A Weekend in England Countryside

One of the main highlights of my Europe trip was spending a quality weekend with an English family.

It was just refreshing to escape the hustle bustle of London for a weekend to the beautiful, peaceful and lovely countryside of Cornwall.

I stayed with the Parsons family in Truro, Cornwall, South of England. It’s a small, but important town because of the existence of its monumental cathedral.

From left:Paul, Catie, Elaine and Jack

I don’t know if they know this: but I really enjoyed my weekend there. Not only did Elaine accommodate me in her Notting Hill apartment, the family invited me to stay for a weekend with them, paid for my transport travelling down there (and it cost a bomb) AND paid for the expensive meal on the train so I could travel first class.

Not to mention, I was given my own room, wonderful food and most importantly an invaluable experience of just chillin’, not doing anything (a great break for planning any trips!) and relaxing with the family.

The weekend was the last days of Christmas so I was lucky enough to see their elaborately decorated Xmas tree cute socks hanging above the chimney hole.(sorry, no pics, told u, I was chillin’ and lazing that weekend.)

Xmas Deco:Edible Ginger Bread House

The amazing thing was that the house used to be an old folks home, now, converted to a house and it’s aged more than 50 years old. It has Old English Victorian windows, doors and the stairs creaks when u walk on it. An absolute old English charm that was just too cosy for me to resist.

Paul cooking pasta for dinner. Yum!

I can just recall the warm and cosy feeling at the pit of my stomach, as we watch the dad cook dinner, singing along to oldies while we chatted, laughed at nothing in particular. The warmth of the cooking and the Elgar or maybe it was more of the great family time that they spend together. I don’t think I had a terrible childhood, but somehow, I wished I had these sort of moments with my family. I guess in Malaysia it’s just too hot to stay in the kitchen and the maid is the one cooking most of the time. The whole evening was framed and imprinted in my memories forever, for this is what I think family means as we sat together on the dinner table watching Whose line is it anyway? laughing hard, sipping red wine.

Catie in the living room

Oh, and I nearly forgot a very important member of the family! Who lies under the table when we eat dinner, jumps and lick my face in the morning, taps the kitchen door to ask me to open it and nearly knocking me down when we first met. He understands human language so well, he’s like a 8 year old kid. Puts my dogs to shame. Maybe i should start schooling them in the UK. Heard education there is pretty good.

Please meet Rex, the uber-smart collie!

I am touched by how they embrace me with open arms after not seeing them for almost 10 years. Elaine is a close family friend and we don’t even have real blood relations, yet, when living there, they treat me exactly like one of their kids-no extra special guest or any of those pretentious sort of nonsense nor did I feel left out in anyway.

Catie and Jack at Falmouth harbour

The last time I saw Jack and Catie, they were just babies. Now 13 years old Jack is a com whiz and churns out special effects videos on you tube like a pro. He had no qualms showing it to me and elaborating all that he knows about Adobe After Effects and showing me his light-saber projects. The little Star Wars fan is really a com-whiz, earning him a scholarship in school and used to be a chorister in the cathedral, and it’s not easy entering the cathedral’s choir. In fact, it is very prestigious.

Catie’s doll house

Catie was absolutely adorable, a little shy with me in the beginning but not long after we were sharing secrets and exploring her gorgeous doll house. She just have this beautifully innocent and melodic soul that i can’t help liking her. She’s young yet matured and lovingly trustable. She would tell me stories about schooling in England, what she does with her free time and I was dying to hear about Christmas and Christmas gifts (she loves dragons, ponies and her doll house is AMAZING).

Her mum used to be a model and beauty queen, and I can see that beauty emerging in her as well.

A dose of all these Makes me understand why Enid Blyton wrote those stories, why Asian kids can dream about acorns(I saw so many double the size of my fist!), snow and bushy tailed squirrels but we can never relate to their existence. And here, the kids are living my childhood dreams. I would describe it as lyrical, like a lullaby… a melody so familiar that it cradles my soul, the lyrics so clear as the sun shines down on the fields. Now, I’m craving for more…

The Penair back garden: the post in the centre is bird food, with a pond, bridge and stone steps leading to the front porch.

This lovely view is just a lookout from the kitchen door.

Kitchen view

I especially love it when Paul starts explaining to me about places, Oxford, Paris, England and the travels he has been to. No, he doesn’t do it in a grandfather-ly sort of way. He just shares his knowledge, while I listen attentively(trying to absorb as much as my pea-sized brains could); his life as a student in Oxford University, Cornwall, the house and just their life. I never expected it to be so fun, but it was. It gave me a taste of having an Ang Mo “dad”.

They brought me out to town for grocery shopping-one of my absolute favourite way to explore a place. While they buy ingredients to prepare the yummy-licious food I had the whole weekend.

The butcher and his pheasants “Here, hold it up and you’ll get better pictures!”

Truro Cathedral

Wet and Rainy in Truro Town

Despite the grey weather, it did not dampen my spirits there. Though when I was shown the gardens, apples trees, blueberries etc., it looked really bleak and I secretly wished it could turn spring for one moment to let me see it flower and fruit. Guess I have a reason to return.

Reflected view of countryside on train

My heart felt heavy as I hugged and kiss the family goodbye before boarding my 4 and a half hour train to return to London.

Do you see me?

THANK YOU Parsons family for the absolutely wonderful weekend. Truly, madly, deeply. The whole experience enriches my life, brought out the little child in me, and I am thankful for this opportunity. You all may think it’s just an ordinary weekend, but to me, it was the ordinary-that made it extraordinary. I miss all of you, and will definitely return again and hopefully in a few years time, it would be me returning the favor when Jack or Catie comes to visit.



One Response to “A Weekend in England Countryside”

  1. Aww, you’re too nice! =D

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