Over the past 7 years traveling back to the UK has been limited, trying to spread myself around the kids, parents, in laws, extended family, friends.
When we lived in South Africa it was two visits a year, since moving to Dubai it’s been 3 visits a year, but with the kids being scattered around the UK, most of my time has been spread thinly and all visits have been a rush starting with a round of hello’s merging quickly into goodbyes. With 2 of the children spreading their wings and moving further a field, this task has become harder.
The kids do come out to visit and my mum came to Dubai last year and we get some quality time together, but I was working last year and the time felt rushed.
So last year Peter and I decided to invest in a property in the UK where I’d have a base and be able to invite family and friends to visit to enable us to have more quality time with everyone.
It has worked and it hasn’t worked. Where the kids have been able to visit and stay, it’s a 1 bed flat and it’s been packed, I haven’t had my own space to chill out in as planned and when Peter has joined me, we’ve had limited space as it’s been used as a dumping ground by everyone, storing belongings for child 3 who has since moved to Australia and it’s Now home to an 18 year old who due to family issues this summer with the death of my father and his paternal grandmothers ill health has seen him finish 4 years in boarding school and was overlooked when it came to supporting him with finding a job.
But despite all of this, I’ve actually had some of the best times this year with my family, the time we’ve spent together, although tinged with great sadness with the loss of a husband, father, granddad and great granddad, has been wonderful.
We’ve created so many new memories, our relationships have changed, new roles have been adapted, gaps have been filled and new adventures taken up.
Mum and I had the opportunity to travel to London this week for a mother and daughter photo shoot with a National Newspaper for an article on Mothers, Daughters and Grandchildren living in different countries and how we manage.
It’s not something Mum and I would normally do together, Dad would be laughing his socks off at us, once he’d finished telling us how ricidulous we were being, but he’d have looked forward to buying the paper next week. It’ll be online also. I’ll post a link if you’re really THAT interested.