Hi All!  Quick explanation of where I’ve been which I’m about to show you in a delicious photographic potpourri of people, places and dog photos!  We did our trip a little Alice, English Dogdifferently this time, which has its good side and its bad. We’ve seen a LOT, but we seem to be on the move much more …. three days here, four days there, meeting with friends, and even just overnight sometimes, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging! But here I am, catch-up day, finally in the place where Joe and I will be staying until it’s time for us to go (the ship leaves November 19).  So now, first, MUSICA ~  and then . . .get-attachment-aspx

Get tea, and then, here comes adventure . . .


Tea, or cider . . . that’s good too! But not really for breakie!


The pubs have been wonderful, filled with interesting people, lots of dogs, and delicious food ~~ all of the pubs are so different and all of them historical, just wonderful for imagining and questioning!


We had another camera adventure. Remember how we put the lens on top of the car in A Fine Romance and it slipped off and sent us scurrying to try and find it on the road without killing ourselves or others? This time it was the ENTIRE CAMERA.  We heard a sliding noise on the roof of the car, died a thousand deaths realizing I’d left the camera up there while getting loaded into the car, turned around to go back to where we think it might have flown off, stopped the car . . . Joe said, “You go that way, I’ll go that way.”  I looked back to cross the street, and there, sitting on the roof of the car, where it had slid and come to a stop, was the camera!!!!!! Whew, we had just gone from having a very, very bad day and now we were all happy again, and off we went vowing to put NOTHING ON TOP OF THE CAR EVER AGAIN.get-attachment-aspximg_4929

Hill and dale, stone walls and lambikins. Have I mentioned that we are Anglophiles?  I think it can be said very easily, rolls off the tongue now! I think Anglophiles have a big thing in common, they love beauty, and old things.


We brake for antique stores, especially if they are blue with yellow doors and have lace curtains in the windows.


And lovely old dishes to drool over.itsnotthatibelong


Most of you know we were meeting Rachel (@MozartsGirl on Twitter) and her husband Paul, her mom Di, and several of their friends in Bath (pron. Bawth) for her birthday party, which we did, and which was wonderful.


Here she is, figuring out her wish, which is hard since she has it all. I imagine she is wishing for all animals to be treated with love and respect.💖 We decorated the room for her party and didn’t let her in all day! Bunting! Yes!


This is the house we all stayed in in Bawth . . . Amazing “Elton House” Ray and Paul rented from the Landmark Trust. Lovely big rooms, with soft squishy old furniture, and a wide staircase . . . Ray was sure that Jane Austen had been inside this house, and it took me no time at all after arriving, to agree that it just had to be!


Here we are, inspecting the very scary but very interesting basement in the house, with the  18th century kitchen still intact … that’s Ray’s mom Di leaning over for a better look . . . Another world down there . . .


Bath was magic . . . I came around the corner to these Bubbles . . . in Bawth, how appropriate! A Bubble Bath.magic


We loved Jane Austen’s house in Chawton the last time we came, but she had lots of history in Bawth too . . .


Now Petey has sat on a doorstep that Jane Austen’s foot has touched. He is so proud.


I had to go to the Bath Abbey, and this is just a bit of one of the walls inside. . . Can you believe it? I couldn’t either. I’ve been lighting candles for my dad in every church we enter, and this was no exception.
sense of beauty; susan branch art


The tea shops have been ever so charming!


speaking of charm .  .  . Bunting everywhere! I’m not kidding. It really is!small treatsimg_2974

Little bunting and big bunting and balloons too!


Yes, we’ve been doing laundry, washing our socks, drying them on radiator racks.


We even got to search for beach glass on the Fife Coast in Scotland . . . here’s my booty!


Me and Elizabeth, my California/Vineyard Girlfriend in Edinburgh, Scotland together with our guys, where we met for a week of cavorting.


Here’s the view from our hotel room at the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh (pron. Edin-Burra). This is an amazing town, I have to do a whole post on it, it’s hard to believe it’s up there, humming along, every day, cool as a cucumber, and we hardly even know it!


Plaid was the name of the game. We have a car full of it!


Everywhere I went I took my most valuable players, the shawl, the diary, the camera, and lunchtime reading material!everythingwasromantic


As we wandered our way back in time . . . This is Edinburgh Castle, you must see it to believe it!slow-downimg_4869

We met up with the locals . . . they were very sweet.


Until you tried to drive too close, then they gave you the eye. Mas Musica? Oui!


We went to visit our friend Siobhan . . . and she took us on the MOST amazing walks! We went for hours, and why wouldn’t you . . .! Swans, geese, herons, sheep . . . bird song and baaaaa!


We climbed hills under the most beautiful clouds . . .miracles


And followed paths, aiming for the roads less traveled.


Fall has come slowly, and afternoons are tinged in gold . . . and this I never want to forget.


Boston ivy climbs the buildings . . .


The wind blows and the trees turn yellow and orange and drift down into the fast flowing rivers . . .



black bird looking backLook at that view!  It’s a from a castle window…and at the bottom, you can see the sheep, and in the distance, you can see forever across this green and pleasant land.


As we merrily drive along.


I could honestly write a whole book on English bathrooms. I thought so last time too. But this time, I just could not resist taking a picture . . . they are all different, but somehow all of them somehow look like your grandmother’s bathroom. Tic-Tacs! Hand lotion! Incense! Swabs! Really? In a public bathroom!


And on the back of the toilet-room door, for your reading pleasure . . . this. Always up for education!


And here!!!! Oh Downty! How we miss thee! We finally made it to Highclere for a long, uncrowded, special tour of the house and gardens. I couldn’t get Petey to hold still for the photo, he was too excited!


Just me and Downty. Who could ask for more. Will have to do a whole post on this in the future, right? Right! It was SO interesting, the history of this amazing house. And even more beautiful than I expected. I know several of you have already seen it, well you were right, it was worth going to!


And then it was National Apple Day, and Siobhan took us to an Apple Festival!  Isn’t it adorable?  It was a chilly, but lovely fall day, there were cooking demonstrations, barbecued sausage sandwiches, a farm stand, games, a tea room of course . . .girlfriend love recipe word


And all varieties of apples . . .

This is Tess Lister on the left . . . she is Siobhan’s daughter, and that’s Tess’s dog, Dusty (the actual star of this star-filled family). Tess just wrote her first cookbook 👏. . . I’ve known her since she was a little girl, making adorable mouse-people and dressing them in tiny clothes she made for them from bits of satin, velvet and lace. She’s almost as magical as her mom.💖 More about Tess HERE. You remember her if you read A Fine Romance, where she was all dressed up in Ascot clothing for our day at the races?  That was 2004, I guess she was about 18 then.


Here we all are together, Siobhan taking us out to see a very old tree, Joe, Paul, Ray, and Di, Ray’s mum, everyone talking about the history of the place . . .


And, after everyone went home, that’s what we did everyday while we stayed with Siobhan . . . walk and talk, talk and walk . . . and eat.

We were hungry after climbing the stiles that are put there to make going over fences on the public footpaths easy. One night we walked along that path into the village where Siobhan grew up, where the first King of England is buried in the graveyard of the Abbey ~ we walked along her secret childhood paths, narrow grass-lined footpaths, over arched stone bridges, past a ditch dug for fighting Vikings , into alleyways so narrow we could reach out and touch both stone walls at once . . .


