Friday 4th July

Friday 4th July

 Happy 4th July!
We had a Celebratory Sale launch yesterday, using a very American stencil,
Friday’s blog a private peek, right?
So where’s the American connection I hear you wonder.
How does a girl from London 
end up with these strong ties to the U.S?
Her daughter’s in New York,
her son’s in California…
It’s really easy: marry an American!
Ironically, their Father is a New Yorker, although we met in Germany and lived in Northern California. 
Grace was born in Nürnberg,
Mark was born in Monterey.
Which implies that I moved around, right?
In fact, I lived abroad all through the ‘80s, right up to 1995!
When I left, Ena Sharples was on the Street.
When I got back, I didn’t know a soul except Ken Barlow, 
and he’d met someone else!
so I gave it up!
And I wonder why both my kids live abroad!
It’s in their blood.
Having a Father in California and a Mother in England certainly broadened their horizons;
we learn what we’re taught, and my kids learned to travel. 
So they do. 
Mark has just completed a 4-year Business degree course in California, and has gone to Brazil for the World Cup before he comes home. Much as I would like to think 
he is coming home for good, it isn’t very likely!
Crowborough or the Copacabana.
Let me think…
Well, you know what they say: 
travel is the greatest form of education.
It broadens the mind.
The world is a book and those 
who do not travel read only one page.
St. Augustine
I am glad I travelled and lived in different countries for so many years when I was younger. It didn’t take away my Englishness at all, but it did make me aware of my size and significance!
I also think that living in a foreign country – being a foreigner abroad – should be mandatory! 
Everybody should know how it feels to be the foreigner.
And finally, the best thing about living away from home, 
is coming back! 
When I lived abroad, all I ever wanted people to bring or send was PG Tips and Colemans Mustard, 
Salt & Vinegar crisps and McVities Digestives! 
Radio rental!
(When Grace went back to New York on Wednesday, 
her suitcase was full of crisps, too!)
But now, I’m going to go online and book a short trip…
No prizes for guessing where to….
but guess anyway!
much love,

36 thoughts on “Friday 4th July

  1. Whenever you book that trip, enjoy every moment of it. You deserve the break after such a hectic year. I have never regretted the travelling I did in my youth, although since then, family commitments got in the way, but we did visit my pen friend in France, and took the caravan over to Ireland. I got to go with my son and the swimming club to Cocoa Beach in Florida. All good experiences. Have fun on your trip. xx Maggie

  2. You came back to England round about the time I moved back up North from Swindon? You wouldn't happen to be going to your lovely Holiday Home would you? We are off to the Mendips in the Caravan and then on to Bude by the Sea? Our poor dog is struggling a bit lately so this is one for him. Of course the kids will love it too. xx

  3. Happy 4th of July! I couldn't agree more about being a foreigner. I lived in S.E. Asia for twelve years and my luggage was always empty on the way here and full of food on the way back. I once managed to take back 12 Holland's meat and potato pies (very northern)! Mum used to send me PG Pyramids for Christmas and a box of Walker's Cheese and Onion crisps! Best pressies ever. I taught me humility and to value my size and significance, I never realised how much English people are revered and yet are quite often very ignorant of this.

  4. I have not traveled much (only the uk) and afraid I disagree , I don't think you have to travel it is more about embracing what's around you and not just walking by people as you can learn as much from the people that have made this their home too .
    I know so much about parts of India and how to blend spices for beautiful dishes because I got to know my Indian neighbour. I have sat in a cafe and just said hello to a older lady sat at the table next to mine and we got chatting and she had been a diplomats daughter and told me so much about the different countries she had been to and taught me lots about different cultures and I once was on a crowded bus when a very frazzled lady sat next to me and all because I took the time to ask if she was okay she ended up filling my journey with intresting stories of her life in Russia.
    I think that because I work with people where communication is key I love to talk to people and learn as much from sharing their experiences as I would if I had traveled – my thought is its a shame the art of a good conversation is dying as now all buzz words and clipped social media . Don't get me wrong they all have their place but not at the expense of saying hello to people we see as sometimes that hello is the only conversation that person might get all day , or worse all week . (Step away from soap box lol!)
    Not so keen on this stencil as not giving me much inspiration at the moment but that's as I am currently focused on a Polish experience day event we are doing with the activity group I help run – any Polish themed ideas any one ?

