Fairy2Sailing away on the Queen Mary 2 . . . heading on board . . .img_3852

Up the gangplank we go! We look so normal here, but we are actually beside ourselves!


Put everything down for a photo op . . .  So excited, it’s truly a thrill.


Was a warm day, much prettier than the last time we sailed . . . bluer skies, and schooners in the harbor!


Seems they put on the show just for us!  Love this view!

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Of course, straight to the Chart Room for old time’s sake . . . a cup of cheer, and a toast to smooth sailing! While wearing seasick bracelets and still in port. Always careful.


Off we go, at sea, and sunset from our room . . . on our way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is where we are right now. Which is why I have a bit of connection, but barely, just enough to do this post!!! Yay!


Zee bed in zee cocoon… is SOOOO comfy!!! Better than it looks even! Got up at 9 am this morning. This is an unheard of event. It must be the sea air, or maybe the late nights!


First thing in the morning, tea in our own cups . . .


The lovely Princess Grill . . . our round table for the crossing seats six. The other two couples are both from England, one from Kent, and the other from Yorkshire, and so fun and nice, we were the last table to leave the dining room last night!


Stanley, the head waiter, usually doesn’t prepare or flame the food . . . but in honor of the sweet potato I special ordered at lunch (to be served at dinner), which came out the size of someone’s head, he had to do it for the laugh!


Which he definitely got! Yes, that’s it in the pan. Usually when they do this, it’s quite a bit fancier!img_3927

So funny! He cut me off a couple of slices.  I hope he saved the rest!

Fri, sat 9 sept

But hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!


I’m reading a wonderful book! Getting me in the mood for the English countryside!

Well girls, I personally could go on all day, but I think that’s it and I should consider this done and not push my luck . . . it took me about 4 hours for this teeny little post, and maybe all the minutes I was allowed, but I wanted you to see the beginning … maybe when we get to sea for real, I’ll be able to do more. I’ll try!! But until then, I’m thinking of you…writing everything down and taking millions of pictures, and when I can show them, I will . . . ❤️

XOXO Your girlfriend, Susan (p.s. we arrive in England on Sept. 16.)


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603 Responses to ANCHORS AWEIGH

  1. Jeannie says:

    Finally got my computer working again, it keeps locking up on me!!! And I see that you have left, and will be arriving in England TODAY! Hooray!!! Have a wonderful time dear Susan and Joe!!!

    Happy trails,

    Chirp chirp!

  2. Debbie Boerger says:

    I watched the lights of Southhampton coming nearer. It would have been the wee hours for you, if you weren’t too excited to sleep. Love that web site. I’m sure there are thousands of your “friends” waiting to see what you post on arrival. Every time I return to England, I have that amazing feeling that I am home. Genetic memory, I suppose. Nah! Just from reading English and Scotish authors from the time I began to read.
    Do you think we Yanks love it so much because they have so faithfully preserved all the little rituals of life? And the wonderful green spaces, old buildings. Watching your video from the 2012 trip, we’re reminded of how often we compared the US with the UK. All those old trees and buildings would have been swept away to make room for “safer” roads.
    Tom even said, upon his first round about on our second trip, this really is brilliant. Keeps traffic moving! Happy First Day.

    Debbie from lovely Maine

  3. Donna Winchester says:

    This is so cool…..I would have loved to been on the ship with you….I couldn’t but my daughter and son-in-law are….they went to your lecture and made sure to take a picture for me to see and said you were great. My daughter, Callie, is going to buy all three of your books and I have my own set and have already started reading them…I love them….I can not wait to see more pictures and hear more about your time on the Queen Mary 2… My daughter just got married in June and this is there honeymoon cruise/trip over to England where my son-in-law is going for his PHD at the Leeds University so they will be in England for 3 years or longer if they decide to stay….wish I could have been there on the ship for your lecture…best of luck and have a great time in England.

  4. Stephanie Burnett says:

    You look amazing, Susan! It was such a wonderful experience to meet you and so many other kindred spirits in Danville 📚 Saw the Border Collies on the cover of your book and now I’m reading it! Love learning about these special dogs. If you see some on your trip, my 3 year old Border Collie, “Rube” hopes you’ll post a photo!! Happy travels and thank you for being such an inspiration 🐾💜

  5. Cathy L says:

    This is really exciting. It is as if I am on the voyage with you. I love every minute of it! The photos are wonderful, keep them coming.