And past a farm, so pretty in the waning sunshine . . .


To her friend Barbara’s house . . . Barbara bought Abbey House in Malmsbury (say it Moms-brie) about 30 years ago and she and her husband built this garden (this is a mere wisp of all that’s there), and now it’s open to the public. Sometimes she puts on plays and events here (the library seats 100!), people get married here, and it’s even a bed and breakfast . . . I should do a whole blog on this too, because you just wouldn’t believe it! It’s right in the middle of town. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, this is a MUST.

img_5583And now, one of my very favorite things so far has been the afternoon we spent learning about sheep and the dogs that work them … from this man, Neil Ross. If you are ever in northern Scotland, treat yourself to this most amazing afternoon . . . he does this every day at 4 pm, you don’t make reservations, you just show up, sit on a rock, breathe the amazing fresh air, and try not to cry from the beauty.


Neil Ross is a shepherd and he words the same 11,000 acres that his dad did, tending a herd of 3,000 sheep. None of it belongs to him, he lives there, raises his children there, and like his dad, he works for the “Laird.” (Lord in English-English)


There we all were, maybe about 15 of us, sitting on rocks to watch this amazing display of dogs, sheep, man, nature, as it has been forever. With just one word in dog language, which we did not speak, and the dogs would be off . . . Go get the sheep, dogs!


And after a few moments, here they come. Thundering hooves come over the hill . . .


Neil would only send one or two dogs at a time, the rest knew not to go (I don’t know how they knew, but they did), and would wait their turn…there were small dogs too, puppies about 12 weeks old, like the two in this photo, and the one in the first photo, they were just learning the whistles and the words that Neil used to tell the dogs what to do.


Those sheep came roaring up, we thought we might be a little trampled, but those dogs had everything under control.  Pure eye contact. My dad could do this with us kids. Stop us with one look.


It was so beautiful.  One of the prettiest most natural and real things I’ve ever seen!


We began to think the sheep might be in on it. But, if they were,  they deserve an academy award for best actors.


An amazing sight.

Watch close, this is short, but listen to Neil as he showed us how even the puppies loved to do this ~ note Scottish dog language, sounds like “poly-bear burken-bye, burken!” This was a man of few words, and this was most of them.img_3673

My best dog picture!


See how close we all were, the boy on the right was next to me.


I gave a wee internal yelp when I saw him picking up the sheep like this, but apparently he’s done this before and I should keep my yelping to myself.


That sheep wasn’t moving at all. It just sat there . . . perfectly docile. I didn’t see him slip it a sleeping pill or anything.


He invited anyone who wanted to come up and help him shear the sheep. But you should have seen the scissors he used to do it! They looked like pruning shears. So the kids did it and I took pictures!

“No pressure on the sheep” ~ I didn’t understand everything he said, but I got these words!


Afterwards he let everyone feed the sheep . . .


And play with the five-week old puppies.


And he showed us how even they could be trained.


It was amazing.


And darling…

I’ve looked at this at least a hundred times and it still makes me laugh . . .


I didn’t steal it.


Old dogs too, the whole family was there.💛


And now it’s almost November, Rabbit-Rabbit Girlfriends . . . and we are living down the street from Ray and Paul . . . for the last three weeks of our visit here.


Ray and Paul . . . our neighbors, how lucky is that!


Our car, all tucked in. . . in front of the house.


Ray welcomed us with this . . .joshua word home decorating


There’s a tiny courtyard garden in the back . . .


that I can see from my chair (that’s where I am right this moment). . .


and see my little friend? He’s been leaping and jumping since we got here, and there are birds, and a church across the street that rings on the quarter hour, and pealed out Sunday Greetings this morning, as it has done for a very very long time. It’s like living in a dream, pretending all the time.

address word home dreams

So that’s all for today. I tried my best to catch you up . . . hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a bit of driving through the English Countryside on the “wrong” side of the road . . . but honestly, it’s impossible to show everything. I’ll have lots to talk about, England/Scotland-wise, for a long time!  Right now, Joe is tapping his foot, wants to be off, wants me to go with him!

Halloween Boo!

Happy Halloween dear friends!  I’m homesick, I’m sure you know that, missing my kitty, missing home, missing my trick-or-treaters,  but I will put up with it for the learning and wonder of this lucky thing we’re doing. And it won’t be long until it’s all over, because time just has that way about it.  So, as they say, bloom where you’re planted, and that’s what I’m trying to do. Dressed in plaid.❤️  Love you xoxoxoxoxoxoxo.

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  1. Leslie says:

    Beautiful, Susan! Loved my visits to Scotland and England! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Kathy says:

    I know we overlapped a bit in the UK and I had an absolutely marvelous time. Two weeks just wandering the UK for me. I thank you for sharing your adventure, it makes me so happy. I love your life vibe. And did I mention I went to the Emma Bridgewater factory? Or stayed at a National Trust hotel? Or went to a jam factory in Essex? Oh, I could go on. I actually got weepy at Paddington Station when I had to come back to the U.S. Enjoy every last moment!!!!!

  3. Stacey says:

    Hi Susan!
    I think this is my most favorite post you have ever written! It already brought back memories of our trip to England this month, we were there for a mere 10 days from 10/15 – 10/25. We stayed in a lovely cottage in Chipping Campden (cotswolds) and walked and walked, ate great food, explored other villages, shopped…I even drove on the “wrong” side too (that was an experience to be sure!)! Where was that lovely little blue Vintage Shop you shared? Looks lovely! Scotland looks amazing and it is on the list for the next trip to the UK. Really enjoyed reading about the sheep dog event you went to. The Shepherd reminded me of Gabriel Oak in Far From The Madding Crowd! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous post and enjoy the rest of your adventure! ❤️🇬🇧

  4. Wendy Stewart says:

    What a lovely posting! I love England and often visit dear friends in the Southwest in a little village called Chard. Here’s to a safe and magical rest of your trip!

  5. Barbara The Stalker says:

    Thanks Susan! One of your best blogs. ❤️

  6. Steph D says:

    Oh thank you for the ADORABLE puppy videos! Everywhere you’re going looks so beautiful. And the picture of Petey at Downton made me literally LOL!

  7. Margaret says:

    Awestruck! Speechless! God bless you and Joe and all of our kindred spirits! Your blog is a reassuring reminder that the world is full of serendipidy if we seek it and that mankind can be and will always be sweet if we choose it to be! We toast you with a glass of cider or a cuppa! Thanks for taking us on your journey! Count the next smiling face you encounter as mine! Hugs!

  8. Gerri Daniels says:

    I have been checking every day for a new entry…I missed you. But this blog was worth it…once again it makes me want to walk along where you have been. Thank you so much for sharing and I love all the photos you take it…truly is like being there. Happy travels until you have to reluctantly (?) come home again. Happy Halloween back!

  9. Lisa - Sammamish, WA says:

    Susan thank you for such a lovely post with so many amazing pictures. I truly enjoyed reading it. And now I am going to go back over it and click on your links for more.

