What a whirlwind my latest trip to Leeds was after so many months apart from my folks, with 6 days simply flying by without enough time to see all of my friends, and another visit required as soon as possible.
My husband Peter sadly couldn’t join us this time due to work commitments, and boy will I be solo holidaying again with the kids in the future, as he’s treated me like a Princess since my return! I left as Cinderella selflessly looking after everyone during lockdown (ha) so it was wonderful to be so incredibly missed and appreciated.
Lockdown has challenged us all hasn’t it, and not seeing my family during these months had an acute impact on me emotionally. There were many times I felt isolated and lonely. My Mum is my best friend so not meeting up monthly as we used to, before Covid hit, was hard-going. There’s only so much FaceTime can do when all you need is a hug.
Seeing my children reunited with their grandparents and young cousins was emotional to say the least (Oliver is almost as tall as my Mum now at 5 foot, and Mum found it hilarious he could now fit into her shoes at a whopping size 6)! The kid is only 10!
It was also nourishing to hang out with my brother Solos and his wife Lucy, spending sunny days in the garden together and receiving a tour of their stunning new house. It was wonderful to receiving cuddles and kisses from my adorable nephew and niece Zachary and Lily.
You can see little star Lily blast out Let It Go on Instagram and Zachary can already count to 10 in 4 languages. Beautiful, kind and clever kids, I’m such a proud auntie.
…I only had time to catch up with one of my beaut besties in Leeds, Caroline (@shapeshiftersleeds), spending the day with her and her gorgeous brood in Mum’s garden sipping tea and tucking into cake and fruit, followed by a trip to the local park I used to spend my days in as a kid. Nothing beats hanging out with old friends and family who know you inside out.
Here are Caroline and I looking not a day over 16 (OK, so we still dress the same, that counts right?!)
It was such a calming break.
What else did we do?
We slept in. I watched Married at First Sight Australia with my Mum until 1 am most nights, and we scoffed our hearts out (Mum made my Grandma Annetta’s famous Marble Cake) and we dined on take-outs and dinners at my Dad’s award winning Italian restaurant, Giorgio’s, in Headingley. Yum.
I spent almost 2 days helping Mum declutter her wardrobe, the kitchen and her jewellery box (thanks for the bracelets and ring Mama, payment for my services ;)) and I helped my folks buy new cars, a job they’d been putting off for a while now as they wanted my input (I’ve become somewhat of an accidental car expert over the years thanks to my blogging career) and loved taking their new wheels out for test-drives.
I even managed an interview on brilliant actress Natalie Anderson’s podcast The Capsule which will be out soon!
Argh, it was such a needed, grounding break being back home. Enjoying Mum’s green-fingered handy work in her beautiful garden overlooking the vast fields I used to host parties in (sorry Mr Farmer), taking trips to the reservoir, sharing my (limited) know-how on wild flowers to Xander and retracing the steps of my youth, now with my own children’s hands in mine.
It was funny seeing their eyes roll or faces crease into laughter as photos of my brother and I from our childhood (Xander couldn’t believe our resemblence saying I look like his sister) and it was emotional remiscing over times gone by and loved ones no longer with us.
And look at my Mum on holiday in her youth: twit twoo!
Calming and restorative, we reconnected and most of all rested, together again at last.