The Gallery: Love – It’s been a long time…

since we saw many of our dear relatives.

Living on the other side of the world from our loved ones is especially hard at Christmas. It is a time of coming together, of love and sharing the joys of the season. They are especially close in our thoughts and hearts at this time of year. When Dan and I met, way back in 1992, at University, we never imagined we’d be living on the other side of the world one day with three daughters. We came to New Zealand in 1996, following a work opportunity Dan was offered. The two year contract came to an end and we returned happily to the UK and got married.

But another opportunity and still young, itchy feet brought us back out here in 1999. One year has rolled into many and here we are with so many ties, a business, a home and three happy children. So many times we’ve considered moving back to the UK. There will always be heartache and pangs of home-sickness. We pine for more time with family. Our lives here are so perfect, but also incomplete. When we have the rare chance to visit the UK it is like a piece of our hearts is unlocked and we can truly be whole.

We loved seeing my dear parents last New Zealand summer, but it’s been three and a half year’s since we saw the rest of our family. Sophie was only eighteen months old and Charlotte had just turned four when we last travelled to the UK. We tell them about their family in England all the time. They are very aware of their Grandparents, but they haven’t had much of an opportunity to know their cousins, Aunties, Uncles, second cousins and nearly twenty Great Aunties and Uncles!

Auntie Sue & Uncle Tony Aunty Claire and Sophie 2007

I love this photograph of the girls with three of their cousins, whilst on a wonderful holiday in the Lake District. The girls have six direct cousins; all boys and a range of ages, all older, but they were awesome in playing with the girls.

Arnott cousins Holiday in Lake District with Arnotts

It was a wonderful time for reunions. Here’s Dan sat next to his brother (having a very hot curry!), me with my sister and my dear Dad (aka ‘Chicken Grandad’) at the head of the table…

Family reunions

It was a wonderful week of traditional games with cousins around the table…

Board games with the Lee family

And long walks in the most beautiful countryside of the Lake District…

Walks in the Lake District Beautiful scenery
Daniel, Sophie, Jordan and Charlotte Charlotte, Daniel and Sophie

Of love between an Aunt with her first, young niece…

Aunty Claire and Charlotte

And easy flowing conversation in a country pub garden on a perfect English summer’s day…

pub lunch

This New Zealand summer we are very much looking forward to seeing Chinese Grandma and Grandad. We have been very fortunate to have my parents (aka ‘Chicken Grandma & Grandad) visit twice in the last three and a half years, but we haven’t seen Dan’s parents since we visited the UK. They will be meeting Alice for the first time and just look at how little the girls were the last time we saw them…

Chinese Grandma 2007

Chinese Grandad and Sophie…

Chinese Grandad, Sophie & Dali

So whilst we look forward so very, very much to seeing wonderful Chinese Grandma and Grandad so soon, our hearts will be thinking of all our other family this festive season and as we enter a New Year.

Our love is constant, no matter the distance in between. Every step we take, we walk with our family in our hearts and thoughts. The air we breath and the water we drink is all connected in the cosmos. We are together always, even though we are unable to directly share the joys together. LOVE.

Until we meet again, we shall think of the paths we’ve shared together in the past and dream of new paths we shall one day walk together in the future.

Walking with the ones we love


This post was inspired by the theme ‘Love’ on ‘The Gallery‘ this week.