  10. CarolK (NJ) says:

    I don’t know why I can’t view your videos on Twitter but I can on your blog so I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Love all your pictures and wishing I could see all those beautiful places in person. I will be 74 on November 11 and the older I get the more homebodyish (is that a word!) I get. So thank you for the armchair travel and hopefully there’s another book in the future so we can wander back at will to that lovely country. You are the best travel guide ever.

  11. Kate says:

    While looking at your pictures, I got the most wonderful feeling that I was looking at home. As my ancestors are from England and Germany, I have had a love of England and English ways and have dreamed of taking a long trip to see the land where I belong. I cannot get enough of your beautiful pictures, so thank you for sharing them all. The puppies were so sweet. Loved the video of that little one with its whole behind wagging! Maybe, one day, I will make the trip across the sea and see the country I have always dreamed about.

  12. Dixie Johnson says:

    ” O’ Wouldn’t it be loverly!” to be with Joe and Thee in Britain (my favorite spot in the world )?! So glad you’ve included Scotland this time. Safe travels and a safe return.

  13. Shell says:

    Happy Halloween to you and Joe. Reading about your trip lifted my spirits immensely.

  14. Gloria Dyer says:

    I can feel your joy and love in your post today. Thank you for the pleasure of your words, photos, and the love for travel and seeing and making friends. Keep the party going, the future book will be fabulous! Love you Susan 😊💕 Gloria

  15. Susan from Colorado says:

    I’m sitting here at my computer desk just smiling away! What a wonderful post Susan…loved the dogs, sheep and puppies. I must admit, I gripped the arms of my chair as I watched driving clip. I’m not sure if I’d do well driving on the left side of the road! Can’t wait to see what else your’e up too!

  16. Sydney Ellen from Michigan says:

    This trip has been so fabulous for us “arm chair” travelers. Thank-you for taking the time to include us.
    What a beloved trip seeing dear friends, celebrations, gorgeous places, animals, etc. All of it has been wonderful and dreamy. xo

  17. Rene Marie Foust says:

    I love following you on your adventures, some day I hope to visit some of the wonderful places you have shared with us.

  18. Kathy (Branch) Spicer says:

    Ahhhh. That was lovely. I will go back and read it all again, because it was just THAT wonderful! Thank you!

  19. Sharon Avinger says:

    OH! My heart is beating fast after seeing all that. Can’t wait for the post on the Downton castle. Gorgeous, touching post. Thank you for taking us along with you on your fabulous trip.

  20. Debbie Sisk says:

    You have the prettiest smile!! Did u know Red Sea glass is very rare? I think I saw some in your hand. How do we thank u for taking us along? Looking forward to more

    • sbranch says:

      I got the teeniest piece in the world, not exactly pure red, more like a dark orange, but yes, red is very rare, and I’ll take what I can get!

  21. Lynn from Simi says:

    Thanks, Susan, for once again capturing the best of the countryside. I thoroughly enjoyed my week in England in September. Although, being the navigator for country roads was a bit daunting.

    I love the pictures and the commentary. Cannot wait for another book to come out of this trip!

  22. Caroline says:

    Happiest Halloween Susan!
    Thank you for such a wonderful wonderful post! Did you and Joe see the movie Babe: about a sheep herding pig and absolutely beautiful. A movie for the child in all of us:)
    I went on you Facebook page to ask for my own English pen pal and all the merriment and miracles that that brings, but, alas! technologically challenged… I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Do you have any advice?
    I was so thankful to find twitter and catch up with your travels every few days; that video of the puppy knocking himself over by wagging with joy is priceless and makes my daughters and me laugh every time we see it. I am missing Downtown Abbey too! I have been watching Call the Midwife which is transcendent television and ALMOST fills the hole:) I was so moved by all the candles lit for your beautiful Dad. I will think of you both and light a candle here for him on All Souls day. Caroline

    • sbranch says:

      Just write about it on Facebook and someone with help you, either Kellee or Sheri will mention it, I’m pretty sure . . . we’ve done posts on it many times, still connecting people, and for sure we will do it again. You can ask them to please do it . . . Thank you dearly for the candle. We should light them for the world every chance we get. xoxoxo

  23. DeLores Johnson says:

    Dear Susan,

    Today is a gloomy, misty day in Minnesota and what a ray of sunshine your post was!!! I love it. I love all the old, big buildings and the small shops and pubs. I love the dishes in the antique shop windows too (love old dishes). We live in an old, Victorian Queen Anne house so I lie old things. I also enjoyed the videos on the sheep and the dogs. Everything is so beautiful and interesting and since I know I will never be able to go on a venture such as this, I enjoyed it through your eyes.
    While you have been gone, I have been buying all your published books! I have read your Trilogy books and my daughter-in-law has borrowed them and is now reading them and then my daughter wants to read them so you see, you have become our family favorite. I have also ordered all the cookbooks, calendars, etc. Thank you so much for making my life so interesting!

  24. Carol Oliver says:

    Hello Susan,
    Wow…what a wonderful trip….and crossing the POND…on that Fabulous Ship!!
    You are living one of my dreams….to see alllll that you have seen…to Sail on
    That Lovely Ship…thank you for sharing all of this, I feel blessed to have known you all these years, and to share your talents and lovely stories…I have met you 3
    times, I first, in the early years along with your Mom…she then brought me things you created to where I worked…the Auto Club in Long Beach…yes, a long time ago…I now own your Beautiful Red Toille Gravy Boat, that my Best Friend bought me from the Shop you once had Near San Luis Obispo….Thank you for sharing this wonderful trip.. I loved the traveling..and…DOWNTON ABBEY…safe Travels home…
    Love….Carol O. in So. Calif…with your Red Toille Gravy Boat..

    • sbranch says:

      I could never forget you Carol, I always smile when I see your words “Red Toile Gravy Boat” and know exactly who I’m talking to!

  25. Paulaj says:

    Oh, Susan, you did a tremendous job of catching up; that is one of many gifts of yours: the ability to choose the highlights, thus getting it done!

    Burnell and I enjoyed reading this together and we could relate so well to the buildings, stone walls, scenery, pubs, good food, history, the delightful English people~~and the driving!

    Thank you for the pictures and videos from your sheep/shepherd/sheepdog experience. I am proud of you for not stealing that adorable puppy! And I loved hearing your chuckle while you filmed the pups! One of my highlights from our trip to England was watching, from our Bassenthwaite cottage window in the Lake District, a black and white border collie work a flock of sheep under quiet commands from the shepherd. There is nothing quite like it.

    Seeing the video of the sheep being sheared gave me a wonderful visual of a Bible verse I have read many times. Prophesying of Jesus Christ suffering on the cross, while bearing the sins of the world, Isaiah wrote, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

    I did not comment on your previous blog, but I noted that you and Joe looked so happy and carefree in some of the photos, especially the selfie! I rejoice with you in your love and joy!

    Thank you again, for your kindness and unselfishness (and Joe’s also) in keeping us all in the loop. It takes a lot of time and effort and decision making.

    I know you will have fun with Paul and Ray; it was such a treat to meet them.

