Okay, it’s Castle Cottage Time!

It’s already Castle Cottage time . . . I know I’m so late!!! But we’ve had tons of visitors💞. . .  Ray and Paul were in Dublin for my birthday, Elaine too, and then Elaine came to our house in Galway Bay for a week, then Siobhan joined us, then friends from the Island, Barbara and Annie, then Elizabeth and Mike, so we were running and seeing and eating and being, and I just couldn’t force myself to stay home! So here we go, make-up day, and prettiest new favorite MUSICA we listened to while driving around Cornwall! All for you . . .

Spring has finally sprung here. We’re in the Lake District up in the North of England and just experienced three of the most beautiful days of our trip.

Long walks along Windermere and wild flowers galore . . .

So pretty on the tablecloth I bought in the antique store in Florida (on our way to the ship) for our Picnic in Beatrix Potter’s Garden!

I’ve been saving them since we got to Ireland . . . making a little wildflower book.

This pink delight was a photo I took just yesterday in Grasmere . . . looked up and there it was!

I don’t want you to think I haven’t been thinking of you, I’m a two-fisted photo taker and you are always on my mind! No place to set your camera? No problem just put it on the hedge!

No bird gets by me . . .

And I’ve been capturing all the precious little details that British hotel rooms have to offer . . .

And no pub-fire escapes the clickage of my camera!

Not to mention the antique stores . . .

This saves me from spending too much money and stuffing my suitcases, a photo is like owning something and not taking up space with it!

Luv-lee . . .

But this little silver spoon I had to buy ~ time to take it home! Tiny, slips in easily!

I’m still peeking in people’s windows  . . .

And marveling over the simplicity of the old things . . . other new favorite MUSICA, just in cases . . .

But today I want to tell you about the day we crossed Windemere from Bowness . . . we’d come from Ireland the day before, back across the Irish Sea on the ferry, with a night in a Welsh hotel, and this day, last Friday, we’d driven across North Wales and up to the Lake District. (Whew.)

Now we had a very special destination . . . on the other side of the lake . . .

Me, telling Twitter where we are! This is how I look when a big dream is about to happen! (PS you don’t have to join Twitter or Tweet yourself to see the photos I put up, and there are a lot of them since all I need for photos and Twitter is a phone, much faster and easier to do while driving than a blog, fyi).

Driving hill and dale heading for Near Sawrey, hearing on the radio, ABBA is getting back together for next Christmas! (Knew you’d want to know!)

Getting close . . .

And there it is, I would know it anywhere . . . home of Hill Top and Beatrix Potter . . .  Eeeek. Have not been here for a while, but never so far from my thoughts.

We could tell by the street signs that we were getting closer . . .

And there it is, Castle Cottage! And I know Mandy is inside waiting for us, and if I could jump for joy in the front seat of the car you know I would. If you are saying, “Mandy? The name is familiar, but I don’t remember . . .”

Or, if you’re new to the blog ~ Let me catch you up.  You may not know that Betsy (she’s American and on the left), one of my Beatrix Potter Society American girlfriends, introduced me to Mandy (who is English and on the right with Joe), who just happens to live in Castle Cottage, the house where Beatrix Potter lived with her husband Willie Heelis for thirty years. Last summer Betsy brought Mandy to our house on Martha’s Vineyard for lunch in our garden.  Such a lovely time. Beatrix Potter has brought so many nice people into my life. Instant something-in-common ~ kindred spirits, aspiration-centered, beauty-based. During our happy conversation I mentioned that we were coming to the Lake District again next year (=this year!), whereupon Mandy invited me for tea at Castle Cottage! 💘Be still my heart. The first and only time Joe and I had been to the Lake District was in 2012 and for only one teeny, rainy week for my first visit to Hill Top, a long time dream, which many of you read about in A Fine Romance. This time, we’d be renting a cottage there for two weeks. So of course I said YES, PLEASE, thrilled at the thought of being so close to the actual place where Beatrix Potter became her real and true self.

During our lunch I told Mandy about the BYO Picnic Basket party we had in 2016 on the lawn at Stourhead… and that I thought I might try to do another one on this next trip ~ and she said, “How about you have it in my garden?”  The Castle Cottage garden is what she is saying, and I’m thinking, “Beatrix’s house for my Girlfriends!” I saw Castle Cottage from far away last time we were there, coming from Hill Top and looking across Post Office Meadow with longing. I tried to be calm. Brain doing back flips of reorganization sparking with mad thoughts. Waiting for her to change her mind. Even after we toasted on it. But she didn’t and now, we are here, and it is happening, and our Picnic is on Friday! And, in addition, for frosting on the happy-cake, when I told Mandy I had Blog, Facebook, and Twitter Girlfriends who really wished to join us, but for all kinds of reasons, like not having a traveling partner, or not wishing to drive on the wrong side of the road (on the skinniest streets in the history of the world), couldn’t. And she said, “Hey, why don’t I put together a tour?” Eyeballs to heaven. And she did, and I told everyone on social media how they could join, and as of this very moment she is leading thirty-one happy campers through the highlights of the Lake District for ten glorious days, and bringing everyone to our Picnic in Beatrix Potter’s Garden!!! I met them all the day they came in! I know. How can this BE?

And then, as Mandy had directed, down the narrow back lanes of Near Sawrey to the house we went . . .

As slow as I could make Joe go, very, very slow, please do not hurry, windows down, crunch of gravel, song of blackbird, through the green gate we went . . .

Where we were royally welcomed by Mandy and the fluff ball in her arms, Stanley the pup. I’m done being overwhelmed and tearful with joy here in this pic, I did that as I walked through the green iron gates, and saw it all up close ~ in this photo, I am only just happy.

And here for two delicious hours, looking at the view, at what Beatrix loved so dearly, the rolling hills and undulating stone walls, the sheep and the peacefulness of it all . . . while Mandy explained the garden layout, what she and her husband Bill had done in the seven years they’d lived here, what they’d discovered about what Beatrix left behind, how Mandy had come to know Beatrix Potter through her house and gardens. Verklempt. Silent. Staring. Listening. Soaking.

Some of the hedges and plants were so overgrown, Mandy cut them back to the nubbins, but if you look at the trunks, they are HUGE, and you know they were planted by Beatrix. Another thing I found out. See the first two chimneys on the left? That’s how big the original cottage was when Beatrix bought it. You know how you feel about your home? Well, that’s how she felt about hers. A refuge. The middle window on the bottom was the door.  She added on part two, in the middle, with the porch in 1913 ~ so the house was long and flat-ish … and the far right of the house, with the peaked roof, was added in 1923. So this house is totally Beatrix and you can feel it.

