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A Day Like Today: Last of the British Summer Wine

Today's guest blogger is Kriss MacDonald of Wild About Here (read more about her below). Kriss is an interesting blogger, especially because of her affiliation both with USA and UK, and also because she takes such beautiful photos! In this post, she describes a summer's day in the English countryside which was a memorable one for her and her family.

May 2012 was just a normal month in our family’s life in London. School runs. Playdates. Running a company from home. Regularly meeting up with parents from my kids' school and old friends, and of course, my special evenings out with a group of women I’d first met as a young journalist.

Playing in the garden
Fun in the garden
Then we had a phone call that changed everything. A family member in the US has been diagnosed literally overnight with Stage IV cancer. We decided within weeks we were moving to the US. By the early summer everything was packed up in storage, and I was in the US with my two children - twins -  sorting out a rental home and schooling.

In the early autumn we were back in the UK for a final trip for work and personal reasons. More importantly, to see my husband who had to stay behind while he waited for his green card. Before our return to the US we stayed with close friends in the English countryside. I still hold on to memories of that visit. 
I often long to go back and have a day like that one…

A late morning big breakfast after staying up to 3 AM - talking, laughing and drinking wine (which is one of the reasons we needed a full English breakfast!). As the house is secluded, I could sit in the kitchen chatting over a cup of tea while my kids safely played outside in the kitchen garden. 

It was one of those perfect Indian summer days in England. My daughter spent an hour playing basketball, while my son went around in a borrowed helmet pretending he was a racing driver (Dad is a huge Formula 1 fan). Occasionally, they would spot one of the cats and chase them. The two cats spent their days outside - hunting and sleeping, and avoiding big hugs from small children. Nevertheless, my two were always on a quest to give them a cuddle. Instead of the usual walk in the woods, I took my twins exploring in the formal gardens. The grounds are beautiful and reminiscent of those estates you see on British TV shows. One part dates back to the 15th century while another part was built by one of the real Downton Abbey daughters. Some of Britain’s literary greats have stayed here.

Luce and Theo climbing tress
Luce and Theo busy in tree climbing

A sundial to examine. A rest on stone benches in the shade. Winding paths with trees to climb. Then a peek at the new pigs rolling in the mud outside their sty.

My children were so happy. We often came and stayed weekends here, so they felt at home and relaxed. My husband is godfather to one of their children. And vice versa. Often the place is filled with friends…and kids running wild throughout the house and gardens. 

Then our friend’s kids were back from school and mine were as happy as Larry (translation: extremely content).  And, as per the usual routine, once the kids were all tucked in bed, another late night of talking, laughing and drinking wine commenced.

A couple of days later, the three of us were settling into our new home in the US. An ocean between us and my husband and close friends back in Britain. I’m so pleased to say that the member of our family who's ill is winning their battle. We now hope to move back to England in the summer. So soon, I’ll have another day just like that one!

Sitting under a big tree


 I’m Kriss and my blog is Wild About Here. I’m a dual national – British & American. As a Mum and a Mom, I was always being asked about trends, brands and life with kids in Britain compared to the US. So I share the insider’s view in my posts on what’s cool for kids in Britain. I’m slowly trying to build up helpful articles if you’re moving to or visiting UK with kids. Blended in are my US notes on outdoors and indoors fun with kids and a camera. In the years before my twins, I was an international journalist and news editor with AP and NBC news reporting on everything from conflicts to scandals. So I guess you can say I’ve moved from covering warzones to playgrounds. My favourite place to hangout and chat is Google+ (where I also like to share Google+ tips and more), but you can also find me on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

(A Day Like Today is a guest post series about sharing memories of special times spent with kids.)


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