Thought you might enjoy a breath of really really FRESH ocean air this morning . . . remember how, when we were at sea on the Queen Mary 2, I couldn’t send videos?  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t take them!


Isn’t that just insane? What a beautiful world!!!  We were just below Ireland in this video — that was an Irish seagull!  The next morning we landed in England.  Have a wonderful day, Girlfriends; you can still enter to win the Emma Bridgewater mug giveaway by leaving comments below (read the next post if you don’t know what I’m talking about!)  Byeeeeeee! 

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436 Responses to A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

  1. Debby says:

    Thank you for my armchair trip to England!The Queen’s Jubilee, the Olympics and all the beautiful posts from your trip have moved ” Visit Great Britain” to the top spot on my bucket list.

  2. Pom Pom says:

    Hi Susan! Oh, I just can’t get enough of the sea. We’re going to Victoria, BC in October and I can’t wait!
    The mug = EXCITING! Oh, to be a potter. I wish I was!

  3. Tracy Jones (Charlton, MA) says:

    Dear Sue,
    Thank you for this post…I really needed a “breath” this morning before I started my day! Enjoy yours!

    xo Tracy

  4. mary spring says:

    …wow…do I ever miss that beautiful ocean air..what a nice surprise this morning for you to take us all there again….have a great day !! ..(it so feels like autumn…love it..)..take care…

  5. Minette says:

    What a wonderful way to start the day! Blue skies, fluffy clouds, and a beautiful, glistening sea. Wouldn’t that be a great scene for an Emma mug? I admire her and Matthew Rice so much for what they have done for Stoke-on-Trent and the English pottery industry. Their designs are so much fun and so comfortable to use. The teapot shape of her patterns is the quintessential English teapot. I collect her Starry Skies pottery (a labor of love over time) and all sorts of mugs. Half the fun is saving up for that next piece and deciding which one while you do! You are so right in that her designs mix so well with traditional patterns as well as contemporary designs. I just love then all, and it always makes a festive table. And while I am going on about them, I love Matthew Rice’s books on English archtirecture and his unique tins. The illustrations are so lovely. I am so glad that you have introduced Emma Bridgewater to so many people! You are such a treasure! Thanks again for all that you share with us!

    • sbranch says:

      And you know what else? Matthew has an artist mom named Pat Albeck who designs all the linen dishtowels for the National Trust! What a fun family!

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        Hi girls! I bought two mugs and a dish towel from Emma Bridgewater designed by Pat Albeck. I just love them. They are so 1970’s retro, they remind me of my fun, color filled childhood at my grandparents! Would’ve never known about Emma or the incredible Pat if not for….you Susan!

  6. Janet says:

    Hope I’m not too late for a chance at that Jubilee mug! My friend and I are already planning a trip to England in two years as a result of your travels, Sue! I have bookmarked many tips from your writing.

    • sbranch says:

      My English Diary of the trip will be published in plenty of time, with lots more tips … your trip will be such a treat!

  7. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan..how I needed that ‘breath’ of fresh air! I miss being on the water…

    Can’t wait to see who wins the cup!! A beautiful piece of England! “Oh..how I wish it were I” smile…

    Have a blessed day!

  8. Joy Rose from Oregon says:

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your life experiences with us! Oh, and dear Vanna please pick me.

  9. Joanne says:

    Thank you, Susan for that beautiful post!! What a lovely way to start the day.
    Have a good one!

  10. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, to “BE” on the Queen Mary if only for a few minutes was totally fun! Does the ship make those noises all the time? Is that the engine sound? Is it scary when all you see is water in every direction for days? I cannot imagine how majestic this ship was. Thanks for sharing this wonderful morning with the seagulls of Ireland. Do they squawk in Gaelic?

    • sbranch says:

      Little bit of an Irish accent, to be sure! 🙂 I’m writing about all your questions in the English Diary, right now, funny to read them here! The noise was the noon horn they were blowing; usually they blow it just once, but I think they kept blowing it because they were in a good mood, it was such a Beautiful day!

  11. Cheryl Egan says:

    I have been following your adventures constantly. We just returned from living on Chappy for the past 4 weeks. I think of you often and look so much towards you publishing your next piece! Your work is inspirational. Thank you for all of your influence.
    Best Thoughts to You and Joe Always,

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Cheryl, I replied to your last comment . . . did you see it, or did it get lost in marvelous mug mania? So happy you’re enjoying everything…hope being back home is good for you!

  12. Vicki says:

    Loved all the sharing you did with us. Would also love the Emma Bridgewater mug! I’m so glad you took us all on your trip. What a special gift you have given us. I could definitely smell and feel that ocean in your video! What a treat!

    • sbranch says:

      Glad you liked it!

      • Vicki says:

        Years ago, my husband and I lived in Vt. A lovely lady moved to our town from Martha’s Vineyard. She told us all about this talented lady she had met there that would surely be famous one day and she alerted us to the coming of your first book. We all loved it and I’ve been a fan ever since. Now that I’m retired, (I think we are around the same age) I can finally keep up with your blog…what a treat it is! Oh, the lady’s name was Kim Butterworth (don’t you just love that name?) Do you remember her?

        • sbranch says:

          I love butter anything! 🙂 Did she work in the bookstore here? There was a Kim, but not sure about the last name.

          • Vicki says:

            I think she did work at the bookstore……so glad she alerted us to you! Perfect summer day here ….my flowers are all smiling!

          • sbranch says:

            If it was her, she was SO missed when she left here, she was the smartest reader and always steered us to the best books!

  13. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Beautiful start to the day! Good Morning! I L O V E your painting! I tried taking a picture of a beautiful green oval, out in the gorgeous blue ocean when we were at the Botanical Gardens at Ft Bragg – not such a good photographer! You really captured the color in your painting! I’m breathing in the fresh ocean air! An Irish seagull, the ocean, noon whistle, & your laugh – wonderful! Have a great day! xoxo

  14. Chris Wells from West Texas says:

    To experience the sea with just the click of a mouse. Ain’t technology grand, sometimes?! The sea does marvelous things for those of us land locked! I could almost smell it. I think it will be a good day. Thank you for the great start.

  15. Ann says:

    What a noise! I bet they were just trying to get all of you more and more excited. Hope no one was still abed! You certainly couldn’t sleep through that alarm clock.

    I so enjoyed all your wanderings in the UK Susan – hope you’ll come back one day as there’s lots more to see! ;o)

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes…I probably haven’t even shown half of it yet here on the blog! And there is so much more we didn’t get to! Must go back!

  16. Lori says:

    Happy birthday Joe! Looks like you all had a great time. I just love when you invite us along Susan … big trips or just hanging out at home. Thanks!

  17. peggy sweeney says:

    England has been beautiful the past couple weeks, real summer weather! Reached 91 this past weekend. We went to the New Market Horse Racing, first time, it was so fun. This week Our Base RAF Lakenheath is sponsoring the Paralympic team, we are personal sponsors for a man name Jim Bob who is from Odessa Texas. Plan to have him over for dinner, any suggestions? maybe some Susan Branch recipes!
    I love Emma Bridgewater, I really love the heart pattern, I have a travel wallet made of that fabric, and for my birthday my kids got me a note pad and pen with the same pattern.
    have a great day!

    • sbranch says:

      Make him something he might be missing from home! Something he can’t get there. Chicken enchiladas? (p. 94 of Heart of the Home.) Fried chicken and Potato salad? (salad in Summer Book) Fried Chicken in Heart of the Home. But you know, something a Texas person might be missing. Feed his homesickness, just in case he has it. Jim Bob!

      • peggy sweeney says:

        thanks for the ideas, I have that cookbook, I will do the enchiladas, and home made salsa with chips! sounds good, maybe do the cheese cake that you made for your husband’s birthday, ok, gotta make a shopping list! thanks!

    • Susan Bryza says:

      I’d make Jim Bob some of Susan’s mom’s ribs. I forget which cookbook that recipe is in; but I think she posted it on the blog last winter, Texans like their BBQ!:)

  18. Wendy Louise says:

    Oh Oh Oh Oh I can’t wait for that wonderful book you are making for us ! It’s like waiting for Christmas and I love the anticipation for sure my friend . You take your time because I know it will be a feast for our eyes, plus, my wonderful husband and I plan on a trip like that when the timing is right. That video of the Irish Seagull was so invigorating, I can’t wait to feel that air on my face. You are the BEST, I hope you know how much you are loved and admired ! Thank-you my friend from the bottom of my heart ! 🙂

  19. Treese says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I want that mug! LOL!

  20. Joy Jones says:

    Hi Susan,

    Have been on your “Willard list” since the 90’s and now just love your blog!!
    My son has lived off and on in the U K going to school in Scotland and even worked for the Archbishop of Canterbury one year. I have been many times, but one never seems to get enough of the wonderful treasures found there…ie
    tea, scones, cream and jam!!!

    • sbranch says:

      What an amazing experience for your son!!! Love it when good things happen to good people!

    • Susan Bryza says:

      Wow, the Archbishop! One day in 2002, I was in my Rector’s office at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver and the Archbishop was visiting him. I was newly engaged at the time, so the Archbishop kissed my engagement ring to bring me good luck!

      • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

        A little story Girlfriends. . .

        In the late 90’s my girlfriend Elaine and I spent a week in London on the spur of the moment, with the blessing of our husbands, doing all the girlie things. We had a ball! We found out that the Archbishop of Canterbury, at that time George Carey (now Lord Carey), was going to be celebrating the Eucharist on Palm Sunday at All Souls Church Langham Place. We noticed that one very classy lady in about the third row was sitting all by herself; Elaine very quickly deduced that this must be Eileen, the Archbishop’s wife. We inquired if the seats beside her were available and she indicated they were; so there we sat (and kneeled. . . and stood) through the entire service. After the service we discovered that this lovely lady was, in fact, Eileen and a few minutes later we met the Archbishop at the end of the aisle as well and chatted for a couple minutes with them. But the topper on the story is that Elaine met the Archbishop and Eileen a couple years later in the States and mentioned our meeting them on Palm Sunday at All Souls at Langham Place. Eileen said she remembered that Elaine had been there with her friend! Remarkable!!!!

  21. jeannine leonard says:

    Simply amazing, I just love the ocean.
    I wonder how did that seagul know that you were filming?
    It’s like he just wanted to say Hello to all of us.
    Thanks for letting us experience this wonderful world of ours, in ways we might not see for ourselves.

  22. Dolores says:

    I have always loved watching the wonderful old movies that had the characters traveling to other worlds on the great ships. The romance of the story was always helped with the adventure of being on the ships. But I guess I didn’t realize that I could be like the people in the movies, having the adventures of traveling on the seas to other worlds. But thanks to you I know it is something that not only I can do but must do! You brought the joy of train travel to me and now ship travel! Simply said, you dear Susan bring adventure to our lives every day! And I cannot wait for the book!!!!! I am so excited!

  23. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    Your post this morning was great! We went to Irishfest this past Sunday and then looking at the ocean AND the “Irish ” seagull this morning really makes me want to go there! Thanks for a great start to the day!
    Be blessed~

  24. DebbieS says:

    MMMMMmmmmm….I’m thinking that steaming fresh coffee served in an Emma Bridgewater cup would be perfect with a slice of cheesecake………for breakfast! Thank you for always brightening my day. You are my “first stop” in the morning.

  25. Pat Beckman says:

    I have loved every post on England and your pictures make me feel like I’m really there.Happy Birthday to Joe
    Pat Beckman

  26. Sherry Palla says:

    Thanks Susan….I loved that you said “Thank you bird!” xoxo so cute!

  27. Lynn McMahon says:

    Beannaithe~ in Gaelic~ I hope!

  28. Linda... Gardnerville, Nevada says:

    Love it!

  29. Donna Szybowicz says:

    Thank you. You have turned my frown up side down. : )

  30. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Morning Sunshine! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I Love The Ocean~Air! Especially when it’s On The Queen Mary 2! 😉 What a Dazzling Day That was! & an “Irish~Seagull”…(I Bet He Meets His Buddies at an Irish~Pub!) 🙂 I Can Feel The Ocean~Breeze on My Face & Taste The Salty Sea! Scrumptious! Wishing You a Glorious Day Sweet Sue! Now I’m Off to Take a Peek at That Little Vintage Stove! Yay! 😉 Pixie~Dust…Everywhere! xoxo Poof! ✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫ 🙂

  31. Mary Alice says:

    Thank you so much for your video of the sea. I am so looking forward to your book on your trip to England. I will definitely use it to help plan my 2014 trip. Great expectations! I would love to win the Emma Bridgewater mug. Great for afternoon tea while planning the England trip. In the mean time I will be in Victoria, BC (our little slice of England in the Pacific Northwest!) next week.
    Fondly, Mary Alice

  32. Diedra Lanphear says:

    Hello dear Susan! I haven’t written to you before; but, I have been gleaning Joy from you and your blog and creations for a few years now. I’m a flight attendant for a major airline based in New York who usually lays over in London, and like you, I love England! However, I’m on a long medical leave right now, recuperating from ovarian cancer, so the last time I was in London was in February. I miss it! So, I have been enjoying your cruise and England travel adventures even more than I normally would! Every morning, after I read my various inspirational devotionals, affirmations, scriptures, blogs, etc., I check your blog to see if you have a new posting, and it always brings me Joy! Thanks for sharing your gifts with us, and for allowing us to see the world through your magical eyes. 🙂 xo

    • sbranch says:

      Thank YOU Diedra for being here . . . hope you feel better every single day and get back to England soon!