Such an adorable little cottage she bought. This Victorian genius, city girl, could have lived anywhere, but, with utmost good taste, stepping over the norms of the times she lived in, honoring her heart’s desire, sensing life is short, she chose a teensy little cottage, far from London in the English Countryside. She never updated it with electricity or running water. Her small, 17th century barn is still exactly the same as it was in her day. And she died there, overlooking the wonderful world she built for herself, in 1942.  This was her view . . . and she owned most of it. Of course, what you smell, is fresh cut grass. Cut by the little teeth of sheep . . .

. . . that graze the fields around the house . . . leaping and running little lambs with their patient moms . . .

These are Mandy’s two darling dogs, Stan and Ollie. Father and son. Son LOVES to play!

Mandy took us room-to-room inside the house, telling us about each space, what it is and what it was, about the secret exits Beatrix built so she could be alone when she wanted to be, her grandfather clock, the room she died in, the views she had . . . and she shared Beatrix’s personal photo album . . . this wonderful photo had another little black dog. And that hat. The little pleats. They just don’t make them like they used to.

Here with her dad . . . I love her little linen clothes, see the patterned underskirt and stripped leggings and leather boots, don’t you just want them? The flower at her throat? The buttons and the wide scarf wrapping her waist?


And here, I took a picture of one of Mandy’s photos, of Beatrix in her later years, with her two dogs, ON her porch, in FRONT of her porch . . .

Castle Cottage is wonderful, I’ll show you more pics of the inside later ~ Joe and I are picking up Kellee and Sheri at the train station at 5pm Lake District time (they’re coming in from London), and it would be nice if I wasn’t wearing my jammies!  But this darling towel quoting Beatrix’s famous “first words” was hanging in Mandy’s bathroom. So cute, I found a shop that sells them in Grasmere, I got one for me and for when I come home, another to be a giveaway, for YOU!

And then, ahhhhh, time for tea on the porch, milky Earl Grey tea and cake . . . where I made a video for you . . .


I promised you I would bring you along . . . what I lack in quantity, blog-post-wise, I try to make up for in quality . . .💞

And a little close-up of deliciousness . . . yum! During tea Mandy told me all the secret surprises of what’s going to happen at Hill Top on the day of the Picnic which I can’t tell you now because then they wouldn’t be secrets, and I told her my surprise . . .  that I was contacted by Victoria Magazine and they are sending a photographer to our picnic! Not that there will be any lack of photography going on that day, but now we’ll have a professional doing our “class photo!” I’ll be sure and show you everything, it’s still all in the future, oddly, after it happens, I’ll show you how it went!

I’ll get to see our kindred spirits wearing their name tags, meeting each other in person, from sea to shining sea, and all over, at BeaStock, half a jillion strong.

Stan, the puppy, asleep next to my leg, Ollie on my lap, surveying the goodness. Thanking my lucky stars I bought that little figurine of Jemima Puddleduck all those years ago . . . it’s funny where the little things of your heart can lead you in this mystery of life . . .

With hugs and promises for later, we left Mandy so she could get ready to welcome our Tour Girlfriends . . . and Joe and I walked Beatrix Potter’s walk, into the village for our 6 pm dinner reservation . . .

 Look at this adorable building! It’s Tower Bank Arms, the historic pub right next door to Hill Top and just one of the places in the village that Beatrix Potter illustrated for her little bunny books.

As requested, our table by the fire . . .

Then off for our first vision of the cottage we’d rented for our Lake District stay … it’s the downstairs part of the cottage at the end …

We walked the next day and this is it looking back from across the meadow . . .

And the view from our driveway . . . Baaaaa! And SO MUCH MORE . . . but I have to go. Before I can even tell you about the Milkman . . . I’ll have to come back, maybe tomorrow, early, maybe before you’ve gone to bed tonight, due to time difference, but while Joe and Kellee and Sheri are sleeping, I think you should hear about the Milkman!

Also…Mother’s Day . . . Just around the corner! Don’t forget this delicious cake!

The new cups are still going out, although I believe the Mother’s Day cups have all been sent by now . . . they went first! The rest are on the way . . . hope you’ve been getting them! I’ll tell Kellee and Sheri hello for you!

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

464 Responses to Okay, it’s Castle Cottage Time!

  1. Eileen Mullinax says:

    I am as excited about spending July on Martha’s Vinyard as you are in visiting the British Isles. As my friends and family visit while I am there, I plan to give each of the ladies one of your MV cups. Can I purchas them anywhere on the island or do I need to place an order?
    I do love reading about your adventure. I visited there several years ago but would love to revisit with my grown daughters and drive through the villages and see the beautiful gardens

    • sbranch says:

      About the closest you can come to England is Martha’s Vineyard! (Or, Williamsburg!!) They have a LOT in common, beauty-wise and house-and-cottage-wise. I don’t think there are anymore MV Cups left on the Island … hopefully we still have them in the Studio store. Have fun Eileen!

  2. pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

    Hello Susan, lovely pictures and I wish I could be there for the picnic, but I have a mystery to solve here in our barn…. the mystery of the vanishing peep!! and yes it is almost mother’s day, and after that the royal wedding… will you be heading to London for that??? I hope you get some photos of that, we will want details about her wedding dress and the about the wedding, and about all the guests and the fashion show there. now back to the mystery…. we put the last batch of peeps out in the barn to introduce them into the flock and get them used to the adults, it was time as they were fully feathered and a lot bigger than when we got them. there were 5 peeps in this batch and boy they got big fast… must be all that TLC they get while in the house in their tub. we keep them in huge plastic tubs while in the house and by the wood stove to help keep them warm and comfy and also under a sunlamp. well we got them out there and put them in the henhouse, went out 1 hour later and one of the peeps had disappeared, no evidence of a hawk or anything catching the little one no loose or bloody feathers anywhere. we looked in all the hiding places, in the old stump, under the boards and in the henhouse behind the nesting boxes and behind the food container and the water container. no peep, and the funny thing was no peeping… usually when a little one is lost, it will peep to find momma or it’s nest buddies, no peeping so we have a mystery on our hands as to what happened and where that little one wandered off to. we keep looking but so far no luck. the good word here is our obnoxious neighbor is cleaning up somewhat the trash on his property, but if the county is not satisfied they will clean it up for him and bill him for the costs, in addition he has to go to court and explain how he allowed this to happen, and why. plus the neighbors around him, ( us included) are demanding tests on our wells to be sure nothing has leached over from all the trash and drug manufacturing to our wells and contaminated them. and we feel he should pay for the tests. I am in complete agreement with that, and the county is going to be monitoring him for 3-5 years to be sure this does happen again. finally some justice.!!! I doubt he is happy with it, but we will be and if by any chance he loses his property.. so be it and good riddance. that will get rid of a lot of homeless transients here and maybe our neighborhood can go back to normal again. well off to go look around for the peep, I’m still looking and hoping I will find it. I can’t imagine it just vanished “poof” into thin air. wish me luck and enjoy your picnic. hugs to everyone…… 😀