  5. Hello Barb, Happy 4th of July to you, thank you for another peek into your life, you have travelled a lot. I have not travelled a lot, in fact the first time I left the country of my birth, I was in my late 30's and that was to come here to work on a temporary contract, which turned into 6 months. 4 months later after going home, I came back permanently to live with my 2 boys. As everyone says, you can learn a lot by travelling, but I have also met many people from all over the world, as the company I work for is a global corporation, and often I wish I could go see their countries. Hope you are booking a nice little relaxing trip. Have a great Friday everyone. Bx

  6. Happy 4th July to you Barb…… your travelling has made you a wise woman!!! I myself have only travelled for holidays but do adore the US and New Zealand and there are times when I have seriously looked at emigrating to NZ – but despite many attempts it was not to be – so I content myself with trips and drinking in the beauty when there. I have a trip planned for New England in the fall – a few things happening right now may change all that – but I have my fingers crossed it will still happen – the trees in all their glory, the White Mountains and painted bridges have called to me for a long while!
    Your trip – cryptic clues! – now is this Germany for some shows as you have not mentioned them for a while, France – back to the lovely cottages maybe – or the States to see Grace who might have landed a big part and you have the opportunity to see her film a scene?? Ooh I don't know!!! You are such a tease with your cryptic clues!!!
    Hope you put us out of our misery!!!
    Much Love

  7. Happy 4th of July from a foreigner, it is funny the things we miss it miss strong aluminum foil, and really cool zip lock bags, else most thi hs today can be found here or ordered from Amazon, lol. These stencils are awesome!!!!!!! What a great celebration for us? Happy Birthday USA….

    1. Try Lakeland Limited for strong aluminium foil Debbie it's really good. Good old amazon what would we do without it 🙂
      Love Diane x

  8. I am definitely a home body but I do enjoy talking to folk from abroad. I'm hoping to go to New York for my 40th, we have family that live in the outskirts of New York so will be lovely to see them. I do enjoy going abroad but it's lovely to come home x looking forward to sunday x

  9. How I agree with you Barbara, before my husband died I had only been to Spain He hated travelling. I have now been to Morocco (never again), Egypt, South Africa, Peru, Kenya,Tanzania, USA and am planning to visit India and Russia while age still allows!! I now live in Spain and love it here, and hopefully here I will see my days out. Two things I miss here, my grandson, and being able to buy craft materials and visit craft exhibitions.

  10. Happy 4th July Barbara. I'm so glad you decided to settle in England after all your travels ! It made me laugh thinking of Grace with her suitcase full of crisps I hope she doesn't get stopped at customs! My friend went to work in America when she was 18 and hasn't returned apart from brief holidays to see family. Her mum used to send her mars bars M&S knickers and the horse and hound magazine ! Enjoy your day Barbara. Love Diane xxx

  11. Morning, I agree travel is a great education, my parents emigrated from Wales to Detroit when I was 12 in the 60's. It was a massive change for me but I loved it it, we were there for six years, I made great friends and still visit them often. I love the US, we have visited about 14 states and hope to keep adding more . Thanks for sharing, enjoy booking your trip, my guess is New York. Looking forward to more travel soon, a trip to Crowborough, never been there but so looking forward to it. J x

  12. Morning Barb, children certainly learn what they live, we have always travelled about Scotland and England, I have been to a few countries but only on holiday. I love travelling and listening to people's stories of living abroad it is an adventure just listening. Health doesn't allow me to travel at the moment but I want to go places and see things and take in some culture. There are many many people that don't even travel out with their own town or city and it can be quite apparent 🙂 not in a bad way though as travelling is not for everyone.

    Have you booked a little trip to visit Grace?

    Love Denise x

  13. Hi Barbara. I'm a traveller too. My dad was in the army and we lived abroad in Cyprus, Egypt, & Tripoli. Living in a country for a couple of years really gives you an insight as to how the people live and their customs etc. I can remember my mum being given the sheep's eye at an arab's house in Egypt as she was the honoured guest. She just put it in her mouth and swallowed. Yuk!! You are such a close family that you can be sure your kids will always come home at some point even if they then go off again so you are blessed. Have a great weekend everyone. Pat x

  14. Hello Barb. I too lived abroad for many years and my children were all at African schools which has certainly given them a wider outlook. It was Marmite I craved, and fresh milk. My new stencil arrived today and I'm thrilled. Again, I too have a ginko tree that I absolutely love so this means much to me. Thank you. xx Margaret Col.

  15. Hi Barbara, I was as a German-AuPair in London and Paris and it was certainly very helpful specially to the aspect of being a stranger I had friends all over the world. And nowadays with Skype and facebokk, Blogs it is becoming even easier – I love it. xx

  16. Hi Barbara,
    I'm very much a home bird, having travelled very little outside the near continent, UK and Ireland. In fact I have always lived in Yorkshire, which has so much variety there is always something new to discover.
    Therese days we are so lucky with the internet that we can travel all over without leaving our chairs, but there is something missing that you have mentioned – the interactions with other people.
    There is something to be said for walking with crutches as I'm so slow that people tend to stop and chat …. I've met so many lovely people that way!
    Today is no exception, I'm sitting in hospital watching my drip dripping, having a lovely chat with the gent next to me. And the nurses. Not a bad day out especially with you lovely blogs to fill in the quiet times.
    As for your trip … maybe a European tour taking in Paris, Berlin (other German cities are available) and Rome, before a trip to see grace in the USA?

