Two years ago today my husband Rocco and I went on our European Holiday. It was simply the best time and looking over some of the files on my computer I found this small clip of the marching band at the Palace. I can still remember the day and the beautiful weather. We went on the tour of the Palace and the grounds, which were magnificent!
We plan to return next year and exploring the Cornwall region. I have traced my ancestors there and hope to see if there are any cousins I could contact. I've recently started emailing another "new relative" via ancestry.com and hope to meet her as well in London.
Below I added a clip of street dancing in Rome. We were at a great little restaurant and enjoyed watching these ladies dance. They were having such a good time and it added to the festive mood we were all sharing. We had been inside where they had a karaoke player and that was equally alot of fun. I just remember it was incredibly hot that evening and I thought it was so cute how the ladies were using their fans. The owner then joined in.....he was the gentleman in the suit with the glasses. Another memorable moment and this time a little sound to enjoy as well. I plan on improving my movie skills though before the next trip.
From street to street there were performers of all kinds. I see this in Manhattan but very rarely where I live in Florida. I truly enjoy the freedom of expression and the fun impromptu attitude ofthese happy people.
What a special day for England today! The Royal Celebration of Queen Elizabeth's 90th Birthday. Her actual birthday is April 21st but the Queen has a second Birthday celebrated in June as the weather for the outside activities is usually better. Ah yes God Save the Queen and please don't let it rain! :) I for one love all the Pomp and Circumstance!
Acutally my husband calls me the Queen of our house, so I think we all should celebrate two days a year for our Birthday's.. Right! For me it would be simple.....one with the Family and the second in the month of September in England in the English Countryside. I would return to the Cottswold region and the town of Burton on the Water. It was there we stayed in a lovely Bed and Breakfast, The Cranbourne House. We have so many wonderful memories of walking through the fields on a path to Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter. We walked by the Old Mill as well as visited a little Museum and an adorable gift shop. As an avid reader of English Home and enjoying so many beautiful photos of sites in England, being there was absolutely incredible. I still close my eyes sometimes to visualize that amazing day. Ok back to reality!
In keeping with the Celebratory mood across the Pond , I will get some fresh yellow flowers for the table and later make a cocktail of Dubonnet and Gin with a slice of Lemon under the Ice! That's said to be her favorite cocktail, so Cheers to the Queen!
Here are a few of my favorite shots of England......We were fortunate enough to be visiting in Sept of 2014 and the Palace was open to the Public for 6 weeks. We enjoyed the tour and was sorry she couldn't be there for Tea but felt quite Special to be in her hallowed halls! ;)
While reading my latest issue of English Home, I came upon this picture and a lovely article on Shepherds Huts. It was at that moment I truly realized how much I connect to my English background! I love English style and find a little Pomp and Circumstance even in the woods, very appealing! ;)
Simply stated, I'm not the camping type! Its not that Im putting it down, rather realizing after several attempts that its far too stressful!!! I don't like bugs, and yet they love me. They swarm and then feast on my pale skin. I'm then left scratching for days and trying to breathe clearly from some other allergies I was subject to and the saga continues! At any rate I was pleasantly surprised by the thought of having a Shepherds Hut. A quaint trailer like facility that I could retreat to inbetween for some relaxing . You know sit back read a lovely magazine, enjoy a cocktail with Pandora music in the background to drown out the bug and frog sounds. Ok I do like natures sounds but usually running water or the sounds of rolling tides in the ocean.
What I do enjoy most of all about outside activities is cooking on the fire and setting up a picnic atmosphere. I like a pretty tablecloth, fresh fruit, lovely salads to go with the grilled meat and usually a pasta dish served room temperature. A favorite of mine is Linguine with peppers and tomatoes.
A simple delicious pasta dish that will tempt all appetites. Here's how to make it: Fry yellow and orange peppers in olive oil till tender. Cut fresh tomatoes in chunks into a bowl deep enough to hold both peppers and tomatoes. Over the tomatoes cut some fresh basil and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Then pour the peppers with the oil( there shouldn't be too much perhaps 1/4 cup and then let sit for a minute.) The hot peppers will help release the juices from the tomatoes which becomes part of the sauce with the olive oil. Toss with the pasta and serve room temperature. If traveling keep in refrigeration or on ice till your grilling and then by the time the grilling is complete your pasta will be just perfect.
As Im writing this Im laughing as my husband Rocco always asks why not a simple Hamburger or Hot Dog as Im creating a moveable Feast! I always say its in my English blood the picnic festivities look grand!
Ofcourse Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day we have the traditional barbeque with Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Potato Salad and Beans, washed down with a cold Beer or Cider. With apple Pie for dessert and marshmellows on the grill we're all American! All things considered its the best of both Worlds.