    • Lori from Maine says:

      Oh Diedra sweetie…get better soon. I’ve been through BC twice ( at 28 amd 41) and at 58 I’m still kicking. You must have been very frightened, but take heart, there are so many survivors out there. Keep up with your devotionals, affirmations and especially Little Miss Ray of Sunshine Susan Branch’s blog! I’ll keep you in my thoughts.
      xoxox from Southwest Harbor, Maine
      p.s. I went to England in 1968 and soooo hope to return there someday. Maybe it will be on a “major airline based in New York”. 🙂

  33. irene talaasen says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love the ocean breeze!! 🙂 and hearing all about Joe’s birthday celebration and that yummy cheesecake. The Emma Bridgewater mug would be a lovely addition to my mug collection!! Yay! Blessings in your day,
    Irene Talaasen

  34. Willa Brown says:

    LOVE IT!! The only sound that rivals it for me is the train whistle!! I wanted to write yesterday when I read about Joe’s wonderful birthday party, but the day got away from me…..but, for the moment I was sitting and ooohing and ahhing over the pictures and their discritptions I was content indeed.

    Much to share with you about my summer but it would take waaay to long so in a nutshell please know that looking forward to and reading your posts have been the highlight! Gall bladder surgery in June, and lost my Mom in July. Amazingly this willful determined precious mother of mine died on her 90th birthday because she always thought that would look good in the obituary….and by golly it did, especially since I wrote it! August has been just fine, thank-you very much. Went on a retreat with all my sampler stitching friends and that was the absolute ultomate summer turnaround.

    My summer, your summer, all the girlfriends’ summer…..made me think about this; we have no idea what happens in the lives of those around us, what has happened that make them jump with joy, or what sorrow they have endured to birng them to the lowest of lows, but one thing we can all count on is that there is strength in numbers. Just reading your blog and reading as many of the comments I can make me S*M*I*L*E as I think fondly of gals I don’t even know but have such a kinship with!

    One more thing before I go – I just received my last order from SB and I love, love, LOVE the calendars…all 3 of them. I bought the beautiful little brown bird tea for one cup for my daughter’s birthday, but alas now I must buy one for me as well! I should have known. XOXOXO to you sweet Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      I love your mother. Listen to that. Beautiful. xoxo to you back Willa!

    • Martha Ellen says:

      Willa I’m so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing! I love the comment about turning 90! What wonderful memories you must have. Take care. xoxo ♥

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Willa, I love that–“strength in numbers”–it is so true! We are here for each other! Thanks for sharing about your summer. I am so sorry about your mom, but I am glad you are having a *great* August!

  35. Sharon Byars says:

    Love the video! I have the travel urge “bad” and looking forward to your travel diary. I am one of those fortunate souls that live at the beach. Today would love to be the lucky winner of the cup , because it is my birthday! Have a lovely day!

  36. Jan says:

    Nice to be able to revisit your adventure through sight and sound. You can just hear the excitement in your voice! Wonderful!

  37. Marjorie says:

    Thanks for sharing that cool breeze from the ocean. So refreshing after the hot weather of summer! I’m sure the sound of those horns brings back memories of your fabulous trip to England.
    It is so nice to see love in action, it was hard to tell who was happier at Joe’s birthday party, you or Joe!

  38. Martha Ellen says:

    Hello Susan and all the girlfriends! I love old clocks that chime the hours–Your ship certainly tops that! Thanks for the wake-up! xoxo ♥

  39. Cindy Berry says:

    Happy Birthday to Joe and Happy Day to the winner of the mug!! Thanks for the fun and beauty to bring to our day. Have a great day Susan!

  40. Becky says:

    The birthday party looked just great. Happy Birthday to Joe! I celebrated my 60th birthday party this year as well along with family (5 grandchildren) and friends. Love hearing that the ocean sounds! Thanks, Susan, for bringing a bit of fun to our days!

  41. Carol Maurer says:

    I agree, Susan…. they must have been having fun with the blowing of the whisle that day. I was just expecting one sound, but they gave us several. How fun was that?! The ocean was so calm that day as well. You always think of the Atlantic as being rough.

    Have a great day!….
    Carol M

  42. Cocoa Fornelli says:

    Dear Susan,
    Can hardly wait for your “English Diary”, what a delightful treat that it will
    be, and to receive the mug would be the “cherry on top”!!!
    Happy Day!
    Hugs, Cocoa

  43. Shaney Smith says:

    Thank you for the sea! I’m in Arizona and I really needed this! 🙂

  44. pat addison says:

    good morning!!! ooohhh dear should not have watched that video, i think i was the person hanging over the rail in one shot. want to go to England someday, but i don’t know how i would do on an ocean voyage. off to go feed the birds, and get busy on beating the rugs. have a fun day everyone. hugs……. 🙂

    • Julie says:


      You are such a sweet & gentle soul,
      earth mother, protective of nature
      and all things, simple & good.
      It’s hard to imagine you “beating” anything-
      even a rug.
      That said-
      knock yourself out & have a GOOD time…
      here’s to clean living & clean, fresh smelling rugs !

      • pat addison says:

        thanks julie. and i do get out and beat my rugs, can’t throw them into the washing machine…too big….. so i hang them on the line and beat the tar out of them. have grandma’s old rug beater to do it with. good workout too!!! hugs…. 🙂

        • Julie says:

          Do you know,
          I was going to ask you, if you had one of those
          olde, rug beaters,
          but somehow I just knew that you did !

          They are quite collectible-
          so glad to hear you have your Grandma’s.
          I’m sure she’s helping you with your “swing” ! 🙂
          Love the part about it being a “good workout”-
          I’m sure it is !

          You’re deserving of a treat, later on-
          maybe, you’ll have to whip up
          Susan’s cheesecake or carrot cake ? 🙂

          • pat addison says:

            yes i have grandma’s rug beater, love it. and it is a good workout, good for the arms and shoulders and good for getting any bad moods, anger etc. out on the rug. now the treat i was going to make myself was a cool and refreshing cucumber salad, i’ll let my hubby make the cheesecake as he is a good chef and cheesecakes are his speciality, and his version is to die for!!!! yuuuummmmm!!!!!! hugs… 🙂

        • Julie says:

          Bad mood, anger….not YOU, Pat ?

          I wouldn’t think anything could frustrate you-
          well, maybe, a few of those “flustered” tourists ?

          Rest your little, rug-beating arms,
          nibble on your cool cucumber salad
          and enjoy another late, summer’s evening !

          • pat addison says:

            thank you julie, will do that. maybe enjoy the rest of the afternoon with a cup of tea, iced of course and have s sit on the lawn swing out back. hugs….. 🙂

  45. Kim says:

    Loved that video, and the sound of the “noon horn”, which reminded me of whale sounds — Or?? — The musical tones from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”?!

  46. Annelies says:

    Oh how delicious that the joy of your ( our) trip still continues. To sip from the mug would be all to perfect. Thanks for the chance. XXXX

  47. Dear Susan,
    Thank you for all the wonderful posts. I look forward to your blog every day. Every time I turn on my computer ….Did Susan send something to the girlfriends to enjoy today?…..I feel we are kindred spirits.
    Thank you for your generous and kind-hearted offer. Have a fantastic day! Hugs and Kisses! Lorraine

  48. Julie says:

    Invigorating and refreshing-
    not just the video but also your lovely seascape watercolor.

    Nothing is more healing & reenergizing than H2O.
    Is it any wonder why the oceans make up 71% of the earth’s surface ?
    It was all part of the plan……some AMAZING master plan !

