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The question is not what you look at, but what you see – Part Four: P thru T

To your undoubted relief, this is the penultimate instalment in the musings of an alpha-betic woman on the occasion of her leaving the United States.  Papa to Tango here we go.  My father was always Papa to his grandchildren and he was very light on his feet though I am fairly certain he never tangoed.

P.  P is for Patriot’s Day  which is celebrated each year in the States of Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin on April 19th to commemorate the battles of Lexington and Concord which formed the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775.  Since we live very close to Concord (pronounced Concud) we decided to go and watch the re-enactment on the day.  And a jolly event it was.  We joined crowds walking down the street from the rosette, garland and banner festooned town square passing waiting carriages bearing presumably important dignitaries and gathered in the Minute Men National Historic Park just up from the Old North Bridge where the battle took place.  We watched as British Troops in their foolish scarlet coats, fur and feather  adorned hats and bright white breeches, not to mention glistening gold braid which was never going to see reputable service  as camouflage, marched towards the bridge and the excitement mounted.  All of a sudden a shot rang out and the commentator told us that this was ‘the shot that was heard around the world’  I have to confess I hadn’t heard of such a shot before but that is surely because I learned about this period in History from a British perspective because I was schooled in Britain – history is all in the retelling, don’t you find … the drama and tension crescendoed as the British took aim and fired and the rebels, warned by the relentlessly galloping Paul Revere (is that where the word ‘revere’ comes from because he is truly revered hereabouts) that the army was on the move, flooded down on them.  All on the little wooden bridge you saw at the top of the last post.  Then mayhem.  All around me people screeched and bellowed ‘go home Lobsterbacks’ and I, mildly bewildered at the rising zeal mildly anxious at my Englishness in the face of this sudden hostility and probably lightheaded, enquired of a  particularly vociferous woman why the Minute Men are called Minute? I was careful to  utter the word as I thought it was  pronounced – My Newt?  Is it, I enquired because they were particularly small?  She gaped at me in a way that told me exactly and precisely what a buffoon I am and explained very sloooooowly that its pronounced Minit but I was left no wiser as to what that minute was as she carried on hurling abuse at the British once more, her fervor presumably further piqued by her newfound surety that we are a tiny nation of ignorami.

P is further for Pie … I worship at the alter of all things pie and pastry and in this country pie is a venerable artform.  When I wandered into the store the day before Thanksgiving, I was greeted by more pies than I have ever seen collected in one place, in so many varieties as to make my eyes water with glee.  I won’t tell you what my favourite pie is … I am after all an international woman of mystery and it is important for me to keep my veneer intact.  But suffice to say – you can tempt me with most but the sweet potatoe marshmallow affair proved a pie too far.  And P has to be for Poets.  This country has produced some of the finest and this corner a good slough of my favourites.  We have Longfellow and Thoreau and Poe, we have Plath and Dickinson, we have Stanley Kunitz and at his death there was Robert Frost.  It is hardly surprising to me that this place breeds poets of note.   I should note the light …. it is quite unlike any other to me …. soft and subtly iridescent. Maybe that is true all over this continent.  One day I will discover for myself.  I really will.   And finally P is for Pompositicut which is the Native American and original settlement name for the town we live in.  Forgive me, good people for thinking it said Pompous Idiot when I first arrived ….

Q.  Q is for Quantity.  I am used to metric measures and I am used to imperial measures.  Here in the kitchen I must use a cup and in the car I must remember that a gallon is smaller than I am used to.  This is something that makes my childish husband smirk – a ten gallon hat is smaller here than in Briton.  I rather think that the average Brit would look foolish in a Texan 10 Gallon let alone a magnified british one.  The bet bit for me is that my US Dress Size is two numberals lower than my British one meaning that I can almost kid myself that all the pie has not made a jot of difference and indeed has mysteriously sylphed my figure …. Q is also for Quite.  One thing I had to understand quickly was that this word is actually very complimentary.  If something is ‘quite nice’ it means it is really good.  If you quite like it you are genuinely enamoured – it is a word to express enthusiasm rather than the dullard, non-commital rather average way it is used in Britain.  And Q is for Quaint.  I was born and raised in a place that would certainly be thought of as ‘quaint’ by Americans …. thatched rooves, little brick or stone cottages, white-wash and half-timbering are plentiful though of course the myth-busters can compile a polar opposite list to pop the utopian bubble very easily.  But, you see – I find it ‘quaint’ here … the houses clad in wood painted in a luscious variety of colours, the veranda’s and porches and the churches some brick some wood but always with a white spire reaching optimistically towards it’s heaven. 

