Oh, to be in England

April 11, 2018

I started this blog, some six years ago, when I moved to Cambodia, with nothing more in mind, really, than to avoid having to write postcards to friends and family.

I’ve kept at it fitfully in the years since, poking affectionate fun at the foibles of wherever I’ve been, mostly, as well as irritating insane French paedophiles. But, for the last few months, I’ve taken a break from living abroad, and have recently installed myself, Harley the Wonder Dog and Blossom the Fragrant Wife, deep in the countryside of Somerset.

We’re now far from the gently perfumed tropical evenings of Southeast Asia; countless miles from the arid beauty of the Himalayas; a long way from Phnom Penh and Delhi and Bangkok and Vientiane. And so far we’re loving it.

But as I rambled through the thick red Somerset mud and the horrendous April drizzle this afternoon with Harley the Hammer of the Dogs shivering at the end of his leash, it occurred to me that I could probably to continue to write this here; occasionally at least. It’s still a culture shock, being back in the UK, despite the ubiquity of Radio 4, and builders’ tea, and crumpets, and reasonably well-spoken English.

We’re a long way, still, from grisly Shepherds Bush and stabby London generally, from taking the Tube and paying six quid a pint. It’s incredibly beautiful here, with (so far) lovely people, a solid community spirit, wild animals lurking in every bush: almost everything you could need.

So I thought I might occasionally write down some passing thoughts, on how it is to live deep in the English countryside. It’s certainly not as exotic as Cambodia, or as weird, but it is still different. Of course, if anyone thinks this is a crappy idea, just let me know and I’ll pull the plug.

But, as Robert Browning had it:

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!

 

 

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One Response to “Oh, to be in England”

  1. gmanners said

    NEVER EVER STOP. Miss you and would LOVE to see you soon. BIG HUG xx Georgie Manners +44 7973 346 706

    >

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