    Hope you save some magical, mystery video
    for your English Diary/DVD companion-
    you know, the way Hollywood always adds “Bonus” clips to their DVDs.

    I, also hope the Queen Mary plans on carrying your English Diary
    in their gift shop-
    can not think of a better gift for oneself & others sailing to & fro.

    Am going to look up the name of the Public Relations lady
    that you posted earlier,
    email & encourage her to make that happen.

    For all the excitement, free publicity & future travelers.
    you & Joe generated on your voyages,
    the power-that-be,
    with the Ship Line should really extend you
    lifetime, complimentary passes, don’t ‘cha think ?

    Your word, descriptions & praise is priceless-
    that’s the LEAST they could do !

    • sbranch says:

      I really like your free pass idea Julie! 🙂 LOL!

      • Julie says:

        If they were smart, they would “comp” you guys,
        in a hurry, the best advertising bang for a buck.

        Truly, just think of all the amazing, positive press,
        not only, that which they’ve already received
        via your voyages
        but that which they will,
        continually, receive with EVERY copy of your diary sold,
        every raving review of the Queen Mary.

        Plus, when you win the CL Best Blue Ribbon Blog contest,
        that will all but solidify your adored presence & clout.

        Don’t dismiss it-
        corporations & companies do these kind of things, daily.

        Your word is worth its weight in gold
        & certainly a “Free Sailing” pass. 🙂

        I AM going to make these suggestions-
        once I retrace that lady’s name-
        the same one, that left you the the truffles, champagne
        and lovely letter in your cabin on the voyage back.

        She said, and I paraphrase-
        “they were following your blog & were so appreciative of your wonderful remarks regarding the cruise & their
        hospitality”…. !

        Don’t worry Susan,
        I will be very respectful & pleasant-
        it’s so easy to do when it’s all so true.

        Hey, nothing gained, nothing lost…
        one thing I do know for sure, free pass or not,
        that English Diary of yours
        will hold a prominent place in the Queen Mary’s
        gift shop.

        It would also, be a great gesture on THEIR part,
        to include an insert, in every book, to offer a drawing,
        a prize pass for two,
        to & fro England for some lucky person,
        who buys your book.

        Talk about “crossing the pond”-
        THAT’S “cross marketing”.
        Sounds like, they are savvy enough, to know a good,
        marketing campaign when they see one
        Any & all these things wouldn’t even add up to
        the one iota of the cost
        of their other advertising campaigns.

        Every time you write or whisper the word,
        “Queen Mary”, it is INCREDIBLE press for them-
        that even, they could never realize.

        You are a dynamite spokesperson for their business-
        let them reward you !

        That P.R. person sounds like she’s quite savvy-
        we’ll soon find out…just HOW savvy, she really is ? 🙂
        At least, she could forward the info to the person
        in charge of marketing.

        I’ll wrap it up by week’s end-
        like I said, nothing gained, nothing lost !

        Maybe, hopefully, she’s still reading your blog
        and will beat me to it-
        all’s well that ends well !

        Yep, the world is your oyster, kid-
        but sometimes it takes a helping hand to crack the shell !

        • sbranch says:

          Well, I will tell you a secret . . . her name is Lisa and she just Tweeted to me today . . . her Twitter name is @LisaPageUK. She seems like sweetheart!

          • Julie says:

            Must I say it, again,
            Coincidinky……I don’t thinky ?

            Yes, I remember her name was Lisa.
            That may have been her twitter name,
            that you previously posted
            on your voyage back to states.

            I can use that
            but to afford me a bit more space.
            I really need to reach her @ an email addy.
            Do you have one for her
            or I’m sure I can locate one on
            Queen Mary’s website “contact page”.
            Will look into that asap.

            Is your diary being published by Little Brown
            or another or yourself ?
            If by others, their marketing team
            should also, approach the Cruise Line
            to cross market.
            It IS such a perfect fit-
            a NO-brainer.

            Lisa sounds like she’s crazy about her job,
            the Queen Mary AND you-
            the PERFECT connection.
            No doubt, she’ll not only have you
            ON that ship, but she’ll set you up for
            a book signing en route to & fro-
            in the Captain’s quarters. 🙂

            Just keep working on that diary-
            everything else will align itself !

          • sbranch says:

            I thought I might contact her after I get the book done, don’t have enough time to follow through right now. Yes, she was really so nice, I mean after all, champagne and chocolates in our cabin, was quite a surprise . . . she didn’t have to do that! I love your enthusiasm and you’re absolutely right, I need to follow up on things like this.

          • judi says:

            You are sooo funny:) Like I said when you were on the ship – you shoulda had a two story room in exchange for teaching a couple watercolor classes:))))

            Wowsie, hope no one was taking a nap when those horns went off. You said usually it was only one toot? Suppose it was a big display since there must have been boat traffic around you at that point. I think the excitement in your voice was because when you see a bird ….you are not far from land, chuckle.

          • sbranch says:

            I know, we were almost there, also, we’d seen nothing for days, he was our first!

          • Julie says:

            Yes, I know-
            it’s hard to concentrate on too many things
            when the matter on hand, your finished diary is “perc-perc-percolating”.

            Did go to the “contact page” at the Cunard site,
            for some reason that page is frozen on my computer today & won’t budge but I can see where I can type in her name & it should render an email address, so will get a lovely message together & send her this week.

            Her tweets were adorable-
            sounds like she is still, faithfully
            following your blog, which is definitely
            a win-win !

            She loves the mug with the ship design-
            Cunard should license that design to sell & use
            aboard ship on mugs, napkins, coasters, stationary.
            Just the fact, that ALL the girl/guy friends
            on your blog love it
            guarantees its popularity
            with other seafaring hearts. 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            That would be so much fun — can’t even imagine!

          • Janet says:

            I tweeted Lisa too – back in June when you were on your way home – and told her “thanks for taking such good care of Susan and Joe etc etc…” and Julie is SO RIGHT. You should get comped every time for all the free “advertising” etc that Cunard has received via your trip this year… A nice suite and all kinds of special treatment – like any other travel journalist would get. Most restaurants know when a food critic is “on the premises” – I bet the cruise lines do too.

          • sbranch says:

            Thank you, my girlfriends, truly, are the best!

        • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

          Hi Julie,
          You have such WONDERFUL ideas!! Your enthusiasm is contagious. I love your thoughtfulness! All of the Girlfriends bring a special energy and positive spirit to each and every day. I’m so happy to be part of this special group of friends! {Susan, we owe it all to you. YOU brought us together!}
          Julie, have you ever considered beginning a blog of your own. You have such a gift for writing. It’s always fun to read your thoughts!
          Dawn ♡♡

          • sbranch says:

            I think the same thing!

          • Julie says:

            Dawn, Janet, all Girl/Guyfriends
            and you too, Susan,

            Look at you, girls-
            so funny & so sweet.
            No, no, no…no blog for me, I’m not that disciplined.
            I’d rather just pester Susan & all the
            good-natured girlfriends, here……Can I ?