R.  R if you know me at all was bound to be for River and in particular because it runs close to the house here and I have spent SO much time walking by it, the Assabet.  And running.  Our go-to running trail is along the river so I guess R must be for running trail too.

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And if you know me a little better than at all there will be absolutely NO surprise that R is for Rowing.   I’ve been to two big events this year.  The Women’s Varsity Boatrace in Shrewsbury in May which is in effect like the Oxford and Cambridge University Boatrace in Britain but with many crews rather than the two blue boats doing herculean battle one on one.  The top crews will decamp to Henley-on-Thames in June for the Women’s Regatta and I can report from personal experience a few years ago, scarily good they tend to be too.  In October we headed for the Charles in Cambridge to watch the Head of the River race there.  Head races, for the unitiated are time trials and taken from a rolling start.  The river is broad and not a snip to navigate and some of the classes were clearly particularly hard fought.  The carnival atmosphere was infectious and although Rowing can never be regarded as a spectator sport the crowds were clearly undeterred by that very minor detail.   My daughters will all attest to the uninspiring vision of watching rowers battle it out on river or lake, having spent many many hours of their childhood watching mummy compete or more accurately getting distracted by something much more interesting, like a blade of grass and altogether  missing mummy’s glorious triumphs.  I am scarred by their collective disinterest.

S.  S is for Sport.  Sport is a mahusive part of the culture here.  As it is in Britain and in France and probably in most places.  But there are differences.  The obvious is that what I call Football they call Soccer and it is a minor sport.  Football is like armoured rugby and fanatically followed.  Our local bigshots are The New England Patriots and everything stops for a Patriots Game.  I watched the Superbowl Final (not featuring The Patriots last season) on TV in an attempt to feel American and understand the game.  By the end of the match I can confidently say that I do.  I think.   And that I hope one day I will go to a real game.  And take part in a Tailgate party in the stadium parking lot.  This is where you mass cater a huge picnic amongst a group of spectators and basically have an al fresco banquet in the carpark served out of the boot (or trunk) of all your huge trucks and SUVs.  I believe this, in itself can get a trifle passive-agressive competitive amongst the ladies but this may be an urban myth.  Then there is Basketball (local side The Celtics) where it is an advantage to be at least 6′ 7″ tall and lean like a runner-bean with un-naturally long legs and arms.  Ice Hockey also favours tall people (as does football where your shoulders need to be as wide as you are tall and the upside down V is further enhanced by enormous body armour) and is possibly the most violent game I have ever witnessed.  I was therefore quite shocked to discover that a Mini Mite starts out at less than 7 years old straight into playing  the full game thus batised and fired like little iron-men they  progress through Mite, Atom, PeeWee, Bantom and Midget before fledging as Juniors at 18+.  To be frank I wouldn’t tangle with a Mini-Mite let along a Midget.  Our big side is the Boston Bruins but I have only been to a Harvard-Cornell college game which was quite tame in comparison to the professional game presumably because it is somewhat important not to flirt too zealously with concussion which is an ever present risk even with the compulsory and quite gladiatorial helmets.  Finally there is of course Baseball (Boston Red Sox) …. this is played in summer and I found myself slowing down many times as I passed school teams playing – let me tell you THIS is the stereotype of America that a dull English girl like me imagines.  It really is.  Baseball players chew tobacco and spit and the pitchers seem to develop rather pronounced derrieres.   I don’t know why.  And S is for Salem.  Famed for the Witch Trials of 1692, Salem was also one of America’s most influential ports.  Brimful of history it is also an extremely laid back and slightly offbeat place.  Very artsy and full of excellent restaurants I have a love of it and it has to be included.

