Tag Archives: england

Garden Flowers

I’m in the process of cleaning up my computer files and I’ve gone through thousands upon thousands of photos. I found these from a long ago visit to a English manor house and their gardens. It was early Summer and the blossoms were in full bloom. The scent was intoxicating as you made your way down the gravel paths. The bees were buzzing too and fro. The back of their legs were covered in golden hued humps of powdery pollen from their endeavours. The birds were flittering and the sun was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds. It was a magical day.

Countryside Stroll

Jennifer Michie Countryside 1

We took a long walk through the countryside yesterday. Rambling along the paths. We strolled by a stream, through the church yard where an 800 year old church still stands (with medieval paintings still on the walls) and headed to the deli for lunch.

Jennifer Michie Countryside 2

We sat by the duck pond for a bit after lunch and then decided to continue down the lanes, where we saw fields of grazing sheep and cattle. After following the trail through one particular paddock, we were greeted by four gorgeous horses who all came to say hello. There was lots of petting by us and nuzzling by the horses.

Jennifer Michie Countryside 3 Jennifer Michie Countryside 4

The day was perfect, the sun was out, but there was a delicious breeze going. We ended up doing about a 10 mile stretch. It was bliss.

Soldiering On

Jennifer Michie Wood

Do you know what it feels like to be walking out of the ocean and be knocked down by a wave? That feeling when you are dragged under and you try to fight your way to the top gasping for air, but are knocked down again? That is how I feel lately.

I’m still in a state of disbelief that Brexit is carrying forward. Even though this was simply a referendum and Parliament has yet to say that it will be acted on; that Article 50 will be invoked. Everything is moving on as if we will leave the EU. It’s just this giant snowball effect that seems to be gaining huge momentum before it crashes into the brick wall at the end of the hill.

I’m hearing so many stories at the moment from others and they are shocking! One such story comes from one of my husband’s colleagues. A man working with her husband who is originally from Pakistan and has lived here for maybe 10 years, is now a citizen of the UK. Last week he voted to LEAVE! His reason, he stated was because of immigration. Ironic isn’t it? I mean what do you say to that? How do you combat ignorance? How do you combat moronism?

Jennifer Michie Moss

I try to use my morning walks to clear my head. At the moment, I seem to be listening to a lot of Miles Davis and Alec Baldwin’s Podcast “Here’s The Thing”. Yesterday, I caught up on one I had missed from February of this year, where he spoke to Molly Ringwald. I’ve long been a Brat Pack fan and like many others, I’m sure, I was shaped by, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. To this day, my sister and I still shout out lines from The Breakfast Club to each other. In catching up on some blog reading this morning, I saw on Julia’s site that Sam’s house in Sixteen Candles is currently on the market. It’s always funny to me how things seem to collide. When you notice something and suddenly it starts popping up everywhere.

Jennifer Michie Snail Jennifer Michie Breakfast

I used my walks to exhale. To continue to see the beauty around me and I am blessed to always be rewarded. I came across a snail this morning, slowly making his way across the sidewalk. His shell was lovely. I watched a bunny eating his breakfast in someone’s front yard. I watched the sun play peek-a-boo with the clouds. I feasted on a cup of tea and two toasted slices of banana bread this morning with apricot jam. I just was.

A Changed World

We awoke this morning to a changed Britain. A change that I feel very saddened about. Whether you wanted to remain or leave the EU, the decision now made will forever change this country. I am under no illusion, this morning I awoke in a different place. I’m not one to use my blog to discuss politics. There are plenty of people who do that and who do it far better than I could.

I know that the EU is not perfect. I know there is a lot of bureaucracy and complications. But I feel it would be better to keep working through our issues together and united. Even though we live within this union, Britain is still it’s own country, whether Britain’s feel like it is or not. It is still a unique place with a fascinating history, vibrant cities and a fantastic culture.

The margin to leave versus remain was slim. Why Britain didn’t do one of the things it is best at, which is just to complain but carry on anyway, is beyond me.

