22 July 2013

Royal Birth On Its Way

With the headlines now reading that the Duchess of Cambridge is in labor,
I admit I get all tingly about happy beginnings

source: Telegraph

It's not uncommon to hear an English person say
'Now, I'm not a Royalist but...'
followed by something very complimentary about the royal family

I think the country is happy to have something to look forward to again
after two extraordinary years of once-in-a-lifetime events

- the Royal Wedding, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Summer Olympics -

Although the royal family doesn't rule the country (Parliament does),
the royal baby provides a peek into the future of the country's leadership

The Royal Family provides a stability through the decades,
as Prime Ministers change frequently

There is a fondness toward the Royal Family here
When you watch another family grow up during your lifetime, 
you feel like you know them

For now, Queen Elizabeth II is THE face of the country
What little person being born will be the future face?

{ Decided in a recent ruling,
this baby will be in line for the throne regardless of gender }

source: Telegraph

One tradition that won't continue is
the Home Secretary's attendance of the royal birth
to insure a different baby isn't smuggled in or switched out

Although the witnessing was practiced for centuries,
no one would have attended the birth of Queen Elizabeth II
as she was not born heir to the throne

{ Her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936
which made Elizabeth's father the King when she was ten years old } 

source: Telegraph

What name do you think they'll choose?

If it is a girl, my vote is for Charlotte
in memory of Princess Charlotte of Wales (1796-1817)
who was much loved by the British
as Princess Diana was

Regardless of birth name,
the monarch can change his/her name upon coronation

King George VI was born as Albert,
and there is speculation that Prince Charles
will become King George VII upon coronation

{ because the two King Charles's did not have the happiest of fates }

source: Telegraph

And so the headlines have been pretty quiet right now,
except for reports about the hot weather

{ English homes are without air conditioning
and designed to keep the heat in,
so it has been quite uncomfortable }

Meanwhile, the world's media descends upon the city once more 
and stares at a hospital front door 
and an easel at Buckingham Palace

Best of luck to the parents-to-be!

18 July 2013

London For History Lovers

You don't have to go far to see something
historically significant in London
~ Dreamy for any history enthusiast ~

Here's a short list of 'must do's'
in London for those interested in the past

The British Museum

This museum is overwhelming large,
but since it is free, come and go as you please

Featuring the Rosetta Stone 
and 7 million other artifacts from around the world


Victoria and Albert Museum 

V&A is the world's largest museum of art and design
often with fascinating current exhibits
General admission is free


Tower of London

Once a palace and prison,
this famous fortress also holds the crown jewels
which are on display to the public

Parliament Tour*

Watch political debates or get a tour of this landmark
which is as beautiful inside as it is out
with a rich history to boot

Buckingham Palace Tour*

If it is open, you should tour one of the most iconic palaces in the world
Typically the palace is open in the summer months while the Queen is away

If unavailable, you can visit another one of the Queen's homes,
Windsor Palace, which is easily accessible by train outside London


Shakespeare's Globe Theatre & Tour

Get a peek into Elizabethan times by watching a production*
and by touring the theatre & exhibition

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub

Step back in time while
you grab a drink and some grub in this authentic 17th century pub
Famous patrons included Charles Dickens and Mark Twain
Like most pubs, well-behaved children are welcome
(Don't miss free tea tasting at nearby Twinings)


Churchill War Rooms

Visit the underground Cabinet War Rooms where WWII was orchestrated from in London
See Churchill's bunker, the direct telephone to Roosevelt, and
the original maps with pins and string indicating the fronts


Imperial War Museum

Currently under construction,
the museum will partially open in the coming weeks
to feature 'Horrible Histories: Spies' for kids

 In Summer 2014,
this museum will open another section to commemorate
the upcoming centenary of the First World War



This list should keep you busy if you come for a visit :)
Do you have any favorites to share?

- photos by me -
* Book tickets in advance
(an unsponsored post)

Correlating posts providing more detail:
Ceremony Of The Keys (Tower of London)

11 July 2013

Summer Read: 'The Secret Keeper'

Looking for a great book this summer?
I couldn't put this one down


'The Secret Keeper' pages 
are filled with a great story, some unexpected twists,
and good character development

- ooh, I just LOVED this book! -
Probably my favorite read in a long time

By international bestselling author of 'The Forgotten Garden',
Kate Morton's most recent novel is set in England in the 1930s, the 1960s and present day

It knits together a story of 'mysteries and secrets, murder and enduring love'
and leaves the reader guessing until the very end

Have you read anything fantastic lately?

If not, now you have :)
(an unsponsored post)

05 July 2013

Enid Blyton's Old Thatch Gardens

If you are English,
chances are you grew up reading stories
written by Enid Blyton

If you are American,
you've probably never heard of her or her classic stories such as
'The Wishing-Chair', 'The Magic Faraway Tree',
'The Enchanted Wood' or 'The Famous Five'

But now you have :)

Delightfully, Mr and Mrs Hawthorne bought Enid Blyton's Old Thatch cottage 
and started landscaping its two acres just thirteen years ago

Jacky Hawthorne is a garden designer

With help from her husband and a few volunteers,
they are able to manage the garden throughout the week
and open it to the public

See the rod perpendicular to the lamppost?

Over a hunderd years ago,
the person lighting the lamp manually
would have leaned his ladder against the rod to reach the lamp
{ love that tidbit }

Enid Blyton described her 17th Century home as

a very old house rather like a rambling cottage,
perfect both outside and in
It is like a Fairy Cottage
You enter through a funny old lychgate

it would be so inspirational to write children's books here,
don't you think?

- photos by me -

More information: www.oldthatchgardens.co.uk

(an unsponsored post)