Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Family Across the Pond

on October 14, 2010

Back in the fall of 2007 I went with my parents to visit my Great Aunt in England. She’s originally from the Southern

Harley Cottage

portion of England. She recently moved back into her family home where we planned to stay with her for a week before heading to London. It’s a beautiful brick cottage in the countryside just outside of an area called the New Forest. It was one of the best vacations I’d been on in a long time.

In the forest animals are allowed to roam free feeding off the land. You’ll be driving down the road and see a cow grazing. Or a sow feeding her piglets. The New Forest was one of many great things I never would’ve been able to see if I didn’t know someone who lived there. Even more than lived, grew up there. She took us to pubs that she used to go to when she was my age. Reminiscing about what life was like before and after the war. We’d take day trips and tour around then spend the evenings in her house having tea and watching what ever was on the BBC that night.


Why did the piggy cross the road?

The best part of the visit was going to the Romsey Show. My Aunt had gotten us the tickets ahead of time insisting she never misses it and we would love it. The “Show” is basically a huge county fair British style. The whole thing was held on the ground of Lord Romsey’s estate. In the US country fairs will have livestock like cows, pigs, sheep, maybe some llamas. At this show they take it to a different level. They had everything from guinea pigs to horses. There were different types of horse shows and cart races. All the food vendors offered things like fish & chips, clotted creme and strawberries. There was a place in one tent offering a variety of meat pies. The whole experience was fantastic. It was something that no ordinary tourist gets to see.

By the end of the week we had seen Salsbury Cathedral and learned the Germans didn’t bomb it in the blitz because they used it as a landmark. Going out to see Stonehenge courtesy of the bus my Aunt flagged down using her cane old

Salsbury Cathedral

lady style.  We took a day trip out to Bath. Where we toured the ancient Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, and took in the beautiful architecture of the city. The whole week was spent visiting various landmarks from my Aunt’s life in England and visiting places with her that she hadn’t seen in years. By the end of the week I didn’t want to go up to London. Everyone goes to London and visits Big Ben and other famous landmarks. How many people find themselves in the English countryside exploring the local towns with someone who grew up there.

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