rocky island, called St Michael’s Mount and the castle and gardens are open to the public. The St Aubyn family have owned it for generations and currently still live in the private quarters of the castle. We visited first thing in the morning (a general rule is to start your sightseeing early & you generally beat all the crowds who don’t start moving until 10.30 -11am) and as it was high tide we caught the boat across to the island. After enjoying a leisurely walk around and through the castle and a light lunch in the cafe we then walked back to the mainland on the stone causeway which was now passable at low tide. A number of villages we enjoyed visiting were St Ives (a bit more touristy), Sennans, Porthcurno (where the Minnack outdoor theatre is), Porthleven (We went to a Methodist church in Porthleven on Easter Sunday - quite traditional but the people were so friendly). As we were passing the pub after church, a guy from church (David born and bred in the village - a builder) invited us in for a drink (which he insisted on paying for) and we met a friend of his and enjoyed a good chat. He has a 50 foot boat in a local marina and invited us out on it if we came down again. We are absolutely amazed by the friendliness and kindness of people!! Land's end was so windy we could hardly stand upright (we kept away from the edge of cliffs !!) and we learnt that it is not the most southerly point of the UK but Lizard Pt is which we visited the next day.One noticable difference between the UK and Australia is the more sane approach they have over here to safety regulations
. You take personal responsibility for watching where you walk etc - no over the top rules or fencing, so you get to experience more of the ruggedness of the terrain.
We spent our last night in Charlestown, a very small quaint fishing port which used to be busy exporting clay via ships to Europe. This century it has been the home base for historical ships and all things maritime used in blockbuster films, a number of them being filmed on site. The weather was overcast, very windy and cold for our visit to Cornwall - pretty normal we hear! Though the postcards do show blue skies and sunny days!! .... On the way home we visited the ‘Eden Project’, a massive nursery for plants from all over the world set up in massive domes that control the necessary temperatures. One dome is the ‘rainforest’ the other is the ‘Mediterranean’ exhibits. We felt like we were back in Brisbane in the rainforest dome – had to peel off all the jumpers and wipe away the sweat!!!
We arrived back home Monday night and Jo (our neighbour) had been in and left a vase full of lovely daffodils, a cake, evening meal and bread and milk, with a welcoming note. She is such a sweetie!!...
. Tuesday we spent grocery shopping and settling in and then had home group on that evening. Everyone was warm and welcoming and asking about how the wedding went. We are now trying to settle down once again and refocus on life here. It's hard not being near the family but in another sense it is quite peaceful and welcoming here. Vern is now in London for a couple of days attending a module and I have spent the morning sitting out in the garden spending time with the Lord. It is sunny and warm, the birds are singing and bounding from one tree to another, everything is so green and the daffodils and other bulbs are lighting up the garden with beautiful colour. It truly is a special time of year.
Love to you all
Trish & Vern
Wow, what an incredible 3 weeks, feels more like a few months. We very excitedly boarded the plane for our return trip back home to Australia and were surprised as to how smoothly and quickly the flight went. Candy and Lill met us at the airport and drove us home. After 6 months away we really noticed the growth and spread of the plants in the garden and the spaciousness of the house (& shower) after living in more confined spaces in our wonderful little cottage. No ducking of the head was necessary when passing through doorways!! Gradually throughout the day we caught up with all the kids and enjoyed a dinner out all together. It proved to be a very busy and difficult week with a number of our animals dying, Lill being sick (a few days before her wedding), working on a few maintenance issues and readjusting to the heat. Yet the pleasure of being back home with family and friends was very comforting.