I was born in England, to a German Dad and an English Mom. Their story, of how my Dad ended up in England, how they met, and how my Mom came to marry and ex-German soldier just after WWII, is an entertaining one.
Despite the war, meet they did. They subsequently fell in love, got married, and had 3 kids. I’m the youngest of 3, with two older sisters, Annelie, and Jacqueline. In 1964, when I was 5 years old, we booked passage on the Cunard Ocean liner, the Queen Mary, and sailed from Southampton, England, into New York harbor.
We lived in the city for a short while, until my Dad found a job out on the end of Long Island, in small town called Hampton Bays. That’s where I ended up growing up.
Fast forward, oh, about 45 years, and for some strange reason, I had never made it back to England. Both of my sisters had, at various times, and I’d done a lot of traveling on my own, but for whatever reason had never quite made it back to England.
Well, my older sister’s, Annelie’s, 60th birthday was coming up, and she wanted to do something special for that year – namely, revisit the old homestead with her husband, Kesh.
So the three of us set off. We spent a week staying with cousins Ron and Penny in Hereford, then drove from there to Nottingham, and the small town of Long Eaton, which is where I was born and my sisters both went to school. After visiting the old homestead we went two Wales for a 4 day “walking tour” of the coast, then drove back to Hereford, and eventually onto London where we spent a day before flying back home.
It was a wonderful trip, and a bit of an eye-opener for me. I discovered:
- There’s a whole country that speaks like, and uses the same odd turns-of-phrase, as my mother. And here I thought she was making this stuff up!
- There’s a whole country that appreciates a nice cuppa tea, black tea, with milk, the way a proper cup of tea ought to be.