We had been excitedly planning a much needed holiday after the numerous stresses and strains of the last 3 years.
It felt very odd leaving “Tre Cancelle” behind, as to us now Italy is without doubt “home”. It seemed to us as if time had stood still since we had lived abroad, and that everything in the UK would somehow be just the same as we left it. But of course in reality life had moved on at its relentless pace in our absence.
We flew to Liverpool and hired a car for our whirlwind trip around England and Wales, and must say that we found driving on British roads rather tame, compared to the Italian manic manoeuvring to which we have become accustomed.
We managed to visit as many family members and friends as was possible in the tight time frame. It was great to catch up with our oldest son Tim in Manchester, Ben in Cardiff, Vicki and our 2 lovely grandchildren, Dad and Em, then there was a Shapcott family gathering in Bristol and another big family gathering at Sarkis and Margaret’s home in Swindon. It was exhausting, sleeping in different beds practically every night, but absolutely wonderful to see so many close ones.
We were invited to eat out on numerous occasions and spoiled ourselves feasting on all the dishes we had missed since living in Italy, such as good old British Fish and Chips, a Chinese Takeaway, Curry, and Steak and Kidney Pie. I must say that in reality they didn’t all taste quite so good as we had remembered them.
One thing hadn’t changed in the UK, the weather during June was typical, on the day we left Bristol it was gray and cold, the maximum temperature being only 17 degrees C.