How to say goodbye? I started trying to put this post together last night, but, as I was doing it, matters were made even worse when Love Actually came on the TV in our hotel room! So all I really did was cry.
How do you say goodbye to this? Did you hear those birds? And it’s only a small taste of the magic and beauty that’s been around every hedgerow since we got here. It’s not really over, I tell myself, I still have so much more to show you when we get home . . . you’re going to love the rest of Rosemary Verey’s garden! Not to mention, we get to go back to Hill Top! To Beatrix’s husband, William Heelis’s office in Hawkshead! And to William Morris’s house! And so much more!! Look what we have to look forward to! Waaaaah.
Would someone please tell me how to say goodbye?
Because I just can’t do it.
words fail me
But the clock is ticking . . .
. . . even here, in a land, that sometimes you think, time forgot. Yesterday we went to Lacock, the perfect little village where Cranford was filmed. I hope you’ve all seen Cranford, because it’s a charming story of yesteryear and looks just like this . . .
… only better, because when you are on this street, you can hear the English accents, feel the breeze, smell the lavender, see the clouds moving; you know it’s real because they have cars there now; and you can go in here and get the London Times if you want . . .
. . . because, in fact, what seems to be a dream, is all very real. Dreams, you can wake up from; we won’t ever wake up from this.
How do you say goodbye to the everyday charm of life here? Tea rooms, cottages with names like Dove and Sky; kitchen gardens in every patch of dirt; cavorting lambs around every bend; paths that take you over ancient stone footbridges,
through fragrant wildflower meadows that go forever? Where “My-toe-hurts-bet-tee” is the nature national anthem (a wood-pigeon is singing it outside our window right now) . . . this completely handcrafted country, with a full size electric tea kettle as standard in every hotel and every rental! People who say “dodgy” and “crap job” and who have cars like this right outside your hotel window and think its normal?
How can you not love them? Well, you really have no choice, you just do, don’t you!?
Because this is the epicenter, the ground zero, of charm. They show us how it’s done. And just when the whole world needed some cheering up, they did this — they had a big wonderful party . . . for the sweetest of reasons . . .
. . . and decorated every corner of England, in the biggest and smallest ways . . .
Which sent our whole family, including Petey, over the top! Thank you England!!! Joe was reading this over my shoulder and we just decided to make ourselves honorary English people as of this moment. Petey too. I hope no one minds.
So goodbye shockingly beautiful place. We are putting the last bits into our bag (never said bits before but now I’m English I can get away with it) this morning, and going off to do the thing we saved for today; going to Chawton House, the home of Jane Austen, for one last garden stroll and walk through history before we board the ship and sail right out of Southampton into suspended animation for seven days. Where blue meets blue in an unending swirl of sky and water . . . on a big ocean liner, with violin music playing, while waves lap at the windows. Talk about unreal.
Good bye darling pubs; goodbye Rachel and Paul, Siobhan and John and all the wonderful people who made our trip so special. Goodbye Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, the Lake District, and Kent, and everywhere in between. Waaaah. We are going to miss you very much.
Goodbye land of enchantment, it was wonderful. Take good care of yourself. Until we meet again.
You better get packed Girlfriends, and get yourself back into those suitcases; keep your raincoats on, it looks like we’re going to need them — and don’t worry, we know what’s waiting for us on the other side; we won’t be too sad. We have home and kitties; some of us have dogs that have missed us so much; we have our friends and family and own beds to look forward to. You can get the crimps out of your legs and I get to finish our English Diary too! Not to mention a picket fence garden, and tea with the best friends a girl could have . . . I brought everything home with me that I will need to make a real English Tea Party! I have Union Jack bunting!!! I have Pear Cider! We have our wonderful memories, and also, let’s not forget, about 10,000 photographs. Yay, US! We did it! Wasn’t it fun? XOXOXO Bon Voyage!!!! Thank you for coming along . . . I’ll try to write from the ship! But you know . . . it can be dodgy! ♥