Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am back - but am I home?

Well I am back in South Africa. The last week of my holiday passed in a blur. Monday was a recovery day after our boat adventure and a quick whiz around the shops. Tuesday was the perfect day for the Trafford Centre - for my SA Friends this is an enormous and very grand shopping mall with the most amazing shops and everything that you could possibly want or need. After the obligatory 2 hours in M&S we headed for John Lewis and it was there that I found a little device called 'Gaydar' perfect for detecting  - you guessed it! I thought it may come in handy for one of the boys!  We met up with a friend for a lovely Chinese meal and then hit the shops again.

Wednesday found us in Culcheth where we discovered the Black Sheep Craft Barn - an amazing venue filled with every sort of wool, yarn and embroidery goodies.  I had to be very selective about what I bought as I now had a growing pile of 'stuff' in the bedroom which looked considerably larger than my suitcase! I settled on some unusual yarns that unfurl to make frilly scarves and some of my favourite Funky Fur. Around the corner we found a lovely florist come gift shop with some really interesting objet d'arts and next door an old fashioned paper shop that sold midget gems - Heaven!

On Thursday the local Retail Park beckoned (are you picking a trend up here?) This collection of stores included B&M where I bought croaking frogs, invisible ink and other strange and equally necessary things; the Pound Shop where everything costs..... and then Dunhelm Mill where I discovered craft corner and felt like crying when I saw all the scrap booking things that I really couldn't buy as the corner in the bedroom had swelled since Monday!

Later we took some garden flowers to Craig's special little corner at the crematorium which is always sad but I am glad he is there where many of my family are - including my beloved mum, dad and nan. Then we drove around to the cemetery to search for the grave of our noble ancestors.  We had earlier had a conversation with Auntie Gladys - appointed family historian- about my mothers side of the family. My mothers maiden name was Westwell - her mothers maiden name was Cathcart and my great grandmothers name was Noble. We had a vague memory of being brought to it by our grandmother but thought it was an impossible task to find it. We walked along the path talking about our childhood and in particular Nan Westwell who was a huge influence on us when we were young as we spent so much time with her.  Julia remembered that it was not on the front row of gravestones and as soon as she said that we decided to cut through to the second row. Lo and Behold! The first gravestone that we looked at was that of James Henry Noble dated 1893 - our great, great grandfather! Inscribed were the family names that we had been discussing. We were amazed and more than a little freaked out that we had walked straight to it.
And so - my holiday ended in a graveyard and that is indeed how I felt when I left the UK - grief stricken!

I have had a wonderful holiday and as always when I look around me when I am there, I am filled with a sense that 'these are my people and this is my land.' I have enjoyed a full and happy life here in South Africa and have wonderful friends here. The loves of my life are here - husband, children, grandchildren but everytime I leave my native shores - I leave another piece of my heart behind.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the comment left on my blog, which led me to yours...and to this heartwarming story. I've often wondered how I'd cope with living in another country and I think I'd be ok once I was settled in one or the other but the leaving, I'm certain, would get tougher every time.

    I'm glad to have found your blog and pleased to have a new addition to my RSS feed!!

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