Last month for the first time since I moved to Netherlands, Patrick came with me for a trip… back home.
Who would have thought that I will be calling England my home? Even though I was born and spent 23 years of my life in Poland, I call England my home? Well… it’s not quite so drastic. I guess when I go back to Poland I also feel at home. I also think that 12 years of my life spent in England were quite significant. I guess being in Netherlands also feels so much not like home, that going back to England puts things into perspective. After all, my house, garden, car, friends and salsa family are all in England. My work life is also there. Driving on the left side of the road is my default. Even though I learnt to drive and passed my driving test in Poland, where we drive on the right side, but 1 or 2 years of driving there, can not compare to 12 years of daily, often over hour long commute and countless salsa trips in England.
Surroundings are familiar, shops sell things I want to buy and are open even at night, which is my favourite, traffic-free time of shopping. There are friends waiting for my visit in whichever direction I wish to drive and salsa parties full of friendly faces (both female and male) and of course good music.
Having Patrick with me was rather special. He had a chance to meet and spend time with my friends and enjoy abundance of good parties and attention 😉 Needless to say we had quite a trip!
It started from 5 star salsa congress in London. Exactly the same one where we’ve met 2 years before. We arrived on Thursday, so we had time to do some shopping for the weekend and visit my house. Yes, strangely I wasn’t sleeping at my house this time round, as my friend is currently occupying my living room, where I usually stay during my visits in England.
5 star… ahh… so good to be back. So many friendly faces, so many awesome dances, so many funny moments and… so much attention for Patrick 😂 All my friends are super-curious about the man who stole my heart and stole me from them. Ladies were queueing to be introduced and/or taste his skills on the dance floor. Guys surprisingly also wanted to be around this cool guy who smokes with the stars 😂 Even after his short visits during the year of our long distance relationship, he already gained some female and male fans back in England. I guess now he has doubled or tripled the amount. Needless to say, we had an eventful weekend at 5 star and on Monday, totally exhausted we drove back to Southampton.
My good friend Nunzia was kind enough to let us stay for a week in her beautiful house. Added bonus – we got to enjoy a dinner she prepared for us and meet her new boyfriend. In return (or rather for my own pleasure) I looked after quite a few of her orchids, as due to her super-hectic schedule she was barely at home during the week we spent at her house.
These are the most recent purchases of hers:
Quite a few of nice varieties of not so common orchids here, including fussy Miltoniopsis. Not something you can usually find at your grocery store for sure (except 2 purple/white Phalaenopsis). I guess all orchid lovers, even the just starting ones already have or seen these for sale. Unfortunately the only label they had was ‘cambria orchid’ which is a commercial name for a group of orchids, but doesn’t really give you a proper identification for each one of them.
Still… I would rather make an effort to ID my orchids and pay £5 instead of buying one at the garden centre where the price with the ID would be probably £15 and up. Sure, the plants found at the garden centre are most likely in better health, but let’s face it – anything other than Phalaenopsis I don’t really have any experience with care, so starting with a cheaper ones is at the moment a better option for me. With this in mind I went to the shop where Nunzia found these cuties, but unfortunately they had no orchids at that time. Ohh well… maybe another time.
I also found pictures of 2 of her older Phals, which always amaze me with an abundance of flowers. The purple one of course was still in bloom during our visit. Is seems to never stop flowering!
After fun, but exhausting weekend of salsa congress, we’ve been recovering and dealing with my house related things like repairing fence, some shopping and gardening and I also had a chance of meeting my house cleaner – nice Polish girl Kasia.
As the next weekend was approaching, so our schedule become more hectic. On Friday I made a trip to Ikea in search of some new, hopefully unusual orchids, like the Nelly Isler which I found there in February, but yet again it turned out no to be my time. I couldn’t leave with empty hands though, so I treated myself to 2 mini Phalaenopsis, 1 of which I was planning to give to Tina. Not sure how I managed not to take a picture of both of them together, but I guess I’ll have to take one of Tina’s upon my next visit.
Here are a few snaps of the one which stayed with me though:
Surprisingly it has a very faint flowery fragrance to it. Quite unusual for Phalaenopsis hybrids. The pictures are also taken after the holiday and ’emergency’ repotting. I know… I should probably wait until the flowers drop, but as it’s Phals growing season and the root system looked rather poorly, I decided to get on with it as soon as I got back to Netherworlds. Luckily for me, not even 1 flower dropped after the transition to semi-hydro.
Friday was rather busy. After shopping we went to Winchester to visit Steve and Ramona, which literally just finished upgrading their new house. P really liked them both and it would be super nice to spend more time with them, however I’ve already made arrangements to visit my brother, so after rather short visit we continued our road trip to Oxford.
Surprise, surprise! My bro’s gf Kasia, is also an orchid lover. I don’t think I took any pictures of her plants this time round, but I’ll make sure to introduce her beauties here upon my next visit in the fall, when I will also be helping her with repotting. This time round I had to of course ‘inspect’ all of them and give a few growing tips. One could think I’m a not-so-local orchid adviser for all my orchid loving friends and family 😉
As usual, we had great laugh with my brother and his family and their daughter Kaja even started talking to Patrick in English after she could get no more attention from me 😂
Of course we couldn’t miss out on catching up with Tina during our uk trip. After all she’s kinda our cupid 😉 She was the one believing from the start that Patrick and I are made for each other, while I was doubting any continuation. She couldn’t attend 5 star this year and unfortunately a full on visit was not ideal, as P is allergic to cats and Tinny has quite a few of them. So we decided to pick her up on our way to Alchemy Social on Saturday.
Of course she was in love with her new, purple mini ‘baby’ as she called her gift. And of course not a minute is boring when Tina is around.
Alchemy Social also never disappoints. We had an awesome time with my Alchemy family and tons of great dancers from near and far plus added bonus of superb Alchemy music. Patrick probably got more female attention during 10 days spent in uk than he usually gets in a year’s worth of parties back in Netherlands. Let’s face it – besides the fact that my friends were curious about him, English people in general are much more open and friendly and therefore even the ladies I didn’t know before Saturday were queueing up for him. I think from now on it’ll be easier to convince him to join me on my uk trips ☺️
Needless to say, we didn’t really look forward to our road trip back ‘home’ on Sunday. We were rather grumpy and of course we had to hit some bad traffic which extended our journey by almost 2 hours.
Ehh… Bye bye home. Till next time…