Hi everyone! Isn’t it about time we get back to England? I think so! Go get a cup of tea, this is a Calgon Blog Post. Off we GO! MUSICA.💛

Every time Joe photo4and I have gone to England it’s always been in the spring.  That’s what we saw first, and what we fell so madly in love with. Until this last trip, which was our first experience of a British Autumn. We wondered if we were crazy, leaving home in New England in the fall, 🍂when it’s so gorgeous here. And what makes the spring so wonderful in England (as opposed to the fall) are all the newborn baby animals ~ fuzzy yellow ducklings, frolicking lambs, and baby swans (cygnets) are everywhere you go ~ not to mention the forget-me-nots in bloom, fields of wildflowers, hillsides covered in bluebells, and the wild apple trees in tender pink and fragrant bloom. 🍏 apple trees in bloom

We wondered, if we went in the fall, would we miss all those springtime things? Would we be disappointed?  How could anything be as beautiful as this? So it was with a little trepidation that we ventured forth last September. And that’s what I thought I’d show you today. What is fall in Britain like? You’re about to see. We walked everywhere . . .  follow me, and please shut the gate behind you.

path gate

English people are so polite. Even their signs say please.

endorse fall path walk with siobhan in stow

As I’ve mentioned before, there are thousands of ancient pathways all over Great Britain,  all made by hand, and each one is an adventure. Since the beginning of time, long before there were cars, there were people who walked everywhere they went, from town to town, to market, to church, to visit each other and borrow eggs or help birth a baby ~ that was the mode of travel, and a good one if you ask me, especially in this green and pleasant land . . . and all those criss-crossing paths are still there.iwalkJane could have ridden a horse, or taken a buggy ride, but she preferred walking.

endorse fall walk aylesbury canal

Us too. The slow way, through fields, next to rivers, over hill and dale, we were done with our work for the time being, and free as birds . . . as you’ll see, this is mostly my view of Joe. I dawdle taking pictures …

endorse walk

You can go for miles on these paths through the dappled woods, even from town to town. It’s a people kind of country because of these paths, more than a machine kind of country.fullsizeoutput_3651


The paths are often marked . . . there are great “Ordnance Survey Maps” that show where they are, but really all you have to do is look around you, because they’re everywhere.

endorse walk sign

Some are more marked than others . . . when you see these little signs on gates and fence posts, that means you go girl.

endorse walk stileThose signs are often out in the middle of nowhere, see the little arrow sign on the left side fullsizeoutput_2372of the fence?  You wonder who put that there. Is it the government? Is it the farmer? Is it a good samaritan? I don’t know. And the wood thing in the middle, that is what they call a stile . . . it’s there to help us climb over fences so we don’t leave gates open and let farm animals escape. No gate, no escape!

endorse walk stile

See? You just step up and over . . . then follow that little dark path next to the ancient wall and see where it goes . . .

walk devonshire arms bolton abbey

Because you never know where it will lead. That’s the serendipity of the English countryside. Each day is an adventure. Look at that sky! And we didn’t let the animals out! The Queen Mary 2 dropped us off in England in the middle of September, and as time went by, the trees began to change . . .autumn


“When from every hill of flame, she calls and calls, each vagabond by name. . . ” I took lots of photos. I knew you’d want to see. And it was heavenly. See the clouds reflected in the water?livingnaturefall

So many lovely lakes in England, reflecting the sky. We found that we didn’t miss fall in New England after all. How could we?everythingwasromantic


Here are a couple of lucky guys from the hood who get to fish at Blenheim Palace (where Winston Churchill was born). The peace of this alone could make me move here.


I really wish you could smell it and feel the breeze, because the air is sparkling clean and cool and the leaves are swirling around us and it’s quiet except for birds twittering in the trees, lapping water and leaves crunching underfoot, the way it’s been for centuries.word shell summer

fall climbing hill woodstock

The trees sway and rustle in the wind, the sun shone through them putting golden light on everything.

walk joe

↖️ See the little yellow arrow? They’ve even built bridges out in the woods. Many of them are very old and made of stone. And walkers rule. Look at my honeyman. He is beside himself out there.

endorse me walk

Are we happy?fullsizeoutput_f4ba

Oh, yes, we are.

me tea

We are ecstatic. Can’t believe our good fortune. (Do you see my eyes are saying, “Can you believe this?”) The good thing about all that walking, is all that food!  For once you can eat!  To be out there with the birds and the quiet, even when we get rained on, is the happiest thing we do. You just feel God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world. 💜walk

Behind every little town there are paths, bounded by hedgerows, rivers, and stonewalls.

fallAnd views to forever . . . you see that green patch way in the back and you say, let’s go there! No cars, no noise at all, serenity. More Musica?


And, not to worry, there were PLENTY of animals, because everyone in England has at least one dog ~ we were the only people without a dog to walk.  It was almost embarrassing. Like, Where’s your dog? What’s wrong with you, don’t you like animals?  And I think I pet and took a picture of every one of them. I’ll show you next post!animalsfall

Here, we’re on the grounds of a manor house we’d come to visit. Most, if not all, the castles, palaces, and manor homes open to the public, have acres of lovely gardens you can walk through ~ some are formal, but they usually include wild woodland and river walks, blazing thickets, little cottages, sometimes tunnels or a stone circle, a red fox here and there, dozens of pheasants grazing, and pigeons, high up in the trees, cooing “my-toe-huts-bet-tee.”FollowYourHeart


See the hedge opening at the back? Does it not just boggle the imagination? Don’t you just want to GO there? Okay . . . . get ready to kick all those leaves up and twirl  and dance with the joy of it . . .