  17. I so agree with you Barbara – I lived in the States for 3 years in the 90s, and whilst I enjoyed my time, made some great friends, and learnt a lot about myself, it was lovely to come home too! My family used to bring/send Lemon Puff biscuits and Naan bread mix!! And last time I visited my good English friend who stayed there when she got married, I took a suitcase full of Cadbury's variety Christmas packs!!! I hope you're off to New Mexico to your little retreat in the sun – is there room in your suitcase for anyone else? Susan x

  18. I agree with you about travel Barbara – it really does help with making you understand your own community and the bigger picture. I've lived in Spain and Italy and travelled all over the world – there are still places I would love to see though. I'm taking my girls on their first trip abroad in a few weeks – we're off to Germany – a place i have never been – looking forward to it though – its been a long time! Big Hugs and enjoy your short break – wherever it may be – I'm guessing USA though! Hugs rachel x

  19. I'm UK born, but living in Ireland Barb – here, we are not foreigners, we are 'Blow ins'! I'm never likely to move again, and it would be too expensive to come back to the UK, so I'll end my days here now – the last move, to get here was so traumatic, I swore I'd never attempt it again.

  20. Hi Barb,
    As usual your ramblings are very enjoyable and informative. I have never lived abroad, but have visited many countries and find that the best way to find out about the life is to talk to the people BUT as the only language I speak is English (with a bit of Geordie tossed in) it makes for a good laugh with much waving of hands, but I don't speak loudly as though the other person is deaf!!
    I reckon you're off to your home in New Mexico for a bit of R & R, with a bit of artistic doodling thrown in. Anyway, wherever it is – enjoy!!
    Love xx

  21. It's always great to travel, and I've been very fortunate to have travelled with work in the past. Sometimes this meant I could get to meet people and spend time with them, and at others I was in the country for about 36 hours!! I do though think it's great to come home.

    I think you're booking a trip to New York. Hope you've had a good day. xx

  22. I have not travelled very much at all. Married at 19 and 4 children swiftly following did not leave a lot of spare cash. Do I mind Certainly not. Would not swap them, hopefully now we are retired (and one son who bounced back will soon be leaving again) there might be chance to visit a few places. I reckon you are off to see your lovely daughter, but enjoy wherever you go and get a good break. xx

  23. It's good to reminisce I have travelled abroad and have some lovely memories and photos I cannot travel now due to my illnesses but I have my crafting and that brings it's rewards xxx

  24. Hi Barb,
    Travelled quite a bit around Europe mainly skiing and beach holidays, but the one country I would love to go to is Egypt. I am absolutely fascinated by anything to do with ancient Egypt and the Pharoahs. Hubbie was going to take me when I retired (2 years ago) but all of the troubles broke out and so we never went – went to London instead ( which I really enjoyed I have to say!) I reckon you're either going to New Mexico or New York. Wherever it is I hope you enjoy it and get some R and R. Love Alison xx

  25. Just remember hadn't written on here ment to come back as looked very early well I am sure you booked you next trip to America to see grace to give yourself something to look forward to to help with missing her did think also about trip to France Germany but that is simply work so my number one is trip to see Grace , so looking forward to Sunday shows xxx

  26. Hi Barbara. I haven't travelled abroad much but when we do go we make a point of visiting the "real" country, not just the tourist traps as then you learn so much more. Relatives of mine will only go abroad to places that do, in their own words "proper food" which means traditional English food, ie. meat and 3 veg type meals. They always tell you about their holiday with the "proper food" places being the most important part. I think that is so sad, it is great fun trying the local dishes, even if you occasionally swear never to eat it again : ) Are you off to visit Grace by any chance? No matter where you go have a great time and relax. Have a good day. Take care.

  27. I bet you will be visiting the 'big apple' Barbara. When I think of New York that song 'New York, New York, it's a wonderful town, the Bronx is up and Manhattan is down', from 'On The Town' with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly leaping about, always springs to mind, but I have never visited the US, but perhaps I will. Apart from Spain in my youth, then Yugoslavia in my twenties, I hadn't been anywhere else until my husband and I visited our son in Australia, where we have been twice now with stopovers in Hong Kong and Singapore, but we have never been to Europe together, so we are rectifying that by having nearly three weeks in France in September, and I am so looking forward to it! We have been to a lot of places in this country as I do believe you should know and see the country you live in first, but how mad to have travelled to the other side of the globe, but never just across the channel. Well perhaps this will be the first if many visits. x

  28. Nice to meet you Barbara. Love your talent and especially your humor. Had to stop and comment at this post, as I too am "the foreigner". An American married to a German living in Germany.

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