scribbles tagged ‘lovable England’

lanes bounded by ancient tall hedgerows

Monday, March 31st, 2014 | tags: ,  |

lane - lane car width (just!)Why I love England #21: Lanes bounded by ancient tall hedgerows

Those lanes that are only wide enough for one car.

Driving slowly towards a corner because ‘oncoming traffic’ is in the middle of the road. There’s no sign to tell you this, its obvious.

Having to reverse until you find the entrance to a field, pulling into the mud to let an oncoming car pass.

I’m not well travelled, but this experience seems quintessentially English to me. It’s heart warming. It’s time consuming and poor usability, but something special that I treasure.

My mother lives further down this lane.

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frosty parks with wrought iron railings

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 | tags: ,  |

Why I love England #20: parks with wrought iron railings

Palmer parkWinter morning parkland trees are delicately graceful behind the wrought iron railings. Park and railings gifted to the town’s people by a Victorian Quaker philanthropist.

The gentle sunlight, mist and frost make it all sparkly good.

Thank you

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umbrellas at the ready

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Why I love England #19:  Umbrella’s at the ready
a break in the rain

Within 30 minutes of starting our hike up Tryfan from near the Ogwen cottage  – the rain put in an appearance. No real suprise. For me the suprise was the back and white spotted umbrella that arrived to help keep the rain off.  I had to chuckle.  Surely only the English would take an umbrella as rain protection up a mountain when wearing high tech water repellant, goretex, clothing.

Here we see the happy hikers taking a short rest break in the rain, accompanied by the cheerful umbrella.

Excellent show!


3 bits of fabulous banter »

park benches

Sunday, November 6th, 2011 | tags:  |

Why I love England #18:  park benches

Some English parks have formal layouts with features like fountains and statues while others have an unkempt, natural feel. Lots of lovely park diversity. Parks have benches where you can:

  • admire the view
  • take a break from walking, eat your sandwiches
  • rendezvous with your lover
  • remember other people

Benches in beautiful places, have to be loved…

4 bits of fabulous banter »

spring specialities

Sunday, April 24th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Why I love England #17:  bluebell woods

Portbury Bluebell woodSpending hours of the Easter national holiday weekend wandering through cool woodlands surrounded by dappled light, beautiful bluebells, immersed in the wonderful scent. The forests of the USA were beautiful too but the bluebell woodlands of England are magical in their own special way

2 bits of fabulous banter »

antique communication devices

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

Why I love England #16:  red telephone boxes

Red antique English telephone boxesJust around the corner from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is this fabulous row of antique communication devices. Many people 20 and under will never ever have used these. Why would they need to? They carry their own phones with them. In the 80’s a row of phone boxes like this in a city centre would have a person in each box talking and maybe one or two people outside, checking the change in their purses, waiting for their turn to make a private call.

According to this history, in the 1980’s most homes didn’t have landline phones.

In 1987, the post office, who deployed and maintained them, systematically replaced these red boxes with a more modern design with more glass and open to the air that reduced the likelihood of the box being used as a urinal, or the subsequent pungent smell. Pew! I remember the smell!  Some villages protested against the replacement and managed to hold-on to this much loved older design. But sadly, most red boxes were removed.

I guess they are still useful to a few people for actually hosting a landline call, they are also useful for keeping warm, dry and quiet for making a mobile phone call. It’s wonderful that the local council, as many councils in tourist areas, have decided to leave them here and maintain them in such good condition. For the tourists, and people like me who can be heard bubbling


8 bits of fabulous banter »

‘peeling church bells

Sunday, October 31st, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Why I love England #15:  ‘peeling church bells

Seattle Sunday and Saturday felt interchangeable. The main percievable difference was that Saturday night heralded a sleep-in while Sunday night heralded the start of the working week. Saturday and Sunday were both filled with open, buzzing, malls, bowling alleys, ski-slopes and roads. Returning to England returned my beautiful Sundays.

English Sundays start well with a warm, naturally slow, awakening. Things just keep getting better from there. Whether sunshine, rain, fog, drizzle… going out in it or staying in, the choice is mine and the doing is free from shopping. Then comes the distant peal of church bells. Sunday gives time to be with beautiful people; to do nothing or something. Perhaps a spot of painting, a walk in the park, pull weeds from the garden, talk, listen.

On colder days a log fire fills the house with the gentle scent of warm woodsmoke, the clicking of the Stove as it warms, the sparking of logs and roaring of flames.  Lashings of tea, Sunday lunch followed by lashings more tea.

An evening amble to a pub quiz, real ale, laughter, debates and arguments in the company of friends.

Sunday draws to a close with me all wrapped up in sweet smell of fresh laundry and crisp, silence, of the white cotton sheets. They engulf me as I contentedly fall into deep sleep.

3 bits of fabulous banter »

nearby seaside

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

why I love England #14:  nearby seaside

when you live on a small Island, small like Britain, everywhere is near the sea. The furthest place from the sea in Birtian is only 70 mile away. Sea birds, like these guls in Tiverton, can be seen all over the Island. English people on the island grow up with the seaside only a day trip away.

I love day trips to the seaside.

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Birds custard

Friday, February 26th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Birds Instant Custard

why I love England #13:   Birds custard

It’s here , its   now and it’s not just for the birds.    In the US I  made my custard from egg yolks, caster sugar, cream, vanilla  and cornflour according to Delia Smith.   This involved time, skill and concentrtion. In the UK I get instant gratification from birds.


3 bits of fabulous banter »

sub post-office

Thursday, November 26th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Village shop and sub-post officeWhy I love England #12: sub post offices

Nettlebed village shop and sub post office.

