The Travel in My Bones: English Country Edition

Photo by julie l elder

I have family in England, so on occasion I escape to what looks like a magical land to this Californian. This minute as I write, I’m sitting at a table in their garden, gazing past stone fences and heaps of lilacs and honeysuckle and beyond to a field. I came at the perfect time of year when spring is making all surfaces outside a thing of beauty.

I’d never seen a Lace Bantam rooster before–every feather looks outlined in black pen!
Hestercombe is rambling stone walls and flowers growing in the cracks, and water and ducks and a million other flowers and creatures I can’t name



2019-05-18 11.15.30
Lovely Ellie feeding the Lace Bantams at Hestercombe





Morning walk. Was this shot of the tree worth the 2 days of fire pouring from my arm from the stinging nettles I didn’t realize I was sidling up against? Not really–the next nettle-free shot was great. But I will not soon forget the nettles.


Me in the morning.


I love the thatched roofs


and sunlight across the houses


and birdsong!

Public footpaths meander through the countryside, dogs and people sharing the big fields empty of everything except vegetation, some paths leading beneath an overhang of green and across bridges.
I want to name my next home. It makes me realize that the same house or apartment or room carries the responsibility for holding whoever lives there over decades an centuries…it observes, it offers shelter and love for however many different people call that place Home.



I’m fascinated by all the different gates and houses
…this one looks like a wonderful hideaway. I want to lift the top like a dollhouse and look inside
Hidden stairways are nestled here and there for access into a garden

Beautiful, serene view on my walk. I learned I shouldn’t be leaning on pasture gates….

…because these guys often back up to the gates and let their poo fly…(lots of washing after I gained that valuable information)


Life here is not without trouble, of course.

There’s rain and snow and crappy jobs and people not getting along. I’m sure to those who live in the villages of England all this beauty I’m enjoying looks familiar and not so magical. They probably don’t notice the mounds of green I see spilling over walls and houses, they don’t see stone and brick houses and pasture gates as anything besides the usual. For me, it’s new every visit. The flowers and bushes and fields and even the cows speak into my soul.

So please forgive me for greedily soaking up everything around me. I hope sharing it with you has given you a moment of beauty and joy too.


2019-05-23 09.11.52
Perfect spot in the garden for a morning cup of coffee and doing a bit of birdwatching.


  1. Julie, I love your photos and meanderings! I feel the same way when I’m in Scotland, like it’s a magical, story-book land, because I’m on vacation and my troubles are mostly left at home.


I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s