Here we are on the other side of the hedge! Ahhhh.

“And straight was a path of gold for him . . . “  Robert Browning


You come around the corner, and there’s this . . . you can see the manor house we just came out of, called Waddeson, in the background ~ but we loved the leaf blower . . . yearned to throw ourselves in, but old enough to know better!

foot lost in leaves

But I did play hide the foot.

fall sheep lamb

And, of course, there were sheep everywhere, just grownup lambs, still adorable . . .

Joe walkAnd there were wildflowers . . .stripofflowersfall

And wonderful fall gardens to visit with centuries-worn stone manor houses and brick walls . . . and don’t forget, every garden comes with a gift shop! And a tea shop!


We brought home memories!pink-flowers


Just as beautiful, in any season . . .


See the bell on top of the little house?


And the church bells rang, as they have for centuries . . . and your heart swells from the beauty, you want to throw your arms around it!


We walked in the graveyard at night, and the wind blew and the Hunter’s moon shined down on us and turned the leaves to gold . . .

“From all who dwell below the skies, let faith and hope and love arise . . .”

endorse fall newark park staying at siobhans

And as you drift around, from garden gate to castle doors, you hope that nothing ever happens to change these wonderful old places . . .

“October is the jewel set in the hand of time.” Gladys Taber

endorse fall

Because it’s magic. And all serendipity. You just never know what you will find.


And speaking of Magic: here’s our friend Siobhan. You could go on a walk by yourself. And star and moonthat’s fine, you will have a wonderful time. But if you go with Siobhan (pronounce it Shiv-on), you will find magic. I know, because I’ve tested it several times, and so far my theory has never failed. Once, we were walking, and three large white horses with flying manes came running up to us! Here she is holding off stampeding cows. We could not have survived this walk without her.Friendsendorse fall walk following siobhan around malmesbury

For example, since this is the town she grew up in, she knows every crevice of it, all the hidden paths you can take to cross through town. Isn’t it wonderful? Can you imagine how long this leafy little alleyway has been here? Neither can I. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for hide and seek? You could scare the bejeebers out of anyone coming around that corner!


She knows every shortcut. And don’t you love a town that has these little walk-throughs between the buildings. You don’t have to wait until you get to the corner, since there aren’t many of them anyway. The village was made for people on foot, not cars.

path alley stow

Centuries have come and gone . . . but these little pathways through the rural villages are all still there, and keeping all their secrets.thoswhodontbelieve


One of her hidden paths took us past this farm . . . and through the town, with a faint tang of woodsmoke in the air . . . (and now, because I never get tired of hearing this Music, for you and in the name of hope.💞)


. . . she took us to visit this wonderful Abbey House with the wonderfully symmetrical garden . . .

endorse walk

Siobhan taught us how to dress, yes, you DO need Wellies, pretty much year round, don’t even think of going without them . . . and see the dog tail at the door? He’s going with us! (And there’s his bunny toy, bottom right.)

endorse walk

And off we go . . . out her front door, walking through the woods, along the river, to this place . . .

dog dusty

I wasn’t sure who was happiest, Dusty, nosing through the grass along the water’s edge, racing out to the woods following some crackling noise, or us!


I honestly think it was us.

endorse walk

So the rule is, wherever Siobhan leads we will happily follow, loving it, through the musty smell of fallen leaves.


These kinds of far views are all over England, the sky is huge and I can’t tell you how many photos I have of clouds . . . I don’t think England has mountains, I think it only has valleys. You ride along the top, and suddenly you’ll come to a valley, but hardly ever to a mountain.

“I don’t own an inch of land, but all I see is mine.” 💜 Lucy Larcom

tree fall

And we walked in the shade of ancient old trees . . . SocietyGrowsGreat

And no, we don’t ever get tired of it. Who gets tired of magic?

Well, I think I have to go, but I’ll have more England for you in the next post ~ I have Plaid to show you! And Carrie’s house! And poppies and reindeer heads! Dogs! And Food! And Bunting! SO much to look forward to!😁fullsizeoutput_f820

In the meantime . . .Little things in lifeNow, before I go, I have to tell you about a TV show that I bet you already know about, but just in cases: You should try to find A Place Called Home.  It’s on Acorn TV (probably other places too) ~ it’s set in rural New South Wales in Australia, and is so well-written and so well-acted, and so exciting that sometimes you’re forced to wring your hands and yell at the TV screen, because it’s very fast-paced and everything that COULD happen, does. The music is great and the cars are fabulous! Set in the 1950s. If you have any worries on your mind, this will give you respite. And Joe likes it as much as I do. There are three seasons available right now . . . a good winter hibernation project! We pour wine, make dinner, get blankies and settle in. Give yourself a few episodes to get used to it, because it just gets better and better.


OMG, look at the time! I gotta go!


But just so you know, life goes on as usual around here . . .


Jack is still our best entertainment . . .


I just finished the May page for the new 2018 calendar . . . that’s my rendition of me and my mom . . . I loved working on this . . . can’t wait to get out to California to see her!


My shadow keeps me company  while I work . . . the ferry horn blows out over the harbor.


