Posted by: Rebecca | December 17, 2019


Seven years ago, my mum had just retired. She got a lump sum from her pension pot and decided she wanted to go and visit her brother in Australia. She wanted me to go too (and my dad, obviously). Also obviously, I said I’d go, as long as the trip tied-in with the Australian Grand Prix 😉 So dates were fixed, trip was had, and we got to see my Uncle Tony and his wife Heather down under for the first time. It was fun, entertaining, emotional, and we promised it wouldn’t be the last time…

Back then, I started this blog to document the trip for Mum and didn’t share it with her until we got back. Afterwards, lots of people said I should keep writing, so I did. But I always kept this blog as a single volume about that trip, writing other blogs on other subjects.

But it seems the right time to resurrect this one, so here we go…

So why now?

My Uncle Tony emigrated to Oz seven years before I was born. Mum was just 18, and since then she’s has hardly seen him. Sure, we had the odd phone call at Christmas. But we always spent Christmas with my dad’s (huge) family in the UK. To Mum’s credit, she rarely complained (well, nothing further than the usual ‘mother-in-law’ jokes) and I guess she’d just got used to being apart from her brother. If she did ever need him, he was still just a phone call away. But in her words; when he moved to Australia, she didn’t expect to see him again. In those days, it was a one-way ticket; no FaceTime, no global mobility, if you went, you went for good.

Fast forward fifty years… Mum’s family in the UK aren’t here anymore. Dad’s family, whilst still big, is more ‘bottom heavy’ now, with Dad and his siblings playing the roles I remember my Nanny & Hampa playing when I was young. Add into the mix that, at this time of year it always feels more noticeable that my brother isn’t here. So Christmas as ‘a big family day’ is less of an issue for us now, we keep it pretty low key.

Meanwhile in Australia

While times have changed in Mum’s world, her brother’s life has also had been pretty changeable. After losing his son around the same time we lost Simon, he also lost touch with his daughter. Despite efforts to find each other over the years, they were both under the impression that they’d both moved on, neither wanted to know, and their lives had taken separate paths. But last year, they got back in touch and discovered they were both wrong – they did still care, they did want to know each other and there was always a missing part of their lives. And as they’ve reconnected, my uncle has not only got to know his daughter again, he’s also met his grandchildren, and his great grand-daughter!

Going back to Mum… (I’m jumping around here, I know – it feels like a Sliding Doors style movie, right? If only I looked like Gwyneth Paltrow!) …so in the past year or so, Mum has not only got back in touch with her brother, but she’s getting to know (via the joys of Facebook) a whole new family she didn’t know existed.

Here’s the good bit  

(It’s only taken me six paragraphs… I clearly haven’t written for a while!)

So we all know I’m impulsive, impatient, and fly by the seat of my pants, right? And we all know I love to travel. But I’ve done so many surprise “ta-dah” moments that when I rock up now, people just expect it and say things like “I wondered when you’d pop up” (I couldn’t even surprise my best mate when her husband took her to Rome for lunch on her birthday!)

So I needed to up my game. But given the past few years’ tumultuous happenings, I’m a bit cautious about calling my parents and starting a conversation with “are you sitting down?” So this time, I decided to just paint them a picture… 

“If I asked you to throw some hard cash at something, an experience, something you’d love, a one-off, something crazy… would you do it?” (Clearly this was the teaser, to generate intrigue and excitement, to warm them up, and have them wanting to say Yes, before they’d even heard what I had in mind…)

“It wouldn’t be cheap; do you have any savings set aside? It wouldn’t be something you could save up for, you’d have to just go for it.” (At this point, Mum is beside herself with anticipation, while Dad’s eyes are starting to squint as he knows there’s a significant price tag coming…)

“Obviously, I’d be coming too, and it would be just epic!” (The lined-up, back pocket, trump card response to Dad’s squinting eyes, equivalent of his baby girl snuggling up and saying how wonderful he is…)

“Let’s go to Australia for Christmas…” (There, it’s out there, let the fireworks begin…)

Dad: It’s the most expensive time of year, it’s last minute, and I’ve just paid to go to India in February, which you’ve been pestering us to do for ages…

Mum: Awesome! Yay! When can we book?!

Dad: Oh sod it, why not? Let’s do it!

And they’re off!

So Mum and Dad set off today to see Uncle Tony and his family, Mum’s family, our family, in Australia. I’ll be setting off on Sunday to join them in Perth on Monday night. My cousin, Sophie Wal (who’s currently living in Sydney) flies over to join us on Tuesday, and we’ll be spending Christmas together in Australia. On 29th, Soph and I fly back to Sydney, to spend New Year’s Eve in the harbour watching the fireworks, while Mum and Dad go off exploring Western Australia.

Knowing that Mum & Dad’s travel antics are often hilarious, I’m taking my laptop with me and intend to blog the trip and share the stories as they unfold. A few years older and a little more worldly-wise, there may not be as many ‘mumisms’ as seven years ago, but I’ll aim to entertain as much as possible, most likely at Mum’s expense! (She’s already texted me to say they’ve just walked past the Toblerones in Duty Free…)

Something tells me someone’s excited… I know I am!



PS – just texted Mum to check when Uncle Tony emigrated… her response was:
Emigrated in 1970. Didn’t buy tobs but when I got to the checkout to pay for my other goods the cashier gave me a free bag of Milka chicks!!!😳😳😂”

The fun starts here people… 🤦‍


  1. Wicked……have an awesome time Rebecca xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: