The Perfect Way To Start My Day

Once people realize I’m an American living in England and not just here for a visit, they always ask me if I miss my life in the US. My response never varies when I tell them that I miss my daughter, other family members, and my friends. Of course there’s more that I miss, but not being able to easily see the people I love does make it tough at times.

Unlike immigrants who left their homeland in the days before airplanes, telephones, and the internet, moving to another country doesn’t have to be a total or permanent separation from those you love.

My daughter is pretty easy to reach by phone so that helps a bit and she sends me photos fairly often too. They don’t always have her in them, but may be more of what she’s seeing, like a smoky red sunset seen over the darkened parking lot of the company where she works or a funny bumper sticker on the car in front of her, taken at a red light. Random quick snaps that help me see what she sees as she goes through her day make me feel a bit closer as if she’s just across town instead of the other side of the Atlantic.

Her point of view photos like the image above can make it seem as if I am actually there with her, feeling the evening sun on my face and seeing the breeze blowing through her horse’s mane, enjoying as she said later, ‘ The best way to end a weekend.’

My favorite ones tend to be the last ones, those that I know come at the end of her day. They are the unexpected ‘goodnight’ photos that I wake up to over coffee and the perfect start to my new day.

Both photos were taken by my daughter, Miranda and used with her permission.

A Comment For Me From My Daughter’s Dog … On The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Earlier today I received a photo sent by my daughter of her dog. He’s pretty precious and I always enjoy the late night images she sends of him. He’s usually sleeping in the photos and not just because of the lateness of the hour, but because he is a champion snoozer.

When I saw a message from Miranda in my email with the word ‘Snoring’ as the subject, I smiled to know I had a message from her. It’s nice to feel a connection as her day is ending and mine is beginning and I always enjoy seeing what she sends me. Many times it’s just a dog shot and sometimes she is in it too, but today’s photo was just one of a sleeping dog or so I thought …

Ry is sleeping on the leather sofa I gave Miranda when I moved to the UK. I thought he was at a strange angle when I first saw it until I worked out that the cushion was out of place for some reason and resting up on the back of the sofa against the wall. Then I noticed the paper partially hidden by the cushion and realized that her cute dog was being used to deliver a message to me.

I expect my American readers can easily recognize the paper that’s peeking out from behind the cushion. It’s a copy of a famous document that is an important part of American history and I laughed out loud when I realized that her dog shot contained a copy of the Declaration of Independence, the formal statement where the thirteen colonies proclaimed they were no longer part of the British Empire .

I’m guessing she must have read my blog post from yesterday where I wrote about celebrating the Jubilee and singing “God Save The Queen,” and thought I might need help remembering my American roots … as if I would ever forget.

Using her English Springer Spaniel to help deliver the tongue in cheek message has an irony she may not have considered.

Hmm … I think Ry might like for me to bring him a new collar like the one below when I fly home to Atlanta next month.

Internet photo

What do you think?

The Dog Days Of Summer Come To Cornwall

After all the rain and grey days last week, Monday was beautiful. It was a Bank Holiday here and John reminded me last night that it’s the last one we’ll see before Christmas.

It’s no wonder then that it all went to the dogs yesterday … in our village at least. It wasn’t actually all about dogs, but the dog show was a huge draw and much of the afternoon was spent judging and being judged.


I was asked along with John and several other people to photograph the event for our Parish magazine. I had a hard time remembering to photograph more than what interests me, but when I reviewed my 222 photos, (can you say overkill) I found I had managed to capture enough to present a good overview of the day even though my photos were a bit dog heavy.

Speaking of dog heavy, I’m not sure I’d like to feed this big boy. I sat next to him earlier and he was a very well-behaved, but he wanted to cuddle when he saw a smaller dog crawl into my lap.

There were loads of different breeds.

This little dog was in an event for older dogs who were referred to as veterans which meant dogs over ten years old.

I had a chance to play with these puppies when I caught up with them later outside the pub.

This is one of our neighbors. She runs marathons with her Dalmatians and unless something changed over the summer, only three of these dogs belong to her.

My friend Patrice once offered shelter to a friend of hers who came with what she referred to as a damnation versus a Dalmatian because it was so uncontrollable and made her miserable. She was happy to see the back of it as they say here when the dog and her owner found a new place to live. Let me clear about the Dalmatians above, they are always very sweet and well-behaved and completely different from the experience Patrice had with the big D.

There’s so much going in this shot and you might think it too busy, but I love seeing all the different actions and knowing that many of these people live in my community. You may remember the little girl in the sunglasses from this post. She’s always a cutie!

This little girl was loving her puppy.

Waiting patiently for the judge’s decision.

There was a good variety of food with burgers and sausages being sold here. I didn’t have one, but I did see a happy dog scarfing down a hamburger that had been dropped accidentally .

There were other nibbles too like the scones and jam you see here.

If you got tired of dog watching there were different games you could try like the girl above.

Lots of boys seemed keen to do this one and had what looked like a bit of competition going with their scores.

Splat the Rat seemed like the most fun to me, but I tend to like games that involving whacking something. It’s a good stress reliever.


My friend Tina was making dreams come true yesterday and she told me later that this was the first time this little boy had ever had his face painted.

You could pick up bargains too as people set up tables and sold off a variety of things.

Here’s a shot of some more of my neighbors. Andy looks very stern in the background, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen him without a smile. I love the shot of Gary with the teddy bear. I actually followed him for a few yards trying to catch just the right shot of the bear next to one of his colorful tattoos. This was my favorite.

There were quite a few vintage cars on the village green including an American made Chrysler Imperial (blue car) that you see in this shot. It’s so wide that I’m not sure how it makes it through most of the lanes around the village. The black Austin Seven (about 1935) was my favorite.

Here are a few more that caught my eye. Even though I loved the Austin Seven, if I were going to own one to drive it would be this silver one. I’d have to keep my scarves short and inside the car though so as not to end up like Isadora Duncan.

You could get out of the sun if you wished in the Village Institute ( it was a one room school originally) and pick up some jam or artwork to take home with you too.

Many people had a Kelly’s Cornish ice cream while others finished the day at the pub. I passed by this mobile dairy treat on my way to find John who was sitting with friends in front of the pub enjoying a pint in the afternoon sun.

The best part of my day happened earlier with this young puppy. He was totally irresistible and so cuddly and calm that I had trouble giving him back. I expect I’ll see Ziggy again since his owner is local.

He’s such a beauty and at the risk of sounding like Paris Hilton, look how his eyes match the color of my shirt. (I know dogs are not accessories)

I took this myself and he was a little distracted. I had trouble getting us both in the shot and in focus so I gave Ziggy first priority.

The photo below is my favorite as he gave me a little kiss while I was trying to stay steady and snap the shot. I love the light in this one. It looks like the last days of summer.

Hazy Dog Days & Puppy Love - Ziggy Kissing Elizabeth