Huddersfield and the family

Posted from Huddersfield, England, United Kingdom.

Welcome to Huddersfield's train station.

Welcome to Huddersfield’s train station.

From the great big city of London, departing from historic Kings Cross Station – fabled by the stories of Harry Potter, I travelled north to Huddersfield, Yorkshire to visit relatives I hadn’t seen in some 14 years. What I learned about this trip was it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen family, because if you truly are related you will know. Time and distance can not erase the bizarre bonds and traits that exemplifies some things really are bred in the bone.

My aunt and cousin collected me from the train station, recognizing me immediately, partly due to my backpack and I think partly due to some pheromone I’m certain family members can sniff out. And then we went shopping. Later that evening we were going to a family member’s (like maybe my third or fourth cousin or my mother’s second nephew or my grandmother’s fourth cousin’s child) birthday party and they needed to get a gift. The venue – the same club I spent many nights at all those years ago when I visited. I partially remember it.

On the walk to the club.

On the walk to the club.

My cousin, Kirsty, asked what I wanted to do while I was there. I suppose it’s my age, but I really just wanted to hang with family. The last time I was there she was pregnant and couldn’t do too much. My time in London made me realize that sometimes you do need to slow down and enjoy the people around you. I told her my visit was purely social and to just go on with their lives.

That’s probably where the chaos came from. Kirsty and I went straight to the shop and bought some beer and cider. We started early.

The party that night began at my aunt’s house. Her and her husband had just gotten back from two weeks in Cuba and everyone knows how cheap booze is in Cuba. So some 80 proof liquor later we were all in fine form to hoof it down to the club. That’s when the shots started. More beer. Dancing. Full-out singing. Sigh. I love my family. Then we all walked home. Someone fell down the stairs that night, clear plowing through the doggie gate at the bottom. But he survived. It was not me. I swear.

That's how we roll.

That’s how we roll.

The next night we did it again, only this time we stayed at my aunt’s house and everyone sang karaoke. Everyone but me and my cousin’s boyfriend. We took a stand. Of course, after the Cuban alcohol disappeared and the cider was almost gone and one wine glass got broken, we broke out the games. drinking Jenga. But in this family one cannot play unless one wears one of the props. I got a snorkel mask. I felt sorry for Michael, Kirsty’s fiance, he got a gas mask.

Apart from the evenings, I visited with my great aunt, Doreen. She’s my grandmother’s sister, but much much younger. The family is hard to figure out in England. My grandma’s parents had some kids, then her mother died and her father remarried. They had some kids, then her father died and her step-mother remarried. Then they had some kids. I think there was 19 of them or something like that. (Probably more like 12.)

Hard to believe - but we're related! :o)

Hard to believe – but we’re related! :o)

Also I got time to hang with the kids – both my cousins have pro-created. And I got time to have tea with my aunt Angela where we talked up a storm. Then there was the puppy, Fire. The day after my aunt arrived home from Cuba they got a German Sheppard puppy. Puppy time is always time well spent.

I only spent a few nights in Huddersfield, but they were all great. It’s funny how the years can slip past but with modern forms of communication it never quite feels like any time has passed. Will I go to Huddersfield again? Hell yes. That’s where it all began.

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