Joe and I walk in our very own woods here on the Island every day . . . sandy dirt road, leafless trees, icy air, blue skies, and sparkling sea . . . the best part of our day.❤️


This paper mug has gone off to get a price quote and a sample made . . . it might even be here by the end of next week!!!! So excited. I love this thing. I would even buy one, so I’m thrilled to be getting it. Fingers crossed that they can do it, and that we can afford it! It’s a mug, even though I call it a cup, it’s big, holds 16 oz, would be dishwasher and microwave safe, and made of thin bone china. All the things I love! It even has a theme, it’s called Little Things, because it’s all about the little things in life. This isn’t the only design, there are three, one is Love, and the other is Nature! (England and Christmas are both in the works!) I’ll show more soon! If the sample works out, it will go right into production and I think we’ll have them before Mother’s Day! Don’t worry, this paper mug is all glued together, it will look a lot better when the cutlines and scribbled numbers go borderUpdate on the book signing at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo: It’s definitely Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the 18th of March, at 2pm. If you can come, try to reserve a place to stay, sooner rather than later. I think they might be selling tickets (not for me, for them),  I know they’re putting up a tent, and having food, and I’ll be giving a talk, answering questions, and then signing books. Kellee and Sheri will bring lots of books and other fun things from the Studio. Sounds like a Girl Party! I hope you can come!word dream

Prayers for the new President, and for us, my beloveds, for the kitties and doggies, for the trees and our history, and for the world.💞

Let beauty, truth, and good be sung, from every land, from every tongue . . .CountingBlessings

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744 Responses to CALGON BLOG POST

  1. Laura Alabama says:

    Is there some reason that my last few comments aren’t posted? When I made them it told me they were awaiting moderation. I was Laura S but there were apparently other Laura S’s so last one I did Laura Alabama.

  2. Laura Alabama says:

    Ignore my previous comment. I reboot my pc and there they were. Mea Culpa.

  3. Caroline says:

    Thank you Susan for all your balm for the soul, the blog and everything you posted on twitter. My daughter Ellie (22) went to the women ‘s rally in Hartford with her Grandma. How wonderful are they! They were both so moved. I prayed at home:) Inspired by you, I put a tiny jasmine flower in a tiny vase on my kitchen window sill and I made your stuffed zucchini for dinner. Your recipe in Heart of the Home and everyone LOVED it! Could be a new family favorite.
    After you write the next book, or anytime Spring through Fall that you are traveling through Connecticut; My friends, Moms, daughters and I would love to have a tea for you! We have a Pond house that we LOVE. It is a magical gateway to Heaven. A place to watch nature and gardens grow. A place to light up the night with tiny twinkling christmas lights and a chandelier designed by my beloved husband that has candles nestled in mason jars. To snuggle up on the couch, as we did last night, in front of the crackling fire, with cheese, crackers, a glass of wine, and the softest little black lap curled up next to me. I watched the Christmas tree lit on the end of the dock and listened to the breeze blow through the cattails. We know lots of big fans of yours! You could have a book signing and tea here:) Keep on being you! Caroline

    • sbranch says:

      Daughter and Grandma and something they will always share, lovely, Caroline. And you, at home with Hygge. Your home sounds wonderful. I think a tea with you and yours would be magical. xoxo

  4. Mary Ann in Missouri says:

    My hubby and I are leaving for Florida today. We will be gone one week. As I was packing, I kept thinking of you and Joe and all your travels. My hubby gets frustrated that I pack so much. He has a week’s worth of his things in one small carry on. I have a suitcase that will be checked, which contains all my clothes. But I also have a carry on which has all my toiletries, makeup, jewelry, chargers, camera, extra paperbacks, e-reader, tablet and all my coffee, creamer, snacks, etc. He doesn’t understand why I need all that stuff. I try to explain that I NEED all those to make me feel at home wherever we go. I know you understand. I loved reading that you take your electric teakettle, teas, and even your favorite mugs on the train. I am looking forward to a relaxing week of walking on the beach and relaxing with a good book (or two, or three.) 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I totally understand!! How are we supposed to go anywhere without our pillows?! Have a wonderful time Mary Ann!

  5. Gloria says:

    The wind is howling and rain is falling here. Your post uplifted my spirits, thank you, Gloria

  6. Clydene says:

    I’m in heaven — your walks are bringing back memories of my trips to England. And I can’t wait for the mugs.

    Keep walking…

  7. Rosemary from Texas says:

    Your post came out on my birthday but I just found it today…to extend my birthday and it was so nice to see and read about England. I would go again in a minute…the countryside! Joyful! The cup is going to be a winner and I would like several…for me and for my friends. Hope it comes about nicely for you.
    It just seems to me that if our President would read your books, your blog, and anything that you write, it would give him something to think about on how to treat people and to take the little things more to heart. I don’t know. When I read some or lots of the replies, it seems like everyone says how much reading your posts soothes their souls, makes them pause, makes them consider others for awhile. Thank you for a lovely post.

    • sbranch says:

      I think if he listens to his heart he could surprise us. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Happy Birthday dear Rosemary!

  8. Linda Correll says:

    Good Afternoon Susan,
    Some Girlfriends & I are hoping to come hear you at the Apple Farm on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 : )
    If that does not work out will you be speaking or doing any other book signings near by there that weekend ?

