You see, I was born in England. In the small town of Weymouth on the south coast of Dorset. We immigrated to Canada when I was 4 and so I've always thought of myself as Canadian. As the eldest child in a large family of 6 children, I never had the opportunity to go back. But last year, when my aunt became ill I felt it was the right time. So my sister, Denise and I, had a whirlwind tour of our birthplace and got to know some of our English relatives. And I filed away those memories with a smile and about 500 photos never thinking I would write about it. Until I saw this photo today:
Weymouth is gearing up for the Olympics as it is host to the sailing competition. All sorts of wonderful things have been happening in this sleepy seaside town. These beach chairs are just one of the new additions. Don't they look inviting? I just want to grab one and a good Thomas Hardy book (he lived in the area for part of his life), a cup of hot tea and sit on the beach for the afternoon.
King George III visited Weymouth in the 1700's - this statue was erected to honour that visit and has just been redone to it's former glory. Denise and I stayed in the red building to the right - a cute B& B operation with glorious views of the ocean.
My parents grew up here during WWII and talk of the Americans coming to nearby Portsmouth and taking their leave in Weymouth. I'm sure the wide open beach, excellent fish n chips and fairhaired English girls were a great attraction. My father always tells stories of his Boxing Day Polar Bear swims in this harbour. Back then, it was filled with fishing boats. Today it is home to a great many sailboats and yachts as Weymouth has become a vacation spot for many Londoners as it is only 2 hours from there.
Situated on one of the most southerly parts of England, Weymouth is a natural harbour with wide open vistas from it's surrounding hills. I've always loved the beach and wide open water. After having visited my birthplace, I have a better understanding of why. I think it's in my blood. After all, there were many days spent on the beach eating an ice cream with my sisters. Sand between my toes at an early age.
Don't get me wrong. I AM CANADIAN. And one of the things I love about Canada is our ability to merge many cultures. I fly the red and white proudly. But somewhere deep within me will always be an English lass craving cucumber sandwiches and a cup of strong tea.
Happy Canada Day