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May 30th;

10.25pm
Just sitting in front of the television. ‘Britain Has More Talent‘ is on. Jedward are on it, they’re annoying haha. Gill is reading her book.

I got up at about 10am, a cup of tea was already waiting for me which was nice. Gill made me some toast, wouldn’t even let me make it myself. Had three pieces of honey toast. Sat in the living room and ate them. Then I went and had a shower. Shortly after getting ready Gill asked me if I wanted to go into the city. I said I wanted to go to the cemetery, she said we could and checked the bus times cause it’s a public holiday today. Luckily there was one in about ten minutes, so we sent off for the bus stop. While waiting, Gill asked me if I got my sleeve done here, I said no in Australia, I had seen her looking at it last night but was waiting for her to say something, found out she didn’t like tattoos, I didn’t think she would ha. The bus came and I asked Gill what ticket I should get, she wouldn’t let me get my ticket and bought it for me. We sat at the very front on the top deck and Gill told me about different locations around Norwich. Was so much bigger than I thought it was, has so much history too! I think that’s what I love about England, so much more history than Australia! It took about 20 minutes at least to get to the cemetery. The bus dropped us off at an entrance that’s on the other side, the walk through was an untamed part of it with head stones all over the place, was actually quite spooky, but really nice. Would be so scary at night.

We got to the grave stone of where my Great Grandfather, my Grandfather, my Great Uncle and my Uncle Bernard. Gill had bought some clean wipes to clean the headstone and the edges. She started cleaning the headstone and I asked her for a cloth and I cleaned the side where Bernard’s name was and all around the front. Gill told me different stories about how they had got here. One of the stories was Robert’s wife, she asked Gill what would happen to her when she dies. Gill asked her what she wanted to happen? She asked if she wanted to go up to Norwich when her husband was buried? She sat there for the longest time with her eyes closed, they thought she had fallen asleep. But she opened her eyes and replied with ‘No, I don’t think I’m up for the journey’ Bless! Looking at the headstone for a while I noticed that Robert Bannon died on my Birth date. Something I already knew but my Grandfather died the year of my birth and Bernard died on the same date as I was born, spooky huh? Kinda like they all died with my date and year combined and I was born, circle of life. After picking the sticks out of the gravel, Gill asked if I had had enough time, I kinda wanted some time alone, I think she got the picture and said to take as long as I wanted, she said she couldn’t stand around too long otherwise she’ll start to cry. She walked off and sat on a bench. I know it sounds stupid, but I felt so at peace here. Bernard was the first ‘funeral’ that I had attended and this was the first time I had gone to visit a grave of someone I knew. I said Hello to him and after a short while I started crying, my eyes are tearing up just thinking about it. It was a really important moment for me. I am so glad I came to Norwich, this was the reason I had made the effort to come here. I sat there for a while and just talked to Bernard. I then took some photos with my snow globe with Bernard’s name and his name on the grave, another really important thing for me to do. I felt I really can’t explain it, but I didn’t want to leave. I felt closer here than I have to any of my other relatives and now I’m crying thinking about it. I told Tom I had visited and he said that he really believes that the deceased know when you do and he bet I made his afterlife today, which was really nice to hear. I hope I did. After nine years of first laying his ashes, it’s nice to think he knew that I was there and that he would recognise me. When I sat down to take the photo I sat on a prickly bush which poked into my bum, I thought, ‘That would be right! Sit next to a homo and get poked!’ Haha. It was so nice, I just yeah, I didn’t want to leave. But I felt so much happier walking away, like I had fulfilled something? Like I knew that I was welcome there. I have Adele’s ‘Someone LIke You’ playing while I’m writing this so it’s really not helping my tears. As we were walking away Gill said ‘Your Mum will be happy you did that’ It just makes it so much sadder that his gone, he and Mum were so close. I just feel so horrible that his gone for her. Walking to the bus stop Gill told me how Mum, Bernard would stay up with them in Norwich and that Bernard hated coming up to start with but after a day or so he would be over it. One time Gill said she was in the garden and got shot of cold water on her back, she looked up to see that Bernard had connected the hose to the bathroom tap from upstairs! She said he was such a devil but she would always get him back. One time Gill’s husband had bought someone back from the train station who had missed their train, she said he would often do this and they would let them stay. This was the same time Bernard was up along with their seven children! One by one the children would come into the dinning room and Bernard would come in with his quilt draped around him, the guy soon left saying he couldn’t handle how many there were haha!