    Linda of So Cal : )

  9. Pam Schmidt says:

    Good Afternoon,
    I love your blog posts always. I love your mug. It reminds me of a sampler with all the little motifs and words.
    i cant wait to order them.!!!!!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Pam, I think of them like a cereal box. For that early morning moment when you’re not awake and you need something close by to read! 😘

  10. Karen V from CT says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for your lovely post and all the pictures of the gorgeous English countryside. I really needed a “Calgon moment” and appreciate your thoughtful words. I attended our local women’s march here in Hartford and it was so comforting to be surrounded by so many girlfriends who were just together, calmly gathering to support one another and listen to the inspiring speakers. I agree with you, it is important to do something rather than just talk, writing letters are a constructive way to make our opinions known. I’d be interested in that list you’re making! I’m also taking your advice on watching C-Span as a source of information. Thanks for inspiring me to take more action!
    On the lighter side, I love the mug, and the large size sounds ideal! We also can get “A Place Called Home” here in CT, and I’m putting it on my watch list.
    Thanks again for all you do!

    • sbranch says:

      My girlfriends have been forwarding all kinds of wonderful links to addresses and phone numbers and informational sites. Probably yours are too, but if not, you could likely Google Women’s March and get plugged right in. So much going on. My favorite part of it was how it connected so many countries all over the world. I’ve never seen that before, regular people getting together to say, we care too. Something tells me the environment will be needing our help! You’ll love A Place to Call Home. Quite the thing. I am beginning to think it’s as good as Downton! Thank you Karen!

      • Carrie says:

        After your comments about “A Place to Call Home,” I picked back up watching at Season 2. And funny you should say it’s as good as Downton because I was thinking (while watching it) I may like it – are you ready? more than Downton! (Sacrilege?) And I usually go to bed with Downton on sleep timers so last thing I hear are my favorite peeps talking!

        • sbranch says:

          Me to!!!!! Shock of shocks. They have this way of using photography, or a shot every so often, that just blows my mind! Last night that hideous Regina swept a bunch of dishes off a table, and they somehow did it in slow motion (or something like that) and I was just in awe. I wish we could all watch it together. What season/episode are you on? We’re on season 3 episode 6.

          • Regina Carretta says:

            remember! if you subscribe to Acorn TV, you can access Season 4 of “A Place to Call Home” …delicious!!!! They are filming Season 5!!!

          • sbranch says:

            I’m watching it on Acorn. Where does it show up on network or cable, do you know?

          • Regina Carretta says:

            I think PBS stations are airing it at various times….here in Seattle they just showed season 1…..when I checked out season 1 from the library a few months ago, I was hooked! Then a friend told me about Acorn (ala Netflix) so I joined….the public library is a good idea for folks who aren’t signed up for Acorn…..the characters in “A Place to Call Home” are complex and beautiful…that Regina (oh no she has my name) is something else…but I do love the matriarch of the family – she is learning much about giving and forgiving….such a good series for winter binge-viewing…I have also started “Prime Suspect” with Helen Mirren – not cozy in the least, but so well done…looking forward to your newest creations….and for the beauty you are bringing to us at these unsettling (there I said it) times…

          • sbranch says:

            We love Elizabeth too. She was personality-spawn of Regina (the bad Regina) when the show started, but now she doesn’t have to be as the bad Regina is worse than ANYTHING. Her facial expressions! Have you noticed the decor in the rooms of the house? The colors? It’s a nightmare. I can’t believe it, I’m constantly saying to Joe, why did they paint that door like that! Or, OMG, LOOK at those drapes, there is not one color in them that goes with one other color in the rest of the room. I keep wondering what they are trying to tell us. The wallpaper! Seems the set designers say, “That’s hideous, let’s put it on the set!”

  11. Eleanor K Hunzinger says:

    I so loved all the photos of English countryside, walking paths, gardens and cows. I grew up on a small farm in Mississippi. I love animals of all kinds and quiet woodsy places. I will be looking forward to you sharing again. Can’t wait for the cups to come out. It is beautiful. Will be a treasure to own. Looking forward to the next epistle.

    • sbranch says:

      What a lovely world to grow up in. All that good quiet for your imagination to fly around in. Epistle, coming soon. xoxo

  12. Jana says:

    Every year for Christmas I buy one of your small calendars for me (in TN) and one for my best playmate (in CA) so we can savor the pages and walk through our days together. Very special tradition. And this year, another Kindred Spirit gifted me with the 30th Anniversary edition of Heart of the Home. I’ve been reading and trying out the recipes. We’ve been friends (almost) 30 years and the Beauty and Love that flow through you have woven a ribbon of joy through our friendship as they have so many lives! Heart deep appreciation, Dear One.

    • sbranch says:

      What a sweet thing for you to say. Thank you Jana, and say hello to your kindred spirits for me. xoxoxo

  13. Barbara A Case IN says:

    Hi from IN, Our national weather news about what’s going on out there is pretty scary…hope all is well. Sounds like you’re probably without power. Sure hope that’s all.Take care. XOXO

    • sbranch says:

      We held on, kept the lights on (unfortunately) and everything! Just a nice big nor’easter, but with rain this time. Thank you Barbara!

  14. Martha Rodik says:

    I love how your photos and quotes accompany the writings. I’ve enjoyed this in all your books too! It amazes me because I would think it would take hours to find the photo and the quotes! Love the quote about walking. This is something I’ve done since I retired because I read somewhere that sitting on the couch is the new “smoking”. Love the paper mug. England looks so romantic. Love the signs on the trails. Scenery is fantastic. I have one question. How did you get over that fence with those two makeshift steps? Looked like a challenge to me!

