My 30th, Parents Surprise Holiday & Aunty Sandra

My parents recently spend 3 weeks with us here in England. From August 20th to September 10th. They live in South Africa and came over to surprise me for my 30th Birthday. I had no idea they were coming over and had arranged it with Pete when we over there for last Xmas and new year. It was an amazing surprise to me and I was especially proud that they managed to keep it a secret from me because I’m always so suspicious, and Pete didn’t let on with a single thing!

Pete took me to dinner on Friday the 20th, the night before my birthday party and went to order drinks, next thing I know these people are approaching our table with our drinks and it was my parents in disguise! It was fantastic.

My Birthday party itself was amazing. Best birthday ever. The Venue was perfect, drinks were cheap, the DJ was excellent and I got to go crazt to some of my favourite tunes while surrounded by friends and family. It was just perfect. I’m sure no future birthday will ever compare.

Unfortunately I had to work the first week of their holiday, but they got to spend time with the rest of the family and especially Aunty Sandra, which was totally excellent because unfortunately she passed away on Sunday 29th August. My Mum had spent the day with her and hadn’t been home too long when we received the call. My parents and I immediately when around to pay our respects and say goodbye. I must say I was very hesitant to see her because I saw my cousin Ange (Sandra’s Daughter) after she had passed and it scared me. But after I saw her, I was so glad I had. She looked so peaceful and happy, and she actually looked better then she had in months.

The second week of their holiday I was off work, which obviously I was really thankful for, to be able to spend time with my parents and also not having to go into work when we’d just lost Aunty Sandra. Tuesday we’d already booked one night away in York. We took a leisurely drive up through the Peak District, and stopped of at a few locations along the way. Firstly we went through the area called Woodseats in Sheffield where my parents lived and we had lunch at The Waggon and Horses where my Dad asked my Mum to marry him. Then we went to see the house my dad lived in with my grandparents (the owner didn’t like my Dad filming the house!), and afterwards went to the pub called The Big Tree to meet up with my Dad’s brother, Uncle Arthur. We had a drink there then followed Arthur to his house going via Eckington, the village I lived in before we emigrated to South Africa when I was 8. We had a drink at Arthur’s then made our way to Hotel Noir in York. We dropped our stuff at the hotel then walked into York centre for dinner and a brief walk around. Wednesday we spend walking around York City Centre and also visited York Museum. (Stunning!) We had a lovely day and it’s an incredibly beautiful and clean City.

Thursday we spend In Stafford. Friday we went up to Lincoln for my Dad because that’s where he grew up. We walked up the steep hill street up the the Cathedral and Castle. It is such a stunning city, I could easily move and live there. It’s just a place that somehow feels like home to me. Friday evening we went and had Indian with Kevin, Jane & Becky.

Saturday Arthur had his partner Sue came down from Sheffield to have dinner with us. Pete and I opted to stay at home though to just have an evening to ourselves to chill out. My parents had a fantastic time though and got along really well with Sue despite previous reservations. Arthur used to me married to my Mum’s sister Margaret. Odd I know. So it was great that they had a fab evening together.
The following Monday I was off as it was Aunty Sandra’s Cremation. The service was really lovely, she would have really liked it. It felt like I cried the whole day though and ended up getting drunk. The wake at the Rangers after was also really nice though, especially for all the family to be together. It was very a very hard day though. My Dad’s other brother, Ted, was previously married to Sandra (I know! ) was there and he came back to our house to stay afterwards and  stayed for a couple of days at my request. It was nice for my Dad to get to spend some real quality time with him. He left on Wednesday as we’d arranged to have dinner with Arthur and  Sue; and Ted and Arthur don’t talk to each other anymore (bad business history). We had a takeaway with Arthur and Sue. We were previously planning to go out, but Mum had developed a cold so we stayed in. We had a great time though and lots of laughs, especially playing with Talking Tom Cat. Thursday I was still at work so my folks just mostly relaxed. Then Friday was the day they went home & it was all over way too quickly.

It was so amazing to have them here though. It had been a truly wonderful surprise and the best birthday ever. Of course their entire holiday was bitter sweet though because of Aunty Sandra passing, but really it was a blessing. She’s no longer suffering, and she got to see both my parents again, which I know would have meant so much to her.