  6. Sue says:

    Thank you so much for the moon picture on twitter. I love that no matter where you are in the world you share the same moon at night. My son lives in California, and it comforts me to know that he looks at the same moon I do and that through that we are still together in a way. I am thrilled to take your journey with you from afar. My `eyes filled with tears when the ship pulled out of it’s berth, England is calling me back. Make wonderful memories to last a lifetime. Love Sue

    • sbranch says:

      We are definitely going to try. We feel the time passing, and this amazing moment in our lives is such a blessing. We’ll take lots of pictures.

  7. Marilyn says:

    just saw a picture of the grass bridge on your twitter….omg…heartthrob! wish I was there! So glad you and Joe have safely arrived!

  8. Jennie Lou says:

    Hi Susan and Joe! By now you must have docked (it’s tea time here in Milton in Western Washington for us Brit-borns) and are all a-tingle to get back on terra firma. Thank you for the sea voyage (and saving us from having to pack!), I can hardly wait to see your next blog from Blimey. We took a drive on Monday to enjoy the last of the truly fine weather up on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the view from Dungeness Spit was brilliantly clear all the way to Canada. It is a small world, after all! Enjoy your gallivant and be safe. Praying for your safe return (but not right off!). xoxo (one each)

    • sbranch says:

      Some photos posted on dearsusanbranch at Twitter. We got here last night, still unpacking, and getting ready for our picnic tomorrow, after that, I’ll have to get us caught up! We do have a beautiful blue-sky day so far!

  9. Hahaha that sweet potato! 😂 Can’t wait for your next post! ❤️

  10. Peggy Cooper says:

    Oh my, I’m so behind! I missed your last post, and just got around to seeing this one. We just got back from Virginia where we now have a contract on a little house. Ours here in Pueblo CO sold in 2 days, so time is of the essence. Moving to a lower elevation 900 ft vs. 5,000) in the hopes it will help with Bob’s bad lungs, and he did really well there, so seems like a good move. So sorry abut Girl Kitty, but I know she had a very good life under your loving care. I’m so excited for you making this ocean voyage once again, and look forward to the journey. Some day I hope to make it myself, but for now, will experience it vicariously. Bon Voyage!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m behind too…haven’t been able to get to my blog, been crossing the Atlantic and having connection problems, but we landed yesterday and life should begin again soon. First, unpack, then make a picnic for tomorrow’s BYO Picnic Basket event, and then normalcy should prevail! As normal as can be far from home! Thank you Peggy! Happy new house and new life and easier breathing!

  11. Debbie Boerger says:

    First time on Twitter. Would dive into this new digital element for you, only, Susan. Wonderful pictures and comments on your Crossing. I’m really not proficient on computer, but I do back up everything in my files on a thumb drive, just in case. I did have a crash awhile back, and things could not be retrieved, even by the best geek in the land, so I was thankful I’d saved my “stuff”.
    Hope the Picnic at Grass Bridge goes swimmingly. No, not British, just love saying swimmingly.
    Thank you so very much for the Twitters, Tweets or what ever they are called.
    Debbie from Maine, canning our own applesauce now!!! Heart of my Home

    • sbranch says:

      I found that the only way I learned computer was when I needed something more than I could stand to do without it! That was motivation! Welcome to Twitter, and everything, I know you will love it!

  12. Mary Hartigan says:

    How exciting!!! How exciting!!! How exciting!!! I made the trip to England several times on the old QEII. And loved it every minute. Your photos bring it all back to me, especially the view of NYC from the ship – the feeling of excitement, just waiting to sail!!! The coziness of the cabins…..I could go on…
    Have a wonderful trip. I will be traveling vicariously with you and looking forward to your postings.

    PS I must try “Pear Cider” 🙂

  13. cecilia mendez says:

    Both look so happy. Have a great time. LOVE your dress.

  14. Janette J. says:

    Loving the new Twitter pictures!!! That balloon over the church is show stopping and all posts were beautiful including the pond video…feels like it’s in real time out the window of my house when I watch it. Seems like a lot has happened since your arrival (the driving alone…OMG) and already the picnic tomorrow. I hope it’s clear and wonderful. I wonder how many will be there… Looking forward to your pictures.
    P.S. Great black dress on the ship. Got my first Cobb Hill’s last week thanks to you:). So comfy!