    • sbranch says:

      It does sort of take hours! And I try to do it standing up so I don’t “smoke” while I’m working! The steps are good, a little bit more than regular stairs, but pretty much the same thing, and lots to hold on to, and in a pinch, you know, there is always my Joe.❤️

  15. Melinda Melhus says:

    love England ❤️•.¸¸.•´´¯`•• .¸ ❤️ ❤️ thanks for all the reminders ❤️•.¸¸.•´´¯`•• .¸ ❤️ ❤️ love your art and enthusiasm ❤️•.¸¸.•´´¯`•• .¸ ❤️ ❤️ the cups are delightful ❤️•.¸¸.•´´¯`•• .¸ ❤️ ❤️ thank you Susan B ~ Blessings

  16. Susan,
    You are magical and the best part of my day.
    Love you,

  17. So thankful to have our normal Susan back. Thank you for staying away from politics.

    I can’t wait for the cups! …and I’m a bit confused about the TV series. Is it “A Place Called Home” or “A Place To Call Home”? There are two different ones..

    From very snowy Twain Harte.

    • sbranch says:

      I figured I’d do a little less talk and a little more action…writing letters to the powers that be seems to be a better course. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize there were two, it’s A Place To Call Home, and you are going to LOVE it. It’s like they made up a check list of every possible thing that could happen and then they check them off one at a time. Made me cry last night, just amazingly well done. Stay warm Michelle!

  18. Katherine Larkin says:

    Susan….thinking of you after that storm blew through last night……..

  19. marybeth says:

    So excited about the mugs! Yes, look out Emma Bridgewater :))
    Thank you for going on with the painting no matter what. I am doing the same, so inspired by your work. Would love a 1 cup mug but thankful for whatever you make.
    “The world needs truth, beauty and goodness. He delights when we use our gifts to bring about more of these within the grand narrative.”
    from Waking Up Grey by Jeannie Schut
    (a book about creativity being God’s design)

  20. Not sure with so many comments you’ll see this, but if you do, check out Kate Lycett . Ever since I was a kid, I fell in love with England, especially up north, because of The Secret Garden and The Little Princess. I have an internet friend (met in person on my last trip) who lives near Robin Hood’s Bay and she told me about Kate Lycett. I bought her book of Lost Houses and it is Fan-flippin’-tastic! Watercolors and more. She lives in Hebden Bridge so it’s on my “MUST” list for whatever year I finally get to go back.

    LOVE the mug….sign me up! I want them all! PS–I have the new as well as the original Heart of the Home in my cookbooks!

    • sbranch says:

      I checked it out, wonderful! and now I need to go to Hebden Bridge! “Bronte Country” too! Thank you Sarah Ann!

  21. Mary S. says:

    Dearest Susan, Thank you, thank you, thank you for this beautiful blog with the amazing photos! I think I’m going to have to read A Fine Romance again, for the third time! I am so excited about those mugs! I’ll get every design you have! And thank you for the recommendation of “A Place Called Home. We will absolutely watch it! Lots of love from Mary S. in Fresno, California (now visiting our son in Colorado)

  22. SandraWalton says:

    Thank you for the wonderful photos….and thoughts…
    Is there any way your wonderful mugs could be available to us in the uk..I can get your gorgeous calendars and diary….
    Please..they are exquisite ….would make wonderful gifts..but just for ourselves…a little bit of gorgeousness
    Bless you Susan
    Sandra in Birmingham uk

    • sbranch says:

      We can sell them through our website ~ we do with the signed books, but I’m sure the postage won’t be great. I’ll look into getting them into some online store there as we go along. Not sure how, but I’d love for it to happen.

  23. jeanie says:

    I hate being late to the party but it’s so worth the wait! Thank you for feeding my England passion and bonus points — Jack and your painting! Life is indeed good. Now I think I must get a pair of wellies and a dog. Well, maybe I’ll do as you did and borrow a dog so Miss Lizzie doesn’t get her nose out of joint!

    Thanks for the happiness!

  24. Gail Rose says:

    I must have one of your mugs!!! Or cup??? Hurry ! please tell them we must have them.!!

  25. Suzanne says:

    Ah, there is nothing like an
    afternoon dip into your sweet
    world, Susan! Thank you!

    xo Suzanne

  26. Judith Kaufman says:

    I love your blog! So much fun! We’ve been twice to England….both times in February. We were so very lucky….no rain and no snow! Our first trip was the warmest winter they’d had in 100 years! Pansies were blooming. I would like to suggest that on your next trip, you and Joe should go to York! It’s simply amazing with a wall around the city.
    I love your mug! Another vote here for a 4 fingered handle! Wish you’d design an engagement calendar …spiral bound 5 x 7″.
    Don’t stop blogging….you take me with you in each issue!

    • sbranch says:

      We did go to York, and of course fell in love with it, would move there if I was 20! We loved the Dales too.

  27. Sue -Hay says:

    Just wondering if you caught up with the television special
    Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, The Best Is Yet To Come 12 20 2016
    Lady G sings La Vie En Rose
    It is exquisite

  28. Jennifer Bonynge says:

    Dear Susan, your posts are SO positive and necessary at this time in our history. I am reading this just before going to bed…in my dreams I will try to walk on beautiful paths in the English countryside…XO

  29. Kathy says:

    Susan, I was sent a link to your blog by a friend we met recently on a holiday, and your pictures and notes on walking in England were charming. A reminder of how lucky we are here.
    If you like walking, villages, stone walls, random paths and warm hearts, come and visit Derbyshire – we even have mountains! (or very large hills at any rate).

