Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Getting a Kick Out of English Cows

In 1977 two of my friends went to England for a year. It was a student job for the boyfriend in London and they rented a flat in the East End.
I`ve always been pulled to England. My roots are there, being first generation Canadian on my Mum`s side and second on my Dad`s.

I saved every penny and counted the days, because I was on my way too.
I bought a ticket good for a year and my first plan was to stay with them and then on to Exeter where my cousin and his wife were.
T and P ( the friends) sent me this postcard.
Nineteen and brave and adventurous, I got on the plane and landed at Heathrow where they met me.

It was an amazing experience. We saw the Queen because it was her Silver Jubilee year. Across from the flat there was a park with an unusual bag lady and one day on the side of the street we saw a man dressed like Moses, staff, hides, fur and all. I think he must have been in a play. We also went to a "Queen" concert which was great. They appeared from under a crown. I missed Pink Floyd unfortunately.
Here in Canada we have May 24th weekend. So there in England, we had to celebrate it.
Another friend had come over for two weeks and we went to Kent and around site seeing.
We stopped for cockles and prawns and took them on a picnic in Essex.

At our picnic was in a field with cows. Well actually not IN the field, beside it.

I grew up on a farm so cows were usually just cows. But these were "English cows"
So three of us each took a picture because "English cows" seemed quite fascinating. We wondered if they had accents. We needed a picture to take home. After all, they were English, it was May 24th weekend, we were Canadians in England and it was the 70`s.
Later when back in Canada, each friend who saw our pictures remarked on how strange it was...taking pictures of cows. "Well, you had to be there to understand." was our reply.

I took the train to Exeter after a month and stayed with my cousin and wife who had an assortment of Unniversity students from around the world boarding with them. This is Ernesto from Venezuela who was one of them and a very young me.

He was comical and would only put boiled milk in his coffeee and tea. I worked for an Optition for awhile. I was able to do this because at that time all you needed was proof that at least one of your family were English.
It was a wonderful adventure and I was able to meet lots of people and see lots of places. But being nineteen I got homesick. So home I came.
I`ve been back once since, eight years ago to see where my Dad`s side is from. This time to Lancashire and Yorkshire and the Lakes District with one of my friends. We were able to partly stay in a row house that one of her customers owned here in Canada.

I`ll be back again yet. This time I`d like to see the South West. Glastonbury and the surrounding areas. Hubby and I hoped to go next year for our delayed honeymoon.


Jeanne said...

How exciting a time that was.
I am glad you will be able to go again.
Love Jeanne

Shelley said...

Oh..when you go again..take me with you! ;-)

miss*R said...

ooh Glastonbury - a place that I would love to visit. My pa came from England. He was 5 when the family migrated to Australia. One day I would love to go visit the area where my ancestors came from. Devon. but it is a 23 hour flight, yick.

Rosa said...

What a wonderful story and a fabulous opportunity for you. I feel my Engllish blood run deep in my veins too. I would someday love to live there, but I doubt it will ever come to fruition. But, it's wonderful to dream about it.

Shane Marie said...

Do British cows have accents? I love that & I'm sure they do!
I spent just a few weeks in England, around when I was 19, too. I made a special trip down to Kingston, the last place I had any record of my father's family in England, back in the 1800s. All I found was the cemetry and chapel there--I didn't even uncover any headstones. I felt like I was doing something so important, hunting around that cemetry, yet afraid to be "caught" at the same time.
Thank you for sharing this memory and these images!

Daisy Lupin said...

What a lovely posting about England. Yes at that age you do tend to take some strange photographs, when I was that age my friends and I, now don't ask me why, had a fascination for taking photos of tourists and walkers in their bright coloured waterproofs in the rain in the Lake District. We all use to drive there in an old car [about one hours's drive] to do this, we must have been mad. Well we were all art students. xx

Carol said...

Oh sounds like you have had a good time in England. The cow story is funny! I like visiting England as well! Ah lucky you for going again next year!

VintagePretty said...

I loved your story! I'm glad you had a fab time - it's great to get out and see the world. I'm also glad you mentioned Glastonbury and the surrounding areas, they are truly beautiful (we spent some of our honeymoon there!) Dorset is definitely worth visiting, as are the Mendips (the hills surrounding Glastonbury). I myself can't wait to go back (we live in the north-east so don't get to go very often)!