My Visit to Bishops Lydeard (Part 1-Meeting My Sister in Law)

by Amelia Old
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Last week I boarded a plane hoping to surprise my sister in law at her home in Bishops Lydeard, a small village located in Somerset, England.

You see…my sister in law, JoAnne, was hosting a charity ball benefitting Children with Cancer UK.  As most know, non profit….community ….is very close to my heart as my husband and I do this type of work often where we live. So, knowing JoAnne had similar interests…it really connected us.

We hatched a plan to surprise her days before the ball. What makes this surprise even more special? I had never met her face to face. Due to distance and life in general….we haven’t been able to meet in the past. She was the only sibling of my husband’s that I hadn’t met yet.

It was SO difficult to not let this secret get out. My husband was already on business in the U.K. and there was so much to do in preparation of this trip and all in secret!

After an extremely long flight and a 2.5 hour drive….I finally made it to my destination. Bishops Lydeard. I absolutely adore this village. More on that later in another post.

It was important that I had this moment on video so that I could share it with my husband and of course my friends/family back home!  As I walked up her driveway, I could see her looking at me thru the window. When she opened the door after my knock, she just put her head to the side in a bit of shock and confusion. I think she knew it was me but was having a hard time believing it.

You will hear all of the below on video.

Me:  “I hear you have a ball on Saturday”

JoAnne: “AMELIA?!?!?!?!? I was wondering who that was walking up the drive!”

Me: “Come here! Your dad is recording”

JoAnne : “Oh My God” (I think she said this over and over)

Me: “And your brother will be here too”

You also hear my father in law tell my mother in law to “Shut up” ha!

There were alot of tears and an embrace that can never be replaced. Pure joy, shock, and love.

The ball turned out absolutely beautiful and I am so proud of her hard work thru this journey.

Check out a few photos from the ball


Me with my Brother in Law, Simon, and JoAnne



Me with Mr. Pretty in the QC…my husband Tim


Tim and I with his grandmother 


Benefitting such a great cause!


Darren….the DJ for the night from Tone FM in Taunton….he was amazing at engaging the audience. If you live in the area, you can find him at


Elvis was there too!


My favorite photo of the entire night… husband dancing with his Aunt Chelle…look at the happiness on her face having her nephew near again….

The ball was a success. The trip was a success. I accomplished the surprise of a lifetime. I also had the opportunity to experience true English living and will share some of the places I visited in a series of posts including the Daisy Cottage Tea Room, Bird in Hand (where I had my first lock in), true fish and chips, and I even got to see the first home my husband ever lived in when he was brought into this world.

Subscribe to my blog and stay up to date with the coming posts. There’s lots of laughter to come!

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susie watts March 21, 2014 - 3:00 pm

Amelia, How wonderful to read of your happy visit to our village. Jo is doing a truely amazing thing with her Ball and the Marathon run soon. You must be very proud and it makes me smile to hear you had such a great time and blessed time with your family here. (Loved the surprise video at Jo’s door too!) Regards Susie (friend of Jo’s on FB and fellow mumin the village of Bishops Lydeard)


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