I was making my way to Heathrow Airport for the second time in two weeks. My husband and me were dropping our son off, a performer with Cirque du Soliel – on his way to fulfil his role as hoop diver, in Volta – showing in Seattle. It seemed pointless to drive all the way to the airport and turn straight around, coming back without making the most of the journey this time.
The sun was shining – it was warm. I wanted to enjoy the last of our blissful summer days. The trees already beginning to turn golden in time for blustery autumn, tumbling ever closer to the english shoreline. I knew that once I returned home, my heart would miss my boy and I didn’t want to be in that continuously – not for now. The last couple of weeks with him, had been wonderful. Having him around home, I enjoyed his company very much.
Now it was back to just me and my hubby.
Our time together.
Sitting on the back seat, I began to plot where to go which was close enough to the airport. First of all my interest was piqued by The Living Rainforest. This would take nearly another hour to get there and we didn’t fancy the drive – so I continued exploring the web as my hubby and son chatted. Finally Windsor popped up on my search page. Only 20 minutes away from Heathrow Airport – it sounded like the perfect place to spend a few hours before making our way back to Southend. Finally I felt excited by visiting somewhere I’d not gone before, instead of sitting sad on the journey home as mum, having waved my son off.
It was pretty simple to find and as we followed google maps into the town – I spied a car park over the back of a playing field and we made our way round, finally finding a space and conveniently being told that Sunday parking was free!
Windsor Castle appeared from the well established trees and we made our way to the town, across the park, watching the cricket match in play. This is england I thought – team wearing whites. The thwack of wood against ball and a castle in my eye line.
I’d began to enjoy myself.
I sensed that feeling of wellbeing rising up in my belly, as happiness pervaded my stimulated mind, taking in its surroundings. Figuring out which way to walk – where to go and what to do. I was glad we’d found a parking space just on the outside of the main thoroughfare through the town, because as we made our way towards the castle, traffic was choker bloc. It was fun to hear all the different languages and seeing a mix of cultures blending together in this most touristy of english destinations.
We decided as it was the afternoon and we didn’t have a full day here, we would just gently explore. So enjoyed a stroll around the castle battlements marveling at the battles it must have seen since it was built in the 11 century. It is the oldest, still occupied castle in the world. I love my english heritage -so proud to have been brought up in this country and of this culture. Even with the difficulties and politics which are constantly ongoing. Like being part of a huge, bickering family. When I leave our shores – I feel my englishness even more and I am proud of that and revel in it when away.
Finding our way down cobbled side streets filled with tables from the local bars, we happened upon St John the Baptist church. Inside I basked in the peace the church provided from the hustle and bustle of a busy sunday outside. Whilst my husband took a pew – I wandered, sighting the 17th century painting of The Last Supper and wishing I would be around for the monday morning service which offered prayers for healing and peace. I miss at times the quiet whisper of the Lords Prayer, as many say the words together and recognise the power of prayer in this way as a meditation – as much as any other.
We made our way to the River Thames and decided to explore the water way on a boat ride. We found a little one which cost just a fiver – which was open topped and we sat close to the water. Maybe not everyones idea of fun but brought me close to nature which I love. A little 30 minute ride which explored the back water of the River Thames. It reminded me of Yellow Water Billabong in Kakadu National Park. In the northern territories of Australia. Before bringing us back to shore on the main river with stunning views of Windsor Castle before us.
My husband’s arms wrapped round me as we explored low bridges and over hanging trees. ( Check out my instagram to see the boat ride for yourself) The running commentary provided information of what we could see along the bank. Eton College rising from the side in the distance and Ascot races accessible from the water. What a delight.
We wandered the river bank after our ride – just watching the ice cream eating tourists and smelling fish and chips – which reminded us of the the seaside we had left a few hours ago. Exploring the architecture along its bank and eventually ending up at The Boatman – a welcoming english pub with a riverside terrace, unadulterated view of the waterway and the boats cruising upon it. Sitting and enjoying a pint whilst basking in the sunshine.
I felt content and ready to go home. We wandered a little further along the river and easily walked across the railway bridge back into the park where we’d left the car. It had been a lovely loop of a stroll and we were both ready to make the journey home – listening to the Spurs game on the radio. In a little sunday traffic but nothing much.
I always appreciate the spontaneous day trips we take. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t but Windsor definitely was something special, which would make me visit again. Maybe in the cool of december when we make our journey to pick up our son again!