I know I've titled this post "First week in England" but... I'm actually going to start with the photos from New Zealand because the week of staying with friends in Christchurch really did feel like a holiday.
There was laughter, toys, food and company.
Visited our "grandmother" who we've missed, and who's not very well at the moment, but it was lovely to see her. It's been such a long time!
Margaret Mahy playground, of course.
Walks in parks. Of course.
These two monsters would hide in the bushes ahead...
...and then jump out!
Then the journey started.
All things considered, it went well. Me and The Kid got re-routed through Singapore after his vomiting the day before, and though there were rough bits on this 30+ hour journey, all things considered, it went well.
After all, we were prepared.
I have to admit that this photo on the descent to Heathrow (finally!) I looked better than I felt. I'd had 3 hours of sleep in two days. The Kid had had 4.
But then... then we were finally in England!
Time with family. Just lots of time with family.
We celebrated The Kid's birthday, belatedly.
Visited Dorset County museum and their massive dinosaur replica.
And also the Salisbury hardware store which has dinosaurs outside... and THEY MOVE! You put a 1 pound coin in the slot and for a minute these dinosaurs will move and ROAR! (sending all little kids the likes of The Girlie and The Kid running for their lives)
And just enjoyed the quiet villages of Northwest England.
Visited Swanage, a town near Isle of Wight where The Man's family used to spend summer holidays when he was little - now he showed the place to us, too.
Fish and chips!
Heale house gardens.
And I can's help but mention it here: it was the first time I came across a roadsign saying "Do not follow sat.nav." As in, do not follow GPS instructions in your car.
Because turns out, in this little village there are two river fords which ARE NOT PASSABLE for regular cars (you could maybe get across with a high-sided, snorkel-equipped farm vehicle) but on various GPS systems these river fords show up as roads.
And then every week the local council ends up fishing out cars from that river because people keep following their GPS directions right into the river and getting stuck.
Admittedly, as you approach the river there are various signs saying stuff like "No access", "U-turn now" etc but... still. Every week, apparently, someone goes in.