T.  T is for T.  I haven’t lost the plot.  The T is the public transport system for Boston and Greater Boston region.  Run by The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority no-one has yet been able to tell me why it is called The T.  But if you want to get about Boston you’d better buy a Charlie Card and hop a subway or bus rather than try driving in a city which is only for the brave or foolhardy and probably both.  I get the subway from Alewife (pronouced Al Wife) to Park Street on the Common and find it surprisingly restful particularly when it chugs across the wide expanse of The Charles.   I like The T.

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is also for Trash.  We have a huge bin for trash and a gigantic bin for recycling provided by our trash contractor, which is very green and pleasant.  Our trash goes out on a Tuesday which makes for a satisfying American Alliteration.  I try not to be prone to being over-interested in what others do which might sound odd given that my writing is all observational but I have no desire to be Pinnochio.  However,  having spent a year here I couldn’t fail to notice that one of our neighbours manages to fill to overflowing and beyond both bins every week.  How do you produce so much waste in one household (apart from the fact that the pizza van is a nightly visitor) and what sort of an example is it to the two children who are part of the family.  And why do you never shut your garage doors … do you encourage deer and racoon to reside there?  And mostly why do you walk across my front lawn as though it is your right and let your two dogs poop on it.  It is time for me to go, there is no doubt because these questions have begun to permeate my nights, riddle my dreams and have me rehearsing withering retorts in the bathroom mirror.  When I return, which I hope to next year, I will endeavour to maintain my swan-like serenity but if you do read, in the Boston Globe that there has been a hideous trash-related incident in Metro West Massachusetts and a deportation has resulted, it’s been nice knowing you ….

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PS:  Because it’s another song that surely sums up America to an English girl, here is Don McLean with his monumental American Pie.  Singalong, please do!

The top and bottom pictures were taken in Autumn, the fourth season I passed here.

 

93 Comments Post a comment
  1. So did you ever find out why they referred to them as minute men? I love your take on American culture! I think you should most definitely attend a tailgate and a football game. I am ashamed to say that we too produce an enormous amount of garbage, but we do keep our garage door shut! Lol. Have a safe trip!

    Liked by 2 people

    December 1, 2016
    • I have just learned that my cousin in Baltimore hosts a legend of a Tailgate so that’s on the list for next time whether he likes it or not! I am a little tongue in cheek, of course about much of what I have experienced. The main and most important thing is just how lovely most folks have been to me both off and online. I honestly can’t wait to get back and THAT has really surprised my friends of old who cast me as totally wed to all things French.

      Liked by 2 people

      December 4, 2016
    • OH! PS! Don’t worry …. I could produce the trash when I was raising the girls – and in those days in England we only had small dustbins (trash cans) – I used to pretend it wasn’t mine 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      December 4, 2016
    • Because they were ready to defend their homes and town ‘in a minute’ when called.
      These were not regular army. These were farmers, tailors, tradesmen etc. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      December 11, 2016
  2. I’m rather sad we’re nearing the end of the alphabet, I have loved this little trip down memory lane of our time in the States. I never came across the “quite” nice meaning really nice, perhaps it is a New England thing? But cups, measures, gallons, oh it’s all too funny, especially that a gallon can be imperial or US, how bizarre is that! But then surely quantity also applies to so much more, a small Starbucks or should I say tall to be correct, is the same size as a large one here, if one is indeed lucky enough to even find a Starbucks here!!! xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    December 1, 2016
    • I’m pulling myself together for the last instalment …. you are so right about the quantities and I responded to another lady with the happy fact that I am two sizes smaller in the US which has to be a bonus! Maybe ‘quite’ is a New England thing …. I shall have to dig further next time! Xx

      Like

      December 4, 2016
  3. I think I will go out to the levy and drink some whisky. Safe travels my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    December 1, 2016
    • I’d join you but they are calling my flight. Here’s to my next visit and staying in touch via this wonderful place in the meantime. Thank you America. It turns out you are one of the loves of my life …. 🇺🇸

      Liked by 2 people

      December 2, 2016
      • When given a chance America can be very welcoming. Your invitation to the site has been sent. I glued the site together just to make it functional. Any difficulties, please let me know.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 8, 2016
      • How does the invitation come …. is it emailed?