            It’s so easy to be enthusiastic over GOOD things in life.
            I come from a background of commercial art/advertising
            so my mind just works that way-
            it’s hard, because like a psychic will tell you,
            it’s a skill that one can never turn off.
            Sometimes, when I desire quiet time,
            usually, there’s just way too much
            commotion in the creative ocean,
            to ever see it through.

            For many years, I had a lovely quaint shop,
            offering very special gifts, a collection,
            I term-
            “American Folk & English Fancy”.

            One of the most coveted lines was by an American artist,
            a-hem, named, “Susan Branch”.
            Anybody heard of her ?
            Someone ?…..Anyone ?……ALVIN ?

            Her books, calendars, cards, stationery, prints, stickers, tea cups & pots, photo frames were all displayed in a large antique cupboard.

            It was hard for customers to find her “stuff”
            & I remember, when they found I carried it,
            they came, from hours away, to stock up on her creations.
            I remember, particularly, one sweet,
            older gentleman, who came every year to buy her calendar…for himself-
            he was “sweet on Susan” ! 🙂

            They would stock up on $20-$30 worth of her cards at one time, so they would
            not be without-
            they called it, their “Susan Branch Stash”.

            All of her cards from Portal Pub. were beautiful, the sympathy card with the seagull & shoreline, was one of her bestsellers. I remember unpacking a new shipment, which included 3 dozen of that card & a lovely customer bought all of them, before I could even restock the rack.
            It was the perfect gift of sympathy.

            All those customers spoke about Susan & her talent, the way we girlfriends do here, as if she was the one they counted on to help celebrate
            joyous times & yet, soften & soothe sad ones.

            That they chose her work to gift cherished friends & family, speaks volumes.
            They all talked about her like she lived in their neighborhood,
            oh, she truly did take up residence,
            but it was within their adoring hearts-
            adoration is the loveliest thing
            because it’s usually ALWAYS mutual.

            At the end of the retail day, busy, busy, busy, trying to get a million things done, I’m tired & just want to get home,
            as with any other job-
            running a business is incredibly satisfying
            but endless work with no time for
            anything else.
            The shop was a comfort zone to many-
            sometimes they would linger & not be in any hurry to go….sorta’ like,
            how hard it is for us to leave Susan’s blog.

            I gained such respect for small businesses & try to make them part of my daily life,
            it is so important to let them know how much you appreciate their service.

            My last task of the day
            was to “tidy up”, it was Ms. Branch’s display that always needed the most attention
            because that was where everyone gathered to pour & sort through all her treasures.
            It was the most beautiful display but ALWAYS the messiest…..which says a lot !

            Oh yeah, the women would all buy Joe’s
            “Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard” Cookbook
            & come in every week to give me the lowdown on
            what they cooked & the wonderful results.
            Even then, they talked about him,
            like he was their son & lived around the corner.

            It was pretty comical,
            when “snail mail” delivered “Willard”,
            they’d all march in,
            waving it like a Victory Flag, saying
            “Oh, look what the good Lord brought me,
            got news from Susan & Joe, bless their hearts”
            & happily, stock up
            on more Susan Branch goodies.
            That “happy gene” Susan writes about-
            I have seen it with my own two eyes,
            she has passed it on to SO many people!

            I still have the bubbly note she sent to me, on her little stove notecard, when I wrote her inquiring about her available lines-
            almost 20 years ago….her handwriting has never changed.
            That is the sign of a true heart & spirit,
            constant like the Northern Star.

            I worked with a lot of talented people,
            i think there were maybe 3 who ever took the time to personally answer my concern &
            Susan was one of them, the first one.

            She is a gatherer-
            a gatherer of kindred spirits,
            one only needs to look at all the
            gentle souls on her blog, their comments, their outlook, their bright faces, their vulnerability-
            with beautiful classic names,
            sunny storybook names,
            Ha, “Gumbo Lily”-
            intriguing, foreign names
            moms & daughters, grandmoms, sweet guys, Blogdaddy, talented artists, precious potters, teachers, nurses, students, business people, farmers, bakers & I’m sure there’s at least, one candlestick maker in the bunch.
            There’s also a hip chickadee,
            named “Tawni Urrutia”-
            of whom, I’m convinced is a “Thuper-Model”
            because that is a Thuper-Model’s name,
            if ever I did hear one ! 🙂
            Betcha’ she’s got a couple “Cosmo” covers
            in her portfolio.
            She’s probably flown to Copenhagen
            to shoot a cover for Vogue
            & appeared in Michael Buble’ videos-
            I just know, she has !

            Take a hike, Cheryl Tiegs !
            Beat it, Bar Raphael !
            Get outta’ here Cindy Crawford !

            My goodness-
            those “Thuper-Models” like Tawni Urrutia-
            they sure do have thum life ! 🙂

            Seriously, when I read Susan’s blog
            and all the funny, girlfriend chatter
            I hear Joni Mitchell’s song,
            “The Ladies of the Canyon” in my head…
            a gorgeous song describing lovely women
            by name & what they do best-
            stringing beads, making brownies, chasing fat babies and on & on.

            I think of Susan as our
            “Lady of the Vineyard”-
            her words & art gather us together,
            in the same idyllic manner, as Beatrix Potter, Tasha Tudor, Laura Ashley, Jane Austen, Gladys Tabor, Julia Child & on & on.
            She belongs in their circle-
            as history WILL confirm,
            even though she’s too humble to contemplate the very thought.

            Her beautiful work markets itself,
            as much as I hate the word, in the business world, she IS her “Brand”,
            that is her passion but also, her livelihood.
            Time is the commodity one can not buy-
            she gives her time & attention, selflessly,
            especially to her blog girl & guy friends.

            On the artist front,
            it takes a whole lot of royalties
            to add up to substance,
            As a consumer of quality goods,
            let companies know you are interested
            in her work, if they hear & file it away in their heads, repeatedly,
            they’ll know it’s a good business decision to represent her work, in some form or another.
            “Product licensing” balances out
            everything else an artist does on their own
            & gives them that
            window of opportunity to do what they do best…CREATE !

            Let Cunard Lines know,
            the ONLY reason you plan to sail
            on the “Queen Mary 2” some day-
            is because of Susan Branch’s voyage & her pending “English Diary”.

            Tell anyone who will listen !
            Call up shops & ask if they carry her products ?
            If they say “NO”-
            say, “What…..are you freaken’ nuts-
            I can’t believe it, are you ever missing out ?
            Shake ‘a leg & stock her stuff
            or I’ll have to go to the next town to buy it ! ”

            Politely, tell them you’ll check back in 10 days
            to see if they took your suggestion,
            because “you really want your sales tax to
            go to your County & not the bordering one”.
            Then hang up, call another, rinse & repeat !

            We all know “Country Living’s”
            Best Blue Ribbon Blog award
            belongs to Susan !
            Just look at what she’s done in 1 year !
            Absolutely AMAZING !

