Cracking on With Christmas

(I was going to title this “Kicking off Christmas,” but I realised that is a very American thing to say, as here “kicking off” means starting to throw a fit. So I revised to something that sounds a lot more British.)

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This is our third Christmas season in London. Yes, Christmas, not holiday season; the holiday season here means summer vacation; and even though in general I find this a very tolerant melting pot of a city, Brits don’t seem to be concerned about religious political correctness surrounding Christmas the way Americans are, hence every public school child performs in a nativity play, and no one seems bothered by it. Continue reading

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An English Summer Seaside Holiday, Part 2

{Read An English Summer Seaside Holiday, Part 1, here}

On Tuesday of our week in Cornwall, we visited St Michael’s Mount. The thing about visiting this island is that when the tide is low, a causeway appears and you can walk over from the mainland in Marazion. But when the tide comes back in, the causeway completely disappears under water, and you have to take a ferry.

So we waited for the causeway to open that morning, and walked across.

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An English Summer Seaside Holiday, Part 1

At the end of August, we took a weeklong family holiday to Cornwall, which E had been excited for all year. I was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up to her expectations, since she’d been asking when we were going to Cornwall since before Easter. But as it turned out, it did; she had a fantastic week filled with kite-flying, sand castle-building, fish and chips, and ice cream cones.

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Our cottage in the town of Marazion was a Saturday-to-Saturday rental. Because driving there takes at least 5 hours (with no traffic) and there’s always traffic in London, we left at 4:30 a.m. Which was the best decision we could have made. We were sitting in a café in Marazion, ordering breakfast, by 9:30.

We passed Stonehenge right at sunrise, and there wasn’t a tourist in sight!

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Beth, Bath, and Beyond

“They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs… She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already.” —Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I studied abroad in Bath in the autumn of 2002 and spring of 2003, and it was one of the best years of my life. Since moving to London, I’ve been back several times: with my husband, E, and in-laws; with my friend Shelby; with my friend Emily; and with my parents just a couple weeks ago. It’s a perfect day trip from London. It only takes an hour and a half by train, and Bath is so small and walkable that you don’t need a car there.

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