    Hugs and lots of love,

  26. Barbara A Case says:

    So tickled when I saw you in my mail box. Have had you on my mind, hoping everything is going well. If there was anyway possible I would move to Scotland. Lots of family background… life seems to be slower there. I love the way they keep “things” (houses, furniture, etc.) Americans are so ready to throw things away…new is Not better just because its new! I have things to do so I must go for now. This evening when its quiet I’ll take my time and go over it again. Thank you so very much…take care. You and Joe hug each other for me !

  27. Gayle Hall says:

    Hi Susan my friend , I just read everything all,over again. I am doing it from the NORTHWOODS FINALLY. Today is Halloween and so I had to write and wish you a wonderful PUMPKIN DAY!! 🍁🍂👻🎃 here in the good ole USA🇺🇸. It is rainy and cold here, so don’t fret about missing Halloween. You will have loads more of them. Just enjoy every minute of what you are doing , because I am. 😊 with love and hugs Gayle

  28. GSchoen says:

    Thanks for this- made me so happy to read and see all you are doing. What a gift

  29. Barb Murphy says:

    Oh, I am so loving this. Thank you so very much for sharing. To think, something as wonderful as this is “just across the pond”.

  30. Deborah in Odessa says:

    Thank you for this marvelous post. What a treasure. I love all the pics and info. The bathroom pic was so informative. I always wonder about the common everyday things in other places. Sheep, dogs, Dishes…wonderful. Enjoy the next weeks and trip home. Again , thank you for sharing, Deborah.

  31. Stephanie C. says:

    Oh Susan, I have missed you!!! Love the pictures of the pubs, animals, people, scenery, old dishes, Downton !!! Everything! Enjoy every moment and thanks for sharing. Happy Halloween from Indiana. xoxo

  32. Ann from Albany, NY says:

    Thank you for the wonderful post. It’s transporting. Everything is so beautiful – such a different world from mine today. Favorite shot? The sheep staring at the dog, or maybe the silly puppy whose tail is wagging so fast, or maybe the spooky graveyard; forget it, there are just too many to choose from. It’s a treat to be there with you. Thanks again. Off to make a cup of PG Tips.

  33. Susan Morgon ( Ohio gal from SoCal ) says:

    Susan, what a wonderful blog! Just the thing for a cozy evening of reading. I am looking forward to a special blog about Downty. What fun to get to go there! I think I would turn myself inside out trying to see it all at once and hardly believing I was really there in the first place. This seems like such a special trip, and you have almost three more weeks left. Hope you’ll have tons more fun!

  34. Fan in California says:

    Your Edinburgh photos brought back some wonderful memories . . . . and I SO get the plaid!!! Thanks for your ever so delightful post!!!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    I am a fairly recent fan…I must tell you how much I admire you and thank you so much for sharing your life as you have both in the books and here!! My Scottish/Irish roots are calling so loudly!! (Not long ago a friend sent me the link to the group called Celtic Thunder…LOVE their music as well as what you share here!!) Loved the dog segment here. Our last dog, whom we lost in 2010 was 1/8th border collie and 7/8th blue heeler…the most remarkable creature you can imagine…we long for her and miss her still!! Those dogs love like no other breeds we have ever had!!

  36. Judith says:

    What a breath of fresh air you are! It’s so nice to retreat into your wanderings of lambs, puppies, bunting, and bubbles to escape the bleak political climate in the states. Nothing a cuppa tea and some Susan Branch can’t fix! Thanks!

  37. OH MY GOODNESS! It was worth the wait to see and read your beautiful, beautiful post, Susan! What a trip you are having. May God continue to bless you and Joe and all who go with you for the remainder of your trip. Safe travels home! Thank you for sharing your joy with all of us! (I am sooooooo happy you did not lose your camera!!!!) HUGS!

  38. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Hello Susan~
    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your wonderful trip photos and experiences with all of us! ~Makes me feel like I’m there….. Well almost!😊❤️~

  39. Karen Burton says:

    Rabbit, Rabbit!
    What a wonderful way to start the month of November , reading your blog. I want to
    Visit there so much, but this will hold me over! What an enchanting, refreshing land to enjoy by foot and car.
    Thank you for sharing your pictures, experiences and friends with all of us. You have no idea how much of a diversion this has been from the ugly things going on here in the States.
    THANK YOU! 🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to be here. We are hearing more than we like too, people are always asking what is going on. I don’t know!! That’s my basic answer! Nothing is making sense. We seem to be confusing television People Magazine to the running of a major world country!!! I don’t think it’s as easy as it looks. But it’s not my job to decide, only for myself, and we did that already. xoxo

  40. jeanie says:

    Good thing you are on the road, my dear, or you would have a puppy! I just finished Alice Steinbach’s “Educating Alice” and there was a wonderful chapter on her learning how to train sheep dogs. Fascinated me, since Tippy the Neighbor Dog is a dead ringer for those in your post.

    I love each and every photo and anecdote and you are just overloading my desire to return to England. (By the way, A Fine Romance is on its way to my door!) I will look forward to your posts on Highclere and Abbey House and ever so much more!

  41. Deb W says:

    Trying to absorb everything from your post. Elton House looked lovely, and somewhat quirky. Going by the floor plans on their website, it looks like there isn’t a straight wall or square corner! Perhaps Jane Austen visited there, but I wonder if she enjoyed it? After all, Mr. ELTON was not one of her more appealing characters.

    So you all “upped sticks” to Bath for Ray’s birthday, but now you are staying for the rest of your trip a few doors from where they live full-time? Did you mention what town that is? I re-read everything, but couldn’t figure it out.

    I know you can’t do it ALL, but I’m still disappointed you didn’t make it to the WEST coast of Scotland, and Skye. Where I live, I have several fiber-artist friends who keep sheep, and we also have a large sheepdog trial each year here, so the sheep-and-dog photos looked very familiar. Glad I can have similar fun and puppy cuteness, without having to travel thousands of miles! Enjoy your next weeks there, in that perfect spot overlooking the lovely courtyard

    • sbranch says:

      We HAVE to come back!!! That’s the problem. Every moment feels so loaded with everything we love, and leaving always hurts, and we always want more!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Absolutely Have to come back. I know we shall. One reason we are so happy in New England and Maine in particular is that so much of the English settlers remains…stone walls, ancient apple trees, dialect, phrasing, such as “down cellah” or “The High Street” or “in hospital”, and the food ways, which I often compare with my writer friend in Hampshire. He says, “Blimey, you call it that, too??” Of course no thatched roofs or hedge rows with one lane roads deep between…or doggies in pubs. 😐
        I have a feeling you and Joe will return again and again! So much to see in such a small place, so much that gives a happy squeeze to the heart! Thank you, Susan, for bringing to everyone. : )

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, New England has that weighty thing called tradition, all those years piled on top of each other, stepping into the shoes of those that came before us, that’s what I love about it too. Thank you Debbie!

  42. Catherine Wegner says:

    So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!! Safe travels!

  43. Bobbie says:

    I don’t always comment – even though I love to read all of the other comments! This is the best blog ever!! Love seeing the bubbles, the sheep shearing videos – what an amazing experience your trip must be – every single detail. I really hope that someday you will write another book – keeping my fingers crossed. And I love reading your comments too – about the ghost bagpipes, and the rings on the birthday candles. Wish you were my neighbor – you are so much fun!

