In my previous post I included everything I did in London in one lump as if I had done it all at the same time, rather than at the beginning and the end of my trip. In other words, I took liberties.
Perhaps I should post everything in the order it happened...London, Bath, Bristol, Wales, Exmouth, London, Bury St. Edmunds then back to London, but I get tired just thinking about doing it that way.
OK let me try the thematic approach. Why did I go to England in the first place ? (You ask.)
This trip was all about family. My mom and dad have both been gone almost ten years, though I must confess that mom is showing up in my mirror many mornings on a rather alarming basis. I felt a deep need to reinforce connection with my English roots.
Though I went to visit the family that I already know and love -- the Swindells and Butchers -- I also went to learn about family roots and surprisingly, meet new family.
|Louise, me, and her marvellous daughter, Phoebe|
I still recall the day when the moderator of the group pointed out that Louise and I were related as our grandfathers were brothers. And so it began ...
|That's my grandfather, Bertie James standing in back and Louise's grandfather Stanley George on the right.|
Except that these "total strangers" put me up in a wonderful hotel overlooking the mouth of the River Exe !
|The tide on its way out.|
|Primrose Cottage with the thatched roof -- and it's for sale.|
|Hartley Cottage where our Great Great Grandfather Edward George Tupman lived -- and it too was for sale !|
and we visited church yards. Dear Louise even brought flowers to place on graves.
Later she and Kieran and I set out to see if we could find more Tupman headstones.
And we did.
|And we learned that Ruth and Kate lived at Primrose Cottage !|
We found several headstones but it wasn't always easy to read them. I wish I'd taken blank newsprint and charcoal for making rubbings so I could read things more easily.
We didn't just explore church yards; we walked the hills,
and ate meals in,
|Louise prepared a wonderful dinner|
and ate meals out.
And pretty much bonded in three days.
Can you believe I'm already dreaming about what I'd do on my next visit.