I think you can imagine what a busy week it has been here,
with the day of our departure to the…

“scepter’d isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise,

This fortress built by Nature for herself

Against infection and the hand of war,

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea,

Which serves it in the office of a wall,

Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm,

this England…”

…fast approaching.I am smiling as I type this, because I remember
writing out that bit of Shakespeare in my journal when I had to leave England
twenty-five years ago…and I have no doubt that I was
weeping when I wrote it.

Back in 1984, tho’ I didn’t know it, I was just
a few short years from finally meeting my love.
And I couldn’t have imagined celebrating 22 years
of marriage with a sweet and simple early morning
breakfast on the porch…taking turns to secret
our love letters to the table and move the chipped
plate to our own place ( a few times back
and forth, we laughingly discovered, with me
being the final recipient!)

Back then, it was all romantic daydreams of the handsome
Welsh prince I was sure was just over the hill in Tintern,
or the dashing English stranger I hoped to meet at the cliffs
in Cornwall.

As fanciful as I was, I couldn’t have imagined my Douglas,
who makes room gladly, and without hesitation, when
an early-rising mother-in-law joins our anniversary
breakfast…and her “honey-os” join our scones
and cafe-au-lait.

I am curious to see what this trip will be like…as a long-married woman, with
nearly-grown sons….I will be much more interested in small organic farms
and beautiful train trestles and old bookshops than cute British
boys and melancholy graveyards. But I will still be thirsting for long
walks through the green fields and over stiles and along the cliffs,
and delectable teas and simply being in dear old England again.

I hope to be able to find the space and time to journal here, in addition
to the journaling I plan to do with paper and ink and paste. One of
the last things I will do this weekend is assemble a very
portable little container with my paste pot and scissors
and pencil and pen and all the other enticing ingredients
for chronicling what I hope will be rich and happy
days abroad.

Monday afternoon will find me flying to Chicago, where
I will deliver my mother into my brother’s loving arms,
and then off we shall wing to Manchester!

Do get in touch (I will be checking email), if you are
in Britain and might be near. I have happy plans to meet-up
with Cherry sometime during the few days we will be in the south,
but will mostly be in and around Cumbria, staying at
this lovely house.

Until then…