        Liked by 1 person

        December 8, 2016
      • Yes. It’s coming via ‘storyteller’.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 8, 2016
      • OK …. i’ll pop in and have a look 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        December 8, 2016
  4. You have an amazing list, Osyth. i am impressed with your tribute to our area and country.

    BTW – Your calendar arrived. When you have a moment, please e-mail me at christopherokeefe1@gmail.com and let me know where to send it. I know your husband travels out after you but not by much more. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 1, 2016
    • Oh I am so excited to hear that …. we are both looking forward to hanging it on the wall in France as a nice reminder of New England whilst we are away. It’s a list that doesn’t scratch the surface at all …. I have loved being here, been bewildered by some things and learned so much. I am seriously considering making a book out of the year. It has been a privilege and it is in no small part thanks to you and my other local blogging friends. I will be thanking you all formally but take this as a swifty from the airport as I prepare to board with a genuine tear in my eye.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 2, 2016
      • From the look of all you did, it would be a pretty cool book. I’m glad I could help you enjoy your time here. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 2, 2016
      • So much that I intend to come back for longer next time …. so much more to see and do and that’s just in New England (in fact it could easily simply be Massachusetts …but you know that!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 2, 2016
      • But of course!!! You would be more than welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 3, 2016
  5. Haha – the my newt men are ‘pompositicuts’ obviously!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 1, 2016
    • I had the devil in me that morning …. I’m not normally terribly patriotic but something flipped me and I’ve dined out on it with a straight face ever since! Pompositicut now trips off my tongue which may mean I’m beginning to become a turncoat 😳 xx

      Like

      December 2, 2016
      • That’s so funny Osyth.. I’ll always remember Popositicut too now whenever I come across any ‘pompous idiots’ I may just have to drop it into conversation and try to keep my face straight at the same time! x

        Liked by 1 person

        December 2, 2016
      • Great plan! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 3, 2016
      • Hope you’re having a lovely weekend! x

        Liked by 1 person

        December 3, 2016
      • Oh I will. Already seen one daughter and getting ready to see another on Monday. It doesn’t get any better xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 3, 2016
      • How Lovely Osyth! Catching up with your daughters – you’re right – not much better than that!! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 4, 2016
  6. It’s a shame that this series is almost complete, but I hope you do expand on it at some point. Are you thinking of doing something similar for Britain as a returning expat? I’d imagine you’ll notice some changes. Just please don’t make it B for Brexit or Boris! Then again, T for Twat would be valid 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    December 1, 2016
    • I have really enjoyed it and there is so much more I could include so I do honestly think that I will do a book – I will dedicate it to you with hearty thanks for finding the right words to galvanise me. I will only ever be a visitor in Britain these days because I actually and truly live in France. But I might be tempted …. and I would promise to keep of those B words and that T word is one of my favourites. Actually an old friend of mine (also called Clive) favours Tit when he really wants to insult and my husband winces when I say Twat because it is horribly rude in Liverpool apparently (or was in the iron age, at least).

      Liked by 2 people

      December 2, 2016
      • That would be great! And thank you, I’d be honoured. Your enjoyment in writing it shines through. As for that T word, it is widely used as a word of abuse, one of my favourites too, and it does have the meaning your husband winces at – as our ex-PM found out when he used it!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 2, 2016
      • This may be a deal then!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 3, 2016
      • It’s beginning to look that way. I’ll get my people to talk to yours 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        December 3, 2016
      • 😂 😂 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        December 3, 2016
  7. Pompositicut….does make me wonder about the nature of the inhabitants….and what the collective noun for such inhabitants might be.

