Thursday, November 29, 2018

On this Day

I was going to go on and on about my favorite author, CS Lewis, and the fact that today would have been his 120th birthday. What an amazing thought. 120 years old. 

But honestly,  I am feeling pretty lousy right now. Just got back from the doctor and I have bronchitis. UGH.

So, I'm going to take some medication and get some rest and think happy thoughts about how I got to go inside "the wardrobe" and visit his home, The Kilns.

Monday, November 26, 2018


So I love to write letters. Handwritten ones. The lost art kind.

While in England, I found a most lovely place for stationary.
I did some research before we left.
A certain Duchess with the initials MM gave another Duchess ( I wonder who?!) a gift from Smythson upon meeting her. I read that. Who knows if its true, but lets go with it because this place is amazing! Lets just say I would be ecstatic to receive such a gift.

It's on Bond Street in London.
Yep. Fancy.
I kept the bag! Want to see what's inside?
First, notice the year. Smythson has been in business a very long while.
No wonder. Such class.
How could I resist?
I'm such an anglophile.
If you get one in the mail from me, do a favor would you? Just ooh and aah as you think of me in my happy place! 

Monday, November 19, 2018

No Crowds

So today, I opened my mail and did a happy dance. My next issue of Anglotopia magazine has arrived. Wouldn't you know, an article about the big day back in May graced the inside pages.
Brought me right back to Windsor.
As we ambled down cobblestone streets, peeks of the castle winked at us.
You're looking at the oldest occupied castle in the world.
It's pretty epic.
I assure you, it's real.
I stared at this scene for a long while. Notice the guard house. One's missing. Where'd he go? We all need to take a rest. Do the guards take breaks? I'll have to look into that. 
The Long Walk. I walked for part of it. Mr. Wonderful asked, "Why?!"
What's not in this photo that was there during the Royal Wedding?
Any guesses?

As we walked around Windsor, I imagined what it must have been like to be there with all those people. If you recall, it was a rather warm day. So many must have scrambled for some shade.
More importantly, where did they all go to use the toilets? UGH! But, a good question, don't you think?

I paid attention to every detail.
And I never missed a chance to snap a photo of a Mini!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Where to next?

It's early in the morning. The hustle and bustle of making our train kept us focused.
One must pay close attention. People are moving pretty quickly. You can get lost in the crowd and lose your way without even realizing it. This time, I saved the day. Seriously. Mr Wonderful was convinced we needed to take the circle line. My gut said otherwise. We needed to head for the platforms. I was right. Thank you very much! I saved us hours! Only time the whole trip I helped with navigating. I felt special this one time!

I found the stations to be quite fascinating. There is no waiting for you. You must get on the train ASAP. It's never about you while making a train. The doors close with or without you!

There's a whole world underground!

Where was this train taking us?
Our first glimpse. Any guesses?
We arrived at the location of a certain royal wedding that took place in May. Windsor.
We found Windsor to be very inviting. I walked around in wonder. Everything was old and quaint. Just like England should be.
Bunting was strung near shops, across streets. Everywhere. There were cobblestone lanes and small businesses.
We are here. The village that filled the world with happiness all because two people fell in love. 

More pictures to come.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Meet Michelle Griep. She's my fellow anglophile writing friend.

I just found out this morning she won the prestigious Christy Award.

This is us a few years ago when I was just beginning to get to know her. She is hilariously funny and WAY into England. Like, WAY more than me. That's a lot!

She has been such an encouragement  to me with my writing. She even embellishes the fact that my writing is "brilliant!"
Not kidding! I have a framed note from her that sits on my desk to remind myself when I want to hit the delete button on a scene I just wrote. Sometimes I bang my head on my desk and ask myself why I'm doing this.
Then, I look up and see her note. "....Why are you listening to that stupid voice in your head telling you your work is crap?...YOU ARE A WRITER! YOU ARE AN AUTHOR!"

I may still not believe that, but having Michelle's 'voice' as a constant cheerleader helps immensely!

I'm so stinkin' proud of her and so grateful to know she is in my corner, cheering me on. That's so important in this "someday I dream of publishing a book" land!

Monday, November 5, 2018


I'm in front of, you guessed it, Buckingham Palace!
Mr Wonderful (hubby!) and I enjoyed a day in the life of being a royal. I could get used to it. Easily.

First stop...the Royal Mews
Pick a coach, any coach.
Hands down, I'd pick the Glass Coach. Why?

Diana, of course. This was her famous ride to St Paul's Cathedral. A Cinderella story if there ever was. But, we all know how the fairy tale ended. SIGH.

 A little too much gold, perhaps? My thoughts exactly! This is the Diamond jubilee coach used in 2012 for the Queen's jubilee. Such detail. Check out the lanterns. They are made of Edinburgh crystal. I stood in awe for many minutes eyeing all the tiny detailed work that went into making this carriage.
Recognize this one?
HINT: The top wasn't up while the occupants rode in this carriage.
The Ascot Landau. All purchased during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Did you guess right?

Next stop...Buckingham Palace.
Mr Wonderful couldn't get the Queen to look his way!
So many people. It was very difficult to get a view of the Changing of the Guard, but they're hard to miss!
No photos allowed inside the palace, so here I am on the steps in the "backyard."
A few notes I took while wandering around inside...

Queen Victoria was the first royal to move in, but you probably already knew that from watching Victoria.

The palace has 450 workers and the Queen entertains 50,000 guests a year.
775 rooms and 78 bathrooms. I would not want to clean all of them, thank you very much!

Lets talk about that flagpole.
If the Queen is present, the Sovereign Standard is raised.
The Union flag is when she is not present.

I got to see the Throne Room. The room where all the photography for royal weddings is taken.

You haven't seen London until you've been to the Palace.
Next stop...Clarence House. The official residence of the Prince of Wales.
Again, no photos.

The Queen Mother once lived here.
She loved Afternoon Tea. We would have gotten along just great! She had her tea in the library where I noticed copies of the works of the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Shakespeare. There was even a first edition copy of Peter Pan.

Did you know tea used to be an aristocratic drink? During the 17th century, tea came from China and was stored under lock and key. Wow...all the tea I have, I would have been said to be rich!

We ended a lovely day spending it with our lovely England friends, Marion and Alan.
We had so much fun catching up and breaking bread together. So very wonderful to see them.
This Pimms was the very best drink I had during our entire holiday. Yep. It was that good.