  15. Judith says:

    So,so jealous. Enjoy your trip.I sailed to America with my family in 1969 on the HMAS Canberra.

  16. Linda Hill says:

    Smooth sailing, Bon Voyage and all that rot!!! Hope you have a pleasant seasickless trip and get more sleepins! Looks like a luxurious room but then since I have never been on an ocean liner I guess I can’t compare !
    Hope the weather stays as nice–seems to me it was gray and overcast your last trip. You look like you have lost alot of weight–looking very young and pretty!!
    I just took in a stray tomcat –ave been feeding him outdoors for 4 weeks but never let him in as i knew I was headed out of town for 10 days so had a neighbor feed him till I got back. He spent his first night in last night and he just cuddled and slept and used his litter box !! I am a dog person but mine died in March and this cat really needed a home–I named him Beauregard LB Jones. (the LB is for lazy bones as he loves to sleep and sleep!)
    Have a great trip! Linda from Idaho where the weather is in upper 70’s and the sky is overcast but the flowers are still blooming.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry about your dog, but I know you will also love having a kitty. Pets are just the very best medicine!

  17. Amy says:

    Susan, I’m on your third memoir and loving it just like I loved the other two! I got this third book as soon as it came out, but never wanted to read it because then I’d be done and I’d be sad. lol But I couldn’t wait any longer and now I’m almost done. All this to say-I’m really getting to know you through your books (and I really like you!) and have been trying to figure you out through the MBTI and wondered if you’d ever taken the test. My favorite test I lead people to is the 16 personalities website for the free test. I think it’s the best. I’ve got in my mind what your four letter type/combo is but wanted to know if you’ve actually taken the test and already know. Please don’t leave me hanging! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      What is MBTI?

      • Amy says:

        Susan, MBTI stands for Meyers Briggs Type Indicator. It is from the work of Isabel Briggs Meyers and her mother Katharine in the 40’s and 50’s.

        It’s said that each of us is one of 16 different personality types. I swear nothing has ever helped me figure out myself more! And to better understand others. I only wish I didn’t wait until I was in my 40’s to know about it. Anyway, if you do take the free 16 personalities (.com) one let me know what you are if you please and if the description fits!

        • sbranch says:

          Okay, I took it, now I have to go read about “advocates.”

          • Amy says:

            WOW! I guessed either INFP or INFJ and so…INFJ it is. I believe that is the rarest type. I just knew you had to be one of those with all of your caring, creativity and different outlook on life. I am so excited and happy you took it Susan; THANK YOU!!

            I only have two INFJ friends in my everyday life. I love talking with them because of INFJs amazing thought processes, creativity and deep thinking. I hope you enjoy(ed) learning about it! There are other places to read about INFJs online if you were interested in searching further.

          • sbranch says:

            Very interesting . . . I saved it, Amy, for further investigation, thank you! … what is INFP? I have a girlfriend, Margot . . . I love talking to her. We never talk about anything normal! With her, it’s like a journey to the center of the earth, or a trip to Venus. Never anything regular! I should get her to take this test!

          • Amy says:

            I love how you describe talking with your friend Margot! INFP stands for introverted intuitive feeling perceptive. It’s amazing how one change in those four letters can make a huge difference. Your friend Margot very well could be an INFP if you’re having those deep conversations.
            INFPs are rare too but not so rare as INFJs. I believe INFPs make up only 3-5% of the population, which is why I felt like an alien growing up! Never did feel like anyone truly ‘got’ me. You may have felt the same.
            I think the deepest conversations take place when both are either NFs and/or NTs. It’s that intuitiveness that makes all the difference. (I’m thinking of going to the MBTI seminar for a week and becoming a practitioner, can you tell?!)
            Have Margot take the test! 🙂 I hope you are having the best time ever on your trip! <3

          • sbranch says:

            Well, I always felt my best friend “got” me, and I had lots of those, so I didn’t feel alone. I sent the test to Margot this morning, we’ll see what she thinks. The initials confuse me … tell me again, what is an NT? Fun Amy, thank you!!