  30. Jacqui Davey says:

    Dear Susan,
    I found your books when we visited Martha’s Vineyard in the Autumn 2016. I have since read them all and discovered your wonderful blogs. England is indeed a treasure and you make me see things with fresh eyes. I cant wait for a new book and for the mugs…..I will also be ordering your 2018 calendar…I am very impatient for the year to pass!
    Jacqui…a new friend from east Sussex England.

    • sbranch says:

      Nice to hear from you Jacqui in lovely east Sussex. Have a wonderful day! xoxo

    • Carrie says:

      Hi Jacqui,

      In 2002, I came over for QEII’s Golden Jubilee. Part of my trip was traveling w/my friend to East Sussex to stay w/her cousin in her home in Herstmonceux. We visited Rye, Hastings and I not using my best judgement, laid down on my belly, cliff’s edge, at Seven Sisters. My you are lucky to live in East Sussex – simply breathtaking. Carrie

  31. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Goodness, your photos along your English walks are absolutely breathtaking!!!!!! I was oooooooooohing and ahhhhhhhhhhing from beginning to end. (Almost dribbled my tea!) Oh Susan, the first picture of the clouds reflecting in the water makes me want to knit an afghan in all of those exact colors…..very inspiring how nature’s color palette blends perfectly to soothe the eyes! I felt as though I was really there in all that magical nature!!!!! Your words match the photos!!!! Your very pretty mug is the only thing I wish for on Mother’s Day!!! Jack is still the cutest kitty in the world, and seems very happy and content! This post will be reread several more times, as you always immerse us totally inside your “magical” travels so far away over the pond!!!! Thank you Susan for giving us, as always, a happy place to be!!!! Have a wonderful Wednesday! Take care of yourself! God Bless!

  32. Gerri Daniels says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you so much for your all your posts…This one in particular make me feel like I am there walking along with you. My one dream is to visit England some day…hope I can one day.
    You have been such an inspiration to me that I allowed myself the courage to submit a book I had written several years ago and put aside. Well…it has been accepted and is in the works! Thank you for giving me the courage to put myself out there…good or bad I can say I tried!
    Keep up the blogs, with love, Gerri

    • sbranch says:

      That is just amazing and wonderful Gerri. Congratulations, you should be proud! Sometimes it’s just a matter of forcing yourself, against all odds, to believe. xoxo

  33. Chris Miller says:

    Bless you, Bless you and bless you many times more, Susan! Oh, how I do savor and love your blog posts! They bring me immense joy as I am transported along with you on your travels. I laughed out loud and sighed with pleasure as I read this one today! You are an angel to bring these gifts to us and I am so very grateful for it!
    Much love!
    Chris M.

  34. Hi Susan, Any chance of a book with all of these lovely UK photos ever coming out?

  35. Toni Moriarty says:

    Dearest Susan…another wonderful bunch of posts…just what we need on a(NOTHER) cloudy day. The mug is darling and I’ll put my order in for one of each. I would love to ride the train with you. Are you sure it’s not a movie set? It looks so Hollywoodish! Love all the things we see in the pictures, things we wouldn’t ordinarily see. I noticed the same on the QM II. Kiss that sweet Jack for me. We had one almost identical, years ago. love and prayers, Toni from Sylvania OH xoxo

  36. Annie in IL says:

    Musings: Does Calgon even exist any more? I haven’t seen it at the store and don’t see their ads any more. Do you think maybe a 16 oz mug might be a bit big for a coffee or tea mug? Husband said it’s just great for beer – Guinness, preferably. I’ll buy it regardless, but I think I’d like it a bit smaller. It is warm enough here in IL that husband and I took a walk this afternoon. We’ve both been down, he most recently, with the latest virus to make the rounds, so it was doubly nice to be out and about.

    • sbranch says:

      I love the size of the mug, but I’m sure not everyone will. We’ll see. If we get enough requests, we’ll make a smaller one. It’s not a bit clunky, and that 16 oz is to the tippy top. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. xoxo

  37. Ginny Petitt says:

    This was definitely one of your most “Magic” blog post! I don’t care what you write about, I just feel so happy that I am lucky enough to have found you years ago and get to go on trips with you to England! Your pictures are so beautiful that you just wish you could jump into the picture and be in England! Thank you so much for sharing!

  38. Linda says:

    Wonderful post, beautiful photos and lovely blog. I really like your mug, too. Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. 🙂

  39. Shelley S. says:

    I love traveling with you to England, since I’ll probably never get there myself. Lovely photos! It looks much like I imagined. I have a very old photograph oh my 2X great grandparents standing outside of a charming cottage with a thatched roof surrounded by a beautiful garden. It looks like a farm rented on an estate–much like those little cottages on Downton Abbey. They immagrated to the US from Suffolk. I dream about visiting there. (I miss Downton Abbey and I recently retired from working for a PBS station. Masterpiece! Get your dose of England there.) I digress….I got the “A Fine Romance” for Christmas! I’m now enjoying Martha’s Vineyard. Loving it.

    Thanks for brightening my January day.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Masterpiece has been so wonderful…thank you for helping to bring it to people! Love the sound of your photograph, it sounds like a treasure.