  3. Patti Fitzgerald from Skippack, PA says:

    Dear Susan, I was just beginning to wonder if you would be blogging soon, and lo and behold . . . . there it was!! I was so happy for you when I saw all the lovely pictures of green grass and trees, sheep and sweet flowers! It definitely looks like Spring in England! I’m so glad that you’ve been enjoying yourselves in the company of others – – I’m sure it will all make for a wonderful book that I simply cannot wait to read! I will be with you in spirit on Friday, for certain.
    I’ve always wondered why I have such a draw, such an attraction to all things British. Last year, I had my DNA analyzed by Ancestry, and found out that I’m 10% British, unbeknownst to me!! Now it all makes sense!! <3
    Savor every moment of this glorious trip, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing it all with us – – you are so very, very kind! xoxoxoxo

  4. Nanci says:

    You very lucky girl!! Well done!! The pictures are all wonderful and then the video with the lambs calling to their mothers in the background!! Squeal! It all reminds me of when we stayed there in 2012….and I long to go back. Such a magical special place! Happy Friday Picnic! Can’t wait to hear about it.

  5. Debra Eastridge says:

    I love reading your adventures. Your drawings and pictures make me feel like I am with you on your journeys. I love seeing the joy and happiness in you and your husbands faces partaking in every adventure and wonderuous sceniery your eyes capture. Thank you for sharing your adventures with all us followers. Looking forward to many more wonders.

    • Nancy Brooks says:

      Oops the Debra Eastridge is suppose to be Nancy Brooks of Loveland, Colorado

      • sbranch says:

        Crazy mixed-up blog hooligans! Before you post, put in your own name, that’s one way to handle it, we don’t know why this happens! Sorry!

    • sbranch says:

      More to come! Can’t believe it’s middle of May now! But so much still to look forward to. Roses come in June!

  6. Karen Lamoureux says:

    Thank you for sharing such breath-taking photos. They brought to life The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood that I’m reading. This is my fourth Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter books that I’ve read. I love all the colorful flowers, the rolling hills, stone walls, grazing sheep. I feel like I’m right there with you and Joe, enjoying a trip of a lifetime. Thank you for taking me along. I so needed to get away from all the trails of raising a teenage granddaughter with Asperger’s. I can’t wait to hear the tale of the Milkman. I’ll be thinking of you and your Girlfriends who will be there on Friday, enjoying their Beatrix Potter Picnic. Have fun!

  7. Judith says:

    Thanks so much for my visit via your post! Sounds just wonderful. Have so much fun at your picnic! It all just sounds like too much joy!

  8. Yvonne from Munroe Falls Ohio says:

    Really enjoyed pictures of trip still waiting for my tea cup my daughter ordered it Kerry Difranco Have a wonderful picnic What a beautiful place

    • sbranch says:

      Let me know if you don’t get it . . . they are all still shipping, it should be soon!

  9. Yvonne from Munroe Falls Ohio says:

    Also I love Victoria mag can’t wait to see more pics of your trip

  10. Jo Marsh says:

    My dear niece Alison is one of the lucky 31 on your tour and tea. Please be sure to collect a hug from me!

  11. Chris ott says:

    IAm so happy to fallow your Bi log and your trips I like fairy’s to I do not have those cups

  12. Deborah Winter says:

    Hi Susan,

    When are we going to get the Spring cups? I see that Mother’s Day has shipped and spring is almost over . . . I want to order a summer cup but would like to receive the spring cup before ordering another mug. Just wondering. Thanks.

  13. Pam Wilson says:

    Hi Susan and Joe! Thank you so much for helping us all to feel like we are right there with you on this magnificent journey of yours! Have a fantastic time at the picnic on Saturday! I will be here looking at my Beswick Beatrix Pottery figurines on my windowsill and thinking of you and all the guests! Best wishes, Pam W

  14. bev tippett says:

    Oh my goodness..wonderful blog. I am so jealous of those who are attending the picnic but know much will be shared and I will get to enjoy some of it too. Thank you for your descriptive words and your generous sharing. Love it.

    • sbranch says:

      Glad you’re coming along, even if only virtually … we will be thinking of you and taking lots of photos to share!

  15. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    Oh so beautiful post! Well, now I’ve been to London and Paris this week via my niece & her husband’s trip…then Austria via another niece’s trip. Oh my…I feel like I’ve been exploring such beautiful places without leaving home. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us. Can’t wait to hear about the milkman – they still have them in England?

  16. LADYHEARTWELL of Berkeley Springs, WV says:

    This particular blog will be kept in my “Susan Branch” computer file forever; you reminded me of the wonderful time my late husband and I had at the Hilltop area where Beatrix Potter lived and worked. Of course, we weren’t permitted to see the home where she lived along with her husband and her husband’s uncle. I have yet to see a more beautiful site than that peaceful setting. Your blog made me long to return NOW, and wish I could be there for the picnic this summer! It would be the closest place to heaven that we know of. The description of the sheep and cattle on a thousand hills in the Bible reminded me of the areas around the Lake District. Now I’m hoping my precious “new” husband and I will be able to see the Lake District; he has never seen that part of England. Thank you for reminding me how perfectly gorgeous it is there. I felt so at home there in Windermere. It was such a joy to walk around town along with all the others and talking with the friendly citizens with the dogs they take out on their walks every evening for exercise and catching up on the town’s news. We found many helpful people that I am writing a story that will is entitled “The Angels of England” that will describe all the good deeds and help we were given when these loving people saw my late husband was not feeling well. It was a miraculous experience that endeared me to England for the rest of my life.

  17. Fran Patten says:

    Hi, Susan and Joe,
    Just finished reading all 3 of your WONDERFUL books. I’m a newcomer fan of yours and, like all your girlfriends, I’ve fallen in love with your art, talent, personality and — YOU! Keep up the good work.

  18. Lorrie says:

    Serendipity happens. I just loved this post. Tea at Castle Cottage – what a dream! I’ll be thinking of you all having tea on Friday, and will have my own private little tea party of one with you in spirit, here among the lilacs that are blooming in my garden. (as long as it doesn’t rain).

  19. Debby says:

    My Emma (lab) and I have watched the little black lamb video over and over. Too cute! I am still thinking about the cookbook I want you to make. Each girlfriend who wants to, could give you the recipes for what they bring to the picnic along with where they live. You put your beautiful handwriting and illustrations around them. A page for each girlfriend. It would be sooo darling. A Picnic at Miss Potter’s! I want one! Who wouldn’t want to be in one of your books? My fingers are crossed.okay, If I get up at 4 AM will I see any live tweets on Friday? It will be noon there. Have fun. Debby

    • sbranch says:

      Darling idea! I will do my best to Tweet, but it may be too hard to stare at phone while everyone is there … but I’ll try to eek out one or two at least!

