About two weeks ago now I packed a small bag, jumped on a train and off I went to visit my grandparents on the border of Hampshire. I used to only visit them at Christmas when all the family would be reunited, we would fly over from France and spend the week at their house with all my cousins. We would run around the muddy fields, build numerous forts in the garden or the attic, eating way too many mince pies along the way and sneakily stealing all the Pringles and chocolate bars we could find in the drinks cabinet when my grandad was asleep (any family members reading this – you better NOT say anything!!)
Their house has a soul. It makes me happy. It makes everyone that stays over happy. It’s welcoming and warm but also has a slight edge to it, something mysterious, the kind of mysterious that would give us chills when we were kids. As soon as you open the front door, you can feel the warmth coming from the Aga, and smell old wood and freshly cooked bread – that’s it – you’re home.
So many memories, and so many more to come. Some of my favourites being the numerous charades games we played in the drawing room, laughing hysterically – especially to the dads, wiggling about, making all sorts of noises. All those times we pretended to be asleep while waiting for ‘father christmas’ to fill up our stockings.. The overwhelming fear that comes with going down to the cellar to get whatever was needed, walking slowly down the steps, checking for monsters on the way, picking whatever is needed so fast you’re not sure you grabbed the right thing, and running as fast as your legs can take you all the way up the stairs hoping that one of your ‘evil’ little/big cousin hasn’t shut the door before you made it (we still do that every time – Mel & I normally go down as a pair, because we would obviously be stronger if something attacked us downstairs)
It makes me so happy to know that now that I live in London I can just pop over for a weekend and enjoy their company while breathing in the fresh countryside air that I miss so much being in the city. Sunday evening is always bitter sweet, sitting on the packed train back to London, promising myself to come back the following month withouth the shadow of a doubt.