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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
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    Mendip goes home for Christmas!

    We’re off to the UK for Christmas tomorrow… Somerset to be exact.

    We arrived at an airport hotel this afternoon in preparation for a midday flight tomorrow. The wife has some urgent Facebook business to catch up on and the littlun is on Youtube, so I found the bar for few last Leos before tomorrow’s flight. And with this spare time started pondering a new thread…

    And got the bloody sun in my eyes... I'll wager that won't be a problem back in Blighty!




    I’ve been perusing the ‘I’m so happy I’m gone’ thread with interest. Some has struck true, some not. Mr Guzzi’s comments nailed it for me. I know that I’m looking forward to three weeks in the UK, but I also know that come the new year I’ll be very glad to leave again.

    I left the UK in the late 90s and after nearly a decade of being a gypsy, settled in Thailand in 2006. I can’t say that I feel particularly at home or content in Thailand, and have no fondness for Korat. But, the UK definitely no longer feels like home and I couldn’t return to live there full time. Maybe I should have stayed a gypsy.

    This Christmas trip is all about the littlun and my aging mother. Mum is 83 and sees little enough of her Granddaughter and I want my daughter to have good memories of her Nan. If it wasn’t for my mum, I’m not sure I’d still be visiting the UK at all. A distant family and a couple of old mates are about my only other connections these days.

    Leaving Thailand permanently is not an option just now for various reasons. That gives me an easy ‘get out’ for the time being, as I don’t have to think about it too much. However, one day I will have to think seriously about the future and consider the options, whatever they may be.

    But, for now, the daughter’s settled, the dogs are safe… oh, and the wife is happy! And as they say, it’s all about the kids…

    As with currently living in Korat, this Christmas trip home is all about the daughter. It’ll be hard work for me at times but I’m hoping the rough cider will help.

    Anyway, enough of all that. This thread is planned to be about the Mendip family’s Christmas trip back home… and yes, I still do call it home!

    This'll be us tomorrow!


  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    Bogon's Avatar
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    May I ask what area you staying at (roughly, don't have to be exact, due to stalkers)?

    I know most bars, pubs and restaurants around the area and can't pinpoint the bar you're at.

    Normally, I pride myself on these things and it's bugging me.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
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    Bug no longer. The Grand Residence, not too bad. Easier for you to search on it than me try to describe our location.

    As for stalkers, I've heard about that stuff but never seem to get one. Besides, I'm with the wife and sprog!

  4. #4
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    Mendip all the best and hope mini mendip has a great time with Gran. Mine passed before i could get to see them and its a bit sad, but seeing your kids light up with the old girls stories a la my mum you realise how special that time is. Poiniantly BLDs poor lads have missed that time and i cannot really express how sorry for BLD and Mrs BLD i am, the kids will get over it but the affection and stories can never be replaced so cherrish the time and cut her loose with mum and she' ll never forget it.

    Got soppy there sorry buf safe journey to you all.

  5. #5
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Have a great time - I really enjoyed my last trip back to the UK: pub ales, cheeses, fish&chips, kebabs, Chinese, Indian, lovely bread, country pubs, I did lots of a pint or two at pubs in small towns - loved it.

    Oh, and Sunday lunch, a proper Sunday lunch, and you get to have a proper Xmas dinner - fantastic!
    How do I post these pictures???

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    The Grand Residence
    I think it's actually The Great Residence.

    Wish I knew earlier. Could have directed you to a good Indian down the road/decent beer spots.

    Enjoy Blighty!

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
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    Yes, correct. Just checked.

    Indeed, an Indian and beer spots would be 'Great', but maybe not with family in tow!

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
    Bogon's Avatar
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    Whoops. forgot about the family

  9. #9
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    happynz's Avatar
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    Happy travels, mendip.

  10. #10
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    I will be interested in your view of UK during your trip. Not been back since 2015.

    I was considering a trip back in January but the Chinese new year falls early in 2020 and that always pushes travel prices up. Maybe later, avoiding easter and the summer UK holidays.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    We’re off to the UK for Christmas tomorrow… Somerset to be exact.

    And got the bloody sun in my eyes... I'll wager that won't be a problem back in Blighty!

    Correct ...

    In case the image below doesn't show ...

    Rain for the next 5 days, late snow tonight a possibility lows of 7C highs of 10C

    Mendip goes home for Christmas!-screenshot_2019-12-17-somerset-weather-england


    Which lead to warm fires kindling the soul in your favourite Pub, familiar smells and good Pub Grub
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mendip goes home for Christmas!-screenshot_2019-12-17-somerset-weather-england  
    “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    I will be interested in your view of UK during your trip. Not been back since 2015.

    I was considering a trip back in January but the Chinese new year falls early in 2020 and that always pushes travel prices up. Maybe later, avoiding easter and the summer UK holidays.
    May or June would be my choice, but we're restricted by school holidays.

    Besides, while the daughter still believes in santa and all that, it has to be Christmas for us, for now!

