How I Became a Citizen of Several Countries

Steve and Pauline in Basilicata

People frequently ask me how I am able to live in the UK. A US or Canadian citizen can live here for six months as a visitor. In most of Europe only 90 days are allowed. Steve and I are both Irish citizens, which gives us the right to live in any of the European Union countries, including the UK. My father was born in Ireland, lived there until his mid-20s, then moved to England … Continue reading How I Became a Citizen of Several Countries

Five Years in the Cotswolds

We arrived in England the first week of May in 2010. Last month we had our five year anniversary of living here. Five years!! My big dream was to spend five years in the Cotswolds. Dream accomplished. When I was younger I dreamed of spending a year or two traveling. Steve and I traveled in the US for a year, then in Europe for a year. About a month after we got back from Europe, … Continue reading Five Years in the Cotswolds

A Large Incinerator on the Edge of the Cotswolds

Haresfield Beacon

The Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) designated by the British government as an area that is to be conserved. Most of the Cotswolds is in Gloucestershire, under the control of the Gloucestershire County Council. That council decided to build a large incinerator, to process up to 190,000 tonnes of municipal, commercial and industrial waste per year, on the western edge of the Cotswolds, four miles from where I live, two miles … Continue reading A Large Incinerator on the Edge of the Cotswolds

Fragrance-free Flights Please!

A fragrance-free flight would be impossible. How could you stop people from wearing perfume or aftershave, using scented soaps, body washes and hair products, or washing their clothes in strongly scented laundry products? You couldn’t. If someone is sensitive to synthetic fragrances, being on a plane is difficult. But several airlines have made an already bad situation much worse by spraying “signature scents” in their airplane cabins. This leaves us travelers sitting in a chemical … Continue reading Fragrance-free Flights Please!

England Weather in 2014

In 2014 I took a photo each day and recorded the weather. You can see the list of photos here and the description of this project here. Below is a count of days we had sun and the days we had rain (could be both on the same day) in 2014. It is a personal weather record, not a record for where we live in the Cotswold, England. Most of the time we were at … Continue reading England Weather in 2014

Daily Photo of the Cotswolds in 2014

Near the end of 2013 I decided to take a photo each day for a year. We had been living in England for 3½ years and I wanted to get an accurate idea of the weather. I thought a photo every day with a note about the weather would let me see how many days with sun we get each year. It was an interesting time to start this project because a storm system was … Continue reading Daily Photo of the Cotswolds in 2014

Fragrance-free Vacation Rentals Please!

Scented Laundry Soap

We have been sold a false image of fragrance. Manufacturers tell us it is like a spring day, fresh flowers, lemon scented, but nothing about fragrances used in most personal and household products is natural. These are synthetic fragrances, full of chemicals that produce the smell, others that make sure the smell lasts and others that do who-knows-what. Fragrance is added to the obvious – perfume, aftershave, air freshener – and the not-so-obvious – soap, … Continue reading Fragrance-free Vacation Rentals Please!

French Kitchen Linens

French Tea Towels

Kitchen linens – tea towels, table napkins, table cloths – are my favorite thing to buy when traveling in France! They are beautiful, useful and easy to pack. They give me delight when I use them at home and they remind me of our trips. In France you will find shops devoted to household linens in most towns. Look for the window display of towels and linens or for the rack of tea towels hanging … Continue reading French Kitchen Linens

Four Years in England

Four years ago today we flew from Denver to Heathrow with our cat and a lot of luggage, intending to spend five months in a cottage in the Cotswolds. Four years later we are still here with no plans to leave, but we have not made the decision to stay either. As each year goes by, my memory of our life in the US fades. We returned to the US each of the first two … Continue reading Four Years in England

Summer is Around the Corner

This winter was cold and wet, and seemed to go on forever. The storms started in December, just before Christmas and continued until the end of February. It seemed like it would never stop raining. There was bad flooding in areas near us, but not in our area this time. The main effect of the storms for us was that it kept us off the muddy footpaths and instead we walked on the lanes through … Continue reading Summer is Around the Corner