The last month has been a whirlwind. Our first school year in England finished, awards nights, end of year parties to ferry the girls to. Some work was thrown my way which I had to schedule into my days. Changes are on the horizon, uncertainty as to where and when my little family is headed next.
Plans had to be made for our summer holiday. Family meetings were held. South of France? Turkey, one of my favourite places? Possibly a cruise? My husband had to return to Shanghai for work, the decision was made, us girls were going too. We miss our Shanghai life, our friends, the food! After my solo trip back last December I felt more settled when I came home to the UK, the girls needed the same closure so we thought.
So we have just returned from our amazing two week holiday in Shanghai. We caught up with incredible, nurturing friends. We ate our bodyweight in dumplings and returned to our favourite restaurants, hit the markets with a vengeance, leapt into taxis, confident in our Chinese skills again. It felt as if we had come home, the last year in England was just a dream, like a bizarre time warp. We fitted right back into life in our old neighbourhood, the plan of putting Shanghai behind us didn't quite work. The day we left was the first time it rained on our holiday. The taxi ride to the airport sombre with the rain falling, like Shanghai was as sad as we were that we were leaving.
Time to clear my mind, sit back and refocus, move on and make the most of our life in England. We head to the beach from land locked Buckinghamshire at the beginning of the bank holiday weekend...for the day! Neighbours warn of traffic, delays but we forge on, enjoy the drive. We re plan our destination when traffic starts crawling, turn off into the New Forest and head to Christchurch in Dorset, sister city to Christchurch, New Zealand, home town of my kiwi husband.
A local wishing well! How many hopes, dreams, plans and ideas have sprung from this well? I wait for the pirate and princess to make their wish then take my turn, this peaceful and beautiful place embracing me.
Such a wonderful place to spend the day, brilliant spur of the moment decision to head to the ocean, a family day at the beach. We found our way to Avon beach in Christchurch.
We had thrown some beach towels into our car and leapt in, drove for three hours and hit the nearest beach. Grabbed some Fish and Chips for lunch, spontaneous, free and easy! Not as organised as this family with kettles and teapots, picnics and games.
Surrounded by other families, eating ice creams, playing ball games, splashing in the water, creating memories. Enjoying life!
Sandcastles lovingly built and then abandoned for other beach side pursuits.
Life at the beach is free and easy, refreshing.
A place for reflection.
The ocean cleanses my mind and my soul. The minute I can smell the salt in the air, worries evaporate. I am home. The movement of the water washes the tangled thoughts in my mind away. Clarity returns. I am now free to take things as they come, enjoy all that England has to offer and take on as many adventures as I can. You are welcome to join me!