          • Amy says:

            N always means iNtuitive and T stands for Thinking. In the third place of the four letter variables, someone would either have a T or an F. If someone is a Thinker, it doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings, and if someone is a Feeler, it doesn’t mean they don’t use their brain. lol That’s the best way I can describe it. But a Thinker would put logic and cold hard facts above feelings and a Feeler would put feelings above logic and facts. Like-they wouldn’t care so much about being right and factual if it was going to hurt someone’s feelings. Whereas a Thinker would feel that being truthful above all else would come first, and feelings fall to the wayside in making decisions. It’s all about facts and logic in decisions.
            I’m so glad you think it’s fun. I think it’s fun too! I’m getting pretty good at guessing people. It’s been very helpful to me to understand others so that I know that’s just how they are, and that they’re not being difficult-it’s just our thought processes and preferences are all so different. So it’s been great at helping me understand and accept others more.
            Anyway, thank you Susan for this conversation and for taking the test! I feel very very honored that you did! There is tons of info online and has some good info too. Also, a VERY fun one for me is I have such fun guessing celebrities, then going to the site, and finding out which ones I love are my type too. You could go and check out which ones are INFJs.

          • sbranch says:

            Have you tried to figure out how come we are so different in our political views? I’ve always wondered how we can agree on so many things, but disagree so vehemently on all things tinged by politics. I would love to solve that particular problem that didn’t used to divide our country the way it does today.

        • Amy says:

          Also Susan, one more thing! I’d wanted to ask you if you can recommend a great book on quotes to get. I’ve got some birthday money and wanted to get one. Of course I only want the best one. haha

          • sbranch says:

            There are so many. A trip to a good bookstore is your best bet . . . there are full sections of them now. I’m not home and don’t have exact titles, but I always love Quotes by Women, or about gardening or food, or try the Oxford book of quotes — the thing is, because they are quotes by brilliant people, you can’t really go wrong, because you already know they are genius!

          • Amy says:

            Ok thank you so much Susan. I’ll go into an actual bookstore. I did just order your 30th anniversary edition of Heart of the Home and can’t wait to see it in person and make the recipes!
            Oh, and I haven’t figured out the political thing yet. haha Only to say we seem to have lost our skills at hearing other views that differ from us without having an insult contest, and that all of our info comes from two second sound bites so we’re missing a lot of info. But wouldn’t it be so nice if we could all bring back manners and politeness to the political process!

  18. Jo in Western Springs says:

    When you’re in Edinburgh try to visit Wordsworth’s Writing Room. It’s in one of the closes on your right as you’re walking from Holyrood to Edinburgh Castle. It’s wonderful! He was the poet laureate of Scotland and some of his original manuscripts there. Happy trails!

    BTW, you and Joe look mahvelous, dahlings!

  19. Susan W says:

    Can’t wait for some new, fresh photos! Seems like you slid over the Atlantic Ocean between hurricanes. Enjoy England and Scotland too!

  20. Donna Winchester says:

    Hi Susan! I left a comment the other day and see it is gone. I was saying how cool it was that you are on the same ship that my daughter Callie and son-in-law Arthur are on. Callie went to your lecture and told me about it…she knows I just bought all 3 of your books. Now she wants them too! Love your life story and my niece has all your cookbooks. Hope you have a wonderful time in Scotland!


    • sbranch says:

      It was quite a surprise to see as many people as we did on the ship who had actually heard of my books and came to the lecture! Thank you so much Donna, a big hello to Callie and Arthur! xoxo

  21. Kathie says:

    Susan, your dress, boots and earrings were so wonderful! You seldom show photos of yourself, but should. Very Downton with a mod twist. The ship looks very posh and yet comfy. Lovely fun. Enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      Half the time I’m in my jammies so this of course is inappropriate day wear for a blog! 😃 Thank you Kathie!

  22. Debbie Boerger says:

    Surely (Don’t call me Shirley), there are a gazillion folks commenting on your blog, but all I see for 2 days is my last 2 messages.
    So enjoying the Tweeter, etc. al. Don’t have a clue what it is or the rules…lucky you!! Looking forward to seeing pics from picnic at grass bridge. What did Joe think of this grand design of a garden? My Tom loved the gardens..surprised both of us.
    By the Way….take some private time (without your thousands of girlfriends)
    for you and Joe. We won’t mind…promise!!!!!