Mixed messages of care.

1 wonderful musing »

distinctive seasons

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Why I love England #12: distinctive seasons

Some long  daylight days,   some long evenings,    changing colours,    smells, temperatures,   ….feel.   I love how the changes bring different moods and experiences.

Beach Tree Walkway

sunlight and dew

Avenue in Palmer's park

Cemetery Junction


1 wonderful musing »

leafy roadways

Saturday, September 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Road across DartmoorWhy I love England #11: leafy roadways

Driving down many of the roads in rural England is like driving through a tunnel,   the trees on either side meet above you.   On sunny days dappled light dances on the road.   Beautiful

2 bits of fabulous banter »


Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

hint of rainbowwhy I love England #10:   conkers

A wealth of green leafy blooming conker trees in the spring showers and sunshine hail the arrival of competitive conker activities where naughty cheater might resort to soaking said conkers in vinegar or hardening them by  cooking them in the oven.   One-ers,   two-ers,   and more,   champion conkers paraded and gawped-at performing in play grounds,   fields and gardens.   The sound of conker on conker is as English as leather on willow.

Goodness,   its one of the legacies of the empire.

It’s more than rather cute

It’s rather fun.

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Sunday, April 26th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

why I love England #9:   rambling

Florence graffittiNot the conversational rambling often illustrated with flippancy.

The type of rambling that is darn near to hiking,   but not quite.   Britain even has a charity organisation dedicated to this passtime,   the official rambling assoication.   They will be celebrating National walking day on May 30th,

How excellent is that?  !

700 times excellent at an absolute  minimum, really!

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Thursday, March 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

why I love England #8:   flippancy

Liberal indulgance in flippancy.   Often there is no apparant  effort to dress-up,   or dress-down, conversations to be anything other than a wee bit of mutual indulgence in minor entertainment.   No nonsense nonsense.   In my experience flippancy is more common, valued,  in England than in  the NW US

Mary:   Wendy?   that’s easy,   we don’t have any Wendy’s here.

Wendy:   Oh, (signifying surprise that I’ll be the first and only Wendy here) I’ll be your first Wendy!

Gill:   everyone is called Gill or Mary…   …I don’t know why….

Wendy:   Even the Simons and Geoffs?

Simon:   What?

Geoff:   Leave me out of this.

5 bits of fabulous banter »


Thursday, February 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

why I love England #7: surreality

Man On Bus (MOB): It’s all foreign to you innit?!

Wendy:   Yur, t’is!

MOB: Just shut one eye and whistle (smiles and winks as he disembarks the bus)

3 bits of fabulous banter »

near Europe

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

why I love England #6: It’s near Europe

Learning about diverse countries, climates, cars,  cities, cultures  by actually visiting them  is easy because they are close, part of the European community (EU) though  Britain has opted out of many of the unifying practices such as the Social Charter and the Euro currency.

1 wonderful musing »

public service advertisements

Sunday, October 26th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

why I love England #5: public service advertisements

The most recent series of public service advertisements are aimed at tackling ‘binge drinking’ culture that is painfully obvious on the Streets of British cities and by the behaviour of British holiday makers.

They are very direct and witty: Metro webpage with embedded media files of TV abverts.

My first memory of this striking style of advertisement was the 1986 anti-Aids campaign that leveraged John Hurt as voice-over and Nicolas Roeg’s directorial talent.

4 bits of fabulous banter »


Friday, September 26th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Why I love England #4.    welcoming

England welcomes all sorts of people,  even bus enthusiasts, as long as they behave like responsible citizens by following health and safety instructions and reporting suspicious unattended packages to the appropriate security authorities.
Bus Enthusiasts

7 bits of fabulous banter »


Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

Why I love England #3.    closeness

closeness illustrated by analogy to the display system in a local store UK closeness illustrated by the proximity of items in a local store

Within 6 months of arriving in Reading I’d been invited to a local couple’s wedding,   into half a dozen neighbours houses for tea and general niceness,   out to numerous local events,   heard multiple personal stories of divorces,  abortions, new-loves,  disputes with the local council,   disputes with neighbours,   and, of course, the standard commute and job stories.    I experience a closeness with people here that is very heartwarming.

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public funded broadcasting

Saturday, July 26th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

why I love England #2:   The BBC

Public funded broadbcasting in the public interest rather than in the interest of making profit.   With journalists all over the world who assume their audience has some intelligence and ask insightful rather than tabloid questions.   I suspect that I have a crush on Jeremy Paxman.  They produce high quality drama,   comedy productions  and Dr. Who.   They backed  Red Dwarf on BBC2 and  Top Gear.   They employed Dennis Potter and delivered Blue Peter who provided me with my first and enduring female role model in Valerie Singleton and  gave me profound appreciation of the potential of squeezy bottles and sticky-backed-plastic to contribute to orld happiness.

Stephen fry quoted on Wikipedia’s entry about Valerie Singleton:

I have been pondering this business of fame since I was young enough to know Valerie Singleton from the Queen (for Americans and other non-Britons I should explain: one is a remote, god-like, autocratic woman endowed with powerful charismatic charm and the other is a constitutional monarch recently played on screen by Helen Mirren

What more could a girl want from broadcasting?

4 bits of fabulous banter »

jumping ladies

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Why I love England #1.    First in an infinite series

Healthy ladies in slightly ridiculous hats &  waistecoats made of flapping strands of material oddments  jumping around with large sticks and bells tied to their staunchly sensible shoes within the ruins of a 12th  century Abby adjacent to a Victorian prison on a rather damp June day.   How could you possibly not love this?   and it happened in Reading!

1 wonderful musing »