It was lovely to travel on smooth ordered motorways and clean, well maintained roads from Derby to Southport. We passed green fields filled with sheep and cows. In fields. Not wandering around on roads eating rubbish. We stopped at a service station. A service station with shops, cafes and clean toilets with loo roll, soap and hot water. We stopped for a coffee and picked up some snacks. What a contrast to Bangalore.
We arrived in Woodvale, Ainsadale (where I spent the first 18 years of my life) and arrived in time to see my mother (along with other senior citizens) receiving a planter full of daffodils from the local school children. My sister arrived soon after and after huge squashed hugs we chatted over a cup of tea (yes how very British!), catching up on 6 months worth of news, events and developments.
We headed over to my brother’s house in Formby where we were staying for the duration of our visit in Southport. It’s 4 miles away and is a 10 minute drive (if that) on a dual carriageway. The same distance in Bangalore would take 20 minutes easily. We have been able to do so much during our stay because travelling around is so easy.
We settled in and enjoyed a takeaway dinner with Prosecco. It was comfort food at its best. We chilled and chatted and relaxed whilst watching a movie. It was a bit like Christmas (especially as we brought presents!).
The next morning my wonderful brother cooked a huge full English breakfast – it was delicious. We relished it. With very full tummys we headed down to Formby beach for a walk along the beach in the bracing sea air. It was so quiet. We could not hear a thing as we got out of the car and headed to the beach. It was peaceful and clean – the only rubbish was in the bins provided. Even better, the tide was in and the sea was only a few yards away. We walked to the edge of the sea but didn’t brave a paddle in the freezing temperatures!
We were amused by the shoes that had been lost, abandoned and subsequently found and displayed on the boardwalk.
After a lovely long walk along the beach and some tumbling down the sandhills we headed back to Ade and Gill’s to warm up and have a cuppa. It took us a while for the chill to go but after we had warmed up we headed out again with my sister Alison and my nephew and niece Bobby and Lydia. We headed down to the National Trust Squirrel Walk. It cost £5.70 to park but otherwise entry was free. The reserve is renowned for its red squirrels. Despite it being still the hibernation period I was confident we would see some as there have been so many here. We weren’t disappointed as we did see one red squirrel but that was it.
We headed into Southport for some shopping the next day – we had a list of things we simply couldn’t get in Bangalore. We also spent time having some fun in an amusement arcade – winning points to exchange for prizes. Zahra also wanted an ice cream. All very British seaside fun.
We stopped for lunch in a cafe in a shopping arcade in Southport. It was cosy, warm, welcoming and the food was fantastic and very British!