    • sbranch says:

      I am in a way … we’re all next-door neighbors around here! xoxo Thank you Bobbie, nice to hear from you!!!

  44. TrishaK says:

    Heart Heart Heart! Love everything
    ..stuff of Dreams. It can’t be real!

  45. Kiki Nakita says:


    Enjoy the rest of your time there.


  46. Laura Croyle says:

    So Fun to finally see your blog post with Lots and Lots of photos!! It’s all so beautiful and intriguing! However, I get a little confused which ones are in Scotland and which in Great Britain! 😕 (Is it just me, or have you been zipping back and forth between the two?) Ohh, and Please Do a post just on Highclere Castle when you get the chance! Would love to see more! Looks like you’re having a spectacular trip! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your last three weeks! What a wonderful way to avoid all the election madness here!

    • sbranch says:

      We were in Scotland for two weeks . . . hopefully I mentioned that, but if not, I promise to try harder!

  47. Chanda Brady says:

    I needed a break today….and oy, this was a total vacation….and yet a complete gift of what lies in my own walls and beyond. ….Not sure how you do it….but it’s magic. Thank you.

  48. Pat R. says:

    Hooray! I am so glad you are having a good time. Lovely pictures.

  49. Laura G. says:

    As much as I enjoy reading about your day to day adventures, I firmly believe that the important thing is to just get there and muddle about; wherever you and whatever you do will be wonderful. I’m thinking you really can’t go wrong. Hard to believe a true Anglophile could have a bad experience in Britain. I love that you have so much time to spend there. That won’t be the case with me, but whatever it is will be fine. My favorite picture that you posted is the stile. I am nuts about stiles. Enjoy the rest of your stay, as I know you will.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Laura! Yes, muddling is the definite way to go. Discovery is wonderful.

    • Phyllis Patton, Lancaster County, PA says:

      Laura G., you don’t mention where you live, but I wanted to mention that we headed to Martha’s Vineyard the same week that Susan and Joe left on the QEII for the UK. On our way, we went first to Block Island (off the coast of Rhode Island) on the ferry, and there saw several stiles between stone walls which I took pictures of. So if you can’t get to England, head to New England and take a peek! We have “lovely” here also.

  50. Audrianne says:

    How wonderful! Such memories you are making and it is so nice that you are sharing them with us.

  51. Carol Maurer~~~~ Kennewick, Wa says:

    It was such a wonderful thing to open up a new post. I’ve been following you on Twitter. I love the green countryside, hill and dale. The buildings are great! They are all so old. I enjoyed the pictures of your English friends so much.

    Take care and continue to have the time of your life with the rest of your stay!

    Carol M

  52. Lynn Cooper says:

    Loved it!! I want to go and be there. Everything seems lovely and quaint. Enjoy the rest of your stay.

  53. Glenda says:

    Just love this blog. You and Joe are so cute. The scenery is just beautiful, love the dogs, sheep, etc. ..all of it! Are we thinking of a puppy? You know you aren’t suppose to hold them or look them in the eyes right?

    So happy to know you and Joe are ok too. I check this blog often (always makes me happy) and it was “stuck”. I had computer problems and wondered if it had a virus. Last week I contacted a friend and ask her to check your blog to see if we had the same date and comments. She did and it was. We talked about it and said we hoped you were busy having fun. Then as girlfriends do, we started worry that something had happened to you both! It helped to talk about it and we decided you were just having fun (in order to relieved the worry). So now we are happy knowing you and Joe are happy and spoiled. 🙂 We miss you and are glad to hear from you…you darling person! 🙂

  54. Tracy in Colorado says:

    That was glorious, thanks for letting us join you! And, you have our full permission to go into much detail on further blog posts! 😊

  55. Ruth Winkler says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for taking me on one of the most enjoyable trips I have ever made. I was missing your post and finally there it is and I have gone over it at least 3 times and clicked on all the blue lined spots too. Safe trip home.

  56. Maria Shiyou says:

    Thanks, Susan! Scotland is second on my list of where I would love to visit. Second only to Italy. But, both are only in my dreams. So, thanks, for sharing.

  57. Denise says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing ,charming and utterly fascinating travels
    with us it has made me homesick . Also love that you have referenced Edith Holdens beautiful diary with the paintings for the months. I used her watercolours for my wedding invitations (Oct).Her book is a fav of mine
    Safe Travels as you head for Home !
    Denise from Wpg Canada

  58. So wonderful and dream inspiring. I can’t wait for the book that MUST follow this journey. Not to rush you, but don’t make us wait too long. 🙂 Interesting side note: I clicked on the link for the Abby House Gardens and they offer clothes optional days. I think I’ll have to skip those days. Enjoy the remainder of this delightful time.

  59. Jackie P. says:

    Considering how busy you are, your blog was an impressive size. Packed full of lovely pictures, videos and chatter. Love it all. What really caught my eye were the yards of wool plaids! Oooh. The colors just popped! Have you picked up an accent yet? Eh?

  60. Jackie P. says:

    P.S. It is a good idea to NEVER put anything on the roof of your car! Many, many years ago, as a young twenty-something, I had just finished my laundry at the laundromat. I was in the parking lot, folding my clothes, placing them on the roof of my Volkswagen bug, listening to music on my tape player. When it was time to leave, I popped in the car, drove home, and to my surprise, when I looked in the back seat of the car, I saw no clean, folded clothes!! What? Yes, they happily flew off the roof of my car as I drove home! It was a lesson to learn. I lost almost my entire wardrobe that afternoon!

  61. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Thank you for the tons of amazing photos from your travels!!!!!! You are so generous in sharing these breath taking pictures!!!! The mini videos are the best! (I think the wiggling puppy is my favorite!) My goodness, in a blink-of-an-eye you and Joe will be waving good bye and sailing home…….enjoy every second of every day until then! Scotland and England look like the most divine place to be in the Fall !!!!! So cozy and full of history!!!!! Each of your pictures I could just jump right in them!!! Such beautiful scenery and buildings!!! Autumn is rolling along in Michigan, and our colors are at peak now…so it’s gorgeous out there! (When the sun is shining, it looks as though the trees are plugged in and glowing!) I want to thank you bunches for all of the Autumn-ish stationery, bookmarks, and gift tags I printed out from your FREE shopping section! I am well supplied for the season and since it briefly rained today, I had the perfect time to print and cut out your artwork! Take care of yourselves!!!! God Bless YOU & JOE!!!!!

  62. Bev Brewer says:

    Dear Susan and Joe—I also have been delighted with each photo and anecdote as all the GFs have. I loved the puppies, sheep, shepherd, plaid, bunting, dishes, houses—even the graveyard was rather picturesque in the twilight and not too spooky. The courtyard garden where you are staying is so charming and the church bells in the mini video sounded so sweet. I love small space gardens and enjoy seeing the creativity of gardeners in teensy dooryard plots or pocket gardens or even windowboxes. I think I noticed some mirrors in your courtyard garden and when they are artfully placed give the illusion of more space ( almost like magic)! So happy you are both enjoying this wonderful trip and thank you for taking the time to share it! Love from Bev P.S. Years ago, my Mom put a six pack of beer on her car roof at the store and drove home that way. She wondered why other drivers were honking, but the drive was short and the beer arrived safely on its lofty perch!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Bev! Yes, there are four mirrors in this tiny garden, they are brilliant for expanding space! I bet there’s a whole “top of the car” book in the stories of what has happened to people!