Not being a British citizen, I saw everything unfold from the vantage point of another angle. Now, I have studied in the UK, I have a Master’s of Philosophy in Art History and Connoisseurship from the University of Glasgow. My husband is British, and I have gone through all of the legal processes and financial costs to be able to live here as a legal resident. I have contributed to my community. I pay full taxes and I live by the rules.

However, for all my other rights, I have no recourse to public funds, which let me just state here, I am not after, but, I also do not get a vote. I state all this to say that I am not one of the “immigrants” that have been so nastily spoken about in the paper as of late, but from some people’s remarks I know that my being here poses a threat to them as well.

If I could have voted, I would have chosen to remain within the EU. The campaign waged was extremely ugly. Especially from the opposing side. Those that wanted to leave have lead a poisonous toxic campaign filled with racist remarks, bigotry and incorrect facts. I can’t begin to count the numerous pieces of propaganda concerning funds going to the EU that could instead be used to fund the NHS that were shoved through our postbox. All stating facts that are untrue. The vile attitudes that have gone on throughout this campaign were brought even more to light this morning when Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip had the audacity to say that this triumph had come to fruition “without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired”.

Maybe Mr. Farage failed to remember the heinous crime that was committed against MP Jo Cox last week by Thomas Mair. Last week, when asked in court what his name was, he stated, “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”

I think we are living in a world where fear mongering is being used as a tactic to gain the upperhand. History has taught us what happens when fear is deployed in this way. Wars have been started! Maybe I live in a fantasy world where I would like us all to get along. If I was ever in a beauty pageant, I can tell you that “world peace” would feature in my speech. We’re all in this together. This outcome is a giant step back, not a step forward.

The ramifications to leave the EU might not show themselves as quickly as the financial implications for this decision have already done. But they will begin to unfold as things slowly tear apart from the seams.

I Miss the South!

Jennifer Michie Queen Anne's Lace

As I headed out for my walk this morning, the sun was glistening in the sky and there was a nice breeze going, that was offsetting the warmth of the sun. It was a walk that started out full of optimism and excitement over what discoveries I would make along the way.

Half way through my walk, I was already down trodden and it wasn’t the heat, or the fact that I was tired from not sleeping that great last night or that a blister on my heel was rubbing against my sneaker. No, I can deal with all of that and still stay upbeat. It was the people I was passing! In the 50 or so other walkers, joggers and strollers I passed, I said “Good Morning!” to every single one and in all of those, “Good Morning’s!” only two people responded, TWO!

One man only responded because the path narrowed and there was no way for him to get out it, I guess? But he didn’t look at me and just mumbled a gruff reply. The other was from a gentleman who like me, was smiling. He cheerfully replied while his cute little fluffy white dog ran down the path. Everyone else pretended they didn’t hear me.

I have to tell you, this morning my walk left me disheartened and terribly missing the South. There is no way I could do the walk I do in the time I do it in if I was in the South. Because, everyone stops everyone else to comment on the weather, the gardens, the seasons, a simple “Hello!” to a neighbour turns into a catch up on family news and life. I miss the South where gentleman hold doors open for you instead of rushing past you. Where people are simply polite to one another. I miss being everyone’s, Sweetie, Honey, Lil’ Miss, Ma’m and Shuga. Where no one is a stranger.

Now, I’m not saying I’m after the other walkers, joggers and strollers life stories. But if someone offers you salutations the polite and basic human kindness thing to do is to reply.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better walk! Here’s to the weekend, long may it last!

Holiday Shopping in the 1960s

Mashable Christmas 1

I have a soft spot for the 1950s and 60s. The hair, the clothes, the houses, the furniture! I came across these photographs from the 1960s on Mashable. Taken by amateur photographer Ronald Sanderson of department store window displays around South Shields and Newcastle-upon-Tyne during a 1960s holidays. These photographs are too cute! Enjoy!

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Feels Like Fall

Jennifer Michie Dawn

It felt Fall-ish this weekend. It was cool and rainy on Saturday, sunny and chilly yesterday. Today I left the house to a dark and windy morning, which slowly budded into the most gorgeous sunrise, the sky was filled with pink and gold and a deep purple, the trees and houses I passed, black silhouettes against the rising dawn. All this beauty had vanished behind clouds and a rain filled sky by the time I got off the tube.

