When I was fourteen I went with my family to visit my (step) Grandparents. Let me clarify something before we move on. I only add the (step) because while they were my younger brother’s true grandparents, they were only my step-grandparents. Not that I didn’t claim them as my own. I did. But they aren’t really mine, they belong to Ed. And as I already stole his teddy bear I don’t dare also steal his grandparents. (I still have your bear Edwardo, I’ll mail him to you if you want him back.)

Anyway, back to the Roman Road:

While in England on that trip we went on a rambling tour. My (step) grandparents belonged to a rambling club. (Rambling = Walking/Hiking.)  We clambered up to the top of the moors and discovered an ancient road, built by the Romans. It went on forever. Very cool, walking along the tops of the moors and then coming down into towns to spend the night among the living.

I’ll see if I can hunt up some pictures… but for now here’s one of the Roman Road.

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We are a young country. When you head to almost anywhere but here everything is older. I was talking to a docent in a castle in Scotland whose home was built in the 14th Century. I thought my house was old and it wasn’t built until 1830. There are places in Europe that have been standing for so long I can hardly imagine.

I’ve been to Tintagel, the mythical seat of King Arthur.

I’ve stayed in Kinfauns Castle built just slightly earlier than my 1830s home.

I slept in the room on the far left, second floor and took glorious pictures of the sunrise. (I was in my twenties and never got up that early in my life!) Below my room, where the bigger windows are is a large ballroom where we were invited to learn Scottish Country dancing. I remember feeling wonderful there.

I grew up hearing my mother say “53 Lynches were mayors of Galway.” So I went there, even though there isn’t any evidence that the Lynches I’m related to were even remotely connected to the Irish, Galway Lynches. Then I read the history of Lynch Castle and I’m okay with not being related. But I stood outside the 16th century castle anyway, wondering if it was part of my heritage.

There is so much scope for imagination in old buildings, be they ruins or still standing. Oh and I haven’t even touched upon the …

To be continued.

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The best Fish and Chips I’ve ever eaten. London, circa 1975, bought from a hole in the wall takeaway shop wrapped in newspaper and consumed sitting on my hotel bed while chatting with my Mom. We were in England for my (step) Grandparents 50 wedding anniversary. We did some sightseeing in London before heading to Cottingham for the party. I’m not sure how my mother put up with me.

The second best Fish and Chips were from a chip shop on the bay in Horseshoe Bay, BC, Canada. I seem to remember we ate them standing on the rocky sand near the water. I was a kid.

The third best Fish and Chips: Scotland, 2016. It might actually have been the best tasting, the fish was very fresh. But I think the fact that I was with my Mom in the first instance and my family in the second instance is what made those fish and chips stick in my mind.

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My kids think I’m crazy, but I love Trifle. My mom’s version had custard and fruit (berries and bannas usually) and whipped cream, apricot halves with walnuts nestled in them. Plus booze soaked cake. I didn’t actually like that part when I was a child.

Yum.

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In honor of signing another couple of intrepid travelers to our Ireland/Scotland Trip of Summer 2017, I am going to post all the things I love about the UK and Ireland.  Not all at once, mind you. One at a time so you can savor them.

#1 (In order of how they pop into my head)

CRUMPETS.

We call them English Muffins. They are not muffins, though, are they? They are nothing like muffins. Of course, many of our American muffins are more like cake than muffin. Especially grocery store muffins. You might as well just call them unfrosted cupcakes with fruit. Cupcakes pretending to be healthy. Actually, Giant Cupcakes playing possum.

Sorry, I went off on a tangent. I’m having a tangenty kind of a day.

Crumpets are meant to be toasted until crunchy and then the butter melts into all the crevices and also runs down your fingers while you are eating. Also nice with jam or topped with poached eggs.

How do you like your crumpets?

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