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. Judy from KC says:

    Ok sooo loved the photos of you and Joe’s happy ,smiling faces in England! Absolutely loved them! I was transported to England in this blog , so beautiful and relaxing! And the walking paths make me feel like I am back in time and in a fairy tale.
    Love your mug too! One suggestion that I would make if you haven’t considered it the mug handles I look for allow me to put all four fingers through it. So much more comfortable to hold and hard to find.
    Take care and keep these blogs coming , such a mini vacation they are!

    • sbranch says:

      Shapes are the hardest part of the mugs . . . companies won’t actually let me design them from scratch, I have to choose one that they are already producing. I HOPE that four fingers fit!!! Can’t tell for sure until I get a sample. I would blog full time if I didn’t need to write books and make calendars! So many wonderful things in the world to share with people! I could take photos all day long! BUT, there’s those little things like mortgage and payroll to think about! xoxo Here’s to more mini-vacations!

      • Jayne Parsons says:

        Thank you for the beautiful walk through the English countryside. It is beautiful here today. 64 degrees on January 21st. Just returned from a walk in my neighborhood. Too pretty to be inside so I have found odds and end of things to do outside. I know the cold will return by the end of the week, but this reprieve is wonderful. Yeah, the snow drops are up. Have a great week.

        • sbranch says:

          I know, sometimes after lunch, for a break, I put on my jacket and hat and go out and rake a little, or trim off dead buds, or when I can, hang clothes on the line. Good to be in the fresh air. I should go check the snow drops!

    • Jennie Lou says:

      Here! Here! Another vote for roomy handles on roomy mugs! The older I get (60 in a few weeks, YIKES!) the bigger and sometimes clumsier my digits seem to get. I can no longer risk using my lovely English teacups, having dropped more than one, to my utter sorrow, and even though the big mugs don’t match the tea set, they are my only hope for a cuppa’.

      • sbranch says:

        Sixty. I do understand Yikes. But you’re a baby. 😘

        • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

          may I make a suggestion for future mugs??? how about a 4 seasons set?? one with spring, one with summer, autumn and winter. now that is a set I would love to have, a mug for each season. the snow drops are up here, well the greens are just coming up. I can also see our daffodil greens and tulip greens starting to show up and the hyacinths. we just had another dusting of snow last night, only about an inch or so, nothing major. but it was so delightful to sit and watch the flakes come down, my hubby was cussing up and down as he really did not want more snow and more idiot bus drivers to deal with but he was relieved this morning to see it was only a dusting and nothing more. off to iron and fold laundry and start dinner preps…. have a good evening everyone…. hugs…. 😀

          • sbranch says:

            Four seasons is on our To Do list! Two great minds! Plus a few other great minds! I think our snow drops are up too, not blooming though, I think it’s too early! Anyway, it’s still too cold and wet to go out there and lay on the ground for my close up photo! Hugs, Pat!

  2. June Emmert says:

    Like your other readers I catch your magic. I traveled the English countryside and seeing all the Trust Gardens and never missing the cream teas. One morning in Tintinhull and too
    early for tea or coffee, asked a lady where we could find something open. She said there wasn’t but over the hill in a private home a ladies’s club was meeting and she was quite
    sure they would welcome two American ladies. A sweet English lady opened the door and
    said, “We didn’t know if we were going to have our meeting today because our president has
    been sick, but she called this morning and said, “Germ gone,meeting on!” They were as gracious to us as if we were members. They later wrote about our visit including us in their newsletter. By the way, consider writing a book about England including your copy and
    photos. Guaranteed many would love it!

    • sbranch says:

      Well, I’ve written one already, called A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. But I might have to write another one! They may be out of it on Amazon, we’ve gone back for another printing, but I think we still have a few signed copies at the Studio … in our web store you’ll find at the top of the page. I love your darling welcoming story! And we adored Tintinhull, where they had “Bird TV” — a nest outside the tearoom door with a camera inside it that was broadcast on the TV inside. Wonderful!

  3. Laura Alabama says:

    Lovely. I follow a few walking blogs from the UK (’tis how I found you) and never, ever tire of the ancient scenery and wish we had those walking paths over here. There is a British series with very high ratings called Doc Martin. It takes place in the fictional town of Portwen, Cornwall. He’s a surgeon from London who has a sudden aversion to blood and zero social skills. So, he’s sent to this quirky little town with lovely, kooky people. It’s in it’s 8th season (series) now and we have watched all on dvd and impatiently await the release of the 8th season dvd. It’s quite fun!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve seen some, but somehow lost it along the way. What I’ve seen is darling! That dog, for one thing.

  4. Laura Alabama says:

    Oh.. meant to add, it’s also from Acorn (The Doc Martin Series)

  5. June Emmert says:

    Not thinking clearly , have your book and enjoyed it very much, but like you said, could
    write another with a different slant. Thanks for telling me about the “Bird TV”!

    June Emmert

  6. Shade McVay says:

    What a balm for my soul this morning after all the upheaval we are witnessing right now. It brings back the most wonderful memories of our own trip. Our stay at Little Broom started with an offering of fresh picked tomatoes and fresh milk for tea before we even cracked our suitcases. Thank you for sharing all of this loveliness. What a joy.

  7. Linda Smith says:

    Thank you for “England” on a day when I sooooo needed some joy. When I was teaching English literature, I took many walking trips there – yes, so beautiful. England never fails to delight . Thanks for the reminder. P.S. The mug looks great. I want two – one for me and one for my daughter.

  8. Frances Drukten says:

    Your blog made me feel peaceful which after yesterday’s “festivities” I really needed. We all need some peace. Thank You.

  9. Brenda says:

    Your photos are absolutely beautiful. I will probably never get outside the North American continent so I am enjoying the little bits I get to see from your perspective. Which would mostly be my perspective too. Thank you for mentioning the prayers for our new president. He may not have been everyone’s choice but neither was Obama. I have a lot of respect for the office, for the people of this country and Faith in God. And I pray for all of us, in spite of our differences. God Bless you.