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
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    ^^ Dave, thanks for that... I think...

    I don't think I'll bother showing that forecast to the wife for now, or else she'll be asking for the next taxi back up the hill to Korat. She was calling it cold at home, before we left!

  14. #14
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Enjoy your trip back home Mendip. I just did my annual trip to California to see my parents ( 85 and 83) and daughters. Weather was pretty dismal as we landed when a big storm hit the Pacific Northwest and we only saw sun for 3 days of 17 with temps hovering around 8c but did have a few -1C mornings.

    I always enjoy going back but I told my family that next year we will not return. Plan is every other year going forward. My wife and I agreed we want to go travel to other places and the flight to the US is a lonnnnnnnng one plus even with staying at families houses its really a huge cash burn. That said returning is a nice reminder of why I left and enjoy my life here. I feel blessed I have been able to live in a few places around the world. Lots to be thankful for.

    I will say I enjoyed eating damn near half a cow when back, got to watch NBA and NFL at regular times of the day and had some terrific bourbon sitting with friends at normal type bars.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ Thanks!

    This is an annual trip for us at the moment while my mum is around, but that may change to every 18 months.

    While I know I'll enjoy it, such close priximity to all the family for 3 weeks will be hard work at times and I am usually happy to leave at the end. I won't be getting a lot of relaxing 'me' time!

    And yes, looking forward immensely to the food and local pubs!

  16. #16
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    dont forget some strong string.?ROUGH CIDER AND VINDALOO is a good mix.so tie the trouser bottoms? cause when the indian hits the scrumpy its full speed ahead to the bog.
    have a safe journey and say hello to my old mates THE WURZELS.
    HH SCRUMPY DRINKER.

  17. #17
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
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    Safe trip Mendy, would be great if the kid gets to see and play with some snow.


    If not, it will probably be snowing in Chiang Mai when you get back.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    ^^ ^

    Thanks guys, not sure about a vindaloo but scrumpy for sure. And looks like there's a chance of snow on... the Mendips!

    It's starting now.

    As I'm sure many frequent travellers will agree... what a nightmare it is to travel with others, family included!

    I'm showered, ready to go. The wife is grumbling and sorting through a myriad of bottles and tubs of chili pastes and sauces, after I've told her for the 15th time about the liquids rule. The daughter is on her tablet.

    It will be like herding cats through Swampy...

  19. #19
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
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    Heathrow should be fun.

    Last time I went through there it was like trying to enter the vaults at Fort Knox.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Safe travels and make the most of it, Mendip, and if it's any consolation on no visit to the UK in the past 12-15 of 19 years have I ever felt 'at home'.

  21. #21
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    Nice OP.
    Concur with most of it.
    Whilst my Mum has been poorly the last few years, we have pretty much booked flights back to the UK over the Sonkran period.
    It's school holiday times, so my lad does'nt miss school, and we get to avoid the mid March-April intense heat here.
    The missus comes sometimes, sometimes not.
    Always a pain with the visa paperwork. Next one will apply for a 5 or 10 year multi visit visa.
    My Dad, who is older, but full of health can still travel, so he can still visit over here, in fact he arrives on Xmas day for nearly a month.

    As others have said, if you can still visit in the England's pleasant countryside, nice market towns and villages, it can be a nice experience. Country pubs, quality Fish & Chips by a river etc etc.
    Its the cities and traffic and grotty larger towns that do my head in.

    Small world.
    If we have to overnight in BKK waiting for a flight, we always stay at the Great Residence.
    Good on site restaurant, cheap beer, clean rooms and a pleasant ambience.
    Like the place.
    Have a nice holiday.
    Somerset is prolly similar to Norfolk where i stay, and N Yorks visiting rellies, ie a green and pleasant land still.
    Wonderful clean pretty countryside with none of the inner city modern world problems.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
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    Enjoyed the OP. Hope you and the family have a great Xmas holiday back in the UK, Mendip.

    I used to go back to the UK every Christmas / New Year, but the weather and short daylight hours pretty much nixed a lot of the travel and plans we had looked forward to. Now we visit usually in April or May, when the weather is decent and can get about without any hassle. (And avoid Songkran and the heat here).
    Luckily, my parents are still in reasonable good health, and I still have have life-long friends in the UK.

  23. #23
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Have a great Christmas Mendip.

    I will be heading over myself tomorrow and already feeling festive


  24. #24
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
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    I think this Festive Season will be a Reddy Dilly Christmas, every 2 days sounds good. Won't be back and ready to fire for 2-3 weeks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    already feeling festive
    Merry Christmas Dill, have a good one.

  25. #25
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post
    Heathrow should be fun.

    Last time I went through there it was like trying to enter the vaults at Fort Knox.
    I stopped going through there. Long flight then another good few hours on the coach or train to get back home and lumping a farking suitcase got really, really old.

    Now KLM all the way - nice break in Amsterdam (usually 3 or 4 hours) after the long leg, short 1 hour plus flight on a city hopper, and I am a short taxi ride from home.

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