I didn’t do a great job with Father’s day this year. I planned a day I would love and Jeff would tolerate. I didn’t realize this until we were half way into the day. Duh. I think he had fun tolerating it, but he’s due a Father’s day full of squeezy cheese, hostess products, motorcycles and beautiful fast cars next year.
Remember when Emma (as in Jane Austin’s Emma) plans a trip to Box Hill? Well, since Jeff is such a huge Jane Austin fan (read sarcasm here, though he kindly tolerates watching BBC with me) I decided that a picnic on Box Hill would be a perfect father’s day activity.
Box Hill is in Surrey where I lived with my family for three years as a young child. It took us a while to get there, but the drive was worth it. It is beautiful countryside. Just stunning with those views spilling out beneath you from that steep hill. The kids had a great time running and rolling up and down the face of the hill, eating a Jeff approved picnic lunch, romping through the woods. It was gusty and sunny and clear and bright. I wished I had brought my real camera, once again my iPhone doesn’t do the scene any justice. But you get the idea. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. This is perhaps one of my favorite pictures ever. Look the pure glee in that boys face! I tried to snap as many candids of Jeff as he fathered. He is one fun dad, up for anything, always. After the picnic we headed over to the little village of Epsom where I lived as a child. I lived in this little house, 12 The Ridings for 3 years when I was a little toddler and then we moved back into the same house for 6 months when I was in 6th grade….the same 6 months we lived in England this time, exactly 25 years ago. I’ve decided that every quarter century of my life I might just have to live in England from January to June.
It was so cool to be back there, on the steps of our old house with my kids. We took a mini tour through the village center, around the Epsom Downs (horse race track) and to my old primary school, St. Martins. Everything felt strangely familiar but smaller and crisper than in my memories. I love that weird sense of remembrance you get when you revisit a place form your past. I’m sure I enjoyed this much more than Jeff or any of the kids. They were politely interested and so good to happily be dragged along my trip down memory lane. Most of my memories there hinge around our house and these awesome neighbors who still live across the street form it. Caroline (pregnant now with her first child!) and I were attached at the hip during our stay there when I was 12. Colleen, her mother still lives across the street and had Jeff and me and the kids over for tea in her beautiful back garden. It was so great to visit and catch up with them and reminisce about all the crazy mischievous and strange things me and Caroline did as awkward pre-teens back in the day. The kids truly did enjoy that reminiscing bit. They are fascinated by anything I did as a child, especially if it was a bit scary, naughty or dangerous.
We did make it home in time for a special father’s day dinner and some rounds around the table to talk about what we each love about Jeff as a dad. He’s a pretty great one. Next year babe I’ll get it right!