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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New England, Old England.

So, going to Boston and knowing that it is in New England, I didn't give much thought to why it is called New England apart from a little inward *sigh*. Oh dear, New if. Nothing wrong with the old America to want to copy, not that they could of course, THIS is England, the old one, the proper one, the RIGHT and only one. I used to think ( only ever in my head though because how RUDE would that have been, to think that out loud? Also, you would be shocked to hear what other inner thoughts I have, they shock ME sometimes, I tell you.)
So, I arrive in Boston, in the afternoon, in late June and it is raining, the way I have only ever seen it rain in ENGLAND..hey, imagine that! Sideways rain that hammers down and darkens the whole sky, there was lightening too but it was more American, in its zig zaggy fork type style as opposed to our more flash in the sky sheet kind.
We drove to the hotel along roads that were remarkably like English roads....just 2 lanes and winding and hither and thither..none of your LA type 12 lanes, straight lines, blocks and tidy. Blimey.
That is the first time ever, while being a passenger in a car in the States, that I have ever been overcome by the " WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!" feeling, because the roads were like ours and OH NO!! That car is coming right AT ME! Goodness.
Saturday we went, um..somewhere, after the duck tour. Shopping and well, for heavens sake, if I didn't have the most fabulous time, while all the time thinking to myself " well, no point trying to sell coming to England to Cathy because this is IT, only bigger, with more shops and refills ( my obsession with refills is actually quite funny because I never actually take a refill, the one HUGE drink is usually more than enough for me but the very thought that should I so desire, it is there, for free....fabulous)
I walked through streets and shops and cobbly pavements and thought " there, see. Al this time I imagined taking Cathy and friends around Covent garden and here we are, if they came to me they would just be thinking, " This it? We have all this, only it costs less and is down the road and yes, we have refills."
Darn it all, although I didn't see any castles and we have those, all over.
I didn't see cigarette butts all over the floor either come to think of it. Or people pushing babies while dragging on a cigarette.
So, New England ( the part that I saw anyway,) is remarkably like the old one, with better bits. Who'd have thought it?
What about Old England,that despite scathing comments ( that are absolutely in the category or ' I can say it, you can't') I adore. I am incredibly proud to be English and although I can see it's many faults, I wouldn't choose to live anywhere else in the world. I particularly love the part of England where I live, dear Devon.
I sometimes think that this part of the world is all on it's own. SO gentle and slow, so sleepy and glorious. Everything I could ever want is right here. Cities, history, great shopping, countryside, beauty, castles, electricity ( yes, honestly) the beach ( although lately not the weather to enjoy them) fields, and since living in California, I still, all these years on, get enormous joy from seeing our fields, with all the grass and cows and sheep eating the grass, everywhere I saw in Ca the cows were in blocks of dry mud, black looking earth and fences, and dear heaven what IS that smell with the cows over there? We lived in Hemet for a year and driving from LA to Hemet, if I slept in the car I would wake up knowing we were almost home because OH that STENCH!! Cows over here just potter about in buttercup fields and if walking, you step in a cow pat, no biggie, its just grassy poop, no smell ( much)
Don't try and do anything if you are in a hurry in Devon. It won't work, you'll get an ulcer.
Shopping? Give yourself time to stand in line and learn all about Doreens ( or Dor, always the names are shortened Dor, Glor, Hels, Jules, Caff, ) father / mother/ next door neighbours cat who was awful poorly last week and bleddy 'ell, you'll never guess what! It is a fact of life, we don't do hurry in Devon. Driving along the roads takes patience too, every few hundred yards will have you stopping, pulling over, allowing another car to go by, looking at the driver and waving back after they wave a thankyou.
You may well get stuck behind a load of cows going to be milked, nothing to do but sit and wait and enjoy the view because even the cows don't hurry. Nope. Not a care in the world.
People know people, walking through town is always filled with waving and 'alright?' Except for me because I am in my own little world and never see anyone, I wander aimlessly along with my head deep in thought and see not a soul, if you see me and I ignore you......I'm not ignoring you I am thinking ( or talking myself through being out and not forgetting and remembering where the car is etc)
I haven't seen anywhere near enough of England, as the boys get older, H and I are determined to see more of it. We want to start showing them the castles, the history, take them to where their ancestors came from. H's family are from the Manchester area, they sailed to America as pioneers and we aim to show them from where they sailed.
Did you ask for more pictures? I'm sure you did. Here they are, Cowboys. Glorious ones.



Oh but wait.....look......

ooooooh, nice. Tomorrow it may even have food in it and then I will show you the inside, because my life is just SO exciting!



Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

What a beautiful fridge you have there! You already know that the I think the boys are to DIE for in those get ups!

My area is a little bit of the Olde and New (tho far more of the new than where I grew up).

My neighbourhood itself is a new development so all the houses look the same and are neatly lined up with their small little yards and trees along the boulevard. The new schools are all shiny and clean and you can't go more than a block or two before you stumble onto some kind of park or parkette (hahaha sorry that just kills me).

And yet, we have managed to maintain some of the charm of Old M. We have two main streets of shops and cosy tea houses within a 5 min drive and there is a large open field of cows grazing not 10 mins from my house.

There are no shortages of horse farms in the area and one of our favourite activities is to hit the country fair up the road every October.

Still, I'd be lying if I didn't say things here weren't horribly modern (much to Gunther's utter joy) and both my sisters who are much more into "charm" and "character" than I find my 'hood rather revolting.

I confess though that I love it here and wild horses couldn't get me to move. I'm a North American Suburban Housewife Queen. It's a darn good thing Sarah's not into soccer :)

7:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a lovely fridge! I think I like it better than mine. I'm glad to hear you tell that New England is a lot like the old one and without the cigarettes. I may have to go and see it now. One thing they can't top is your lovely accent. That Boston one (don't read this Sara or Cathy) just makes my ears burn. I hear it often as the lovely Matt that cuts my hair is from Peabody, Mass. Imagine that. If I could I would adopt him accent and all because who wouldn't love a son that can do hair?

11:44 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

Oh shiny and new fridge! I love it but not as much as the dapper young man in the red cowboy hat! Love him!

As much as I love New England, I would enjoy the old one much more. The slow pace sounds like heaven. Unlike the hussle and bussle of the New one..

Lacey...what accent? we don't have an accent ;)

2:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathy, I told you not to read that part!

9:44 am  
Blogger Jenn said...

ooooh Helen - that cowboy....he's just perfect. So perfect.
And I have fridge envy - yes I do. It's gorgeous. you so deserve it!

1:11 pm  
Anonymous Sara said...

Is someone talking about our accent?!? ;O)

Helen- I think Old England, Devon, especially, sounds quite lovely and I hope to be able to see it for myself someday.

8:08 pm  

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