The United Kingdom

Having been in Central America in June and the UK in July… I now have an interesting perspective on Europe’s colonial influence around the world. Northern Ireland, Scotland and England boast natural landscapes that are much more beautiful and extensive than I had ever imagined… I can see why settlers carried fond memories of their ‘motherland’ and attempted to re-create that in the new landscapes they settled.

Five Fingers Strand, Ireland

Five Fingers Strand, Ireland

Looking back along the Portrush coastline, Northern Ireland

Looking back along the Portrush coastline, Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland

A wee hurrah in the Scottish highlands

A wee hurrah in the Scottish highlands

St Andrews cathedral, Scotland - this kind of construction blows my mind...

St Andrews cathedral – this kind of construction blows my mind…

Right in time for the birth of the new prince... lucky me

Right in time for the birth of the new prince… lucky me

Life on the Kennet & Avon canal

Life on the Kennet & Avon canal, England

Mmmmm beautiful smelling roses galore!

Mmmmm beautiful smelling roses galore!

I have been referred to as ‘antipodean’ numerous times and to be honest, I actually had to consult Wikipedia for a definition… where did the concept come from? to what extent does my so-called ‘antipodean’ heritage influence people’s first impressions of me? and mine of them?

In true ‘Antipodean’ style, I feel I should make comment on the weather… and marvel at the fact that it has been beautiful, warm and sunny for a whole month… perhaps it has been putting on a special show just for me 😉 I swam in both the northern Atlantic and the North Sea (and sadly had no appropriate swimming attire on my birthday when I could’ve swum in the English Channel too) – the heart re-boot effect of the shockingly cold water is a tad addictive and it seems to get easier with practice.

Swimming spot #1: Portrush, Northern Ireland

Swimming spot #1: Portrush, Northern Ireland

Swimming spot #2: a secret spot on the North East coast, England

Swimming spot #2: a ‘secret’ spot on the North East coast, England

Well, this post started as a kind of intellectual reflection on what I have been seeing through my eyes, processing with my brain and doing with my body. But, as I write, I realise that July 2013 has actually had the most dramatic impact on my heart. I saw a side of the UK that can never be seen through our eyes. It was a month of beautiful people. The photos below are in fact my most treasured memories of the beautiful people I shared some time with (albeit way too short!).

Shaz n David in Portrush, Northern Ireland

Shaz n David in Portrush, Northern Ireland

Bruce, Hilary and family in Dunning, Scotland

Bruce, Hilary and family in Dunning, Scotland

Emma, Leigh and family in Wylam, England

Emma, Leigh and family in Wylam, England

Couldn't avoid the work colleagues in London... Darryl, Silvia and Flo

Work colleagues that I actually like… what a concept! Darryl, Silvia and Flo in London

Old friends are the best - Harry, Clive, Pam and Val

Old friends are the best – Harry, Clive, Pam and Val in Worthing, England

Clive & I getting up to all kinds of mischief

Clive & I getting up to all kinds of mischief on the Kennet & Avon canal, Newbury

Felicity / Fliss / Aunty Bliss / F-Dawg / Felicitas / Gibb / Gibblet... I could on...

Felicity / Fliss / Aunty Bliss / F-Dawg / Felicitas / Gibb / Gibblet… she is all these things and more… in London

… and the other gorgeous girls in London (whose photos I will put up when I work out how to make my iPhone either a) talk to my laptop or b) detect free WiFi signals)… Cleo, Margaux, Nic, Em, Bridget and Sal.

I am so grateful to have such kind, loving and inspirational people in my life… no matter how near or far :) 

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