Monday, August 12, 2013

Family time

Here is Post two, Part two....
After finishing up my Wild Welsh weekend I got back to London late on Sunday night and got back to my hostel (where I would be for the next 4 nights) and got a good- much needed, nights sleep ready for my second leg of  my holidays.
I woke Monday morning and I was in much need of doing my washing. So I grabbed my pack and turned my notes into coins and sat in the launderette next to my hostel in my pajamas while everything in my pack went through the washing machine. I wash my own clothes but I have never used a launderette before so as I was sitting there I did not feel ashamed that I was in the middle of London sitting in my pajama's but quite satisfied with myself for successfully using the launderette ( I think it's a had to be there moment ha!)
Anywho, after I my clothes were squeaky clean I myself got squeaky clean. It is amazing what a decent shower and clean clothes can do. I was now ready again for more adventures. I wandered off into London. I went to Trafalgar Square. I enjoyed the National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery and I booked a ticket to go see the musical 'Once'.
Once was incredible. I got a cheap ticket and I was expecting pretty crappy seats but I was in the stalls with a clear view of the stage! wonderful! The style of the musical was different to many I had seen. It was small scale. Only about 13 people in the cast and everything was done on stage. The story is about an Irish busker who has lost his way and meets a Czech woman who puts him back on track etc. The performers did such a great job, they made it quite the comedy and they did a great job of the music. I ran into a lovely couple who were sitting next me and I had quite a nice old time chatting to them too.  Such a lovely night.
Tuesday in London started off with catching up again with my lovely friend Astrid. I had seen her last week on the Sunday when I flew into London before my tour started but it was good to see her again. We went to the borough markets near London Bridge and enjoyed eating delicious foods. YUMMM. I then went down to Shakespeare's Globe to see Midsummer Nights Dream with Cathy and even though I had to stand in the sun for 3 hours to watch it I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've never seen a Shakespeare play done before but I would love to see more now after this.
During the evening I headed off to Soho to see what comedians were on and I found an Aussie playing so I went in. He wasn't amazing but still funny and it kept me entertained for the evening. Back at the hostel I ran into to aussie girls who were holidaying and ended up trying to find a pub and walking the city with them later on at night and that was lovely too.
Wednesday morning I woke up ready to start my day visiting my family. I caught the train to a place called Haslemere which is an hour (by train) south of London and was picked up by Cathy and Ciaran and taken back to what is called Shepherd's Hut where my Great Aunt Jane lives. I'd been there once before back in 2010 but it was a quick visit and raining so I didn't see much. This time however I spent the afternoon sitting looking over the South Downs from the back garden enjoying lovely chats with Jane. I was then taken out to the Farmhouse where my Grandfather grew up and the Milland Pottery which Jane built and then finally onto the Tuxlith Church and I got see the graves of my great Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles as well as graves for more of my ancestors.
The whole experience seeing Milland- the countryside, the properties, the church etc. was just incredible. It was very brief and I would love to go back and spend more time there but I just feel so fortunate to see a part of where I came from. My whole life I have heard my Grandfather- My Papa, talk proudly and fondly of this place and it's always been a bit of a mystery to me. Now however, it is something that I understand, now when I hand my British Passport over at immigration I hand my British identity over with it too.
Shepherd's Hut. 
Thursday I got the bus early and headed off to Leeds do some more family tracking. I spent time with Claire (Cathy's sister, My Dad's cousin... my second cousin?... see this is why I say cousins) and her lovely lovely family. Oh, I just had a wonderful time with them. Such a happy joyous family. We had some wonderful chats, watched some great movies, saw some great things- they took me to York and Richmond castle which are gorgeous! and they also took me to see my Grandfathers Cousin ( I have no idea what that makes them to me) Lucy and her husband George. I was told these two are great fun and it is true. They are both such happy chatty people and again I felt so fortunate to meet these people that have been a part of my family's life!

So after my whirlwind two weeks I was off bright and early back to Dublin on Sunday morning. Now it is Monday night and after washing, writing and crafting I am back to life as usual tomorrow morning.

What an incredible two weeks I have had and it has been an incredibly joyous, learning and beautiful two weeks. I had moments where I sat on the train and would look out at gorgeous rolling green hills and just smile to myself. Smile because I made this happen and here I am changing my world and making myself happy. The things I have dreamed about are my reality and now so much more. It's a liberating feeling when you understand truly that you are in control of your life. When you realize it is your drive, your choices and your power that gets you to where your dreams are. Knowing this makes me realize that I will never settle for anything. I will never settle for anything less than what I want because my life is my choice. Whatever the circumstance may be, whether I am broke, rich in love or alone... I know I am enough for myself and as long as I am following my dreams or on the way there, I know I will be ok.


  1. Oh Charlie... this is so beautiful... and you are so inspirational... I love reading your stories... thank you for sharing your adventures with us...

    Jenny ♥

  2. Thanks Jenny, I love writing this :)

  3. you are an inspiration my glad you got to see your british heritage and visit the rellies.... nice to the hut hasn't changed much do make things happen, that's what I admire about you xoxoxoxoxo