The Old Country

If the dollar stretched farther and freed from work commitments I would spread my wings and fly. The world is a big place and there are so many places on our list of where to go and what to see. Once you hit 50 you have to use your time and resources wisely.

Today on the blog I will chose to travel to the British Isles. I would return there in reality as well which might seem odd given my previous statement. It is my family heritage but there  is also millenniums of history to explore and, for the most part, you can understand the locals. It’s so densely populated and yet relatively easy to get around. So without further ado here are a few sites of our last two trips to England.

The gardens are so lovely and the little cottages quaint. It is always green and lush so, despite the lack of occasional lack of sunshine, it must be quite easy to have a green thumb there.

One imagines the decades of family history attached to a cottage like this. Of course it could be owned by a family with no previous attachment but it oozes heritage in it’s setting.

Every village has a pub although sadly that no longer rings true as local pubs are starting to fail at a very high rate. Our first trip to the Isles was with a 6 and 8 year old for a family reunion. We made a game of reading and writing down all the pub names as we went by them.

The pints consumed in a pub are usual of a local variety although there are some “standard” ones you will find in most pubs. If you want a cold beer then the Auz beer Foster is super chilled but the rest are lightly chilled except for a few served at room temp. It seems acceptable to ask for a small taster to help decide. Although Ron never met a beer he didn’t like I’m not quite as easy to please and occasionally we will have to swap drinks.

The food at these local pubs really seems to have improved since our first trip there. It’s also more common for them to now have outside space.

Another village presence is the local church although it depends on the size of the population and the history — there are some small places with big chapels and it has to do with being a market town I believe. This particular church is the one in Bottisham that my grandfather went to before he immigrated.

There are no shortages of cemeteries in these countries. There is usually a really old one attached to the church or ruins but there are often more modern ones around as well.

I had goosebumps when Ron found this headstone in the Devizes Cemetery as it is my great great grandmother and grandfather.

In the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral we located Ron’s ancestor. There are more questions than answers in both our family histories and perhaps a next winter project instead of blogging.

Family does draw us back again. My paternal grandfather and her maternal grandmother kept the Bradford clan connected when the “boys” immigrated to Canada.

The next generation of the connection carries on. It’s so easy to keep in touch compared to the letters that their great grandparents sent back and forth across the pond. It’s amazing considering they both had minimial education.

All sorts of opportunities seem endless there now with the above picture showing King’s College grounds in Cambridge. It’s like walking around a movie set there and in many other locations.

Just a walk in a lane on the Isle of Wight — it could be 1540 or 1940 which is what I find so fascinating about the old country.

This is just a little sample of the 545 photos that I have kept in my IPhone for just such an occasion. I hope you enjoyed my mini vacation today. Drop by again and see where I go next.

Bernie 

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