home to england

Stonehenge, from the freeway as we were bombing our way down to Cornwall.

Stonehenge, from the freeway as we were bombing our way down to Cornwall.

It had been almost exactly three years since our family was in England -- we spent Thanksgiving 2011 in Bath.  This year, instead of picking a central location in the middle of the country, and meeting Marcus' family there, we spent most of our time roadtripping to various locations to visit their homes:  first to Cornwall (where we celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday), then to Gloucester to visit my father-in-law, and finally a couple of days in London -- because London, for me, is where it all began.

The time in England had me thinking about what "home" means -- and in my life, "home" is sort of complicated.  "Home," of course, is here in Houston, Texas, where Marcus, Alex and I make our daily life: sleeping in our little suburban house, Marcus working a daily 20-minute commute away, Alex attending the school she loves.  It's where many of our dear friends are.  It's the place where we create our life.

Also, for me, "home" means Trinidad, my birthplace and birthplace of my parents, the country of my culture.  It's the place where, as soon as I get off of the plane at Piarco International Airport, I exhale.  Trinidad is where I don't have to try so hard.  Where, despite all of its flaws (and there are many), I get it.  I'm not on my guard as much.  I'm not as affected.

But more and more, England is starting to feel like home, as well.  England is where I first felt my most independent -- moving away from everything familiar to make my own way in a whole new culture.  England is where I met and married my love.  And it is where his family, without hesitation, made me one of their own.  I really, really love England.

And this trip, while altogether far too short, really drove this point ... well, home.  It was lovely seeing Marcus with his family again, of course, but it was lovely for me, as well -- because in its strange, beautiful way, it was my homecoming, too.

Here's a bit of what it looked like.

Cornwall.

Cornwall.

Cousins on Porthtowan beach, Cornwall.

Cousins on Porthtowan beach, Cornwall.

My beautiful sister-in-law, Kate, and her lovely girls.

My beautiful sister-in-law, Kate, and her lovely girls.

The birthday girl:  my mother-in-law, Diana.

The birthday girl:  my mother-in-law, Diana.

Marcus' maternal family -- Diana's official birthday celebration party.

Marcus' maternal family -- Diana's official birthday celebration party.

You absolutely cannot leave Cornwall without first having a Cornish pasty (pronounced PASS-tee).  It's practically law.

You absolutely cannot leave Cornwall without first having a Cornish pasty (pronounced PASS-tee).  It's practically law.

My father-in-law, Bob, his wife Anne, and Marcus' brother, Will, in Gloucestershire.

My father-in-law, Bob, his wife Anne, and Marcus' brother, Will, in Gloucestershire.

While visiting Marcus' dad, we all took a day trip to Herefordshire, to visit the Hereford Cathedral.  Interior shot here.

While visiting Marcus' dad, we all took a day trip to Herefordshire, to visit the Hereford Cathedral.  Interior shot here.

London, in its grey, drizzly glory.  As it should be.

London, in its grey, drizzly glory.  As it should be.

The Tate Modern Museum -- my favourite museum in London.  It's built from an old power station, and it's glorious.

The Tate Modern Museum -- my favourite museum in London.  It's built from an old power station, and it's glorious.

St. Paul's Cathedral.

St. Paul's Cathedral.

We had no intention of doing this, and then at the last minute, we did.  It was wonderful.

We had no intention of doing this, and then at the last minute, we did.  It was wonderful.

The inside of Covent Garden market was already decked out for Christmas.

The inside of Covent Garden market was already decked out for Christmas.

Our final night in England, we met Marcus' childhood friend, Justine, and her husband Al at a Victorian pub.  We hadn't seen them in years (they hadn't met Alex yet!), so it was great to catch up.  And Alex adored them so much, they're now officially her fairy godparents.

Our final night in England, we met Marcus' childhood friend, Justine, and her husband Al at a Victorian pub.  We hadn't seen them in years (they hadn't met Alex yet!), so it was great to catch up.  And Alex adored them so much, they're now officially her fairy godparents.

Heading home.

Heading home.

Wonderful seeing everything and everybody again.  Here's hoping it doesn't take us 3 years to get back again.

 

Song:  Babylon by David Gray