            We also know that Billy Joel song,
            “I’m in a New York State Of Mind”…
            To get ourselves from Point A to Point B everyday, in our heads,
            I think we say,
            “I’m in a Susan Branch State of Mind”-
            driftin’ & a dreamin’
            swayin’ & singin’-
            now, THAT there
            is SOME kind of MAGIC-
            the kind of Magic she makes ENDLESSLY ! 🙂

            Have a good weekend, Girlfriends !
            We’re splittin’ early-
            goin’ to “Tawni, the Thuper-Model’s” house
            for thum of that Zucchini Bread
            & hopefully, a thuper scoop on Michael Buble’ !
            Behave yourselves !
            Don’t do anything I WOULD do ! 🙂

            “Ladies of the Canyon”
            Joni Mitchell ♡



            Trina wears her wampum beads
            She fills her drawing book with line
            Sewing lace on widows’ weeds
            And filigree on leaf and vine
            Vine and leaf are filigree
            And her coat’s a secondhand one
            Trimmed with antique luxury
            She is a lady of the canyon

            Annie sits you down to eat
            She always makes you welcome in
            Cats and babies ’round her feet
            And all are fat and none are thin
            None are thin and all are fat
            She may bake some brownies today
            Saying, you are welcome back
            She is another canyon lady

            Estrella circus girl
            Comes wrapped in songs and gypsy shawls
            Songs like tiny hammers hurled
            At beveled mirrors in empty halls
            Empty halls and beveled mirrors
            Sailing seas and climbing banyans
            Come out for a visit here
            To be a lady of the canyon

            Trina takes her paints and her threads
            And she weaves a pattern all her own
            Annie bakes her cakes and her breads
            And she gathers flowers for her home
            For her home she gathers flowers
            And Estrella, dear companion
            Colors up the sunshine hours
            Pouring music down the canyon-
            Coloring the sunshine hours
            They are the ladies of the canyon

            Don’t these lyrics just ring true of Susan
            & ALL her Girlfriends, all around the world ?
            She REALLY is our
            “Lady of the Vineyard” !

          • sbranch says:

            You made me laugh, you made me cry, love Ladies of the Canyon, thank you truly Julie.♥

    • Julie, I’m so glad I went back to check for new comments in “Older Comments” and found yours (below….there was no place to reply at the end of this string of comments!) I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it because I wanted to second everything you said especially this, “All those customers spoke about Susan & her talent, the way we girlfriends do here, as if she was the one they counted on to help celebrate joyous times & yet, soften & soothe sad ones.”

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Julie, you are truly scary…

      • Julie says:


        So nice of you to say-
        if Susan & all her Girlfriends ruled the World,
        the chance of Peace on Earth might really exist…
        there would be NO time for anything but inspiration & happiness.

        I, also want to say
        while cruising on Susan’s blog,
        I hope everyone takes the time to check out
        all the other blogs & links.
        I call them “side trips”,
        you never know where they will lead & what you may find-
        so many talented, inspirational & interesting people.
        who put a lot of effort & time into them.

        Your blog, “Gumbo Lily’s” blog
        and all the others, that I’ve had a chance to peek at
        are charming & wonderful-
        like internet postcards.

        It’s a sure bet that anyone connecting their lives & blogs
        through Susan’s are all pretty darn special !

        Gumbo Lily’s peach pie,
        on top of Susan’s Carrot & Cheesecake
        could put the country in a sugar comatose ! 🙂

  49. Shannon Stark says:

    OOOOOOOh! I really needed that post! It is so stuffy hot down here in Southern California! If gas didn’t cost so much I’d be down at the beach all day, everyday, inhaling that ocean air! I’m only 25 minutes away, but that is over $8 in gas!

  50. Janet says:

    The QM2’s whistle was the best… it actually SOUNDS like the past to me. Short of getting a good helping of that wonderful fresh salt air, what a nice simple treat to have at lunchtime today. Little things really do mean a lot… thanks!

  51. Christie says:

    What a glorious breath of fresh air. I hope someday to take my own trip to England and visit all the wonderful places you shared with us this summer. Until then I’m looking forward to seeing even more of beautiful England in your English Diary. Seeing it through your eyes is second only to being there in person! Thank you for taking us along on your journey.

  52. Jan says:

    I love your videos, Susan, as you really put the viewer “into the moment.” Hearing the ship’s horn and seeing the gull was great fun as was reading all about Joe’s birthday celebration. I’m sure he won’t be the only one who remembers it for a long time. You’re lucky to have had such a wonderful group of friends close by for so many years!

  53. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Was it warm enough to sit and read out on the deck–I can’t remember? Can just imagine sitting there on a deck reading in the sunshine with that beautiful ocean scenery… 🙂

  54. Holly says:

    Oh! The video made me homesick ~~~ Pacific coast though, I could almost smell the fresh ocean air!! It’s a beautiful, cool, sunny day here in Indiana, and I’m going antiquing! No ocean here though, just corn fields with very little corn… 🙁

  55. Gumbo Lily says:

    That was really something. I’ve never been out to sea on a ship, and I’ll admit, felt a wee bit scared even watching your video. I do love the ocean…..from the beach.

  56. Monica D. says:

    Oh Susan! I didn’t make it to the beach this summer, but going with you to England was so wonderful 😉 Thanks for the video from the Queen Mary – I could just feel the ocean breeze and the sun on my face! And the hedgehog mug is just the cutest thing – I’d love to drink my tea from it every morning!

  57. Patricia Triska says:

    Now that is an amazing view and what a wonderful day. I almost felt like I was there and then I looked down and saw my computer keyboard. Oh well, can always look up again and play the video again. Thank you one more time for making my day.

  58. Robin Heim says:

    Love it!

  59. lisa from CT says:

    Hi Susan, please enter my name for the mug giveaway. I would love one!!! Thanks, Lisa

  60. Deb says:


    I so look forward to your blogs, and loved the one about Joe’s birthday yesterday. What I really loved about this one was hearing your voice…I don’t remember ever hearing it before! I usually have my iPad sound off and today I had it on. I think as I read what you’ve written over time perhaps I’ve imagined what your voice would sound like and it was the same, lovely!
    I am a lover of all things Susan Branch. I just had my calendar down plugging in all my September and October dates! Can’t wait for next years!

  61. Julie Perkins says:

    Have loved loving England through your words and photos!

  62. Grandma JoAnn says:

    Going on a virtual trip in England with you and Joe makes me want to go their FOR REAL !! And go I will ! Thanks so much for bringing so much sunshine into the lives of people around the world.

  63. Sue,
    Your short but sweet post was a special treat for me today. Thank you for sharing your voyage with us. My Da, who passed away years ago, was a Captain. He was on my mind today and it was if he was sending me his own special hello through you. 🙂

  64. Thea says:

    i’m saving all my shekels for my next grand holiday! you’ve given me so many travel plan ideas! thank you, Susan!

  65. Kathy Fletcher says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us….i love it….all the pictures and now video’s- and yes- i want to win that mug – just like all the other 25 ga-zillion members here- hahaha-
    so good luck to all- and Susan- thank you for making me smile today!@@@!

  66. Betty says:

    What a fabulous day at sea for you two! Emma’s mugs are so lovely and the factory is so interesting -like a step back in time to see all the handwork in each piece.

  67. Cameron says:

    Oh how I love and miss the sea. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  68. sloDian says:

    What a wonderful trip we have had through you! I would have given a King’s ransom to stowaway in one of your suitcases, but your blog is the next best thing. I would love the Bridgewater mug!