    Just picking up Bernadette’s whisky…what are the measures used in bars?
    As to the other measures, I found a recipe calling for five tablespoons of butter (not melted) recently…..enough to drive me to drink.

    From what I remember of the history of the period, the minute men were groups formed from the local militia ( think trained bands) who were expected to be ready to move into action immediately, while the rest of the militia were alerted and assembled.

    I expect an American could give you further and better particulars.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 1, 2016
    • I took an absolute AGE to be able to pronounce Pompositicut but it now trips off my tongue which may mean I have gone native …. I don’t know what the measures for Whiskey are because I’m a rotten Celt and don’t drink the stuff but I sincerely hope it doesn’t reflect wine measures which are far bigger than rural France! I’ll ask the Stepson, he’s a connoisseur of the peaty stuff. I jest a little about the Minute Men … I did an A level in 18th and 19th Century History too long ago to contemplate and I do know a little about them. What I remember most vividly though was wondering what on earth the British thought would happen when they were tromping round with in those less than subtle coats with a piper piping and a drummer drumming and guns that took an age to prime, load and fire …. sadly I was always the cynic but my husband balances it by always pointing out to his American team that George Washington was a terrorist!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 2, 2016
      • I suppose the British thought that the rebels would behave like proper Europeans…get their army dolled up, go into hibernation in the winter, have proper depots, come to a dead halt for three days to bake bread for the troops…didn’t realise that they had gone native.
        The idea of whisky measures equaling those of wine brings a beatific -but- bound-to-be -disappointed smile to my face…
        I shall dream while I can…

        Liked by 1 person

        December 2, 2016
      • I’m sure that is so …. and on the whisky – do feel free to have mine too!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 3, 2016
  8. I love your pictures and creative observations.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 2, 2016
    • Thank you – there is so much more I could include but I think it may have to be a book!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 3, 2016
      • Something about the way you write, you capture my imagination and I am right there in New England. I remember Patriots day. So many quaint connections to early American history.

        Like

        December 3, 2016
  9. Indeed, pie is Everything.

    On the “quantities” trail of thought: I am quite impressed by French people who cook insanely well and don’t own measuring spoons. Also: I have a friend who spent a few years in America and likes to bake. She told me that you need different sizes/shapes of baking pans for American recipes and for French recipes–the dimensions of one don’t work out for the heat penetration requirements of the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 2, 2016
    • Which may explain the particularly terrifying moment on Thanksgiving Day when my cake erupted like Vesuvius in the oven …. I was using a French recipe!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 3, 2016
  10. More fun text and fascinating pics. You did well with Q 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 2, 2016
  11. Another interesting installment. History is an interesting thing and it always has two sides. I came to that realization when I had an American coworker who talked about the Americans who had fled the US after the Revolution to settle in Canada as traitors as we Canadian called them Loyalists…

    As for sport; hockey is simply hockey in Canada not ice hockey as we don’t recognize any other sport called hockey. There is only one form of hockey and it is played on ice…We are quirky that way. If football, baseball and basketball are the national sports in the US, Canada really only has Hockey…

    Hope you had a good journey back to France (I guess that is where you went back!). (Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    December 2, 2016
    • I think they call it just Hockey in New England too (my stepson is a fanatic) but being English that confuses me because we played grass hockey at school so I make the differentiation. There are definitely 4 sports though and they are all slavishly followed!

      Like

      December 3, 2016
  12. Another great post of list, facts & photos. Just so you know Osyth, Gary’s mom is from Salem and his family lived next to The House of the Seven Gables. It is a small world. Hope your trip was pleasant and you have a wonderful visit. Have a happy weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 2, 2016
    • Well how amazing! I absolutely love Salem – its such an interesting place and so pretty and the people are great – I’d live there in a heartbeat!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 3, 2016
  13. S is for sad, as I and Vinny are with your leaving. I shall wait for the time to pass till we are able to meet in person and relish every post with the spirit of a true friend.

