February 19, 2011

Crossing the Pond

It's upon me and virtually nothing on my before I go "TO DO List" is complete.............my darling step-dad, Bob has taken gravely ill and we have held vigil at the hospital. All thankfully, is looking up. Guilt is my current partner as we pray for his continued improvement. 

So, off it is to the charming village of Sherborne England, south of London, in what is known as "Thomas Hardy Country" of thatched cottages, castle ruins, medieval squares and an abundance of charm.

My long held dream of writing a book is finally here.  Failure looms, trying.......well, what is there to lose other than the "what if's"

 I also need the time to reflect, to quiet my mind, to think........2010 was unlike any other. I embrace the thought of solitude.
 But, at night? First things first, I must become acquainted with the local pub. Traveling solo is a license to stretch beyond your comfort zone and usually the rewards are memory making
I say I won't, after all my new Sketchers are coming with me, but the local tea shops have scones with clotted cream. Have you ever had the real clotted cream, from Devon? OMG!
 Dearest friends, Sylvia and Joe are allowing me the use of the cottage on their grounds for 5 weeks! My gratitude is unending
(Dear Father Time....... please go slowly)
Long thoughtful walks will be in order
OH NO..............Not again!
I can feel him practically breathing down my neck, we'll be so much closer......All I have to do is.....
bring 'Pride and Predjudice'

Or write about      My own Mr. Darcy      But since I will be attempting non-fiction the fates are against me.
I love the differences between our two countries and the similarities, we do after all speak the same language........sort of.......
Having been many times and having taken numerous small groups over the years visiting gardens and antiquing, I have learned so much; and often the hard way

ME:     "oh what a charming plant what is it?"
CLERK  "mind your own business!"  was the sharp retort
ME      "I am sorry, you must have misunderstood. I was inquiring on the plant name"
CLERK   "mind your own business!" in a stronger tone
ME:     "I uh, well I uh only...."
CLERK:   "Oh it's been so long since an American asked.......bending over laughing.....that is what the plant is called here!"
Note to anyone interested, we refer to it as 'Baby Tears'. Helxine is the botanical name
MY FRIEND ANGELA:   "yes let's cross the lane and see the old house, I have a key" "just wait a moment while I get a torch"
ME:  "Isn't that dangerous, a bit overkill?" thinking to myself, this is a very old building
Note: torch = flashlight

On our very first visit, in our typical travel fashion, Steve and I rented a car and headed south without a care, nor a reservation. "Let's see what we find along the way!" was our mantra. Add jet lag and a learning curve..........driving on the other side of the road. As we headed deeper into the countryside warning signs became increasingly dire



then the ominous DANGER; LORRY'S AHEAD!

What kind of an animal is this?! How big are they???

Note; Lorry = Truck    

ME to STEVE; "How odd, this village is posting signs about a BOOT sale in this field tomorrow". "And with such fanfare!, balloons, signs everywhere......it's july how many boots can people have to sell?!"
Note;  Boot = Trunk, as in "Come, open your trunk and sell from it!"

One of the joys of the countryside and it's major past time is garden visiting. Large public gardens that once surrounded a castle and moat, a Duke's Estate, you name it...... But, I will tell you that the very best are the deeply rural private gardens. A perfect way to engage with the locals and their customs. Every proper garden open for visitors offers tea and cakes for sale. Naturally there are no strip malls (thankfully) nor many spots to pop in and grab a water for MILES. And very unlike the locals, I dislike tea, immensely.

It was hot and I was terribly thirsty

ME   "Do you possibly offer a beverage other than tea?"
ME    "Did you say Squash, as in juice?"
T. ATTENDANT;  "yes mam, I did"
ME:  "Then squash it is", ever so meekly
T. ATTENDANT;  "There you are, do enjoy!"
ME......wait this is...... o r a n g e  juice, freshly "squashed"

I adore the British; their quirky sense of humor, "proper" mannerisms, yes...the food, their history, gardens, architecture, antiques, decor.....ALL   
Stay tuned, life is an adventure and I will take you with me, vicariously.
I never traverse the straight and narrow, but the "road unseen", Consequences? ALWAYS..........


Of course! The perfect pillow
Anything I should look for over there while shopping? Do tell!

A note to my clients.........I will still be working, but that part did not make for a good story........know to contact me any time; debra@scentimentalgardens.com

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