  20. Susan from PTC says:

    Love your writing and your traveling posts! I just watched Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger…..totally loved this movie! The scenery was so beautiful…..I can almost imagine what you are experiencing! Thank you for sharing and I can wait for more of your adventures!

    • sbranch says:

      Love Miss Potter too! Watch it all the time at home, getting a bit of the Lake District to tide me over until “next time!”

  21. Cheryl Hutchinson says:

    Victoria magazine is a wonderful match! I’m so glad they will be at your picnic, and I hope they will do an article on it. I’ll look for it!

  22. Joan Kotvas says:

    Hi received my cups❤ Love to feel artwork raised just a bit. The mother cup is so pretty. Can’t wait to have my tea in it. Will be with you in spirit at the picnic. Thanks for the blog. Happy picnic and traveling. Joan

  23. Carol Ybarrondo says:

    Thanks so much Susan for this virtual adventure through England and Ireland! I love following you every day on Twitter, then again when my two granddaughters come over. Poet is 9, and told me her friend at school is in Ireland, she was thrilled to see the pictures. Bay is 5, and they both enjoyed the baby lambs running every which way, going from one field to another. How exciting! I have a map book out and we are following along as you move from place to place, we will enjoy a virtual picnic along with everyone on the Friday! Almost like being there, ha ha! And how exciting, Victoria magazine! Can’t wait to see it, have a wonderful picnic, will be enjoying from afar! Safe travels to everyone…

  24. mary spring says:

    …a good morning to you dear Susan !!!..’can’t sleep way out here in the Pacific NW.. ‘so excited !!.. I’ve been following along and so enjoying this journey with all of you !!..it’s just so magical !!…thank you, thank you for taking us all along !!..tomorrow is the grand picnic !!! ‘can’t wait !!..( I just know the upcoming book from this incredible trip is going to be grand !!!.. ).. spreading love and good wishes, as always …

  25. Megan says:

    I’ve been missing your posts, but as I knew that your absence meant you were having fun, I was happy for you.
    I had to laugh when you said you were bringing the Liberty spoon back “home”. I did much the same thing the last time I was in England. I’d found a few small pieces of Native American carving in a charity shop and just had to bring them back to their place of birth.
    Keep having the time of your life!

    • sbranch says:

      Having fun, and yes, most of our friends who’ve joined us along the way are not that thrilled for me to stay in and work on the computer! I try to explain, and they say, “shut up, put your clothes on, we’re going out.” And then that’s what happens! Gives me lots more to write about for the book, but makes me long even more for a clone!

  26. Margaret Matlock says:

    Thank you for taking us on this wonderful journey! At my library they had done a display case about Beatrice Potter. Lots of her cunning animals and her books and books about her. Was that a coincidence or was it serendipity? I choose serendipity “.which is a seeming gift for finding good things accidentally”.

  27. Amy from Wisconsin says:

    Dear Susan,
    So very GRATEFUL that you and Joe have taken us along on your beautiful trip. I feel like I am there! Thank-you!

  28. Winnie Nielsen says:

    OMG, this has been the best post and worth every second of waiting!! To be able to visit and picnic at Beatrix Potter’s home is beyond a dream come true!! I know that you and everyone who attends the Friday event are going to have such a memorable afternoon. It is a historical event for all of us GFs who love and follow along your adventures!

    Having visited the Lake District two years ago on a trip, I was mesmerized by the beauty that day of grey, light raining skies. We passed Beatrix’s home on the way to lunch at another home farm, purchased by Beatrix’s trust, which was like a dream come true to me. To be so close to Peter Rabbit’s creator having lunch in a little stone cottage on a rainy day, was overwhelming to me. To be doing what you are doing, well…………that’s the Cat’s Meow!! LOL!!

    This trip has been fantastic and I thank-you for taking the time to post lots of stories and photos that share your wonderful adventure as I “ride along” vicariously in the backseat. Have a wonderful visit and picnic and Blessings to you , your hostess, and all those who have traveled to share in the fun!! I can’t wait to hear all about the event and continue on our journey.

    Please add my greetings to all of the many others, coming in from Social Media, to everyone attending!! Wouldn’t Beatrix Potter have been so pleased and excited to see all of the people who loved and cared about her beautiful work? I bet she would have loved to attend your picnic and hear the stories of how her books have touched the hearts of so many children and adults!!

  29. I am so excited that Victoria Magazine will be there! I have a vintage picnic basket full of the original Victorias and I just bought the latest issue this week to take with me to the laundromat. (My clothes dryer broke.)

    • sbranch says:

      Nightmare. Should never happen, although time out for reading while laundry is going, that’s a good thing!

  30. scottygrrl says:

    You are having another fabulous adventure! Thanks for sharing the beautiful and glorious details with us. So wonderful and happy. : )

  31. Caroline says:

    Oh Susan! You are a hero and guide for me! Though I feel a longing to be at the picnic; I am thankful for you bringing us all along with your twitter and posts. I am just spending every free moment gardening, thinking of you all and channeling all you very good gardeners. Have a very blessed and Beatrix day!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s the only thing when you travel, not a lot of gardening to do (although I did deadhead the daffodils in the little garden here the other day! I miss pittering around in my garden, this makes up for it) … but a lot of garden-admiring goes on! Thank you Caroline!

  32. Heartsdesire (Judith Hogan) says:

    Absolutely breathtaking, those views! Wishing I could be there in person for the festivities. Hope everything goes well and the weather cooperates. Even if it doesn’t, who wouldn’t love just being near Beatrix Potter’s home and the area surrounding it.

  33. FayE in CA! says:

    I usually think of you as the Queen of Charm, but you are the Queen of Delight on this trip…spreading wonder, beauty and joy to all of us! The Lake District is stunning‼️ You have captured the spirit and beauty of the area. The blogs do make me drool-for-green, remember and wish to return. Oh, if only, we could shrink and literally sit on your shoulders while you step on paths through fields of bluebells, lambs, daffodils, quaint architecture…ALL OF IT! Thank you so much for thinking of us while you wander. This internet travelogue is the BEST postcard EVER. (Well, hmmm…not QUITE as good as a handwritten postcard from SB!!!) ✏️📪😊

    I am wondering if you are still being considered or have signed the contract for Writer in Residence for Victoria magazine? FAB that Victoria will photo-journal the picnic TOMORROW!! I have had a subscription for years and love their photography.

