Monday, 22 September 2014

Haere ra Ingarangi, ka hoki tatou

Farewell England, we will be back

It all got too much for me, the money, the waiting, the uncertainty - even the wretched decision making. But the decision has been made and with a real heavy heart we're sticking with the choice we made.

We left Suffolk yesterday after having been to Ipswich the day before to send some boxes of extra bits and pieces home ahead of us (hopefully). It was a long sad drive full of regret and indecision. We paid one last visit to Framlingham to donate some more clothes and books to the East Anglia Children's Hospice shop and get something to eat from the market. Then off to Shipston we went (the looong way).

We stopped on the motorway to take some photos of the glorious colours that the leaves are turning, and then headed first for Leamington to have afternoon tea with some cousins we just kept missing other times we had stayed there. it was great to meet them and share some of our experiences, tinged with sadness that it had happened so close to the end. Then out for dinner and back to Shipston for the night.

Today, we left our hosts to head south to Heathrow. It has been fun unravelling some family tree mysteries and identifying faces from old photos together. It had been suggested that we go to Harry Potter World on our way, but we decided against it since the tickets had to be bought in advance and were for timed entry...what if we got lost and didn't get there in time ?

So instead, after a quick trip back to Leamington for some shopping (only lip balm it turned out) we headed south through the Cotswolds....and made a detour to Chedworth to see the Roman Villa. That National Trust membership we bought at our visit to Montacute House back in July has been well worth it. Parking is pretty minimal at Chedworth, and a lot of what you see is just remaining walls. But the heritage centre is truly amazing. Walking on metal and wooden platforms suspended above the most amazing mosaic floors. There are a few glimpses of mosaic floors as well in the bath house, but most exciting is the area - now re-hidden under the grass where an incredible find of intact mosaic floor was just discovered in August 2014 - last month.

Then before we turned east to come back to London we went to hunt down a spot that was on our bucket list.

Who knew we were this close to home !

But soon we'll be closer. We're leaving tomorrow, it's time to rebuild...and I am already planning how and when I am going to get back here. We've done so much, but there is still so much left to do and explore, it can't truly actually be the end.

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