    Debbie and Tom in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Shirley 😃, It’s me, I’m late, just got to England, hooking everything up, back in business, at least for the days while we are here. Nothing is for sure(ly). You don’t have to know any rules on Twitter, just happy to have funny you there!

  23. Wendi Unrein says:

    This is so fun as I’m just about to start reading your Enland book too! Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy!!!

  24. Karen Williams says:

    Hi Susan and Joe,
    Thank you so much for taking such a lot of time and effort with everyone at the picnic yesterday. Bernie and I couldn’t stop talking about you and all your lovely friends the whole three and a half hours home!
    An absolute pleasure to meet you both, Rae and Paul and all the others….made some new girl and boyfriends!!
    Can’t wait for my charm to arrive now and I will wear it with pride and think of you.

    Hope the rest of the holiday goes well and the weather picks up again soon!
    I’m checking in with my sister in law about the bonfire night fireworks etc and will post as soon as I know any more.

    Have a super time and thanks again…you a a sdar of the highest order!

    • sbranch says:

      I felt exactly the same, meeting you and Bernie, and everyone, really, it was such a miraculous “this can’t be happening” kind of day. My face hurt from smiling! Thank you for being there…it was all of us together that made it so wonderful! xoxo Thank you Karen! Hi to Bernie!

  25. Regina Carretta says:

    Susan….thank you once again for your giving of your time and sharing your experiences through Twitter and your blog. All of that and soaking in your environment as you travel …..
    I am one who chooses not to sign up for Facebook or Twitter, but truly enjoyed being able to peek in at your photos and updates on Twitter….my hopes is that you continue to add to your Blog as the storyteller you are! and to include friends like me….take your time, as it is precious time, with your friends overseas, Joe, and for YOU! Thank you for your advice about a 2 hour train trip to Broadway from London….the Seattle Times had an article about Hilltop Farm and my travel buddy wondered if that was a day trip from London and if it was accessable by train, etc. It seems from your essay about Hilltop, one would need a car to get there? I watched “Miss Potter” the other rainy night and was delighted….I am looking, too, at Charleston Farmhouse….will do more research…..thank you for beginning my education about all of these Brit artists …. you planted the seeds! Enjoy…

  26. Patricia Hardison says:

    Oh my, just finished reading A Fine Romance and was preparing to tell you about our five trips to Scotland!!! Loved your book — it actually brought me to tears with longing to return to the land I so love! Have a wonderful time and eat Sticky Toffee Pudding every chance you get!!!

    P.S. A most wonderful place to stay The Peat Inn in St. Andrews — if nothing else, have an intimate dinner there!

  27. Elizabeth Woodford says:

    There is another moniker for you, Susan of the Sweet Potato!! Too funny but oh so lovable and cute too!!

  28. Cindy says:

    I love love that you are sharing your trip with us. I hope someday to visit England and have wanted to ever since I read Agatha Christie as a teenager 40 years ago. Seeing your experience is a joy to me. Thank you so much!

  29. Regina Carretta says:

    September 19, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Susan….thank you once again for your giving of your time and sharing your experiences through Twitter and your blog. All of that and soaking in your environment as you travel …..
    I am one who chooses not to sign up for Facebook or Twitter, but truly enjoyed being able to peek in at your photos and updates on Twitter….my hopes is that you continue to add to your Blog as the storyteller you are! and to include friends like me….take your time, as it is precious time, with your friends overseas, Joe, and for YOU! Thank you for your advice about a 2 hour train trip to Broadway from London….the Seattle Times had an article about Hilltop Farm and my travel buddy wondered if that was a day trip from London and if it was accessable by train, etc. It seems from your essay about Hilltop, one would need a car to get there? I watched “Miss Potter” the other rainy night and was delighted….I am looking, too, at Charleston Farmhouse….will do more research…..thank you for beginning my education about all of these Brit artists …. you planted the seeds! Enjoy…


    • sbranch says:

      For some reason, photos (lately) have a much easier time getting themselves onto Twitter than they do my Blog! But I’m sure things will change along the way! I think you can get to Hill Top by train … at least most of the way. You might have to hire a car (and/or a driver) to get the rest of the way…or maybe even take a tour. Charleston is heaven, and closer, and so is Hever Castle!

