Tag Archives: england

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!

Mashable Christmas 2 Mashable Christmas 3 Mashable Christmas 4 Mashable Christmas 5 Mashable Christmas 6

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!

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig!

Yesterday we left our little farm cottage and headed home, back to our own cottage. I grabbed my camera from the kitchen table, while Foxy was finishing his packing, as I wanted to take a few more photos before we had to catch our train.

So, goodbye to the morning mist across the fields, that dampened my face as I spread our leftover pieces of toast onto the bird table in the morning. Goodbye, to my little moo cow painting that greeted me while I had my tea and goodbye to the teddy bear face hidden in the beam, that smiled at me while I sat in front of the fire:

The Teddy Bear Beam

Goodbye Mr. Bumblebee, I will miss your buzz, buzz, buzzing in the herb garden while I go about my day:

Mr Bumblebee

Goodbye my evergreens, I can’t wait to come back so I can collect your miniature pine cones to decorate my own little cottage with:

evergreen

Goodbye Spring blossoms and Mr. & Mrs. Robin, who sung so sweetly to me in the light of dawn and as the light faded into dusk:

Mr. and Mrs. Robin

Until we meet again, goodbye little cottage in the countryside, I shall miss you!

Joining the Herd

primrosesGiGi & Foxy wanted to stay indoors yesterday and so, I decided to head out on my own. I took a lovely six mile stroll around the countryside and happened upon a field full of wild primroses.

So, I wandered in to have a little munch, they were so sweet and delicate, they tasted of sunshine and Spring.

I walked through the field, grazing as I went and then meandered down to the stream. I came across a small herd of cattle and decided to join them for awhile.

molly moo

We drank, chattered, rested by the stream and took in the beautiful day and the fresh country air. They even invited me back to their barn for a spot of tea. It was delightful.

A Walk in the Country

image (2)The rain that was pouring when we arrived subsided early in the morning and we got to spend our first real day in nothing but sunshine! It was still very windy, it made my fur ruffle, but it was lovely nonetheless!

We got up yesterday morning and Gigi went to work making everyone breakfast from the breakfast basket in the cottage. We had fresh local bread and bacon with scrambled eggs, it was heavenly.

After breakfast we got ready, put on our wellies and headed out. I wanted to do one of my favorite walks. It is the long way round to the pub, but on the way, you pass fields you can cut through, an adorable village hall, a charming stream, an old church that has been there since medieval times and lots of farms and fairytale-sque cottages.

village hallWellies on and bundled up, we headed out across the fields with the mud sticking to our boots, we soon washed that off in a huge puddle and headed for the hall. It was just as I had remembered it from the Summer. Quaint. From there is was down the stream and across the fields to walk the tree lined avenue up to the church.

It was still decorated for Easter with brownware pottery vases that hung off the pews filled with wild flowers and daffodils! I sat down by my favorite stained glass window in there and in the cool of the church and the silence, I just reflected.

stained glassWe moved on after that heading back down the avenue but this time walking under the old gatehouse and came across a field with a big fat pheasant in there, who just studied us, while we gazed at him.

Next through the storybook village, where people sell their fresh jam, eggs and vegetables from their doorsteps and then on to the pub.

After such a long walk, I was ready for a pint! It is a local pub with a good micro brewery attached and I was more than ready for my favorite ale from them, however, “Lovely’s Fair” was not in season, so we tried a pint of “Stella”, a single hop pale ale that had a little bite at the end, but went wonderfully with my sausage and mash. Our bellies were full, my whiskers were covered in gravy, so Gigi helped me clean them.

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We headed out to go home and cut by one of the big farms, their paddocks full of new mamas and baby lambs, all running around soft and fuzzy looking. Their little lambikin ears sticking out and raising up as we spoke to them, adorable! We took the long way home to enjoy a bit more of the countryside views.

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We spent the evening, listening to music, dancing around and staying cozy by our little fire. We all went to bed deliciously happy as our lungs were filled with country air, our bellies filled with good food and our hearts filled with the love of life and good company!

Gnome by the Fire