The thought of having a Sheperds hut in my yard would be a dream come true. I could think of so many great activities I could use it for ....Painting, Sewing, Reading, Yoga, Meditation and of course an afternoon tea with some friends. Ah yes those helpless romantic feelings creating or enjoying till the first bumble bee desends on my grand atmosphere. Ok I'm putting this out there for the good laugh you'd all get if you could see me reacting to flying bugs. I truly want to be a country wilderness Lady but perhaps a screened Gazebo next to the Shepherds hut would be a welcome addition as well!!! LOL
I love watching Family Sagas especially those that follow rich people! ;) On March 6th after 6 Seasons it was most difficult to realize the Crawley Family of Downton Abbey was bidding us Goodbye. Although it has been a limited series with long waits between Seasons, it has been fabulous. I looked forward to Sunday evenings and my visit with this fasinating group of people. Of course Maggie Smith playing the Matriarch was indeed impressive! Her quick sharp wit kept everyone on their toes, and me laughing out loud everytime! I would sometimes use her lines on my family and it always was hysterical. There's something about the truth stated clearly, with consise appreciation for the moment that is truly English demeanor!
Julian Fellowes created a series that enhanced everyday life with the pomp and circumstance, only the British can pull off from their Castles. Adding Jim Carter playing the role of Mr. Carson as the head Butler was the icing on the cake. His formal English drawl and precise concern for every detail was brilliant. Everybody should have a Mr Carson and the World would be a better place!
Now as your reading this your saying to yourself she really believed they were real and sounds obsessed..... you are absolutely Correct! It has been quite some time that I have been entertained with such style. Having watched Dallas, Dynasty, and Knots Landing, makes me a veteran of Serial saga!
To me the unique difference between British "Soaps" and American counterparts is that simple life experiences aren't considered boring in the ratings; rather depicting a culture that has been preserved by tradition and protocol . My favorite American show is Blue Bloods. Once again following the Reagan family and their values and being filmed in NYC is tops for me. In all Countries there has been a shift toward sophisticated hi-tech suspense and for me these shows are difficult to follow. I actually find it hysterical as the need to learn the remote abilities has been detrimental to be able to replay scenes over and over to connect the ideas. Actually admitting that Im challenged by the writing, yet score Tecky on ability to function with a smart TV in some ways is great Right ;) !!! Moving along...........
The latest British TV series I've enjoyed is The Last Tango in Halifax. A great show that brings two retired people together after 50 years and a relationship blossoms and they marry and then work on blending the two families together. I have to admit part of my enjoyment is they are shot in the Countryside and the scenery is magnificent.
In making a final comparrison to life in Europe and the States is that a movie about a homeless woman parking in a London Playwrights driveway for 14 years seems odd until you cast Maggie Smith to be the homeless woman. The movie is Lady in a Van and will be interesting to see if it recieves any nominations. Another funny note to end with is if a Woman in the US is regarded as a Madam or Dame it usually would be met with a scowl; yet in England is noted as a significance of stature and protocol! As always," Godbless the Queen" !!!
The beauty of the English Countryside is best enjoyed on foot. Taking walks along paths and discovering the natural beauty and listening to the sounds and feeling the breeze in the air are truly uplifting to me. Photos capture the scene but walking the countryside implants the experience in your heart to forever relive the moment in your mind. I practice meditation and reflect my holiday memories as my focus.I sit quietly and close my eyes and feel the memory come into vision. Walking through a path from Bourton on the Water to Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter provided me with beautiful refections to treasure.
After a lovely English breakfast we sat with our inn keepers and asked for a local destination to go by foot. They suggested the Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter that could be reached by a path nearby and about a three mile walk to the Mill.
We set out for the path and stopped to take the photo below at the gate. Once again just being out in the open Countryside on foot made the experience for me a complete feeling of freedom! My mind had no worries only to breath the air and take in the beautiful scene around. As we walked further we came upon a horse out grazing and we walked over to introduce ourselves and a lovely couple took our picture!
As we continued our walk we heard Church bells in the distance and remarked how perfect the moment felt with the sound of the bells. It was like experiencing a beautiful dream with the scenery and soundtrack in sync. The Church came into view and once again something out of a storybook set in past years . They were preparing for a wedding, as we saw tables being set with white cloths and centerpieces of bright colored flowers being put in place. I was hoping to see the Bride when I heard a group of men behind us and realized it was the Groom and his Groomsmen. They had on Morningcoats and walked the path to the church. I tried to get a quick photo to capture the idyllic scene.
Of course by now if you could read my thoughts I already was planning that my Husband and I coul renew our vows here in that same church and with that happy thought continued on. We next passed a group of people on horseback and more beautiful Cottages.
I left this image large as I wanted everyone to savor such a simple beautiful scene. My thought was to jump the fence and sit on that bench and hopefully the owner would come out and join me and perhaps we could share a cup of tea! A pleasant daydream on a fabulous day deep in the English Countryside...doesn't get better than this!
Upon reaching the Mill we sat down for a little rest before going into the Museum and gift shop. I took a few pictures of a sweet dog that was playing with his owner and fetching a stick they threw in the water.
After a visit to the Museum and purchasing some pretty linens and beautiful cards we started our walk back to our B&B. We enjoyed afternoon Tea that day and shared stories with other house guests.
Here is one of the beautiful gardens of a home on our way back.
s I have such wonderful memories of our trip to England and driving the Countryside to the Cottswolds region. We visited many villages with honey colored cottages and shops, that made me feel like I was back in time from a storybook I had read as a child. Bourton on the Water is known as the Venice of England with its many Bridges and Waterways.
Welcome to Britalia Way! Thanks for stopping by. Please join me as I share with you a series about food, people and experiences that are special to me. English and Italian traditions are so enticing and were the inspiration for creating Britalia Way!
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