  63. Fran Patten says:

    My dear friend, Ruth Winkler has told me so much about you and just shared your WONDERFUL trip to England and Scotland. I thank Ruth and I thank YOU, Susan for all your talent and beauty – yes, you are everything that Ruth has said about you. May I ask to be included in your wanderings and wonderings?
    Thank you so much.

  64. Connie Castle says:

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing your wonderful travel through England and Scotland. I will never be able to go there in person–although it will always
    be a dream–love Beatix Potter, Jane Austen and the Brontes, but I am living
    the dream vicariously through your blogs and photos. You are a very unselfish
    person!! I do have a question: I am on my 2nd time reading MARTHA’S
    VINEYARD, ISLE OF DREAMS, loving it more the 2nd time through, but you
    keep mentioning “meditation” tapes. Is there a particular name of one that you
    liked? There are so many on the market–hard to choose. Thanks so much.
    And for your time.

    • sbranch says:

      I know, because I’ve looked too, and never found the sort that I love (my first came with the class I took), guided, with just the right words that helped me so much, otherwise I would have posted them for everyone, which is why I’ve been thinking about making my own recordings. I do it for myself, I guess I could just say those words into a microphone!

  65. barbara lassiter says:

    Love this post. It brought back memories of happy days in Scotland. One of our favorite mornings was watching Mr. McLean(a shepherd) working his sheep dogs! All his dogs were so well trained and eager to work and it was all fascinating to watch. He was amazing and they were amazing as well. The whole journey to Scotland was unforgettable. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • sbranch says:

      There once was a horse on the property next to mine and I could watch it run around in the wind, mane and tail flying! Now I would love to live next door to a sheep farm, lambs frolicking and dogs working!

      • barbara lassiter says:

        We were standing in a fenced pasture, overlooking another pasture that sloped to the sea( no sheep in sight). Mr. McLean told us to look at the tree in the upper right hand corner and then he whistled and sent one sheep dog, literally flying over the fence, and out of sight. Very soon, we began to see sheep standing under the tree until the whole flock was there. Then he whistled again and the dog was soon back with us, jumping around and wanting to do more. It was impressive and I won’t forget!

        • sbranch says:

          They had sheep trials on BBC when I first got here, I was glued to the TV, thinking who would do this, put this kind of thing on TV? But of course, charming people would do this!

          • Debbie Boerger says:

            We go to the Blue Hill Fair in Maine every year. It’s an old fashioned agricultural fair. Featured in E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. Just down the road from us. Most enjoy the sheep dog trials and the kids showing their animals. Now there are llamas and alpacas, used as sheep guards! Another reason to love remote Maine, is the preservation of old crafts, displays of veggies with ribbons for 1st, 2nd and 3rd, pies, honey, quilts, flower arrangements, non-professional artists, drawing, painting, carving. I love the huge draft horses. Actually used in our area to plow, such as Horsepower Farm. Yea for Tradition.

          • sbranch says:

            Couldn’t agree more Debbie, thank you!

  66. Beautiful, so perfect. I noticed you said “kitty” is there only one now? Oh, please don’t say there’s only one now 🙁

  67. Charlene Scholey says:

    Thank you Susan for the wonderful trip to Scotland with you and all you friends. What beautiful country! Loved seeing the sheep dogs and ,the sheep getting sheared. So much beautiful life and so diferent from ours. What a lovely treat for us here at home. We miss you and wish you and Joe safe travels home.
    Love, Charlene Scholey

  68. kedra sugg says:

    Thank you! A blessing! – – on a morning fighting a “bug” and some sadness over the meaness of the American election – you’ve given me a better “perspective”……..

  69. Charissa says:

    Do they have awards for blogs? Because if they do, I am going to campaign for you to win them all. It won’t be hard. The beauty and love and and joy that you display will do most of the work. You should have the equivalent of Grammys Emmys and Tonys. You really should!!!! But I have no such power, so I submit this instead…

    I simply sit in awe and gratitude for your ability to create and share.

    The beauty, camaraderie, and joy you give to all of us is such a gift.

    To me specifically, I cannot even begin explain except to say that that you have inspired me, lifted me, comforted me, made me a better version of myself.

    The magic of this blog and all your work is such a special thing and you have shared yourself with the world. And the world is better for it and you have left a mark which will enrich generations and you will be remembered.

    You don’t need me to tell you that you are loved by millions, but I wanted to tell you that you are loved by me:)

    Thank you for this post. I feel just like I lived it with you and am so much richer for it. The shepard and his sheep and sheep dogs are all just so amazing! What an adventure. Your photos and story telling made for the loveliest tea time! Belated Birthday wishes to wonderful Rachel and a squeeze to Joe for being so sweet, looking so cute in his beret, and trying so intently to photograph that sheep;) Brittania, dogs, plaid, and you… My favorite things;)

    And from the bottom of my heart… THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!! XOXO ❤️

    • sbranch says:

      You’re making me cry Charissa, that was so so so so sweet!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I’m just so happy you’re here, happy to know you! Sending big love xoxoxoxo

    • mary spring says:

      ..’so well written, Charissa..all so very true..thank you !.. and thank you Susan ,again, for all you do !

      • sbranch says:

        Thank you both. You make it all worthwhile, love getting to know you!

      • Charissa says:

        Thank you, Mary. ❤️❤️❤️ It’s not hard to gush about Susan:) Glad you liked it. I know most people feel just like me. That’s why I love coming here. Your Fellow Kindred Spirit, Charissa 🙂

  70. Margaret Matlock says:

    Seeing your photos and reading your adventures makes up for the fact that I can’t make the trip myself. Thanks so much for sharing. Loved the video of the puppies.

  71. Charlotte says:

    Brought back wonderful memories from our trip To England, Scotland and Wales.
    Thanks for sharing -know that it must take an exorbitant amount of time to write a post as long as the most recent one.


    • sbranch says:

      Glad you enjoyed it. Once I finally got connection, it was difficult to just choose two or three photos!

  72. Nicoline Bostens says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so enjoying your trip! Thank you for taking us along, and for giving me so many new ideas for places to visit, things to see…..I came across this article, with a suggestion of a pretty villsage in your neck of the woods. I hope you’ll have a lovely rest of the trip.

    With love from Holland, and my “Petey” is waving to his creepy nephew;)

  73. Thank you for sharing this. I love England and it makes me so happy to revisit via your pictures and wonderful words.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip. I look forward to continued details as you have time.