  69. Margaret B says:

    Your enthusiasm is infectious! It’s great to see someone enjoy the big life events as well as the everyday sweetness. Thanks for sharing it all.

  70. Mary S. says:

    Thank you for the video!!!
    Your painting of the ocean waves above the video is WONDERFUL!!!!! I would love to have a copy of it to hang on my wall!
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  71. Lauren says:

    Oh my-what a wonderful and kind and loving life you are living; and sharing. I am so happy you are able to have a life that I dream about. Funny how life changes and is not what we hoped for. God has been good to you and your wonderful husband. You have an amazing heart.

    • sbranch says:

      The one thing I know for sure is that nothing, for better and for worse, ever stays the same. If the sun is shining, as they say, get out there and enjoy it. If not, just wait for a while. I think your heart seems very sweet too Lauren.

      • Rhonda D. says:

        I love what you said Susan (I keep telling you the making of a book). You have a way of knocking the stress level down about 10 notches…you can actually feel it. Loved the video. My Dad too was a sea captain, so it was nice to go “back” and be near and hear the sea for a bit. I’m only a few hours away from the sea, but still just a bit too far. I just won a bid on some of your seaside stickers too, so it’s been a lovely day by the sea!! Thank you. xo

      • Do you have these words painted into one of your books or calendars? I’m going to use it to practice my handwriting further….you know, how when we were children and got in trouble at school and had to write out 100 times “I will not do such and such again”. They now know we should have been writing it as “I WILL do such and such instead”….I’ll get started…..”The one thing I know for sure is that nothing, for better and for worse, ever stays the same. If the sun is shining, as they say, get out there and enjoy it.” 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          They aren’t anywhere but here in the comments . . . when I was a girl, I had to write 500 times, I will not sass my mother!!! I will never forget it. I never do either, I learned my lesson!

          • My early years were in the South and I was taught to say “Yes/no Sir” and “Yes/no Mam” whenever I spoke to an adult–so it was impossible to sass (in the same sentence at least). When we moved North, however, I learned quickly not to use it anywhere but home because my 6th grade teacher held me up to my peers and if I wanted to have any friends I couldn’t become the teacher’s pet!

            BTW, we’ll be on the island two weeks from today! So if you see someone staring at you in a shop, it’s probably me. :-> I just KNOW I’m going to run into you because I got the same feeling before I ran into “John Boy” Richard Thomas on the street in Baltimore after one of his play performances. He consented to having his picture taken with me. I thought I’d ask you now how you feel about that. I don’t want any awkward moments to spoil it. Of course, I totally understand if you don’t feel “picture perfect” at the time and decline. I’ll just wave and smile if you prefer. 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Since I rarely leave the house, it will be hard . . . but you never know! Maybe at the grocery store at 7 am! 🙂

          • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

            500 times? Oh my, that must have taken quite a while! 🙁

          • sbranch says:

            Way too long. I think she let me go after about 150 of them! Was a really good opportunity for practicing handwriting.

          • This comment goes with your 7:00 a.m. at the grocery store comment:

            Well, you can be at ease then because I (that’s underlined) won’t let MY picture be taken that early in the morning!

          • Rhonda D. says:

            Susan, you probably didn’t enjoy having to write those lines 500 times, but it was practice writing for your future…you just didn’t know it at the time. I have been doing a lot of writing lately and my mother, just a few weeks ago, gave me my Grade 3 writing book. Most everything from my younger school days is gone, but she found my writing book. I was floored. My writing was so bad in grade school that I was sent to a neighbor school teacher to learn how to write properly. I found a picture of that school teacher in an album my mother gave my daughter with the caption that this lady had taught me how to write. For something I hated so badly in school, I now get amazing comments on my handwriting, writing and public speaking. Who would ever know these things from our pasts. I am so glad that you had to write lines…we’re reaping the benefit of that today.

        • Cathy, I understand 100% about saying the “yes/no thankyou Sir/Maam” coming from a Military family yes I was a “military brat” my Dad was in the Air Force for 20 yrs. and it was expected that we use manners, then we move back to his childhood farm (1961) in the country and off to this “Little House on the Prarie School” (until we could get registered in the School Corp.) and I said “Yes Ma’am” to the teacher and the whole class laughed and I was so embarrassed being the new kid and all. I can remember at recess the boys asking who do you think you are “little rich girl”??? WHAT did they hear the part about Military Family? Anyway, we chose when to use that when outside of the home; but, a very hard habit to break even adults did not like us saying it??, and I still use it because we need all the manners we can use in this World!!!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that, Deborah… LOL!!! 🙂

          • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

            Susan, regarding the s’s: You did have ample opportunity to practice the “s” with the word sass! And I love your handwriting, and your “s” in particular, so however you got your practice in, you done good! Alas, I only got C’s in penmanship, but at least since I started getting them in elementary school, my parents weren’t shocked when I got Cs in high school. I’m sure your Mom let you off after a while too; she probably was appalled at how long 500 times was going to take too after the first hour!!!

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, she saw the folly of her wicked ways and set me freeeee! 🙂

          • Deborah, it is a shame that children can be penalized by their peers for being polite and respectful. I guess we should warn our children about the possibility and encourage them to do the right thing no matter what, but most of all, (and this is what I wish I’d been taught), to teach them to not seek the approval of others in order to feel OK about themselves.

          • I agree Cathy, and I do think that comes with age when a child feels secure enough in their “peer” group to stand out and find their own path and values without feeling they are going to be ridiculed?? I can tell you once manners are drilled into you and it should begin with babies it stays with you even when someone tries to make you feel strange.

  72. Barbara A. says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful sharing. You have inspired so many of us to take our own trips to Great Britain, myself included! Those ocean voyages are so reminiscent of times gone by. Lovely!

  73. Susan Bryza says:

    What a lovely video, Susan! Can almost feel the wind blowing through my hair!! Thank you for sharing it with us. I really enjoyed seeing Joe’s birthday party – so full of great ideas! I’ve made your cheesecake for years; had forgotten about the carrot cake. My husband’s 60th is in November. You’ve given me a lot of a lot to think about when I plan his party!

    Back at work in Texas after spending the summer in Colorado (and with you in England)!! Would love to have the EB mug. It would bring back such sweet memories of both trips…

  74. Ashlee says:

    Susan, I love getting your emails! They seriously make my day. I savor each one and pretend I am living your life on the island. 🙂 Your previous post about Joe’s birthday party honestly brought tears to my eyes…not sure why, but I just loved it!! You’re the best.

  75. Kay Swanson says:

    Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us…this makes me yearn to take a cruise with my husband…and yes, what a fun birthday party for Joe…thanks to you, we were able to be there (at least almost)…I intend to make the cake and cheesecake…Usually, I’m an anxious baker, but you make the task appear simple and something I will be able to prepare. I can’t wait to taste them!