  10. Patricia Schubert says:

    I can just envision the afternoon when I’m having my tea using the LOVE, NATURE, or LITTLE THINGS mugs–and then the CHRISTMAS and ENGLAND mugs. They would make my afternoons complete, and then I’d hand them down to my daughters-in-law, one of whom lived in London for 10 years and longs to return soon. Do agree with the larger handle to get more fingers in when the tea-or coffee-is really hot. Happy designing, Susan!
    I just emailed this blog to a number of girlfriends, telling them to keep the blog to look at when feeling the pressures of life –as the blog will make them take a deep breath, slow down and look at the photos and writing peacefully.

  11. Barbara Stewart says:

    Love your new blog. I hope as well you are considering writing another book on your latest trip to England and Scotland. I have been very lucky to make several trips to both and after reading your book I still missed many wonderful places. In Plano ,Tx where I live our local PBS station has been airing “A Place Called Home” and I love this show. It is terrific and just keeps getting better. You are always such a breath of calm and delight. Thank you so much.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh! How nice it’s being aired where you are. I hope that happens here too. Would love to watch it along with everyone else like we did with Downton!

  12. Carolyn from SoCA says:

    Dear Susan,
    You have successfully set my yearnings to return to England in motion! I have only been there once~ last year~ in the Winter when it was somewhat drizzly, but still green and wonderful. It was dressed for Christmas which added a sparkle and enchantment to an already enchanting country. On and on I could go! Thank you for sharing your musings and pictures!
    I am looking forward to your paper mug becoming a reality!

  13. Kathy Hughes says:

    Love this posting, pictures, quotes, music, and you! The cup is artistically perfect and beautiful, but I hope you will have them made or another one made in 8 oz. size, also. I have a 2-cup measuring cup, and it’s huge! Love everything you do, and I know you can never please everyone in every way.

    • sbranch says:

      Well, it’s 2 c to the very tippy top, but less in real life. Emma makes wonderful 1 c mugs! But if enough people ask me for a smaller size, I’ll definitely try!

  14. Laurie Nico's mom says:

    Thank you for sharing your travels through England once again! I never tire of your photos. I love your purple argyle cardigan! Tres chic!
    The mug is very cute. I hope you’re pleased with the sample so we can all have one.

  15. Suzanne Ludwic says:

    Thank you. Your posts are keeping me sane.

  16. Nicki Anderson says:

    I just love to see your visits ! Thank you for sharing them. I’m going back now to read and see it all again ! You are right, God Bless our new president — and these United States.

  17. Darla Unger says:

    Loved your blog!!The pictures were Beautiful and completely Cozy!Also at the end of the blog you wrote to pray for the President that is the right attitude. Thanks

  18. Joy in Alabama says:

    Yesterday when your post came, I quickly looked at it on my phone. But I’ve been busy in the kitchen all morning, getting ready for company tomorrow, and I’m sooo tired. So I sat down in my husband’s comfy chair with my favorite pillow and my cup of coffee to look at this again slowly. It’s soooo relaxing! Thank you for the beautiful break!

  19. Njean says:

    Thank you for this post. It is just beautiful. I love, love the paths. Can’t wait to see the mugs. I really want to order that right away when available. Take care and enjoy the rest of winter on the island.

  20. Debbie Rockholm says:

    Oh what a beautiful blog. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I am definitely putting England on my bucket list for sure. And your cup looks great. I can’t wait to order one. Looking foreword to your next post.

    Until next time, have a great weekend

    Debbie R from Valencia, CA

  21. Lynne Pennoyer says:

    Honestly I just love your blog Susan Branch… You bring me joy!

  22. Winnie says:

    We were in England this past September as well and it was the last two weeks when we began to see the leaves change. The first place was in the gardens at Buckingham palace and then the Lake Region followed at the end by Edinburgh. It was just as pretty as your photos and quite perfect for a day of walking only to end up at a pub for some warmth by the fire and the most delicious comfort food I have ever enjoyed all washed down with exquisite ciders!! Fall in England is wonderful and I would love to see it in Spring like you did on the last trip. Oh those green fields and white sheep with their lambs must be beyond words!

  23. Diana Wheatley says:

    I am English & had your blog forwarded to me from a Californian friend. Even though I live in England and appreciate our beautiful countryside, I found your blog enchanting & very accurate. One can never tire of this green & pleasant land & I feel blessed to have been born & raised here. Our American visitors are always welcome here as they are indeed very appreciative – do keep coming!

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t that wonderful! You see it the way we do.💞 It’s a little miracle, that it’s all still there. Thank you for sharing it! You are so lucky. And you get to hear Jerusalem all the time. I have to go to Youtube to hear it. We always feel welcome in England. Our “accents” immediately bring broad smiles to almost everyone we meet. More of your darling Englishness to come on future posts.

  24. Susan Taylor says:

    My ancestors came from England and someday we will go and investigate our heritage. Maybe you could talk Joe into writing a travel guide for the places you have been. Don’t you think that would be fun for all who want to journey there. Your pictures are truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    • sbranch says:

      That is the best of all. Because you go to the place your ancestors lived, and there will be a very old pub there, and you will know that your ancestor sat before the same fire that you will be enjoying. The continuity is a miracle. I did write a travel guide . . . in case you didn’t see it, it’s called A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. They are sold out on Amazon (we’ve gone back for another printing), but we do still have a few in our web store.

  25. patricia says:

    My oh my!! How your walks, pathways and beautiful pictures of autumn in England lift my spirits today. Thank you so so much for positive thoughts and sharings.

  26. Erika B. Pierce says:

    Dear Ms. Susan~
    Like many others, I simply adore your writing, your beautiful artwork, your perception and most of all the manner in which you share all of this with folks far and wide!!
    Love Love Love the mug and I imagine the other two are equally precious. I want 3 sets (one for me and two for my closest friends).
    I came across your calendar last January (2016). My sons (8 & 12) and I enjoyed it all year long and looked forward to discovering each month’s messages. When it came time to take it down I discovered your blog.
    Thank you for letting us share in your journies.