  40. We are a dog loving, sandwich loving, green, green wet country filled with lots of charms and personality for sure, but then again, I find most places have their charms if you take the time to look for them! One day I want to go to MV and check it out. I have been adoring it from afar for a very long time. It is cold and windy here today, but we have been lucky enough to have a few nights where we had clear skies and Venus. We are so unused to that up in the North West that my husband and I were sure it was a UFO the first night. Yes, you can laugh at us, we have. We sat here in the dark (Because we didn’t want to draw their attention) looking at it through binoculars out our dining room window for a very long time while the dog next door was going beserk. Finally we gave up and just went to bed (fingers crossed that we were not going to be abducted during the night) and there was no way I was letting our dog out to be take away not for any reason! Haha we are a strange people, but I love us. It was Venus, but we did have a good chuckle over it afterwards. Wishing you a lovely and safe trip West. xoxo

  41. Debbie Murray says:

    Thanks Susan, you are the bomb! Your post on the footpaths are so wonderful!
    I told my sister to make sure she reads this blog. She will love it. Her Mother in law is from England. We call her the Queen Mum and she loves it.
    Thank you also for asking everyone to pray for our new President and all mankind. There is so much negativity out there. All we need is love! All we need is love, love,… love is all we need.

  42. Debbie Murray says:

    Oh, one my thing…I can’t wait to see your new cups! Awesome!

  43. Anita from AZ says:

    Love your blog, your books, and England. Just wondering if you’ve ever seen the BBC series Lark Rise to Candleford, which ran from 2008 to 2011. It a great series for all Anglophiles. It’s worthy of binge watching! And still available to stream on Amazon Prime.

  44. Dawn says:

    Jack is a beautiful kitty! Always love when you share him. The new cup looks incredible. Can’t wait. Thank you for the blog. Makes me smile🐶

  45. jeanie says:

    Biggest sigh. Had I seen that Tatler, it would have been in my cart within seconds! Great cover and the articles looked good.

    Whenever I think of dogs in England I think of my Jack, a rough-coated Jack Russell terrier, whose parents came back to the US when my cousins returned from three years in England. Jack had a bit of an Oedipus complex which wasn’t making for good relationships with the other dogs. So, his people put him on three airplanes from Arizona to Michigan. He slept for three days. And on the third, he dug 17 holes in the yard. Best personality of any dog ever! I loved seeing all your wonderful photos (Especially the Westie twins!)

  46. Anna Terry says:

    I love all your books and blogs. I am at peace when I read them.
    Could you please tell me where the quote in this blog came from. “From all who dwell below the skies, let faith and hope and love arise . . .” Iknow there is a hymn, “From all who dwell below the skies, ” but it does not contain, “let faith and hope and love arise . . .” That is what makes it special for me.
    Thank you for everything.

    but it does not

    • sbranch says:

      Here you go Anna! Curtis W. Reese’s adaptation of “From all that dwell below the skies”, an 18th-century paraphrase of Psalm 117 by Isaac Watts:

      “From all that dwell below the skies
      let songs of hope and faith arise; (Or, alternatively, let faith and hope with love arise)
      let peace, goodwill on earth be sung (Or let beauty, truth and good be sung)
      through every land, by every tongue.” (Or in every land, in every tongue.)

  47. Mary S. says:

    Susan, maybe someone else has mentioned it, but I think the name of the series you mentioned is “A Place To Call Home”? I found it in the DVD section of Netflix! I also found one called “A Place Called Home” and I told my husband, “That doesn’t look like a show Susan would love!” xoxox
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  48. Charissa says:

    I had been saving this post for when i could actually enjoy it. I have been dieting and was waiting for my cheat day so I could have carbs. I sat with my pot of your wonderful apricot tea. Which is a really wonderful high quality tea. And I made lemon blueberry vanilla cream scones w lemon curd and devonshire cream. And enjoy it I did!!! Since all this back stuff has happened I don’t get to sit and relax very much and definitely do not get to travel. And so, through you, I got the best of both worlds today and my heart is bursting. You have such a charming way of making us feel as if we were there. Your pictures are amazing and I am so thankful to be able to enlarge them so I don’t miss anything. I love that your Musica sets the tone and I am in LOVE with the song Jerusalem that you introduced to us in a former post. I find myself singing it all the time. “Jeruuuuuuuuusalem”

    I really think I MUST move to rural England. It is just so me and much more of the way of life I would like to have. I am not a Texas girl, (Nothing wrong with TX. Don’t get all riled up, Cowgirls. It does have lots of nice things about it) , but I am trying that bloom where your planted thing:)

    I am patiently waiting for preorder on all the mugs. You can count on me! Thank you for a wonderful afternoon xoxo

    • charissa says:

      *you’re. I hate that error. I probably make a zillion others, but that one bothers me;)

      • sbranch says:

        Their, their, their . . . don’t worry about it. 😊 (I know just how you feel, hate it when I do that too!)

        • Charissa says:

          Ha! Yes!!! that one too! You crack me up 🙂 Have been having a bit of a difficult time here (no worries) and just wanted you to know that YOU always make it better… I read your books or the blog posts and comments or I make something from your recipe or make the house HYGGE because of you or I get a reply back from you (which I still can’t believe actually happens. The first time, I think I told every one I knew… TWICE hee hee) and all is right with the world. Instant comfort from an old friend. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

          I think you actually introduced us to “Rule, Brittania” and the Proms, but I found Jerusalem looking that CD up. I’m always learning something cool from you. Thank Joe for me too, since he found it in a charity shoppe. My ears and heart are happy. I just love listening to the whole CD which I found on youtube!! xoxo

          • sbranch says:

            It is totally wonderful. Jerusalem is my favorite of all. I’m learning it so the next time I’m over there, in case it comes up, I’ll be able to sing along with all the other teary-eyed people! Thank you Charissa. It’s been lovely getting to know you. Hope your difficult time is going away, and will stay there! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, it’s an amazing song . . . touches my heart every time I hear it. Song of the people. LOVE that apricot tea! XOXO

  49. Ann Gillman says:

    Susan, I’ve only recently found your blog…oh, my. I am a perfectly normal person, but I actually wept at the end of this lovely 45 minutes I spent looking at your amazing photos/commentaries on your time in England. (Probably the “Ashokan Farewell” playing in the background made me a tad more emotional!) But something about finding a kindred spirit just touched my soul. I adore England, and your take on it is like finding a gem. One last thing: your closure of “counting your blessings” with those lovely sentiments (especially with good thoughts for our new president) were so refreshing and kind. Thank you…for everything!!!

