There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Becoming an English Gentleman--Part II

One of the nicest things about living in Britain is how much dogs (and cats too) are loved--which makes it a very dog-friendly place to live. But it also means that puppies need to learn their manners if they're going to be going out and about in public. Wee Jack has been working very hard on his manners and becoming an English gentleman during this past year. He's been learning how to ride in the car without a fuss, how to walk quietly in a field of grazing sheep or cows, and how to be a respectful guest in a country pub.

Last week Jack had the perfect opportunity to show us what a young gentleman he is (Becoming an English Gentleman Part I), when we had an afternoon in the Cotswolds. He was a very good lad walking through a field of sheep and was a respectful visitor to two churches, before we went on to visit the town of Burford, have a pub lunch, and do some window shopping on a busy High Street. It calls for a whole different puppy 'skill set', and he needed to be on his best behaviour, but we had every confidence he was up to the challenge.

Once we left the fields and the sheep behind, we were all hungry and luckily we found just the right pub immediately. The Angel and Child was open and still serving food that afternoon and more importantly, they welcomed dogs, even muddy ones. We walked in and saw we had the pub to ourselves, there was a warm fire roaring in the fireplace and Stuart's favourite ale (Hook Norton) on tap--so it was perfect. We settled right into the window seat piled high with cushions and the afternoon sun pouring in.

Hook Norton for Stuart and cider for me.

The pub landlord came in and
Jack made friends with the pub
dog Georgie, a little Jack Russell.

We had two little visitors under the
table as we ate. Such innocence
in those big brown eyes, but don't
let that fool you, they were after
one thing alone--our food.

After we had our fill of fish and chips and
an orange and cinnamon crème brulee',
we said goodbye to Georgie and The Angel,
and walked up and down Burford's High Street.

Burford is west of Oxford, just off
the A40. It's High Street, which slopes
down the hill to the Windrush valley, 
 is lined with beautiful Cotswold
stone cottages and small shops. It's
 a 'town' rather than a 'village', since
it has a mayor and a town hall.

Jack immediately found
several cottages he thought
would be just right for us.

Just a few of the beautiful cottages
that line Burford's High Street,
each one so different and unique.

Jack met new friends as we
walked along the street -- the
first one in the window of a shop
selling doggie accoutrements.
How much is that doggie in the
window, the one with the waggly tail?
We met another sweet pup waiting
patiently for mum and dad to return
home. Jack barked a little hello
and "chin up! they'll be home soon!".

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
~17th century English nursery rhyme
Jack did beautifully walking up and
down the street, proving what a gentleman
he could be, but soon we were all tired
and ready to get back home to Oxford.

Jack was a muddy, happy, and very
tired boy in the back of the car, driving
home past newborn lambs and
the countryside coming back to life.

As we drove home, we were already
planning our next trips out to the
countryside with Jack..........
April and tulips, May and wildflowers,
and best of all, June and roses.

There is no season such delight can bring, 
As summer, autumn, winter, and the spring.
~William Browne (b.1591)

April tulips at Hidcote Gardens NT.
May Queen Anne's lace in
the village of Swinbrook.
Roses bloom in a cottage
Taynton, Oxfordshire.
June roses, Burford, Oxfordshire.
This is my favourite climbing rose,
a Cécile Brunner.

Jack's come a long way since his
first Cotswold Adventureand we
have many more to come, so be sure
to check back often to see how
the little English gentleman is doing.


  1. Delightful! Amazing how well behaved (I know you have worked hard), and apparently everyone else does there, too. England is all so very civil, right down to pets!! Lovely to see!! Spring is coming forth here, too, and we are enjoying flowering trees at present. Daffodils and grape hyacinth blooming in back garden near the fence. So nice to have you "drop in" for a break in the midst of my work morning! Jane xo

    1. He's a very good boy--and turning a year old tomorrow! He's been a joy and has really gotten me through some emotional ups and downs I've had this year. Next month look for Jack Tiptoeing Through the Tulips! Glad to hear spring is making it's way to you and always happy to drop in for a visit. xxCarrieoo

  2. Thanks to your wonderful blog I continue to add more and more places to my must-see list. And well done to wee Jack! Looking forward to more of your adventures...


    1. Hope all is well with you and your family Kristen, and thanks for coming along with Jack on his adventures. Any plans to return to England soon?? xxCarrieoo

    2. We are all well. Thank you for asking! No plans to return right now but maybe in 2017. Fingers crossed!


  3. You have really trained Jack well to be so well behaving! I should bring our two westies to your English gentleman (and a lady) training. They could really need it ! That white door with climbing roses is just something to DIE FOR!! It's so beautiful that I could cry! Somebody actually gets to walk in that door and call it home .... oooh, I'm sighing deperately ;-)
    Have a nice weekend! :D

    1. So glad you enjoyed Jack's adventures. The terrier/Jack Russell in him can be a challenge at times still, but we seem to be over the worst of the puppy stage. And I know what you mean about the aching beauty of roses and doorways. They hold a special beauty for me too. I still marvel and wonder at it even after living here as long as I have, and I hope I never take it for granted. Take care and all the best. xxCarrieoo