    I can feel the excitement/anticipation/goosebumps of those attending. They will toss sleeplessly in bed with the pending joy of this grand picnic…and dream about it afterwards! They will be wordless to describe their amazing adventure with you. ☺️ Tea-toasting to all at your amazing, fairy-tale-girl picnic in paradise…and a pot FULL of toasts for you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      I will try to think of you sitting on my shoulder when I do a new post about our picnic, FayE! Making sure I tell you all! It was heavenly. Victoria spoke to me a couple of years ago about being their artist-in-residence, but then I went traveling to bookstores for a couple of months to visit Girlfriends with my Martha’s Vineyard book, and it all slipped away . . . I think we just got busy. Maybe someday! Tea-toasts back to you, have a wonderful day!

  34. jeanie says:

    So much fun, this post (definitely quality!) and following the Twitter feed, too. More than a tad regretful I couldn’t sign up for the big adventure but I know it will be wonderful and my fingers are crossed for perfect weather! Thanks for “taking us along” with you and Joe!

  35. Jean says:

    Oh my gosh! Lovely, lovely!

  36. Kathy Korb says:

    Thank you, oh, thank you, Susan, for the blog post! Absolutely lovely in every sense of the word. It fills my soul seeing the pictures and reading your words. Enjoying this so much. Love it. Kathy

  37. Patty says:

    Hi Susan!
    I believe in karma! All of the happiness you bring to so many lives is being returned to you~ Will you be able to get a glimpse of the royal wedding on May 19th? We are planning a royal wedding tea party at 4:30am our time, in our jammies, with tea and scones! Looking forward to your next post already!! Hugs to you and Joe!!

    • sbranch says:

      Not in person, we’ll be in the Peak District on Saturday, and I’m not such a huge fan of crowds, BUT we will be up-close and personal with the TV, which I will be glued to! Have fun and your jammie-wedding-party! What fun!

  38. linny says:

    All I can say is, “delish”! Just awesome. Thanks so much for sharing Lin

  39. Debbie Boerger says:

    It’s about 2:50 AM in Castle Cottage, and I hoping you and Joe are sleeping peacefully. If it were I, my eye’s would be stuck wide open, my heart fluttering.
    I’ll be up early here in Tampa, so I don’t miss a thing. I have you on my weather alerts, so I’ll be I’ll be watching that and hoping for a good day for everyone.

    Thank you, Dear Lady, for all the effort that went into this lovely outing. I think of the grandmother who is following on maps with her 2 grand daughters. Maybe the Travel Bug will bite them or at least the desire to know more about the world. As a young child, I would spin my small globe, close my eyes and stick a pin in. Then get an encyclopedia and read all about new places. I absolutely had to be a teacher in order to find some place to put all that knowledge.

    Until tomorrow….it IS tomorrow for you,
    Debbie…. in warm, but not too steamy, Tampa

    • sbranch says:

      If all of your dreams survive, destiny will arrive . . . keep all your dreams alive, for s o m e d a y … 🎶 We have to believe we are magic . . . .😘

  40. Teresa O says:

    Hi Susan,

    My friend and I are in Windermere, but after leaving Chicago and flying over night we picked up a rental car and began driving on the wrong side of the road with a steering wheel on the wrong side of the car…and went out on the London bypass, on to the English highways where the traffic never let up. It took us ten hours of inexperienced driving in this way to get to Windermere, getting lost 4 times along the way and stopping to cry now and them. We arrived at our lovely destination at 11:00/23:00 pm. Today we are going out on foot only to give ourselves a bit of break from driving.

    Even though we were unable to attend is there any way we could purchase the mugs we reserved?
    With hope for better driving days ahead,
    Your girlfriends from Ohio,
    Maryjo and Teresa

    • sbranch says:

      Be brave. It’s worth it. Go little bits at a time. It gets easier I promise. Write to Mandy about your reserved mugs at [email protected]. One idea, there are tour people in the Lakes, google them, call one and see if they’ll take you out for a day. Another reprieve!

  41. Dd says:

    Such a wonderful post, I look forward to t book. I’ve had dinner in that same wonderful seat!
    Have u tried Instagram for you pics? That might be an easy format for you.
    Wondering if your friend is related to BP? What an amazing place to live.
    Look forward to t next post.

    • sbranch says:

      Mandy is not related to Beatrix Potter … but after 7 years in Castle Cottage, she has gotten to know her quite well, mainly from some of the quirks of the house and in the garden too. I do have an instagram account, but I can’t really tell a story there the way I can on Twitter. Plus, I can’t share other people’s wonderful photos with my followers on Instagram either … AND, the coup de gras, Instagram doesn’t allow photos to come from the computer, they have to come from the phone, and the pictures for the book I’m writing need to be taken with a better camera than my phone … I don’t know why they don’t allow photos directly from computer. Once in a while I send a pic from my computer to my phone, but it never seems to be the right size for Instagram and it also takes a long time. So I sort of give up. I do put things up when I can.

  42. Karen Werth says:

    Dear Susan,
    Have been enjoying your blog and pictures as you take us with on this dream trip.While you are having your picnic I am reading “At Home With Beatrix Potter” by Susan Denyer. I want to comment on your pictures of the Bluebells. We live near Starved Rock State Park in Illinois and have thousands of Bluebells bloom along trails during the first few weeks of May. People come from many miles to see them. My husband and I hiked one canyon this week and the beauty took our breath away. Right now I’m having my morning tea in my new Mother’s Day cup that arrived this week, it’s beautiful! Thank you. Karen

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to hear that Karen … my girlfriend Lowely has many in her garden, she’s shared them with me . . . they are some of my favorites, but when you are lucky enough to find a bluebell wood, it does take your breath away!

  43. Mary Ann in Missouri says:

    Your pictures are so beautiful, I actually cried while looking at them. The music you attached could have had something to do with that, too. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your blog posts. I can almost smell the grass, the flowers and the sunshine in these pictures. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

    • sbranch says:

      That music was playing on the radio one day as we were winding through the hedgerows, going from to to fro … the station was doing a countdown of the 100 favorite classical pieces and played those two right in a row. Made me cry too!

  44. Merci says:

    Dear Susan,
    Oh, what a grand time you and Joe are having! Friends, cute animals, flowers, the wide open green fields! Who could ask for more. Thanks for sharing! Continued happy travels!

  45. Eileen Ammendolea says:

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying your trip. Looks like you’re having a lovely time. The pictures are simply beautiful and the countryside is amazing! I hope the picnic is all you wish for and I can’t wait to see the pictures.

    • sbranch says:

      It was transcendental, I would stop, listen, look, and just BE while the picnic was happening, lambs baaing, birds singing, and the gorgeous unchanged view that Beatrix Potter had for 30 years of her amazing life.