    Kindest Regards,

    PS: Your 2017 calendar delightfully resides in my Primary Montessori classroom for all the students to see and practice their reading skills 🙂

  27. Sharon Avinger says:

    OH! Love your taking me to England once again, love the beautiful photos and LOVE the mug-in-the-works! Thank you, Susan!

  28. Sidney Milstone says:

    Are you watching Victoria on PBS? What do you think of it.I just finished The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin who also wrote Victoria.A nice guilty read. Now where didI misplace my Tiara?

    • sbranch says:

      You know, we did watch one or two episodes while we were in England, but I haven’t seen it here yet. I wasn’t madly impressed, but that’s probably not fair since it was just starting. Love the tiara, you do deserve it.

  29. Mary Lines says:

    I love to read your blog and your pictures are amazing. But, I wish you had not told me about ‘A Place To Call Home’ because I haven’t been able to accomplish anything since I started watching it. It is that good. Makes up a bit for ‘Downton Abbey’ being over.

  30. Melissa Andrew says:

    This little trip to the English countryside was the perfect start to my day. My husband and I are planning our next trip and this post makes me anxious to be there.

    I can hardly wait to order my first mug! Love them already.

  31. Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

    Thanks for this, today of all days. So delightful to lay eyes on English Siobhan! hee hee! Hope to heading over to Jolly Olde and Ireland (when are you going to go to Ireland?!?!?!) in the spring with my mum. And, wait, what?? Another tv show to devour?? yum! Your blog always sets my compass right…it reminds me there are other kindred souls in the world when I feel like a weirdo. 🙂 xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      We are the normal ones, never forget that Siobhan. 😁 Do you find that most people know how to pronounce your name, or do you have to tell them? xoxo

      • Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

        I learned long ago to spell my name Shivon for all work correspondence, and if someone ‘knows’ how to really spell it, they get BIG brownie points from me! I tortured my mother when I was little by begging her to “call me Chris. Just call me Chris. I hate Siobhan. I wanna be called Chris.” One day, she gave in and said, “Ok, Chris!” I started to cry! “Don’t call me Chris!!” lol. Kids! Anyway, I grew into, but not into the spelling. Irish Gaelic is just hard! When Ryan’s Hope was on tv, I was in heaven. We wrote checks at stores then, and cashiers would frequently say, do you know there is a character named Siobhan Ryan on a soap opera. [My last is Ryan too!] Those were the days….hahahaha. Anyway, back into obscurity…until now!!! Yay for English Siobhan!!! And, thanks for thinking we’re the normal ones, Susan. You’re the spoke to our wheel! xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          Smart. Just be done with it, and go Shivon. I remember Ryan’s Hope! LOL. If I didn’t think we were the normal ones, I might go a little bit crazy!

  32. Donna Hrehor says:

    Love the show “A Place Called Home”!!! We recently signed up for Acorn TV. LOVE the shows they offer. Thanks for the beautiful walks through England. Feeling contented. Donna (Idaho)

  33. Alex McClendon says:

    Hi Susan!

    Glad to see you are happy and well! Happy New Year! I sure do hope your mugs come out. I can’t wait to get one for me and my mother -in -love.

    Sending you and Joe and the kitties warm hugs from S.C.

    Alex = )

  34. Tawni urrutia says:

    Thank you for another glorious post! Your cheerful spirit is so needed. Best wishes to you and Joe in this new year. I can’t wait to see more pics of plaid and Scotland!
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

  35. bev tippett says:

    What a delight surprise in my mailbox! a lovey read on yet another gray day. Thank you for sharing….what a delight for us too!!

  36. sylvia in seattle says:

    Big numbers marching in Seattle today women AND men. Love it. My daughter is sending me pictures of great signs and such. Quite something. Love your blog with the lovely pictures of English countryside etc. Interesting times . . . Whew!

    • sbranch says:

      Quite something is right, Sylvia. I didn’t realize the whole world was involved until the photos started coming on the news. Made me cry!

      • sylvia in seattle says:

        I’m in a mood I don’t recognize at all. Never felt quite like this before in all my 82 years. Loved the sign shared on your Twitter collection from London. “I am quite unhappy” :-). Maybe this describes it. But all the people in pink “kitty” hats are soothing. World-wide, yes, is AMAZING. We are all so connected in our misery and/or glee. I think we might be up to about our knees now into the age of Aquarius . . . Hang on!

  37. Brittney W. says:

    Gosh, what a beautiful post. I’m reading this as I sit here with a fussy little newborn boy in my arms…this is just the thing I needed 🙂 This brings me back to the days when I would travel to England and Scotland in the fall. I would always try to travel over there once a year- that beautiful place would always call me back! There is nothing more quaint and cozy than wandering around the countryside on a crisp fall day. Reading this just warmed my soul. And I just love that little Jack of yours, what a sweetheart he must be. Thank you Susan for yet another enchanting post! Can’t wait to read more!

    • sbranch says:

      Someday you’ll be showing that fussy little newborn your view of the English Countryside, and won’t that be wonderful?! Congratulations Brittney!💞

  38. Shelli Bennett says:

    Very beautiful! My mom follows your blog and always sends me a link here in Australia. One day we’ll get to England. Beautiful photos – you bring it to life for me.

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to hear that Shelli! Say Hi to your Mom from me! You must be starting to look forward to fall, as we are looking forward to Spring!

  39. Dixie Johnson says:

    Thanks for the beautiful pics of England yesterday. I hope to return to the U.K. For my 7th time in late spring! A Fine Romance has given me so many ideas of where to go—Chartwell, Sissinghurst ( want to see the white garden), Charleston, etc. plan to join the National Trust also. I want to thank you for praying for President Trump and our entire country. Thanks for just being you. Dixie

  40. Sheila says:

    Of course I love everything you do! But your May 2018 calendar (May May) stopped me in my tracks! My “Grandma name” is Mimi, but my wee Granddaughter can’t say it. She calls me “May May!” I love it! The pic of you and your Mom reminds me of us. Thank you, your art continues to amaze me!