  50. Yikes I can’t wait for the mugs!!!! And the post on plaid!! 🙂 just LOVE the English countryside…looking especially good just about now with the end of January 🙂

  51. Pam says:

    Greetings Ms. Branch,
    Was hunting for a garden flag for Valentines day and one of the offerings on Amazon looked like your style, but much to my dismay, it was not yours. :0/
    But it reminded me I had not visited your blog in some time and so, here I am. I must say, that one photo of the dirt road (fifth one down not counting the duck) is exactly like the ones I travel every day here in southern Vermont. We have almost more dirt rural roads than paved roads…almost. We have a lot of similar landscape and views as England but no where as many stone walls. Well, let me amend that, our stone walls are squatter and dry stacked for the most part. You could strike out into the woods and low and behold, there’s a stone fence. That’s because 150 years ago, the woods was a pasture.
    Anyway, I live off a dirt road. I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Last summer I wandered up and down our road picking wild blackberries. Have the scars to prove it!! Blackberry bushes are vicious.
    And I saw a recipe today from Pampered chef and instantly thought of you…Double Chocolate Profiteroles. I would love to send you the recipe. White chocolate mousse, chocolate profiteroles and berries. What’s not to love.
    And the dog post. We have four dogs and even if we are just gone for a few hours we visit with every dog we come in contact with on our travels. We have always had at least four dogs for the last 20 years. I can’t imagine life without them. I wish our country was more dog friendly.
    Well, I’m gushing and babbling. So let me sign off but before I do I just want to say how much I enjoy visiting your blog and how you always lift my spirits.
    Pam Baker

    • sbranch says:

      Fun to hear from you, Pam! I think we have more dirt roads than paved here too, which is fine with me! Must be a New England thing. Yes, blackberries are vicious. The road where we walk is lined with blueberries and huckleberries in the summer. Blackberries grow out behind our barn. We pull them out, but they come back, so it’s like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle out there.

  52. Lisa says:

    I’m curious as to the shoes you wear while walking. You always look so cute, but I can’t see your shoes! You did show Wellies but I’m thinking of you taking your walks each day.


    • sbranch says:

      For “exercise walking” I wear Mizuno Wave Riders … really comfortable and good for my feet, but not especially cute!

  53. Sheri says:

    The English and their dogs are a lovely thing to behold. They have a long history of special relationships with these wonderful creatures and it shows. We got our first almost two years ago and now I can’t imagine life without him. For dog lovers and Anglophiles, watch the All Creatures Great and Small tv show from the 1980’s – beautiful English countryside, British humor, delicious tea, pubs and lots of dogs and other animals. Delightful!

  54. Stacey says:

    Such a lovely post! I had the fine fortune of being in the Cotswolds in October and it was as magical as your own pictures here. We walked the Public Footpaths and also found higgledy piggledy little paths through villages. I’ll take the English countryside in any season! I’m so excited about your new mugs…this paper sample looks darling! 💗

  55. Sue Finley says:

    I am in the midst of reading A Fine Romance and thoroughly enjoying it! I read the other two already. Love everything about these books!

    Also, I love dogs. I had an Old English Sheepdog. He died 12 years ago and now I dog sit. As a photographer one of my favorite things is photographing dogs.

    Thanks for connecting with people like me! It brings a brightness to life that is not always there otherwise.

  56. Toni Moriarty says:


  57. Beth Barnat says:

    Thank you for your warm, cozy and inspirational post. Before I sat down to read and enjoy it, I made myself a cup of hot tea. It was so nice to spend a little part of my evening with you and Joe your memories. I spent some time in England in the 90s and it was wonderful. Great memories! God bless you and Joe, Susan.


  58. Karen Williams says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just wanted to update you, you ve ve naughty person!!! Fancy introducing us to A Place to Call Home……I have spent the last two weeks catching up! I now have to wait until series five comes out!!!
    Oh the dresses! The cars! The language! The storyline….I was hooked and have been telling friends about it …so am sure more peeps here will be catching up too!
    In the U.K., our tv station BBC 2 have apparently been showing it…but they are way behind….it was so exciting…have crocheted half a blanket whilst watching it on my iPad each day!!! Absolutely brilliant thank you!! 🤗

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I’m with you, totally hooked! Sarah had her baby last night! So you know where we are. Loved how that episode opened, the music, the views of everyone in their happy-joy, kind of like the movie Pleasantville, set in the 50s where everything was sooooooo perfect (except for all the craziness no one can see but us!). I’m watching it on Netflix, don’t know if you have that, but I have NO idea when we get season five, or where it will show first. I hope it’s soon!

  59. Martha says:

    Just checking your blog after a few months off – I just LOVE the Susan Branch mug – I hope it becomes reality! I’ll get a few!!
    Martha from CT

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