  74. Diane from Poulsbo says:

    What a beautiful blog! Everything looks like so much fun! I am sure you miss Jack, but I have the feeling you probably skype with him! lol. 😄 we have just been adopted by a kitty…who was clearly left by someone, but he wont come inside, so we bought him an outdoor heated little cat house, and we feed him a couple of times each day. What is so amazing is that he looks nearly identical to our little family member who passed a few years ago. Anyhoo….on another subject…I was calender shopping for my daughter for Christmas, and I saw your calender at B&N, and picked it up for myself. I am waiting to open it at the new year! Such a treat! Xoxoxo Diane

  75. toni baumgard says:

    Good Bless you for sharing! It was magical. toni b

  76. Janet Conn says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip in this beautiful post. I can’t even tell you how magical it felt. I haven’t felt this relaxed in a VERY long time. Safe travels and enjoy that beautiful home and courtyard.

  77. Mary S. says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Susan, for the wonderful pictures and stories of your trip!! I LOVE every one!! ROTFL at this: “A Bubble Bath.”
    I know how homesick you are! We just got home from our first-time-ever trip to the East coast, and we were only there one month. But I was soooo happy to get home!! I really wanted to send you the pic of me standing in front of your house! How can I do that? But we were overwhelmed with the beauty of New England!! Trees everywhere, and so green!! The autumn foliage didn’t really show up until our last week in North Carolina – everyone said it was late this year because of the unusually warm weather and the lack of rain. The only bad thing that happened while we were gone is my 6 month old kitty, Tarzan, disappeared. He was one of my outside cats. I already have five inside, so he was one of the outside ones that his feral mother brought to me. He had been neutered, chipped and vaccinated.
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I’m so sorry to hear about Tarzan! Hopefully he will make his way back to you. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to one of my most favorite places in the world! Maybe there will even be a tiny bit of all left when we return at the end of this month!

  78. Bryony O'Hara says:

    What amazing coincidences. I love your blog and there you were in the town I grew up, Malmesbury. I used to work at Shipton Mill too…. My lovely friend Dori from California, sadly no longer here, gave me one of your books over twenty years ago…. and now you visit home…!!

    • sbranch says:

      If we wait long enough, we probably all cross each other’s paths! Siobhan and her sister Sharon grew up in Malmesbury too. xoxo

  79. Sue says:

    Dear Sue and Joe

    I’m pressed for time, but wanted to tell you I love this latest edition of your travels. Can’t wait to hear about tomorrows bonfire night. How exiting to share in another countries celebration that we don’t observe here. Is the driving getting any easier for Joe, could you drive now that you have been there for awhile without totally freaking out?. Was the driving a little easier in Scotland as you were in less populated areas much of the time? Sorry, but I could bombard you with questions for hours. Can’t wait for the book. Hint Hint.

    Nighty night, Love Sue

    • sbranch says:

      Joe is really getting good at driving, and I’m a much better passenger! It takes two! I could drive, but why put him through it! Some places are much easier than others. Getting in and out of Tesco’s in city traffic is the most challenging thing I’ve seen, but Joe does fine. I would end up on top of a statue somewhere I’m afraid.

  80. Angie says:

    Yes your Twitter updates have been a joy. Thank you. You have enough material for a bunch of books. Can’t wait. Thanks for sharing your trip of a lifetime.

  81. Danella on the Canadian west coast says:

    Dear Susan,
    So many wonderful comments. I agree with them all. Thank you for taking all of us along on your exciting adventure. Have been waiting…and waiting…for an update and am not disappointed. How lovely! Enjoy the rest of your stay and safe travels home…just in time for Christmas decorating!!

    • sbranch says:

      Can’t wait! We bought decorations yesterday! Because what our house needs is MORE Christmas decorations. But these are ENGLISH, filled with charm, and we can’t help it!

      • Sue says:

        English Christmas decorations…. be still my heart… please show us pictures, I’m sure we’d all love to see what they are like.What a special tree you will have. All the more special with keepsakes from your travels adorning it. You could probably buy an authentic plum pudding from a great bakery before you return to have over the holidays, as I think they make them ahead and age them for a few weeks. Or better yet, make one with Rachel and steam in two molds so you can both be eating the same plum pudding at the same time, but in a different dining room.. New Years Eve maybe. Just a thought.
        Bye for now
        Love Sue

        • sbranch says:

          Most English Christmas Fairs take place after we leave, except for one that I know of, and that’s here, at Waddesdon Manor, a National Trust Property, and that’s TONIGHT. Can’t wait!!!

      • Rhonda D. says:

        I think that was the perfect decision. I’ve always admired how much you enjoy all your lovely decorations etc. and how much they mean to you…all very special. You’ve taught me to appreciate my belongings so much more. I look at things with a whole different set of eyes now. Awesome! I’ve been following you on Twitter and on the blog when you post. I’m thoroughly enjoying your trip, and enjoying you enjoying yourself. You so deserve this little get-away. There will be so much to catch up on when you return. Glad you’re having such a wonderful time. xx

        I went to see John McDermott in concert in Nova Scotia last week. He’s the Scottish tenor that I so enjoy. I got to meet him and it was a dream come true for me. I told him you were in Scotland and that I had sent you the words to the song Wild Mountain Thyme that he sings so well. He was very pleased and said to say hello to you. He even had his cuppa tea right in stage. I told him that he had just made my year and he gave me a hug. God is always good, but sometimes He’s fantastic!

        • sbranch says:

          Much to catch up on when we return! Can’t wait to settle back into home. feels like we’ve been away for a long time. Delightful report on seeing John McDermott! Lucky you!

  82. Rosemary says:

    Just back from my own travels, a wonderful holiday visiting my son who lives in Korea. How marvellous to find a blog post from you on my return and to discover you are staying just 10 miles away! I shall watch carefully when I am shopping incase I bump into you although I’m sure I’d be far too tongue tied to say anything! Thank you for this amazing post, catching us up with your travels and helping me to appreciate how fortunate I am to live here, and realise that I must make the most of every single day. You have Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night to look forward to this evening. Enjoy the fireworks!
    PS If you have time there is a wonderful Christmas tythe barn at Haddenham. I would recommend a visit. I hope to pop along there one day soon!

    • sbranch says:

      We were just there yesterday, wonderful! You ARE so fortunate . . . it’s beautiful isn’t it? Gorgeous cold fall day, and tonight, fireworks!

      • Rosemary says:

        Yes, just caught up with your twitter feed and discovered you’d been there already! So glad you enjoyed it.

  83. Nor Azlina Lop says:

    Dear Susan,
    I waited and waited for your updates and finally it came with wonderful stories and gorgeous photos.Thank you and those china pieces to drool over was such a delight to see.
    Hoping very much for a book about this trip of yours. Enjoy England for me. Thanks for taking me along.
    Fondly…Nor , Malaysia.