The bus was meant to have arrived, I said we should just walk into the city, the bus came as soon as we started walking, but I didn’t mind, I was glad to walk. As we walked Gill point out more things. Saw where the old Post Office was, churches and such. Walked past one shop which had the same helium Bride and Groom that Kate had got for Mum and Dad’s Wedding Anniversary! Which was funny. I swear everything in England where my parents have been is connected! The buildings were really nice. We stopped at a Cafe called Calley’s who were famous chocolate makers back in the day, the factory used to be in Norwich too, but is now in York. The place used to be the old court room, which was so cool! I had a hot chocolate and a cheese sandwich, which came with salad on the side and crisps on the plate too! Just like my Mum does, I now know it’s an English thing. I asked the waitress is they could do cheese and lettuce, she replied with cheese and pickle? Apparently it was too hard to put some lettuce in the sandwich, but not to put it on the side, morons. I had a piece of chocolate cake afterwards too. Again I offered to pay but Gill refused and said I wasn’t allowed as I was her guest. She then said ‘If you were staying for six months, that would be a different story’ Haha. We set off to the main bit of the city, I saw a HMV and said there was a CD I wanted to get, Gill said she’d meet me at the front and she went off to look at something, I walked in a saw a GaGa sign, picked up both versions of Born This Way and found a singlet, so I got that too. SO much more expensive than it would have been in Australia, but I don’t care. Finally now have them, even thought I’ve ordered the $200+ edition of it haha. I also took one of the display cards they had with GaGa on, a 2 for 10 pounds deal. Best way to take them, just simply take it and hold it in your hands, while paying hold with your items, give them the CD’s and then when they give you them back, walk off and hold it with them. Confidence is the key! Now I have a GaGa promo card, woo! I told Gill the CD I had got, she’s not a fan of GaGa at all, she said she doesn’t like how she dressed LOL! She said she knew it was for effect but she said she’s very much an olden day kind of person. I asked her if she was catholic and if it was very strong for her, she said yes. I told her well she definitely wouldn’t like GaGa as she has a song about Judas, Gill said ‘I bet she does!’ She said she likes songs you can ‘la la la’ too, and GaGa’s were too ‘unpredictable’ I said to her. Ha, funny how the older generations probably don’t really understand GaGa. I like that though, it’s nice to hear someone who doesn’t like her just as it is to hear someone does. We set off and Gill asked me if I wanted to go to the mall, I said I didn’t mind, may as well seeing as we’re here. Looked in H&M, didn’t see anything. I saw another store that looked a bit weird, Gill said she’d wait outside, I walked it and it was really dark except for some spot lights that light up clothes, it was actually a really cool concept, you’d never see this in Australia. I even got asked if I was alright. On my way out the girl said ‘Thanks for coming!’ I then saw River Island! Gill said to take as long as I wanted, I ended up getting two shirts (I am obsessed with these checkered kind of shirts at the moment, I bought about 5 or 6 here!) and I got a black and a white really skinny tie. I had to force myself out, AGAIN, but might go to the one in Brighton to see if they have these two bags I wanted haha. I bought an enviro bag but the girl packed that and the other things into a plastic bag, I didn’t say anything haha. Ventured outside and Gill was on the phone, to whom I presume was Jerry. She asked me if we should get the bus or should he pick us up, I said I didn’t mind, we got the bus which took about 15 minutes to come, Gill again paid and wouldn’t let me. We got back and I just put on the television and watched an episode of Ugly Betty, just as it was finished Jerry and Nicole turned up and we all chatted, then Nick turned up. We all just chatted about everything and anything that came up, Mary came up in discussion again haha! Nick said they had the ‘pleasure’ of having to visit her. They all said she was quite nice, I set them straight and told them things she had done to us.

Nick only stayed for a couple of hours as he was expected home. Realised Jack and the other kids were in town, would have been nice to see them, but I wasn’t really here long enough and most of them, like Connor were all away cause of the long weekend. My tattoos were of big discussion, for most of the time, none of them had any and Nicole said after I explained it that I hadn’t sold it to her haha. After he had left dinner was shortly ready. We all had dinner, Gill waited on us all, I had three piece of the spinach and cheese quiche, this time with tomato sauce which was much nicer! Had wedges with it too. But the table had cheese sticks, salad, apples, cheese and crackers, cake, timeouts, just so much! Such a typical house mum’s meal. So much like Brothers and Sisters. After dinner we went back into the living room, having more tea and after talks about Australia, aboriginals, Lotis (Which I found out are made in Norwich! My favourite car) Hate for the French (I love that all English people have the same opinion I do on these people), Germans, Americans, everyone that wasn’t English haha! Just all sorts, it ended up being 9.50pm! It was actually such a nice evening of just talking about anything really. They both left and Nicole said ‘We’ll see you when you’re next here!’ Which made me excited to come back and actually have a proper get together with everyone. As they talked about their family throughout the night, made me jealous that they’ve had this huge family and now are all adult and get along, much like Brothers and Sisters. But got me excited that, that would soon be my family, once Sarah and Mark are grown up more with kids, can’t wait for us to have dinners and such.

After they left, I watched Britain’s for about half and hour and then started this! Gill went to bed shortly after I started writing and I’ve just had the tv on mute with music playing. Today has just been so nice. I’m so glad I came, glad I didn’t write it off. Really, really glad I came actually. Wish I had more time here to see more of my family. Well, my Mum’s family, the relation I have is a bit weaker, but still there. They would all say Bannon a lot which was weird to hear because I only think of my Mum and Bernard as Bannon’s but there’s this whole side of them! I was always jealous that Jack had Bannon as his last name haha.

I think being here has made me more aware of tattoos I want haha! When I get back, I am booking in for about four different pieces. I’m sure two of them will hurt so much, but I don’t care. I have this burning desire to have them, like I need them. It was like this whole trip, I needed to do it. I have done and seen so much, looking back on now I can’t believe everything I have done. It’s a whole new world. I have still have so much more I can do here, so many more relations that I could build with family. Today was definitely more quality than quantity. It’s ranked as one of my favourite days I think. Jerry and Nicole look so good still, really good looking and healthy. So did Nick actually! But yes, I would love to meet up with them all a bit more, one day soon for sure! It’s now 11.19pm. I might get some Custard Creams! Gill did say I could help myself to whatever haha, might watch a movie I think.

1.17am
Just watched ‘Push’ starred Dakota Fanning, was really good. So tired now, bed time. Feels like I haven’t written much about my day. Wish I could of recorded all of the conversations I had, back to Brighton in under 11 hours! Quite excited, but sad to be leaving Norwich, funny a few days ago I didn’t want to come, now I don’t want to leave. Dreading the flight back so much and the early wake up. I will need to check with Roger that he can actually take me to the airport, hopefully he can! Anyway, bed time.