  30. Sonya Hewes says:

    Susan ~
    Thank you so much for sharing what you have with us. Looks like it has been a completely awesome time so far – following you on Twitter as well as that seems to be working a bit better for you. Enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Twitter works as it always has, MUCH easier since photos can go directly from the phone to Twitter, I’m not totally dependent on the computer to get them up!

  31. FayE in CA! says:

    You give and give and give…and then fret because you can’t give enough. Thanks so much for “working” for us while you travel the beautiful countryside. I, personally, am amazed at what you give…the most generous soul…on the planet? Girlfriends think so!

    For what it’s worth…don’t fret and stress OR spend your entire day with an errant computer. I know that you can “catch up” with ALL of your missing details of beauty, friendship and horizons when you get home. The joy in seeing what you are able to send can be a tease that makes us want you home even more so that you can do a complete, satisfying (for you) blog (s) on this trip. In the meantime, I am always satisfied with even the tiniest peeks of your travels.

    The full moon was full over my house in CA as you looked at the full moon floating over England…a unifying beauty. AND! YOU should be staring at it ALL NIGHT LONG…wrapped in Joe’s embrace…not worrying about us! YOU take some of those “work” hours and convert them to time for you and Joe. The 2 1/2 months will be gone in a flash. (Wanted to say in a wink, but dang spellcheck won’t let me write with the words that I choose!!)

    Keep Petey happy. I think he is your guardian angel during your travels. He is sad that you think he is scary. 🙁

    • sbranch says:

      Well, it’s just the facial expression. I feel relatively certain his heart is good. And he does bring good luck. Thank you Faye!

  32. Bernie Gardiner says:

    Hi, Susan – thank you so much for Sunday and our special picnic – what a super time we had and I was thrilled to meet you and Joe, as well as so many lovely fans of yours! And what a glorious setting. I shall treasure the memory of the day. Do have a wonderful time while you’re here.

    I know you won’t get any free time, by the way, but if you should try to catch ‘Victoria’ on TV – it’s an historical drama and is wonderful – as excellent as Downton – and that’s saying a lot!

    Sending you both love from Palma – globe-trotting at the moment. Sadly, it’s wet here but due to improve tomorrow – yay!!

    Take care, have fun – love to you and Joe. Bernie x

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Bernie it was just so nice to meet you in person! I’m dying to see Victoria . . . can you tell me where and when I can get it, even vaguely?

      • Bernie Gardiner says:

        Hi, sorry for delay. Sunday evenings for Victoria on ITV. I would imagine that at the end of the televised series it will become available on DVD. It really is superb and I know you’ll love it. If you should miss it, however, Amazon will no doubt have the box set as soon as it’s available. It will be worth the wait. I’m recording them as I watch each episode with the intention of enjoying a Victoria-fest at the end of the series.

        How is Scotland? I hope it’s everything you wanted it to be? X

        • Bernie Gardiner says:

          Hi – Susan, you’ll never guess!! I just checked Amazon uk and the DVD will be available from October 10th! Do you have an account with Amazon? If I can help in any way, please let me know . X

        • sbranch says:

          We’ve been getting both Poldark (terrible ending last Sunday!) and Victoria on Sunday nights!!! Something fun to look forward to! TV night! Scotland is fantastic. We’ve only been here for 4 days, so we’re still figuring things out. Went to Loch Ness yesterday … it was SO SOSOSOSOSOSO quiet up there. SO quiet. We sat at the edge of the Loch and just basked in the silence. Also, there are about four million stars in the sky up here in the Highlands! Hope all is well with you too! xoxo

          • Bernie Gardiner says:

            Hi, again – so glad you’re going to get the DVD – will want to hear your thoughts on it when you get home.

            I hope you’re enjoying the peace and quiet of Bonnie Scotland? It does peace and quiet very well, doesn’t it?