  46. Barbara Lassiter says:

    Alas! I’ve let my Victoria magazine subscription expire, because my very large basket of Victoria magazines is over flowing and has to be wrestled with to move (for cleaning purpose only)! However, I will find room for one more when your issue comes out! What an amazing trip and I’m so enjoying all the pictures and the wonderful places you visited. Part of my ancestry is Welsh and I’ve loved seeing that part, too! Thanks so much for allowing us this “little view of these heavenly places.” And they are! 🙂

  47. Simply enchanting, dear Susan! I’m SO grateful that you are sharing your adventures with all of us via your blog and Twitter. Oh, the lovely bluebells and the precious, little lambs! You and Beatrix have been on my heart all day long. I truly hope that blue skies and sunshine were guests at the Castle Cottage picnic today along with all of our Girlfriends! Can’t wait to hear all about this Red-Letter day!!

    Wishing everyone a very special Mother’s Day weekend ~ whether you are a mother, daughter, sister, or a friend! Cherish the moments and the memories!
    Love you, Susan!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

  48. Patricia Edde says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just curious as to how things work sometimes. I sent in a comment on 5/9 and it is still “awaiting moderation” although several entered after it have been responded to. I want you to know that I am not sending this in a “shaking a finger at you ” kind of way, just wanting to understand how things work. I do appreciate you going through so many offerings and replying to so many – it just goes to show how we all admire you and love the fact that you take the time to share your life with us. Thank you so much.
    P.S. I just got the 4 cups and they are gorgeous! You were so right in sending them back to get the color fixed because they are so vibrant.

    • sbranch says:

      I totally understand… what happens is that the new comments come in on TOP of the old ones. So I may open the computer and there are 90 comments waiting, the newest ones on top are what I see first, so when I have a few moments, I read as many as I can, and they go through, but then if I don’t finish, the next day there are 40 more (or something) which again land on top, and so it goes ~ until I can go through them all, which is what I’m trying to do right now … there are 65 waiting, Joe is still asleep, Kellee and Sheri went home yesterday, and if I stay quiet, Joe will stay asleep and I will be able to finish! 🤞

      • Patricia Edde says:

        Thanks for the explanation Susan. I understand it all now. You are so great to take time out of your, very busy and exciting adventures, to read our thoughts. That’s why we all love you so. I don’t know exactly why, but I miss knowing that you are back and snug-as-a-bug in your home on the island with Jack. When exactly do you return? You’ve now been to all of Great Britain – do you have a favorite part (England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales) and what about a favorite town? I still haven’t spit into my 23andMe tube but will soon – maybe I’m just prolonging the suspense. I do have a bit of the dramatic in me. If you watch Masterpiece Mysteries and see the animation of the women on her fainting couch holding her hand to her forehead, that would be me. Anyway, I’ve taken up far too much of your time. Just know that I truly appreciate your taking the time for me and all of the rest who write. Today I will lunch with my weekly group, go look for some beautiful plants (I’ve fallen in love with Dahlias) and have a cup of coffee in my new England cup as I have already broken in the 3 others. There I went again blathering on some more.
        Much love to you and Joe and Mr. Jack back in the states.

        • sbranch says:

          We still haven’t seen it all! We haven’t even touched the entire east side of the country! So many places we need to go back to because we haven’t finished. I can’t really choose a favorite because it’s all so beautiful. Loved York, the Dales, the Lakes and the Peaks, love Oxford, Kent, and Sussex, Cornwall, Devon . . . Loved Wales and the Highlands, and needless to say fell head over heels with Ireland . . . I could go on all day, next we go to the Cotswolds, that’s pure gorgeousness, then Wiltshire, which we also love, so how can we choose? We arrive home July 1 … ship sails into NY Harbor that day! I will be quivering with excitement to see my kitty and my house again! Until then, forging on, through the gorgeous English Countryside! xoxo Have a wonderful day Patricia!

  49. Margaret in AG says:

    I am enjoying traveling on your trip!!! It is on my bucket list to travel that area. I just treated myself a Mother’s DAy cup from Apple Farm in SLO! Thank you for allowing them to sell your products. The lady’s there were really fun! Would love to be at the picnic have fun and hurry and send pictures!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I adore the people at Apple Farm and honored to be there! San Luis is my hometown really. Photos coming soon as I can!

  50. Paula says:

    I am thinking about you on this very special day. It is not only special because of the wonderful time you must be having Castle Cottage with the girlfriends and their husbands, but is special to me also because my Burnell is turning 81 years old today.

    I can imagine what a lovely time you have had at the picnic, and I rejoice with you all.
    Because of you, Susan and Joe, making travel to England sounds so wonderful and doable, I can picture where you are and enjoy your accounts even more . Thank you!

    God bless and keep you. Lovingly, Paula J

  51. Judy in Ohio says:

    Thank you, dear Susan, for all of your delightfully colorful words and your beautiful photos. I am fairly certain that I will never make it there…and so I am crying with happiness that you have…and that you care enough to tell us all about it in such a wonderfully creative way. (I can almost smell the tea and the flowers and the grass!)

    Thank you again soooo much!!

    When I was very young and my interest in Beatrix Potter was blooming, I had no idea that anyone else had such an interest as I did…I thought I was all alone in my passion for her and her writing and incredible illustrations.(She was the one who inspirited me to teach myself to do watercolors…and get my Fine Art degree (for what it was worth.) I am so glad to find that I am NOT alone and that we are, in fact, quite the gang of such souls! A virtual bevy of Beatrix devotees!!

    I am so happy to be with such a crowd!

    Wish I could be there for the picnic…But I am sure that you will
    describe it to us so well that I will feel like I WAS there!!! 🙂

    Take care…and continue to have fun…
    We will be here for the rundown, after.


    • sbranch says:

      You are so very welcome Judy. I love having everyone along, it makes me take more photos! I’m still finding more reasons to love Beatrix, she is the gift that keeps on giving. I’ll try and do a new blog soon! Kellee and Sheri left yesterday, we have to pack tomorrow and leave early Friday for our new place . . . I’ll get a new post in there somewhere!

  52. Shelley S says:

    Oh my!
    What a joy this post has been! An oasis. So green. Hedgerows, cottages, flowers, lambs, tea and little birds. Thank you for taking us along. I will make the cake. Happy Mother’s Day to all the girlfriends and YOU…(Jack’s mom….how is Jack, besides missing you?) Today, I will also celebrate the color green. Thank you, Susan. Thank you Mandy. Xoxo (waiting for the milkman and picnic stories)

    — ShellEy S. — From Three Doves Ranch (where a tiny house finch is nesting in the front door wreath..so darling.)

    • sbranch says:

      Jack is GOOD. I miss him more than he misses me, I’m sure! He is in very good hands, and I can’t wait until those hands are once again mine! Wonderful door decor!

