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.