On Monday I returned from a very short visit to England to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday. While I was there Queen Elizabeth died. (It was not my fault)
The brief visit, and the subsequent glut of England in the news made me feel nostalgic for the country where I lived for 25 years. When we moved back to the USA in 2006 I had lived in England longer than I had lived in my native USA. So in honor of HMQ and wishing the best to King Charles III, I summoned up this list from my archives.
In no particular order it is what I love about England.
Walking the South Downs Way with a black labrador. The Long Man of Wilmington. Visiting castles. Fawlty Towers. The North Cornwall Coastal path. Sausages. Strong Mustard. Castle Combe, Sticky Toffee Pudding. Custard. Flemish paintings in the National Gallery. Double Decker busses, Staying in farmhouse Bed and Breakfasts and eating lunch in country pubs. Watts and Co, Little St Mary’s, Cambridge. A pint of English bitter. old women clad in tweeds on bicycles in traffic. Dad’s Army. Really good fish and chips. Rievaulx Abbey. St Laurence, Bradford-on-Avon, Choral Evensong at New College, Oxford. The upper reaches of the River Thames. WH Smith. Westminster Cathedral. Christmas Cake, crackers, pudding and carols. St Ethedreda’s Ely Place. Canals and canalboats. The Church of St Mary and St Alphege, Bath. A Full English Breakfast, Downside Abbey. those gas water heaters they have over their bathtubs that sound like engines on airplanes. Glastonbury. Oxborough Hall, Tea with old ladies. Brown Sauce. Squash (the game, not the drink) Anglo-Catholic Churches. Medium Dry Sherry. The Isle of Wight. Lawn Tennis. Priest holes, Tintern Abbey. The Bird and Baby, the Perch and the Turf all in Oxford. St Mary Magdalene’s, Oxford. Old Libraries. Pusey House. Roasted Potatoes. Mesopotamia. North Oxford. Private Eye. Merton College, Those soldiers with bearskin hats and scarlet tunics. Yaverland. BBC Radio 4. The Belles of St Trinian’s. Denis Thatcher. Christmas pantos. King’s College, Cambridge. Stonehenge. Charity shops. The Daily Telegraph. Gin and Tonic. pre-1985 Anglican vicars, cryptic crosswords, Strawberries and cream. The Royle Family. Newman’s Rooms at the Birmingham Oratory. St Aloysius, Oxford. Croquet. Little Gidding. East Coker. Quarr Abbey.