    Sheila in Denver

  41. Debbie Noyola says:

    More, please. So, so, so very lovely & pleasurable. You took me on a delightful journey & I yearn to continue on. I especially loved the lake pictures with the clouds reflected in the water. So very serene. Lastly, Jack. With his nose almost in the watercolors, so adorable. Pet him for me please. Thanks for the pictures Susan. You are so kind to share them with us. I really appreciate it.

    • sbranch says:

      We’ll continue on, next post, I promise! I just leaned into Jack’s neck and gave him a good nuzzle for you!

  42. Pamela C. Betz says:

    Susan, This was one of my favorite Blogs. Of course I will want to buy the mugs. Perfect gifts for Christmas too. Pam

  43. Susan Iyer says:

    Thank you so much for making these lovely cups in thin bone china. Tea tastes fantastic in bone china. I’m looking forward to your England & Christmas mugs. Lovely posts about everything good. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      They go together, don’t they Susan, and I think bone china is really strong too. All good news, that’s my hope for the future!

  44. viv says:

    Thank you for a refreshing respite.

  45. Nonni says:

    All I can say is “Look out, Emma Bridgewater”!

    Went to Chatsworth-the surrounding countryside view from the house looked like a still life painting! Beyond peaceful-heaven must surely contain such peace. You could feel yourself relax just looking at it. The highlands feel peaceful and quiet, but differant, don’t you think?

    I want move next door to Agatha Raisin in the Cotswalds (…sigh). After you watch ‘A Place To Call Home’ watch Agatha Raisin (on Acorn). The books are way better though (what’s new ?). Love this series; looking for Season 2.

    You know, God chooses ‘the king’…I’m just saying. And,as for those much anticipated SNOW
    pics, don’t try to get away with “My cat ate them!”. Ha, ha!

    Wishing you and Joe a really good day today.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, the highlands are way different. It was a surprise to us! Chatsworth walking paths were amazing. What a place. On goes the TV and Agatha Raisin this morning. It sounds wonderful and I’m painting, need to be told a story! Ha! Love my new excuse, the cat ate them! xoxo PS I put snowstorm pics on a few posts back … did you see those? Because it hasn’t snowed since!

  46. Christine Anderson says:

    Such a lovely walk in England and a musical accompaniment! Never get tired of the beautiful English countryside we so enjoyed our journey there last May. Flowers in bloom everywhere!
    Thank you for adding smiles to my day😊

  47. CJ Love says:

    Susan, I met a man called/named Goat the other day! Reminded me of Isle of Dreams. I’ll have to find out if he’s from MV😄

  48. Nancy W. says:

    I’m so happy that the mug is going to be a hefty 16 ouncer. I love the dainty size of a standard teacup and saucer, but for morning tea on the weekends while listening to Breakfast with the Beatles on our local radio station and perusing Twitter and Facebook, I really do prefer a large mug. I already have a list of people who I’d be gifting, too! The vicarious travels through the English countryside were much appreciated. Too bad we cannot all travel for the next four years, haha. But I love my country too much to abandon her in her time of turbulence. I know others may not agree, but couldn’t we just crown the Obamas King and Queen, and do away with the four-year deal. A prime minister every few years would be okay with me. Seriously, we have a wonderful country with a wonderful history, and things need to continue as they have for a couple hundred years, plus. I don’t wish for our current president to fail, because that would benefit no one. I do hope he finds a voice that will uplift us all. I haven’t heard anything to that effect yet, and that I find troubling. But I’m going to remain positive and hope for the best. It’s too early to completely write anyone off. We do have a lovely new first lady; just wish I didn’t feel sorry for her.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL! I’ve thought that at times over the years, that a benevolent dictator might be just the thing we need! 😁 We do have a wonderful country! No, he can’t fail, that would take us all down. That’s why I am praying for him. And I figured out this morning how I can help him succeed. I just made a list of the addresses of the leaders in Congress, people like Paul Ryan and Mike Pence too, and I’m vowing to write one letter a day, and watch with all my power (as I always have, actually) as each vote is taken, so I can see what bills are being signed. None of this invisible, midnight-signing thing. I want a Supreme Court who is on the side of ALL the people to live a free and unfettered life. So that’s my To-Do list. Less talk, more action. I loved seeing the whole world come together yesterday. I didn’t know that was going to happen. It was a beautiful expression of the people, not the governments. Never saw that before. Thank you Nancy! xoxo

  49. Sarah says:

    Have been disconnected from the internet for the past 48 hours, so I’m late reading your lovely post. Your memories of daily walks make me want to get myself back to the UK. The footpaths are an amazing system. We like to walk too. We live in a large town, but fortunately we have walking trails along the creeks and river that meander through Austin. The trail system is not so much for getting folks around town as to provide a wonderful venue for exercise and just being among nature. I eagerly anticipate your next installment of the English adventure as I do the prospect of the production of those darling mugs.
    Hugs and love from Austin.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s great you live in a place that knows how wonderful those footpaths can be for people! I keep thinking we MUST have footpaths like the ones in England here in NEW England! But I feel like maybe they were covered over and lost a long time ago. If anyone knows of them, let me know. I know there are some famous cross country trails, but I’m really talking about the smaller town-to-town kinds of walks. Hugs back to you Sarah. xoxo

  50. Susan:

    Love everything you send. Having trouble sending to you.
    Your pictures say a thousand words! I love photography also. Just have
    to get used to the “digital”. Just returned (well, Jan. 3rd) from a Xmas
    and New Year’s cruise on Queen Mary 2. Isn’t it just fabulous! So glad
    I went 12 day cruise. How long were you on it? I’m trying to think of a
    couple of women who could play you if that movie or TV series comes your
    way. What a life….so glad to be just a small part of it! Thank you. Will
    keep in touch, and I hope you get this!

