IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
HOME - the word that evokes such feelings of connection. But connection to what? To a house, bricks, mortar? To family? "Home is where the heart is", how often do we hear those words? But what if your heart is spread all over the place because the real "heart" - family, is spread all over the place too!!
Having lived in a few different places and Countries, my "home", the home I grew up, in was left behind at the age of 21. I started out on an adventure with my lovely husband, creating a family with two wonderful kids. But it was hard. We left behind parents and siblings, aunties and uncles. Relationships still there but somehow not quite the same, distance makes it hard to be close (an oxymoron if ever there was one!).
But over the years, I had the "constant". The knowing that my parents and the cottage they moved into in 1964, the place I grew up and had so many memories of, the place, but more importantly the parents, whom I could never thank enough for being so awesome, were quietly there. Always supporting, always proud, just there - quietly connecting me, anchoring me to "home".
I lost my lovely, gregarious, hard working, pipe smoking, golf club wielding, one of a kind Dad in 2003. This past summer, I lost my quietly strong, loving, generous, organised, gardening guru and equally hard working stay at home Mum.
My anchors are gone! And I feel somewhat adrift! The cottage pictured above, our "home" for fifty years will also be gone. Not physically gone, just gone from us. My parents have rented this cottage since 1964, firstly from Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford, and since his death in 1976, from The National Trust. This past September, it reverted back to the care of The National Trust. It will be modernised, refurbished and eventually re-rented to somebody else - somebody else will create memories in this wonderful cottage.
I know it is only bricks and mortar, and can in no way replace the wonderful memories of my parents and my childhood - those I will cherish forever. Saying goodbye to Kyrenia Cottage is saying farewell to two people who meant the World to me. They loved this cottage, they loved this village, and more importantly they loved their family.
This is how the story goes.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in the village of Dunham Massey, Cheshire in the UK. This estate, was bequeathed to The National Trust in 1976 on the death of Roger Grey, the 10th Earl of Stamford, whose family (the Booths and the Greys) had owned the estate for hundred's of years prior.
My parents have lived in Dunham virtually their whole married lives. My Mum still does, in the cottage first rented directly from Lord Stamford in 1964, and now rented from the National Trust. I promise to do another post in the future to cover more about my growing up in Dunham. This post however, highlights the fantastic National Trust exhibit going on this year at Dunham Massey Hall.
On our first trip to this Northern Thai City, the words Wat and Chedi became oh so familiar. In Chiang Mai it seems, there is a "Wat" with it's accompanying "Chedi" around nearly every corner. I have to admit to looking up these words in the dictionary so I would be better able to recognize which was "Wat" and what was Chedi! A Wat is a Buddhist monastry or temple, a Chedi (also known as a Stupa) is a "bell shaped tower or mound like structure containing Buddhist relics", Buddhism being the predominant religion in Thailand.
This past weekend Graham and I took a visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The Agri-Horticultural Society established the garden on it's present site in 1859, later handing it over to the government for maintenance. Covering approximately 74 hectares (183 acres), this amazing garden is only a 30 minute walk from the major shopping hub of Orchard Road. Open daily from 5am to midnight and free to get in, it is a must see when visiting Singapore. Some of the attractions within the garden are The Swan Lake, The Visitor Centre, The Botany Centre, Ginger Garden, Rainforest, Evolution Garden and the area called National Flower of Singapore Vanda Miss Joaquim. This lovely pink (and very tall) orchid, Miss Joacquim, was chosen to be the National flower of Singapore in 1981.