  53. Kindred Kate says:

    Oh gosh, I’ve read this blog several times now (and want to watch “Miss Potter”with Renee Zellweger again!) I so wish I could’ve been there, joining you all for the picnic – maybe someday I too will go to “The Lake District.” What a beautifully romantic place it is. Your photos, drawings & quotes have captured it perfectly. Oh, and I JUST received my first copy in the mail of Victoria Magazine! Serendipitous! I will love to see how they covered your picnic; in which issue will it be? I used to be an elementary school librarian & loved sharing all the little Beatrix Potter books with the kids. It was a delight to catch a glimpse of their faces, looking up at me while I read- their mouths open & everyone so silent you could hear a pin drop. The stories & pictures made everyone feel so cozy. I would get several hugs (usually from the K’s, 1st or 2nd graders) after reading them aloud. Beatrix was a “magic catcher.” I would describe you, Susan, as being the same.

    • sbranch says:

      What a wonderful compliment Kate, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Just loved hearing you talk about the faces of the little kids! Not sure yet about Victoria … haven’t heard, but the photographer thought “maybe September.” xoxo

  54. Marianne says:

    There with you in spirit yesterday, Susan! Enjoying the photos on twitter today. It had to be a thrilling particularly wonderful day for all of you! So happy! Looking forward to hearing all about it in your blog and new book! So fun! I’ll be enjoying my new Castle Cottage Susan Branch cup soon. (It’s on its way.)

  55. KittyK says:

    Greetings Susan! I so enjoy your blog beyond telling. Such a delight to read, see, and hear all about Beatrix Potter’s home & beloved Lakes District. I couldn’t help but notice that many of the bushes/trees have gold/orange/red leaves on them, as though Autumn never ended at Castle Cottage. Could this be part of it’s magic?

    • sbranch says:

      Maybe it is, because you’re right … Most of the trees are green, and since the leaves are new, they are all colors of green: apple, yellow, lime, emerald, pear . . . dark and light, with evergreens the darkest, and piercing all that green, everywhere on mountain sides or lining the narrow roads are huge copper beech trees. You look up when under one of them, the sun shines through and they turn everything golden orange, like buttercups under your chin! So beautiful!

  56. Nettie says:

    I honestly don’t know how you do it !!! I love your writing your thinking and your photos that speak volumes.
    You have such a gift and you so generously share them with us your girlfriends. You make us long for a visit to the English countryside.
    Enjoy every single moment as I know you do and thank you so much for inviting us to tag along

    • sbranch says:

      It’s what girlfriends do with girlfriends, we share … we connect, we are loyal and we are fun! Love having you here!

  57. AngieTink says:

    Happy~Mother’s~Day My Sweet~Sue To #You From Your #Jack… 😉 Read My Sunday~Tweet For You…. 🙂 & To #YourBelovedMum & To All Us~Moms! 🙂 I Love This Blog~Post & The Video Of Castle~Cottage! #Gorgeous! & I Love All The Photos You Tweeted From The~Picnic #LuvLeeDay Filled With So Much #MAGIC!!! 🙂 Sending You Extra~Hugzzz & Always LOVE From #Me To #You! xoxo #Poof! 🙂 P.S. I Was At That #Picnic In~Spirit I Was The~Fairy Fluttering~About! 😉

    • sbranch says:

      I know you were Angie, I felt the wind blow past my cheek several times!

      • AngieTink says:

        🙂 Sweet~Sue I Am So #EXCITED About This #RoyalWedding 🙂 #OMG Have The Most~Amazing~Magical~Day!!!! 🙂 Prince Harry & Meghan My~Wings~Are~All~A~Flutter!!!! 😉 🙂

  58. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking us Girlfriends along with you. My heart is overflowing at your lovely photos. I’m savoring each one. <3 xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      So happy you like them Kim, It’s great when I get a good one and think to myself, oh, they are going to love this! xoxo

  59. Fran Fettrow says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,

    Reading your stories makes me so happy and dreaming how I wish I was a little birdie friend who could travel along with you. I hope to get to do the same trip one of these days and see The Lake District and Beatrice Potter’s Hill House. I hope they do another “Girlfriends Tour” next year or anytime soon and my girlfriend and I can tag along. You make it sound and look so wonderful, and I’m sure it would be a wonderful dream come true. Looking forward to more fun looks at your amazing trip..,!

    • sbranch says:

      You would love it Fran, it is SO gorgeous. Try to come in May. Spring is everywhere you look! June is good too, because then you get the roses!

  60. Mary S says:

    As soon as I started reading this blog and listening to the “Ladies In Lavender” music, I started crying! How wonderful! AND… I received my “England” cup! I’m giving it to our daughter for her birthday, and it’s sooo perfect and beautiful! Reading your blog takes me out of this world for a while, so even tho’ I can’t read about your travels on Twitter anymore, I’m glad I can read your blogs. It’s a wonderful respite. My only brother is in the hospital fighting brain tumors, so it’s a difficult time. But our hope is in God! xoxox You and Joe are in my prayers for safe travels!
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry about your brother! My prayers are with him Mary. So hard, someone you love dearly.

  61. paula says:


    I almost had tears of joy , just feeling your excitement entering Beatrix Potters Castle cottage ! I like the quote of never being to old for fairy tales , I just said to my girlfriend I think my mind is in La-la land daydreaming of how I wish every day could be like a vacation, then I woke up and had to go to work , hehe.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful days in such a beautiful countryside!
    Paula from Indiana
    p..s you could do a travel guide book ?!

    • sbranch says:

      I tried to make A Fine Romance, besides being a diary of our 2012 trip, also a travel guide … and plan to do the same this time. Work, then play, and work while you play, make work play, that’s my motto!

      • paula says:

        LoVe YOUR thinking Dear Susan !!

        Also, the upcoming travel guide would be amazing because one day I would love to walk in your footsteps !


  62. Elaine Woodford says:

    Since I can no longer travel i.e. must live vicariously thru you. And since the Bible says God has prepared mansions for us, I have put my bid in for a little stone cottage with thatched roof and a Beatrice Potter view with sheep. No mansion needed. Thank you for sharing all that you see and do. Looking forward with great anticipation to the next blog!!!

    • sbranch says:

      No mansion needed for me either. I love the little places best. Probably would never have left Holly Oak if it wasn’t for my hulking big Joe Hall, collector of all things book-like.

  63. Kim Garner says:

    Oh how I wish I was there! Thank you for taking us all along. I visited this area based on your book A Fine Romance and fell in love. Did you try the gingerbread in Grassmere? We loved Dove cottage William Woodsworth’s house there as well. These may have been in your book, I need to reread the book. It is filled with all my wild flowers that I pressed from out visit. I would love to see the cottage you rented. The view looks wonderful! We were there in June and all of the Rhododendrons were in bloom along the lake. It was beautiful! Enjoy and again thank you for taking us along. Kim

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, they were, but we did it all again. We had to take Kellee and Sheri to both places, couldn’t let them go without that! England is wild in rhododendron-season! We have them in our garden at home, and they’re old, planted by Mrs. Bowditch many years ago, but they are nothing to the ones that grow here. This must be their natural habitat … azaleas are blooming here now, also very large plants, but the rhodies are still yet to come. Glad you can join in Kim!