    Carolyn Williams xxx/ooo

    • sbranch says:

      I got it, Carolyn! Thank you! Once you get used to digital you will love it. No film to worry about or pay for, and you can take a thousand pictures of the same thing, waiting for the light to be perfect or whatever. It’s just wonderful thing. How was it on the ship at Christmas and New Years? Did they celebrate? Going east, we were on for 7 days, New York to Halifax to Southhampton. On the way home the ship didn’t stop in Halifax. And yes, it’s very fabulous!

  51. Anne J. Poe says:

    England is especially lovely in England. Thank you for my virtual trip! Since my birthday is 10-10., My Mother told me and my twin sister, Barbara: ” When the trees put their party dresses on, it will be your birthday.” Adele Johnson was a treasure for us to have as our mother. We were blessed.

  52. Rosemary Monk--Near Boston says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Your post was just what I needed. Am recovering from hip replacement surgery that got kinda complicated and have a few extra extremely stressful things going on in my life at the moment. To be whisked away and arm-chair travel to lovely England with your marvelous pictures (I loved the Hunter’s Moon!) and thoughtful comments is a magical tonic for my soul. I can’t wait to visit England again with your Blog. I stopped this note to watch a DVD of the group Celtic Woman, a concert that was taped at Slone Castle (sp?) in Ireland, with my daughter, her last night home before heading back to college tomorrow. But I want to say, Have to say, I absolutely love your mug/cup, it’s fabulous! The design is really beautiful, and it looks like the handle will be big enough for my fingers to slip through. And microwave and dishwasher safe too, how great is that?! If you’ve more designs, I’ll be wanting all of them–such a treat for the eyes as I sip my tea or coffee. So I’ll keep fingers/toes crossed that production works out. Thank you, as always, for being you, for your beautiful art, the wonderful pictures from your trip, and for your fun and also soothing thoughts. I may not always post a reply, but I’m a faithful, grateful reader. Blessings to you, Joe, and the kitties. Rosemary

    • sbranch says:

      Love hearing from you Rosemary. Sending best wishes for less stress in your life, and quick healing for your hip. I knew we needed a Calgon moment! Thank you! xoxox

  53. Lorraine Sevich says:

    I feel like I win the lottery – when I check your blog to see the latest posting, and I won today! I am transpired to another world when I read of your adventures. I can smell fall in the air and almost hear the leaves crunch under my feet.
    I love the mug, and am almost afraid to ask – will these be made in the USA or England? Please say YES!

    • sbranch says:

      Couldn’t get them in the USA, but if all works out the way I hope, it’s a big fat YES on England!!!💝 So excited. I should know for sure by the end of this week.

      • Carrie - not the gorgeous one in Oxford 💓 says:

        WHAT? Made in England??? That is fab! Those mugs will be imbued with the magic of the motherland. Many, many, many congratulations SB, I’m thrilled for you🇬🇧😍🙌.

        Between your brill England post (Thank you for your impeccable timing), reading Barbara Pym’s, “Excellent Women,” and taking the suggestion of an above comment and watching “Agatha Raisin” I’m well sequestered in my English cocoon.

        • sbranch says:

          I knew you would like that Carrie! Me too! Fits doesn’t it? I loved Excellent Women, and Barbara Pym was such a find for me! You are doing very well. I have to watch Agatha Raisin, how is it?

          • Carrie says:

            It is ‘smashing,’ to use my peep’s vernacular. The main character, Agatha Raisin, is sharp, witty and lovable. AND, much of it is filmed on location so you are not largely seeing tv sets but actually locations…COTSWOLDS! And pubs. And gardens. And animals. And village fetes. And, wait for it, BUNTING. The best bit, not a lot of blood and gore. I binged on it. It’s a winner in my book.

          • sbranch says:

            LOL, your Peeps. I almost want to move there. I just wish so much I could be two people. I’ll watch!

      • Judy Young says:


  54. Sandra Barton (Provo, Utah) says:

    Hi Susan! Lots of snow today at our house! And this was a tend our cute little grands day. Our 6 year old was “king” of snowman making with his Dad & left Mr. Snow as a surprise for his Mom when she got home from work. Our one year old who is a heart baby had good news from her recent appointment from the heart specialist for which we were all grateful. No surgery for now and hopefully not ever. She won’t be able to play intense sports but can do bike riding and normal kid “stuff”! Blessings! Hooray!!!! Thank you for your England trip photos, just lovely & peaceful. Love the mug look & forward to getting some for my daughter and granddaughters. Stay warm! S. 🙂

  55. Sharon Hermens says:

    I just came back from a virtual trip to England. I can’t wait for the next tour.
    Susan, you’re the best travel agent ever. Thank you so much.

  56. Jackie Cavitt says:

    Love the mug!! Can’t wait for them! And such a wonderful size!

  57. Pat Johnson says:

    Oh, thank you so much for the wonderful, beautiful pics of your trip! You brought peace to my busy heart and I was in awe! It was your gift to me – for the time spent so close and hearing your voice as I traveled through time. You are the bestest ever girlfriend!!!!! Hugs galore!! Hugs to Joe as well!!

  58. Jane Armour says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post! After reading some of the headlines for today, I immediately came here hoping you would have a post to help lower the blood pressure and restore calm. Well done! I am feeling soooo much better now!

  59. Judy in Oregon says:

    Loved this blog about all the walking paths in England. I really want to go there and do that, it sounds so amazing. I just have to tell you that my daughter finally read your book “A Fine Romance” and loved it. I took a chance and bought it for her when I went to your book signing at Titcombs in October 2015. She loves to read and can be particular about what she reads but since she loves all things British I knew she would love it if she just started reading it. Well this year we have had lots of snow (very unusual) so she has had more at home time and picked it up and I think finished it in about 2 days. She called me right after she finished to tell me how much she loved it. I knew she would but refrained from saying so. I am so happy about it as I wanted your books to be something that we could share. I know she will love your next two books also

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, You are a very good mother!! But how nice that she likes what you like . . .💞 love finding things my mom and I can share too. xoxo

  60. shelly b says:

    OH my goodness that is just the prettiest mug and i cant wait to see the others! I hope you are making more that include kitchen,tea time, autumn, your house and garden, Beatrix Potter, Laura Ashley and marthas vineyard…I’ll stop there because the list would be endless! But one last thing, i have to have a teapot/ set to go with my new mugs…with art work from each of your mugs:) love EVERYTHING you create and I will want to buy it all..