  76. Nicki Anderson says:

    I love that mug. I have also enjoyed your trip. I enjoyed it while you were on it — and have even enjoyed reminiscing about it.

    hugs, Nicki

  77. Vicky says:

    I loved “our” British adventure and look forward to visiting Beatrice Potter’s home with my children in the future. They ” toured” with us via your blog and were enchanted, thanks!
    I would love a new mug, but I REALLY love my collection of Susan Branch mugs best. I have a favorite, and it broke accidentally ( a very sad morning ensued). Fortunately I gifted my sister with same mug, and on my next birthday she regifted it lovingly back to me!
    Thanks for inspiring me with your talent and charm!

  78. Barbara Phillips-Barrett says:

    Dear Susan, I’m going to London next May (on May Day!) with my dear friend from 3rd Grade. We’re using your blog to help us plan our trip! Than you sharing all of this fun stuff. And I hope I win the mug! You’re the best.

  79. Jena says:

    Awesome! All that water, I just want to jump in and swim and swim and swim.
    Wyoming could use a bit of that blue stuff right now. Dry as a bone….

    Hugs and mugs!

  80. Claresgabby says:

    Happy Belated Birthday to Joe! What a fabulous party…thanks for the invitation. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Hope you don’t mind I brought my husband along. And a hip hip hooray for that breath of fresh air!

  81. Patricia Cash says:

    What a beautiful ocean view. Thanks for the ride. I did so
    enjoy all the beautiful thinks we saw on our London trip. Especially the Beatrix Potter things. Always a favorite.
    Thanks for hiding us on board. What a treasure it would be, to win the

  82. Susan says:

    How totally awesome! Thank you! And I can not WAIT to make that cheesecake from Joe’s birthday!

  83. Selina Fedora says:

    Hello Susan!
    Thank you for letting us catch a glimpse of some of the moments on board the ship, Joe’s birthday celebration, and for sharing the awesome cheesecake recipe. It is in my oven cooking at this very moment! 🙂 My husband will be so happy, as cheesecake is absolute favorite dessert!
    I love all things England, and would love to start my own Emma Bridgewater mug collection. That would be wonderful. Thank you, Susan, for brightening up my day today!

  84. Cottagelu says:

    Yes, please enter me to win the Jubilee Mug – what better way to connect to England and remember all the wonderful memories of our travels with you than to have tea in this mug. Would be so special.

  85. Martha N. says:

    Happy Birthday to Joe

  86. Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

    Thanks Susan—I needed that!!!

  87. Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

    I think I was still in one of your 12+ suitcases during that excursion on deck. I had a very hectic end of school year and wasn’t able to climb out til later, so I am very glad to experience it now!! And I sure did! The wind whipping around my hair, making it go every-which-way and unfortunately (for me) will remain “all stuck out all over”.

    I tasted the salt. And my heart soared just like that sea gull. Land! It must have been how the Pilgrims of long ago felt when they began to see shore birds after their long, almost two month voyage across the Atlantic.

    And the whistle! It even sounded joyful as it blew again and again.
    Truly a lovely post, dear Susan. I think I will play it again.

    • sbranch says:

      I have to tell you, I too, have played it several times today and have taken deep breaths every time! SO happy you are enjoying it!

  88. Carla says:

    Loved the video from the ship. Queen Mary or not, a cruise is a wonderful way to travel. We once did it from NY to Bermuda. It was our first and only, but it created wonderful memories.
    I must be going mug crazy, but I recently scored Spode mugs (granted they are no longer English-made but still beautiful) just like Jean and Lionel use on
    the British sit-com As Time Goes By. I almost got the adorable birdie mug on your website, but hesitated – and it was gone when I looked the next day! So disappointed! I hope I’ll find it again when you restock. The Emma mug would be
    wonderful, too!
    Thanks for thinking of all of us “stowaways!”

  89. Lori from Maine says:

    Hi Susan: Enjoyed looking at the video while hearing seagulls here, feeling the fresh ocean breeze through the windows by the computer. Yay, I love living near the ocean!
    With all the posts you have to go through, I’m sure you don’t recall my mentioning that hubby and I saw Bruce Springsteen in Foxboro, MA on Saturday, but I have to ‘fess something. All this summer I’ve had your lovely picture of the watering can with the flowers in it as a background on my computer. Wellllll….while looking around the internet today I found some pictures of ol’ Bruce looking mighty fine and (gasp!!!!!!) replaced your watering can with his (picture you naughty girlfriends 🙂 ) You’ll be back up there soon!
    xoxoxo from SW Hbr. Maine

    • sbranch says:

      I did reply to your comment with two words and several exclamation marks . . . Bruce Springsteen !!! So I understand! It must have been wonderful.

  90. Maureen Trostel says:

    Susan, You make everything so tempting. Would love anything from Emma’s place. Is that little mouse figurine with the broom available anywhere, it was not in the lineup in your shop.

  91. Heather Shrosbree says:

    Hello Miss Susan,
    Greetings from SoCal!! Thank you for being so lovely and sharing your gifts and life with us. I so enjoyed your trip to England. It was like we were magically there with you and your Joe. I want to visit everywhere you have shared with us. The kitties are darling. I share your blog with so many loved ones. I love your books, calenders and so on. I would love to enjoy my morning cuppa tea with a new Special Emma Bridgewater cup while reading your loving made blog or willard. May God bless you and your family always. I have never posted before-I hope this works?
    Heather Lynne

  92. Lori says:

    Missing the ocean…what a delight! Thank you for sharing!

  93. Elaine Lehmann says:

    Dear Susan,
    As I start my 31st year in education this fall, I think of two things concerning this past summer….how unbelievably HOT it was (MN) and traveling to England with you and not having motion sickness (did come close watching your videos). Thank you for taking me along and for offering us chances to have a treasure to remind us of “our” adventure. Bless you…

  94. Nancy Fisher says:

    Oh another chance at an Emma mug!! Count me in!
    Nancy Fisher

  95. Gina says:

    Lovely video! The ocean looked so calm and soothing! Thank you for posting that so I can pretend…

  96. Amy K says:

    Thank you for more of the England voyage. I just didn’t want it to end.

  97. Brenda says:

    I had to comment that I love love that waves watercolor! I can almost smell the ocean air! :o) Have a happy week!

  98. Hi Susan!

    Thanks for a wonderful video! How well I remember that horn! We took the QM2 for a NYC to Canada cruise for our 30th wedding anniversary. It is a memory I’ll always cherish!



  99. Daena in NJ says:

    Thank you for the video today. Beautiful sky. Beautiful ocean. Beautiful seagull. It’s hard to wait for the trip diary to be published!

  100. shirley burt says:

    Sweet Susan,
    Joe’s birthday with friends/family was absolutely the best. My husband painted the side of the storage barn white for his outdoor screen. But a building of that size would ruin the charm of your garden, so the guys did great . Oh, how I wanted a piece of that carrot cake.

    I will be leaving for Leicester, England on Sept. 11 to visit a pen pal and will stay with her mum. They are the family of my heart. I will not return for 2 weeks, so I can be English for my birthday. It will be the lovely turning older-63 this year.

    Thank you a bunny bunch for all the treasured memories. When your lovely diary is printed, I will be buying for friends and family, including English friends.
    Love and bunny hugs,

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