  84. Debbie Boerger says:

    Greetings on an unusually pleasant morning in Tampa, AKA the Big Guava. After a brief walk I did another run through of The Best Blog on the planet. This time I noticed what may have been a WaitRose shopping bag Ray is holding in the butchery. I bought 2 to bring back to the States. Aren’t they lovely? Hope you enjoy the bonfires. Isn’t it Guy Fawkes night? I know you will have fun with Joe and your friends. For the umpty-umpth time, Thank you Lovely Lady for all the good medicine you dispense.
    Debbie, now in Tampa

  85. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Catching up on your blog has been such a lovely treat, I’m all a twitter! When you’re back home, you can just print out your blogs and twitters, and book bind and we’d all flock to buy! We do love your words, & pictures, and you and Joe (& the hundreds of GFs) are wonderful traveling companions!!! Thank you a kajillion times for sharing, I’m loving every bit of it! xoxoxo

  86. Elaine Osborne says:

    Thank you, Susan, for taking us all along on your Magical Mystery Tour to places most of us could only dream of seeing!!! Wishing you continued serendipitous adventures. 🙂

  87. Nancy FayE in CA! says:

    You are one in a ba-zillion, Susan. Your heart and soul reaches into our hearts and souls and we learn about beauty, food, love, architecture, clouds, moon- moods, dogs, and how a true-blue, English fan travels to absorb the character of a place that sits quietly on lamb-studded, green hills along babbling brooks and churning rivers that are bordered with nostalgic gardens, quaint villages and beckoning paths. Each photo invites us all in with your gracious spirit.

    I woke up this morning with a churning stomach and a melancholy of loss…it is election day here. I think I will leave the TV off and take a drive up the coast through wine vineyards between here in Goleta and San Luis Obispo, CA. I wanted bury my head under the covers this morning, but instead I read your Twitter feed and this fabulous blog post…what a GIFT to change my mood…thank you…a most appreciative THANK YOU!

    I just returned from MA where I trick ‘n treated with granddaughters on a lovely, clear and moderate evening. I so enjoyed the fall trees and thought of you enjoying so much natural beauty on your journey. We were in the San Juan Islands in September/October and walked on lovely forested paths. The beauty of Olympic National Park took my breath away…if is so beautiful that it was hard to absorb it all. It was mystical and magical!

    I know that your “sponge” of England/Scotland is soggy with little room to absorb one more beautiful vista or cute tea shop or adorable puppy, or another moon that takes your breath away, but squeeze that sponge of memories so that there is room to absorb every last step on your walking paths, every last mile on the wrong side of the rode, every last knowing smile shared with Joe and friends, every last visual and literal taste of beautiful-beautiful England.
    I don’t need to tell you this because you ARE the Queen of knowing how to absorb all of the good vibes that surround your daily living!! You are the Queen of spreading your joy, positivity and serenity…a happy tonic for all to drink in!

    We are all thankful for the time that you take to share your amazing trip with all of us. Like I said…you are one in a ba-zillion, Susan. Your shared travels are gifts to all of us…as are you, my dear.💗💗💗

  88. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    What a special treat for me this morning to finally sit down and read this latest installment of your adventure! Especially today, Nov.8, when there is so much turmoil in our Nation over the election of our future President! This was just what I needed today! Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for bringing me cheer this morning. I feel like I’ve been on a mini-vacation because you’ve done and seen all the things that I would want to do and see! God bless and carry on!

  89. Been following you on twitter as you travel this fall. So glad you were able to go back to England. Just finished your book about Matha’s Vineyard. Thank you for writing it. Enjoy the rest of your trip and thanks for sharing.

  90. Yay! So nice to hear from you!
    Those sheep are really docile. The ones we saw on our trip in the pasture grazing peacefully were. I mean they were so content they literally were laying down while they ate. Lazy, lucky sheepies. Have a marvelous last bit and soak it up and then come home safely! Love to you all around and to Joe and Paul and particularly Rachel- because she is darling through and through- just like you!

  91. Karen England says:

    I keep trying to push the “like” buttons as I read this, as if this was social media and not a blog. Picture me reading, dressed in my pajamas and newish slippers no less, sitting on my couch with my cat and dogs complete with an imaginary heart button, thumbs up button, retweet button by every photo and paragraph on here, and me madly pounding them as I read. Can’t help it! Sending love and continued wishes for travel mercies.

  92. Judy Covell says:

    Dear Susan, I have been following your twitter page and enjoying all of the pictures included. I just had to write and tell you that I just read that they ARE making a Downton Abbey MOVIE!!! No further details were given on the Maryland Public TV site called Afternoon Tea. It will be much anticipated by many people.

  93. Martha says:

    Such a wonderful trip you’re having. Thank you so much for sharing all of your beautiful pictures!
    Martha from CT

  94. Laura S. says:

    Omg…I just ran across this and thought of you! Especially since Jane is in your post here. I have zero affiliation with this place & obv you don’t have to post this but thought you might love this.. Jane Austin Bandaids!!
    (oh..and take a peek at the beautiful watercolor tea towel I saw there…again, I thought of you when I saw it). Hope you don’t mind, I just thought you might like it.

  95. Debbie Boerger says:

    Huge Whoop at seeing Fever Tree Tonic in Joe’s hand. It is wonderful. Even a bit better than Scheppes which is hard to beat. It’s too pricey to be my house brand, but I buy it during the holidays. Recipe….Tanquery 10 gin, Fever Tree, St. Germain herbal liquer, and a slice of cucumber. Oooooh. On a summer evening, or at Christmas in Florida. Unless you are having my 100 yr. old real egg nog recipe, with raw eggs and lots of booze to “cook” them. Oh, so good.
    There are joys that elections can’t touch. We focus on friends and family….and keep the d…ned TV off for awhile.
    Enjoy Blenheim and Woodstock.
    Debbie now in Tampa

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, we discovered Fever Tree and I think Joe’s even bringing home a few cans of it! Kisses Debbie! xoxo

  96. Kathy Stringer says:

    I love your blog…. Never been to Ireland but hope to one day. Still to much to see in the USA!! Have been to Germany! Belgium, Netherlans, Poland, Chex, Austria & Switzerland… And yes I got to drive on autobaum absolutely loved it. It’s quite, friendly & clean… Loved you pictures. Thank you…

  97. Marty from NYC says:

    This is not necessarily for publication.

    Hello Susan:
    As you can tell by your twitter feedback, the effects of the divisive campaign are seeping into everyone’s lives and making reasonable discourse difficult. I want to hear your thoughts, but I recognize that many either feel they may be opposed to them or have reached a point where further discussion seems overwhelming. I say, do what your conscience decides is best for you and this wonderful blog.
    From a NYC point of view, the insecurity and anxiety of what comes next seems to be affecting relationships and business. Regardless of which side people are on, this is a time of questioning even fundamental ways of doing things and whether the government or the president will see us all to a safe harbor is certainly in question. It is a time that will determine American values for a long time and it seems like an epic struggle.
    I know that whatever happens you have created a place of warmth, friendship, caring for others in different places, and sharing common interests and affections. I know that will continue and I support the values that you and your family have personified. They are the America that I know and have always thought brought out the best in all of us. If common decency and concern for others does not somehow prevail in all of this, then we shall indeed be lesser human beings in a lesser country. Do come home with joy in your heart and a safe and happy passage. WE need you and Joe. Fondly, Marty.

  98. Susan Edwards says:

    This is a bit late for my reply to your recent blog, but I wanted to thank you for sharing your journey through words and pictures.

  99. Noreen Krebs says:

    Oh Susan, Thank you so much for writing about this season in America’s history. You have written so eloquently and have touched the deepest part of my heart and soul. I have not read anything else that has addressed the root of the problem so adequately and correctly. God bless you! I just love you!

  100. Christine from CA says:

    Please go back to being non partisan rather than critical of some of us!

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