    • sbranch says:

      If people like them as much as I do, I think I could make them forever! SO many fun ideas! Thank you Shelly!

  61. Yvonne Sullivan says:

    Thank Yu Susan for the lovely trip to England luv yur post cant wait for your new tea cup luvvvv your kitty cat prayers for our new president and lovely wife and family Gods Blessings to you and your honey Joe🇺🇸💕

  62. Angie says:

    Well wasn’t that fun. Pure joy. Thank You.

  63. Helen Henderson says:

    Another wonderful blog, and on a hot, sunny day in Australia it was lovely to travel to cooler climes and admire how green and beautiful the countryside is. I look forward to seeing all the dogs you met…or some of them at least! Will you mug be available to you overseas readers? I know the postage costs can be prohibitively expensive, but I would love to buy one to join my Emma Bridgewater ones.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, they will be available. We sell things to lots of countries, and so sorry about the postage! It’s bad all over! Luckily the books are available on Amazon in some countries, which helps, at least as far as books are concerned. You’re almost heading into fall aren’t you! I love this opposite season stuff between us! What a magical world we have! xoxo

  64. Jules says:

    Wow! I just went to lovely England and came back within the span of a few minutes. I love magic! Thanks, Susan, for sharing your journey. Several years ago I left my heart somewhere in England (or was it Italy? I can’t seem to remember now.) and always feel pangs when I see photos of that beautiful old place. Currently, I’m reading “Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life”. I’ve never been able to get over how stunning the gardens are in England. Must be magic dirt!

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll have to go back and hunt around for your heart! I have no doubt you will find it again. Magic dirt and magic rain. Some of the gardens we’ve seen growing from between bricks are better than what I can do here!

  65. I felt transported to another space in time and emotion enjoying this England blog – and ohhhhh, the pictures; just lovely. I call this ‘arm chair’ traveling. You do indeed inspire me to remember to paint, write and contemplate this beautiful life we (myself) are blessed with. love, Sharon

  66. Debbie Boerger says:

    Have you received your OBE from the Queen yet? And the honours from the British Tourist Authority? They should have your “walks” on the web site. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many of the Girlfriends made that trip to “Old Blighty” because of your blogs?
    Ah well, back to the ICU to visit my darling Tom Terrific, who is recovering well! Now I’m wearing my Comfort Coat that will get me through the day.

    And Thank You,too, Girlfriends. You have so much to give through Susan. She does bring out the best in us, doesn’t she?

    Debbie in Tampa….for now

    • sbranch says:

      It would be fun to know that! Last time we met several on the ship! Seriously, it was so much fun! Thank you Debbie!

  67. debra sewell says:

    Oh my. I wanted to grab my puddle boots and catch up to you on the paths. I def would take a travel mug of something hot and coz. Im a walker so will really enjoy England when i finally get to go. My daughter in law is British(her parents born in Penzance). Her aunt is there so i even someone to visit when i go. Now when you cross thru a gate to an open field, hiw do you know where the path is if its across say a pasture? The walkway that had stone steps looked very old and i think it calls for a story. I may write one inspired by that walkway entrance. Wonderful post. Please give us plenty of photos and tidbits of this recent England trip and ship voyage to and from. Thank you. Hey we are on the downside of winter now heading towards spring. I just bought seed packets and drew out a flower plan.


    • sbranch says:

      I’m thinking the way you are too Debra, Spring! It helps that we are having such mild weather. The paths are usually there, you can almost always see them, or if not, very shortly they appear. Don’t worry, you’ll never get lost.

  68. wkucaralyne says:

    Hi Susan!

    I was wondering if you could do a post about Carlton? It seems he was such a big part of Holly Oak! I’m using you as inspiration for our little home, which has been in the family for years! Literally 8 generations. Loved seeing you in Cincinnati with my Mom. What a treat!

    • sbranch says:

      Eight generations, that’s wonderful! So rare, you’re lucky! In order to update Carl, I’d have to follow him around for a few days and I’m not too sure that shy guy would appreciate it!😉 I had so few photos from when he was at the house all the time, and I already used them in my book. But he’s still around, of course, and doing what he always has, taking old things and making them better.

  69. Mary McCatherine says:

    Just lovely…

  70. Barb Murphy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful blog today. As tomorrow is my 60th birthday, I consider this a most lovely birthday surprise.
    I do hope the mug idea comes thru. I would love to enjoy my “Fine Romance” tea in it.
    Have a pleasant day.

  71. Maryann Mullen says:

    Looks like you were very busy on Inauguration Day composing that long English Blog….. We must all come together as Americans for the good of our great country. God Bless us all.

  72. Jan Manley says:

    Beautiful post Susan! I don’t know how you know what we want to see, but you captured it beautifully! Have you visited The Manor at Hemingford Grey in Cambridgeshire? It was built in 1130 and the family of Lucy Boston (Authoress of the Green Knowe Children’s Books series and Patchworker extraordinaire! ) still resides in it. I hope to visit The Manor one day! Love, love “A Place to Call Home”! Drat that Regina!! I’d like to stick her on the Queen Mary II and send her far, far away from George Bligh! lol! I hope ya’ll have a fantastic trip back to San Luis Obispo! ( Have I told you my daughter was born in SLO in 1986?) I probably would not recognize it now. Can’t wait to wrap my hands around a hot cup of tea in one of your new mugs! Tell them to hurry! xoxo

    • Jan Manley says:

      Also have you watched “The Crown” and “Victoria”? Both are great. LOve, love “The Crown”!