    Like

    December 4, 2016
  14. Arby #

    I especially love the minute men

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2016
  15. munchkinontheroad #

    Another wonderful installment❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2016
    • Thank you so much Munchkin …. I need to galvanise myself for the last part – notes left behind in Boston so it may be a little abstract!

      Like

      December 4, 2016
  16. Definitely the beginning of a book here. What a shame there are only 26 letters in the alphabet but of course you could do one for England, France and a host of other countries. Great choice of subjects for your letters so U to Z will be a piece of cake, although Z (pronounced zee of course) will be an interesting one. I’m sure it must be great to be seeing your daughters again. Happy holidays 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2016
    • If I did a Russian one it would be longer ….. thank you Andrew – I’ve been a little caught up in a very nice way since I arrived back in blighty but intend to write U thru Zee in the next day or so. I left my notes in Boston so it could be even more abstract than intended!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 4, 2016
  17. Your story of the ‘my-nute’ men cracked me up. I can just see the expression on that woman’s face. Having lived in Minnesota for five years during my early teens, I can sympathize with the culture shock. It was all the worse for the fact of how unexpected it was. We Canadians are such near neighhours, after all, and we speak (almost) the same language. Yet that culture gap was there and boy did I fall into it! By the way, my favourite (note the ‘u’) pie is pecan, which is two p’s and thousands of calories per slice. But what heavenly sugar shock. Hope you are getting back into the swing of things now that you are safely back on this side of the pond. Glad to have you back with us! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 6, 2016
    • I honestly didn’t expect the culture shock and I imagine it was even more shocking for a Canadian Teen …. but it is very very real. I have been saving the My-Newt men story til I was reasonably safe – but it did beg to be told and pecan pie? Bliss!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 6, 2016
  18. Your choices were so brightly colored and demonstrated a wide variety of subjects matters, Fiona. Lovely and striking photos! Hugs xo

    Like

    December 9, 2016
  19. I love these! I’m about to go back and read the rest.

    Also, you really should get to a tailgate – they are amazing! I am always surprised other places don’t have them. Especially Australia. It seems like something every Australian I have met would love!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 9, 2016
    • I’m so glad you are enjoying the posts …. I need to do the last one (been chaotic since I arrived back in Europe, of course). A french tailgate would be interesting …. but I agree Australia is missing a trick – I’ll see if my brother can start a movement in Perth … his son is a rising Aussie Rules Football star 🏈

      Liked by 1 person

      December 10, 2016
      • Definitely! I went to a couple Aussie Rules games when I was there, and they would be the perfect place for them. The MCG in Melbourne might actually be the most perfect place in the world for tailgating.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 11, 2016
      • My bro is in Perth (though I have a cousin in Melbourne) so he might argue!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 11, 2016
      • Having not been to Perth to see their facilities, I will still say the MCG would have an amazing place to tailgate – it’s better than anywhere I have been or seen in the States, and I have seen some amazing/beautiful places to tailgate! They have these tiered parking areas under some trees and in the grass that are just absolutely perfect for tailgating.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2016
      • I think we should start a campaign! But of course it would be a good idea if I actually went to a tailgate first …..

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2016
      • Yes! You really should attend one. Eating and drinking in a parking lot with thousands of your closest friends (or sporting enemies) is surprisingly fun! We do it almost every weekend in the fall.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2016
      • When I return to the US (next summer if all goes well) I will get myself in trim for this. My cousin is apparently king of the parking lot for the Baltimore Ravens so this feels like a good place to start …. I’m keen to learn 😉

