Archive | June, 2013


20 Jun

The day of Solstice Eve, if there is such a holiday, and I took myself to the Rollright Stones to see how my closest neighboring neolithic fairy circle had been keeping itself.  (Previous visits here and here.)

Outside the circle, sunshine and glowing stones:


Inside the circle, a more gloomy slumping across the countryside.


Summer has gifted the stones with flowers.20130620_091607

And carbon-based, bipedal life forms are my suspects in this flowery gift to the King Stone.20130620_092041

The witch is still a fearful shock to the eye when you round the corner and find her throwing her curse from the hill.  But she is beginning to disintegrate, in a strange irony, while the King she cursed to stone remains tall, and proud.

20130620_092144I ran the circle of stones three times, added up my count and made my wish.  Longest day of the year, I am ready for you!


Monkey puzzle

17 Jun

It seems that no matter how hard I try, no matter how my previous forty years of not knowing anything about green growing things presses on me, I can’t help but learn the names of trees and flowers here in England.  One of my favorite newly-named-to-me growing things is the monkey puzzle tree.

monkey puzzle

Araucaria araucana, there it is.  I love to greet these tall evergreens whenever we see them in a garden — it’s like saying hi to a new friend you never expected to meet and are always glad to see.  Hi, monkey puzzle!

It’s no secret that I have found transitioning to our life in the UK very difficult.  I’ve felt like I’ve had all the upside and downside of  bipolar disorder, without the medication or therapy.  The enduring not-homeness of this country will always be with me.  I’m still fighting the weather, no one understands my accent, and why the hell can’t anyone drive omfg, and yet … the list of things I love and have brought in to my heart about England are growing.

Scones, clotted cream, a decent cup of tea.  Adventure playgrounds around each corner.  Walking everywhere.  Incredibly supportive marshals at races and strangers cheering me on at the gym.  Ale.  Pies.  Puddings.  Sunday Roast.  Charity shops.  A culture of volunteerism like I’ve never seen.  Everyone going for lunch by 12:15.  National Trust, English Heritage.  Green grass all winter.  Bits of history not only vibrant under every surface, but still living in day to day life.  A pace of life just a few notches slower than in the U.S.  Health care as a human right. The hilarity of enjoying a warm fire all year round.

Each small thing I am coming to love about England is a small reminder that  this can be home, too.  Even though, right in this moment, all I want to do is jump in the car and drive to the Eastern Shore, walk barefoot in my bathingsuit on the boardwalk eating fries, get a sunburn in the warm ocean, eat boardwalk pizza and stay up late to watch the sun set over the waves … I know a proper brew and the promise of more roses in my garden will make this home enough for me to make it though another day.


8 Jun

A quick Sudeley Snapshot as I slowly work on more blog posts (it’ll happen!).  Lovely purple alium blossoms in the Queens Garden this weekend:

purple alliumThe white roses for which the garden is famed are not yet blooming — our terrible winter strikes again — but do you see the busy bee who photobombed the blossoms?