      • sbranch says:

        Yes, on the Crown, first season, and we saw a couple of episodes of Victoria while in England. LOVE the Crown. Need to see more of Victoria before giving final review!

    • sbranch says:

      That Regina!!! I don’t understand how she can show her face! I haven’t been to The Manor, or even Cambridgeshire, yet. England is small but SO FULL of beauty, we haven’t come close to seeing it all and likely never will. 1986 was a very good time in SLO!

  73. Patti from Pleasanton, California says:

    Delighted to see another update from your England adventure, Susan!
    Just wondered if you would mind if I used some of your beautiful photos for background on my FB page? Of course you would get credit for them in my posts.

  74. Janyce says:

    Thank you so much for your messages! You make me feel so peaceful! Wish I had a rock wall, path, and river! The sheep even look sweet. Had sheep as a child and got head butted a lot! I was wondering if you have heard of Joey Feek? I have watched her and Rory’s movie twice. You make me think of her because you love life and want to make the most out of what God gave you! He is proud of you using and sharing your talent. Thank you, Susan! You Ja

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness, I just read Joey’s story. No, I hadn’t known of her, but I’m crying right now. How very sad. I can’t thank you enough for that and for your kind words Janyce. xoxoxo

  75. Peggy Willoughby says:

    Thank you again, Susan for your blogs. Just what I need most days. YES, the cup! I want them all.

  76. Hilary M. says:

    I really hope you are planning another book capturing your latest UK adventure. These photos prove you have ample sources to work from!

  77. Sylvia in Maine says:

    Thank you for the beautiful post!

  78. Gayle Hall says:

    Oh Susan oh Susan, thank you for taking me on a walk through the English country paths. Oh the wonderful little pink flowers that for me were tiny little girls in their frilly pink dresses dancing in circles. And the old tree made me gasp as being a TREE HUGGER, I just get so excited to see trees of all kinds and that one was one you could just settle in underneath with a cup of just any beverage, and a good SUSAN BRANCH BOOK and loose ones self. Once again your photos and your drawings and your words were my end of a day relaxation. Bless you dear Susan for the kindness you bestow on all of us by keeping in touch with us in a way that shows the goodness of one of the finest hearts I have been privilege to know for soooo many years. Thank you once again Girlfriend💗. Will be waiting for more words. And those cups you are designing I will be waiting on the news of them ready for shipment. You just know I will have to have one of every design you create. And may I say you could not have picked a better month to do the drawing representing you and your Mama, as May is my Birthday, and my Mama though gone will never be forgotten. She was the love of my life, as well as I hers. So as I write my appreciations to you with each letter I will be able to do it with a cup of tea that is totally my FRIEND SUSANS creation here pretty soon. Love to you, Gayle Hall

    • sbranch says:

      You would go crazy for the trees in England. It’s easy to find them hundreds of years old. You just want to touch them and have them whisper their secrets of the ages. You are making me cry with your sweet words. Sometimes, like anyone, the world is a bit too overwhelming, but I come here and feel so very blessed.💞 Thank you Gayle. xoxo

  79. Barb Urbank(from Ohio) says:

    Hi Susan, what pretty photos here of the English country side in Autumn! I never thought too much about what that season brings to another country but was nice to see it through your eyes. I am still amazed at the public footpaths they have, how convenient for a country stroll across hillsides and pasture lands and streams. Looking forward to the mugs you’ve designed, would love to have one. One thing, if they are bone china, they won’t be too heavy, so having to get all four fingers into handle for a strong grip might not be needed. I’m sure they’ll be beautiful no matter what. Have a great week ahead, looking forward to more posts.❤❤❤

  80. Fan in California says:

    ALWAYS so lovely, Susan. But since I’m an Anglophile, better still. Thanks!!!

  81. Marilyn Young says:

    Susan, thanks so much for posting these lovely photos! I now can erase the election Facebook posts with beautiful hills and dales. I love the English countryside and it’s people. Thanks again,

  82. allison,austin tx says:

    Yes the magic of england and scotland. My calm place is wandering in the countryside,hills and dales in my mind until my visit every september. I do hope
    the bone china mug happens. Your blog is peaceful,dreamy and delightful-it
    saves the day

  83. Kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    Looking at this blog post was so enjoyable ( as always! ) you have many beautiful gifts and they benefit so many. Today, I will say that this one is my favorite! ( I say that with each of your blogs! ) You take me places that I will never go, you have allowed me ( through your eyes ) to see such beautiful things that I would have never seen, and from the bottom of my heart I thank you. My favorite pictures were : the Neopolitan Cows ( vanilla, strawberry and chocolate….side by side!❤ and the faerie trees!!!! I am a tree hugger and can spot a faerie tree from a great distance. ( that is part of the special gift of being “pixilated” 🙃 ) That huge tree was loaded with fairies!!!….. and the last tree that you showed!!! Wow!!! You even caught some faerie on camera!!! For me, that blog was like listening to a beautiful lullaby ❤
    My heart is heavy today, as we have lost a great treasure. My husband’s mother-in-law from his first marriage ( he was a widower ). Frances was 93 years old. She was a person that you would have loved and thoroughly enjoyed! Frances was a War Bride during World War II, from England. During the war she was an air raid warden in London. “Millie” ( as her family called her in the U.K., because her name was Amelia Frances ) had so many stories to tell and I loved to hear each and every word. Everything was “lovely” to her and she made everybody feel “lovely” as well. It is indeed a sad loss for us. She will definitely be one of our ROSES IN DECEMBER ❤
    Thank you for listening and thank you for being such a bright light in my life. xo

    • sbranch says:

      A very sad loss. And what a lovely description of her. Beautiful Kathiellen, pixilated tree-loving girl after my own heart. xoxo

  84. Sally Geisel says:

    When the whole earth feels upside down and inside out, I find so much peace in your pages. Thank you so very much for this. (And I can’t wait for your cups! Woo hoo! Will make the tea even better! So excited!)

