February 20-22, 2017 -Cousin time in England part 1

I know,I know, my goal was to write every night but I blew that.  Monday morning we got a 5:30 wake up call, finished packing and went down for breakfast.  Checked out by 7:15 and walked across the street to the Ferry Terminal. Got our tickets, passport check etc and waited for the bus to go out to the ship.

What a lovely ride it was.  We had reserved seats at the front of the ship and we made ourselves comfortable and I did sleep a bit.  Around noon we went upstairs and had some lunch.The ride was very smooth so you could walk around.

We arrived in Portsmouth after 6 hours.  The ride in was interesting.  I saw Gosport where one of my Great Granduncles settled from Kilmarnock and opened a tailor shop like his brother, may great grandfather did in Southampton.

Philip was waiting for us and off we went to Alton.  Was so nice to see Gillian and Philip again. We figured out we met 50 years ago this year.  Her sister Linda and husband Tim came over for dinner.  It was a lovely time.  We did have some lively conversation over Trump and Brexit since Tim and Linda are supporters of both of those things.  First time I have had a conversation with anyone on that side of things. Good thing we like them because it was just that, a lively conversation.

The 21st we got up and had breakfast and the Gillian and I went off to see her mother who is my Dad’s last first cousin, Pat.. She is in a care home for people with dementia.  When we arrived she was snoozing so she was first confused. After we had visited for a bit and I showed her pictures of her with my parents years ago and some of her aunts and uncles and brother, she was sharper and when we took her back to the lounge room for her lunch she told them aide I was her cousin Maggie from America. I was very pleased.

In the afternoon we went to Linda and Tims.  Pamela and her brother Peter who are the children of my Dad’s first cousin Norman and Gillian and Linda’s first cousins came along with Peters partner Shirley.  Also there was Linda and Tim’s daughter Amy’s family.  They have three very nice little kids and her husband Ken is a fun guy.  Had a lovely dinner and a great visit with everyone.  Of course if you get enough Laughlands together you can be lucky to ever finish a sentence.  Was a late evening so again so writing.

Weds was Southampton day.  We went and picked up Linda and her granddaughter Gracie.  We went down and parked at the shopping Mall and went to the BarGate. Hundreds of years ago Southampton was a walled city and you entered through the Bar Gate. Our great grandfathers shop was there but there are only modern buildings there now. I did take a picture of the site.There we met Pamela and her daughter Clare and her children Jacob and Freya.  They are really cute friendly little ones just like Gracie.

At the BarGate we met a couple of fellows who lead city tours. Would have been nice to take a tour but we were committed to touring the Tudor House. So we walked along the City Walls which have been preserved.  The Tudor House was a very interesting tour. The kids seemed to enjoy it as well.  They got to do dress ups in Tudor period clothing. They liked the displays as well. We had lunch there.

Afterwards the others headed for home and we drove up to the house our grandparents grew up in. It is called the Towers on Cavendish Grove.A lovely old home.  Now broken up into apartments.

From there we went to the Old Southampton Cemetery to see if we could find the family graves.  I knew it was not going to go well because of the conversations I had had with a volunteer from the cemetery.   The Cemetery is in terrible shape in the area we were in. Made us kind of sad.  After walking around we headed for home.

After a little down time the three couples met for dinner at a pub which went well. Lovely dinner.


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