        Like

        December 17, 2016
  20. As part Pequot I thought I recognized some of those names. Lovely post and photos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 11, 2016
    • How very interesting …. I went to a fascinating exhibition at the Peabody Essex on the various Algonquian language tribes. A wonderful heritage and one to be proud of and to protect.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 11, 2016
  21. This is just awesome Osyth. I want more! The story teller in you really came out in this one. I love how you get inspiration from everything around you!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 11, 2016
    • Thank you Maria …. I am frustrated by my mother’s internet in England but hope to post the last part tomorrow and catch up with a photo challenge before I cross to France on Tuesday morning. You kindness always touches me immensely and I hope you are having a wicked good (New England Expression I’m told) Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 11, 2016
  22. Even more wonderful shots – love the colonial red. Not only do they not close the garage doors but never use them for cars!!! I was so happy to revert to imperial measurements and cups are fab. Somehow I never got Metric or Celsius. Doh!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 14, 2016
    • Meanwhile back in France I’m wrestling with kilos which at least make me think I’m a little lighter than I am!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2016
      • Yes, pounds sound so awful at the GPs. Have a wonderful time in France, perhaps you will get some snow? We are having weird coastal weather. It was t-short warm today and tomorrow morning it will be 30 degrees. Brrr!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 17, 2016
      • There was snow on the mountains that surround Grenoble but back home in Cantal there is none (they had lots in November ) …. I’d rather it didn’t snow now until after the holiday as we are driving to England on Tuesday night and back on New Years Eve so I’ve asked the weather man to hold the white stuff til January now!!! There is something very odd going on with weather, I think ….

        Liked by 1 person

        December 17, 2016
      • Last week it was 40 degrees here and 47 degrees in Scotland where Teddy is on business. Definitely odd. Yes, I hope the weather man is listening, safe driving and enjoy plum pudding!

        Like

        December 17, 2016
  23. Tahoe has a high of 25° today. The sunshine makes the cold beautiful. CHECK NEW SITE.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 17, 2016
  24. ?… I’ll take a look

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2016
    • I simply mean that I have been on the move since December 1 and that I am struggling through a long backlog and with very few hours before I hit the road again but that I WILL look when I get to you.

      Like

      December 18, 2016
  25. Of rowing… of blades of grass and daughters appreciating! You must do more on the “R”… please! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2016
    • It’s a promise … in fact I stopped by the boathouse and stroked my sculling boat in Henley (upon Thames, never to be confused with in Arden) before I headed to France the other day. I miss her.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2016
  26. Love the way you observe things and as usual great photography😊

    Liked by 1 person

    December 23, 2016
    • I need to write part 5 but time is in such short supply for everyone in the run up to Christmas …. foolish really – we should all be so rehearsed by now that we just produce it out of a special cupboard on the morning!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 23, 2016
  27. JF #

    Enjoying your posts again. Best to you!

    Like

    January 8, 2017
    • How lovely to hear from you …. I do hope all is well in your world and I wish year full of joy and laughter and peace and contentment and of course, full of love!

      Like

      January 8, 2017
  28. I’ve just read sections of this post again!
    Alas… I regret not really having 27.395 hours in a day. I so love reading your wise words. I mean… of pies! I think I know some of the ingredients in your favourites… cheese… soft, delicate French sheep’s… woodland mushrooms… bits of air-cured meat… soaked in Bordeaux… not overpowering… I’m getting carried down a swirling mist of Pinotage… and music!
    (I include a link to a South African maestro… your other tastes in life are so superior… music must surely also play a meaningful part!!)
    https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/krips48/episodes/2016-11-04T04_08_41-07_00

    Like

    January 8, 2017
  29. fantastic post! and the american pie at the end threw me off a bit because it is such a memory song for me. what wonderful history here… need to soak it up some more.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 8, 2017
    • That song is such a favourite …. I remember listening over and over and over again until I knew the lyrics by heart when I was 11. They stuck. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and I will find time to take a look at your blog too in the coming days … I tend to find those that understand mine have rather wonderful places of their own!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 9, 2017
      • 🙂
        well take your time on dropping by mine… I am actually on a break for the rest of the week – just put up two posts until week’s end. and maybe even later this year – have a nice day

        Liked by 1 person

        January 9, 2017

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