  85. K says:

    Dear Susan,
    Happy day for you and your new mug when it comes in.
    Try a bit of London Cuppa tea to test drive it,
    make sure the water is boiling when you pull it and quickly throw the tea bags in, don’t let it steep too long or it will get woody (go by tone-think water color depth but taste wise). You are on your own for scones/sweets.
    You put a smile in our hearts, this will put a smile on your face. Thank you for everything great and small, you are a treasure!

  86. Sandra Barton (Provo, Utah) says:

    Thank you Susan! More snow here today and more expected!!! Winter Wonderland! Love it! S. 🙂

  87. Christine says:

    So excited! I just bought my ticket for Apple Farm! See you on March 18th!

  88. Jeanne says:

    That new mug is to die for! I can’t wait to see the other two designs. And can’t wait to hold a warm one in my hands. The hands holding the hearts are simply beautiful. Thank you for the lovely tour of England. Now I must add walking tours through the countryside on my bucket list!!

  89. Julie says:

    Beeeeuuuuuutiful…I especially loved the gorgeous mature yellow-leafed trees.

    I am so thankful & proud of all of the women, men and children who marched this weekend; it was like experiencing a rainbow after the worst storm in history.

    • sbranch says:

      Feminism has morphed into humanism. Everyone sticking up for everyone, even for those they disagree with. I loved it too.

  90. Ann McKenna says:

    All I can say is “Thank-you again and again and again . . . . . forever!”

  91. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Thank you for the beautiful photos of the English countryside. I love all things about England even though I’ve never been there. My Grandmother was born in England and spent many years in a Convent in Surrey. I used to have the sweetest British Pen Pal that I got from Royalty magazine years ago. She sadly passed away, but I would love to have another British friend to write to. It would be great to have a way to find one through your blog as we all love so many of the same things.
    Have you ever seen the book ” A Guide To England Through A Cat’s Eyes” by Pat Albeck? A really sweet book with nice illustrations. There is a drawing on page 96 that is a doll that looks just like Petey!! You must see it.
    Thanks for all your inspiration and a nice escape from the problems of the day.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll look! I love Pat Albeck. You probably know she’s Emma Bridgewater’s mother-in-law! Maybe someone here will read your comment and want a Pen Pal, but every few months we do a Pen Pal thing on my Facebook page and connect people that way . . .

      • Lisa Jorgensen says:

        Oh my goodness, I didn’t know that connection. My Mom (who passed away last March) bought the book at the Tea Cozy in Cambria in 1996. I found the book on her bookcase and just loved it.
        Unfortunately I am not on Facebook. If anyone from England or Scotland would like a pen pal let me know through here. It was much easier to find one when we were all writing regular letters!!

  92. Vicki Rankin says:

    Wow. Thank you for sharing that. So thoughtful and cheering as usual. We love walking too! Are there places like that to walk in the Cotswolds? I need to check back in your book. It’s been a while since I’ve read it and my memory is not the best! Thanks also for the A place called home recommendation. Now that we’ve just gone through OJ, 11/22/63 and Stranger things and now Sherlock over, we’re looking for something!
    Those mugs look great!! And you would love a dog. When I see how much you love your kitties, I know you would so fall in love with a dog. We have Boston Terriers which I can highly recommend but they are all great! More high maintenance than cats (esp. if you like to travel) but so worth it! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      The footpaths are all over the country, everywhere. In the Cotswolds there are famous walks between the towns. You can Google them. So you leave the town you’re in and walk to the next one for lunch. SO civilized! I adore dogs and love to babysit for my friends! But we’re gone too much. Someday!

  93. Dee Ann says:

    I found “A Place Called Home” at my public library on DVD and it is now showing on our PBS station here in north central Texas.

  94. mary says:

    Where will your mugs be manufactured?

    • sbranch says:

      Tried for USA but it looks like England if all is affordable and beautiful, samples being sent out this week.

  95. Sally says:

    I so LOVED this beautiful post, Susan! THANK YOU esp. for posting it on January 20, 2017 when I really needed it.

  96. Darlene Westmoreland says:

    Susan, so looking forward to your beautiful mugs!! And thank you for the pics and stories from England. For those of us who do not travel, it’s almost like being there.

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

    The beauty of England leaves me without words! I’ll try to summon up a few. There is one picture where the path disappears into the dim, and I dearly want to follow it. There are fairies there – there have to be! I am sure you must have heard them whispering. What a lovely blog. I can hardly get finished looking at each picture, but the next is so inviting that I have to move on. I had to laugh when you mentioned your usual view of Joe. I’m with you, must dawdle! Oh, that mug . I want one !

    • sbranch says:

      I have heard them whispering, I’ve felt sparks in my hands when I put them on an ancient stone wall.

      • mary spring says:

        …ah, sweet !!..’tis magic !..’keep thinking of Jane Austen’s quote : ..”and sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in ..” this post, these comments !!.. ‘feeling much gratitude …

  98. Rene Marie Foust says:

    I cant wait to get a mug fingers crossed that you can have them made.

  99. Susan P. says:


    Saw your morning tweet….what a wonderful painting of the little girl!!!! Also the one of you and your mother. You are a true artist…you have the blend of Norman Rockwell and Jessie Wilcox Smith and Beatrix Potter….as I look at different things that you have done …I see something from each of them in your paintings. Of course I may be a little predigest….I really like all of them and you!!! You missing your father’s daily calls…I also miss his great and funny and loving comments…I really do still look for them…or hope to see them. He was Blog Daddy to so many of us. Missing our Dads… even though my Dad and mom passed away awhile ago…I still hope that phone ringing is them… and as I type this…here in California it is pouring rain and the SUN just came out to shine on all those lovely raindrops…I’m taking it as a sign from my dad…and yours! Wow, it so bright it is blinding…we are so blessed. Have a great day and know that you are loved by many…but especially by God. Thank you for all that you do to make us all happy. Love, Susan P.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think we ever get over that ringing phone. We are so blessed. Thank you for the lovely words Susan. xoxoxo

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