It feels like Fall has arrived to England. Blustery, rainy weather and the crunch of leaves underfoot. I just wanted to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea this afternoon. It feels like sweater weather!

Below is a small Autumn Playlist that I made, these songs make me think of hot apple cider, pumpkins, sweaters, the leaves changing, the evenings closing in sooner, the train racing past fields filled with birds following the Harvester, rainy afternoons and crispy mornings, to name but a few things.

Autumn Days by Jennifer Michie on Grooveshark

Whack-bat

fantastic mr fox film how to play whack batSummer not only brings with it Wimbledon, but also, cricket matches. Mr. Michie, truly enjoys watching cricket. Over the years he has watched numerous matches and throughout those many matches he has attempted to explain it to me and I have done my best to understand it in return. Maybe I need to be trying harder.

Don’t ask me why, but I just don’t get cricket. Now, give me a good game of baseball and we’ll be talking. Now, for all the avid cricket fans that might read my blog, I am sure that you are cringing right now and screaming at your computer screens. Maybe it is the way he explains it, or maybe I need a “Cricket for Dummies” book? I don’t know! For whatever reason most times he has ended up explaining the rules to me, we are sitting in a pub, weirdly enough, it is usually this one particular pub in Covent Garden and inevitably he starts to draw everything out for me on a napkin and the more he sketches it out, the bigger the hand gestures get and the more passionate he gets over trying to make me understand it and somewhere in the middle my head is filled with creases and wickets and stumps and bowls and I just start laughing and we don’t get anywhere.

We watched a match being played at Lord’s Cricket Ground last night and heaven knows why but as I watched it all I could think of was The Fantastic Mr. Fox film. There is this wonderful scene where the coach explains the rules to “Whack-bat”. I think Mr. Michie might be explaining Whack-bat to me when we are discussing cricket. If he starts telling me they are bowling a flaming pinecone then I will know for sure, I’ve lost it!

The Weather

A rainy Monday seems to put everyone in a bad mood! It just makes me want to be at home, curled up on the couch with a nice cup of tea, the radio on, a candle going and a good book in hand. It has rained here from yesterday morning onward.

Last night the rain and wind whipped around the house, the drops beating against the window panes like a drum. This morning, it let up enough so that we didn’t get soaked catching the bus to school, but the heavy rain came back again in full swing not long after. I was so chilly when I got to work, I had to put on the little radiator by my desk, just to take the chill off.

On Friday night, we went out with some friends to one of our favorite pubs, The Royal Standard. They had never been before and enjoyed it immensely. It is one of the coziest pubs going, I think. You can just feel the history oozing out of its pores as you sit at your table, bathed in the glow of candlelight and as always the food was delicious. Good pub grub, but pub grub of a high standard.

I haven’t been there in ages. We had a jolly time in there at Christmas with my sister and her husband, a wonderful day, spent laughing, drinking and eating good food by the fire. The pub cat even came to sit with us, but I know that is only because my sister was with us, she is an animal whisperer.

It rained Friday afternoon and into the evening and as we drove to the Standard, the road and sidewalks were dotted with yellow leaves everywhere. The headlights from the car made them glow eerily, like little yellow lanterns scattered about. It felt like Autumn.

I think this is it! I think we just might be done with Summer. I am ready for it in some ways, but not in others. I am ready for golden and rust colored mums and pumpkins and crunchy leaves and hot apple cider. But, I shall miss my sunshine and warmer weather.

But seasons change and with it, so do we.

Is It Here?

Shhh! Don’t say it too loud, but I think we might be getting our first real touch of Summer! Of course, this is England, so this might be all we get!

I won’t complain about the heat, because I am so happy that there is sunshine outside and along with that, comes everyone’s new attitudes. People are happier, they smile more, they will actually say, “Hello!” back to you, believe or not…

Sunshine makes this little island, sparkle!