  64. janice says:

    Be still my heart and died and went to heaven. Breath taking. What a visit. What a glimpse into a place that actually lives up to our imaginations! Thank you! This has been on my forever bucket list and now I’ve been virtually at least.

    • sbranch says:

      It absolutely does, there is not one speck of anything that disappoints … even now on our second visit. We were visiting with a white-haired lady in the pub next to Hill Top (Tower Banks Arms) yesterday, she said she was 92, and she’s been to Hill Top “too many times to count.” I guess it never gets old!

  65. Peggy Cooper says:

    You live such a magical life! Can hardly wait to see the photos of the picnic. Both yours, and those in Victoria. Less than a week now until “the wedding”. I’ll be getting up before 4 a.m. with a cuppa to help the happy couple celebrate. Happy and safe travels to you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      We leave tomorrow for the Peak District, and arrive at our new cottage just in time for me to plunk down in front of the TV and see the whole thing! Thank you Peggy, good to have you along!

  66. Samantha says:

    So good to read and go on this journey! Played the musica with a cup of tea and read along. Everything is so pretty, just like a fairytale. Love logging onto your blog Susan and catching up. Everything is so pretty in the Spring. We can never have too many flowers or see too many birds! The picnic sounds so exciting and I look forward to reading about the girlfriends adventures. Be safe and happy in the rest of your excursions! xo

    • sbranch says:

      I agree, rebirth, green and blue and white clouds scudding by, and baby animals and warm breezes, and the smell of spring, that entire changeover from the gray is a magical thing.

  67. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    I just love you! Thank you for keeping fairy tales alive in our hearts.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s my job, someone has to do it. And while I’m doing you, I’m doing me. So it’s a win-win. xoxoxo

  68. Kathie Ferko says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thanks for all your blog and twitter commentary
    love it all….glad your trip is going well.
    Just wanted to say I received my England mug today…it is beautiful
    So light….feels like Beleek pottery…I love it
    Hope to hear more from you soon…enjoy!!

    Kathie from Limerick

  69. Debra Sewell says:

    Love love this May Willard, well love them all but this was the icing on a cake. Loved the music, little video, wonderful food and tea pics. I love the two pics of Beatrix, with Dad and sitting with pup near her!! Had not seen those before. I have so far reread Mays Willard 3 times and April’s 4.
    Thank you for sharing your life, friends and adventures with us all.


  70. Lori Ann says:

    OH MY HEART!!!!! Thank you for another fairy tale vacation that you so graciously share with us!

  71. Diane from Poulsbo says:

    Dearest Susan, hate to bother you on vacation, but have tried without success to contact customer service a few times. No phone call back to track my darling Jack and England mugs. I also ordered the new set of 4 and was wondering when those ship also? I am not sure what to do at this point. Anyhoo….am loving following you on our beautiful trip! Xoxoxox thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      Because the girls were with me in England! Try again now if you still haven’t gotten Jack and England ([email protected]/~susanbs3/susanbranch/) ~ Kellee and Sheri are back home now. The other four, the summer cups, should be in by the end of June or sooner. Hope this helps, Diane! xoxo

  72. It is a wonderful day! My Spring cup arrived! Thank you again for all you do, and please enjoy the English trip as much as you possibly can, cause we are all along!
    Jeanne of Iowa

  73. Each morning & night I look @ your beautiful photo’s , you are so talented & joyful. Thanks for sharing.. I keep my tea bags in your cup ☕️

  74. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Hello, Susan and Joe! It is such fun to read your blog and see those wonderful places in the Lake District, where Jenny and I walked a year ago! Seems like a dream now, sometimes! So happy you are having incredible weather for your time there, and your picnic day was lovely, so special! Wishing you continued wondrous times in dear olde England! hugs from Oregon, Suzette ( Enjoy the Royal Wedding coverage! )

  75. Barbara Seibert says:

    I had such a Susan Branch day today. Found the first Heart of the Home cook book in a thrift store. Had bought the new one awhile back because I could not find an old one in the thrift store and there it was today just smiling at me! Went to another thrift store and found a Beatrix potter book with her original art work. Went home and there was my spring cup on my front step. Two days ago went thrift shopping with friends and found Stillmeadow Sampler by Gladys Taber. With that sign I took the time to sign up with TFOGT site. How blessed am I! and very happy as well.

  76. Sharrieboberry says:

    There is always magic and awe if we just look. Thank you for sharing! xoxo

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

    I just noticed this post, so I’m a bit late keeping up with the blog myself. I hope you will keep on running, seeing, eating and being, and just enjoying every moment you can – we’ll wait! I am going to go back and enjoy your beautiful pictures again. 💚

  78. Yvonne from Munroe Falls Ohio says:

    Thank you Susan for showing me your wonderful picnic day at Beatrix Potters home loved seeing inside her home and all her wonderful things I have received my Jack in the books tea cup I will treasure it

  79. LADYHEARTWELL of Berkeley Springs says:

    I relived going to Beatrix Potter’s work home and the surrounding area while reading this latest blog. This area reminds me of what David wrote in the Psalms about the cattle (probably and sheep) on a thousand hills. It is SOOO peaceful looking in the Lake District. When arriving there I felt as if I had come home, so to speak, and can understand why Beatrix Potter decided to settle there. Thank you, Susan, for all your photos and descriptions!!! Can’t wait to read the book you will hopefully write about this latest journey.

  80. Chrissie says:

    Well Susan, Hello my bird, I’ve just finished reading your wonderful book A fine romance and I really must see more of my own country. Your knowledge of England far surpasses mine much to my shame and I viewed it in all its glory through your eyes thanks to the illustrations and descriptive phrases. All felt halcyon and bucolic. I live in West Devon by Dartmoor three miles from the border with Cornwall. My family Devonian since 1066.
    Enjoyed the book so much I am going to have to order all of your books. Thank you so much for a heart warming comforting read, it felt like a warm shawl around my shoulders. As us says down ‘ere, cheers me ‘andsome 💖

    • sbranch says:

      LOOK WHERE YOU LIVE, OMG, you are a very lucky person, all that and the family history too. It sometimes takes a new pair of eyes to see things you’ve been used to since birth. But you are a very lucky girl, and this is an amazing part of the world. Your adorable words cheers me ‘andsome 🤣 too, just love it! XOXO

Comments are closed.