            I just wanted to ask if you are going (or have been) to Burnham while up north? It’s got strong connections with Beatrix Potter and the art centre has a dedicated area to her. I checked the map and it’s 111 miles away from you – it could be it’s a bit too far to travel, but it’s a beautiful little town and you might decide on a day out and not mind the trip. She had holidays there when she was young – I believe Mr Magregor was one of the locals!! Watch out, Peter!! 😁😁

            Well, enjoy your rest – boy, I can’t wait to read the book that follows this trip to the UK. Bernie x

          • sbranch says:

            Huge with peace and quiet, perfect place to stir up legend and myth … starry nights, misty mornings. Walked Birnam Wood day before yesterday, ancient, 1000 year old tree there. Saw house BP was staying in, age 26, when she wrote first letter to Noel with illustrated Peter Rabbit in it. Not sure we’re talking about the same place, Burnham or Birnam …? Birnam was next to Dunkeld, was that the place you meant?

  33. Dianne Blauvelt says:

    I just came to your website to order Susan’s book, “Autumn” From the Heart of the Home, which you used to have available here, and I see that it is no longer available. I am so disappointed as I was hoping to buy it as a birthday gift to myself which is next week. Do you have any copies still available? And if not, is there a place where I could buy one? I checked on Amazon and the book, because it is now out-of-print, I guess, is way too expensive for me. Or will you be bringing this book out again yourself in the future, and, if so, when? Thank you, in advance, for answering this!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I’m so sorry, it’s out of print for now. We plan to reprint it next January. People find used ones through different avenues, such as Etsy or Ebay … lots of places. Don’t pay those crazy prices, you can find it within reason if you search around a bit.

  34. Carrie in Medina says:

    Love this post – so FUN! And, LOVE, love, love that little black dress! You look Marvelous darling!! Thank your for sharing these moments!!

  35. Barbara Roycroft says:

    I can’t believe your not on MV , I’ve come all the way from England to see your beautiful island and your not going to be on it, you’ll be on your way to England, such a shame! We’re staying in Chatham at the Queen Ann Inn with friends and are catching the ferry tomorrow morning for our MV adventure. Hopefully we’ll get to see and feel all that you do and more, us Brits do love a bit of history you know. I’m desperately hoping to purchase all my Christmas presents there from you and yours, keeping my fingers crossed ! Have a great trip xx

  36. Maureeen says:

    You left on my birthday for England (9/10).
    I came home from Europe via the Queen Mary about 11 yrs ago. It was quite a trip. We (my father and I) went to Europe via another liner. We met up with my husband in London. (My husband had not been to Europe before). I have a brother who lives in London so we were there to visit him and his family.

    I so enjoyed your visit to the Chicago area earlier this year. (I spoke to you as also being the oldest of many siblings).
    Hope that your trip is fabulous. All the best for a safe and happy trip and return to the US.

  37. Susan, you might enjoy “In the Footsteps of Sheep; Tales of a Journey Through Scotland” by Debbie Zawinski. She’s a Welsh born Scot who walked the length and breadth of Scotland, finding tufts of wool from 10 Scottish sheep breeds and spun them on her hand spindle…while walking. Then she knitted the spun yarn into socks with each pair representing one sheep breed.
    Safe travels to you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds delightful! I’m reading a book I love right now called Dear Dodie, life of Dodie Smith who wrote I Capture the Castle (and oh, by the way, 101 Dalmatians!) …

  38. Mary Ellen Harris says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for sharing your recipe boxes! As soon as I saw them, I placed an order and it came so fast. I have one that is shown in the photo….the one with the Gold Medal Flour label on front. I love it and proudly have it on the counter in my kitchen. I love the recipes inside, as well. I have enjoyed your story so much, as well as the cook books.

    Again, thanks so much! ~ Mary

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I’m so glad, Mary. I’ve been collecting those for this very reason for a long time! We finally got time to put them together to make nice little memory boxes . . . not easy to find! Thanks for letting me know!

  39. Carol Strutt says:

    Those tea cups! Where? How?

  40. Lois Madden says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventure and taking us along as virtual guests. You’re amazing! Oh, and I adore those delightful heart teacups❣️ Hope you had smooth sailing, quiet seas and lots of spectacular sunsets as you sailed the ocean blue.

    In Light ~ Lois🐾🐾

  41. Ericka says:

    Susan, that dress and those shoes! <3

  42. Stacey says:

    I LOVE that you bring Emma Bridgewater cups with you on board! 💗💗💗

  43. Jan says:

    So glad you are enjoying your trip to England and Scotland and to be with your friends too. Have s safe trip home on the boat and enjoy your Thsnksgiving Day while on the sea!🐠🐟🎨love your art !!!

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