Friday, 27 August 2010

England - Who Knew????

I think my expectations of England were colored by the two British handlers I've had over the years (yes, you all know Richard, but many probably don't remember Matt, our very first handler, who was also a hard working, charming, and easy to get along with Brit) - both who were in a pretty big hurry to flee England and move to Canada.
I guess because of that I expected England to be pretty dismal.

I was very mistaken.

From the second the clouds cleared as we were landing I was enchanted with the country. I will confess that I didn't take as many photos as I should have partially due to camera issues a couple days and a general sense of being overwhelmed as to where exactly to point it on a few other days (not a problem I often experience).  Probably lucky for you all, as there would be pages and pages of images to scroll through on the blog if I had taken photos of everything I wanted to (besides Richard and Kim would have likely abandon me on the side of some country road if I had asked them to stop at every photo opportunity).

Much of the countryside felt very familiar, however the houses, buildings, fences, and such add a charm and quaintness to the scenery that is captivating (at least to me).

Overwhelmingly my biggest sense over my time in the English countryside was that I wanted to spend more time here. Especially in the Yorkshire Dales. Oh my goodness!!

I've been asked by many since I got home what I thought of London - did I see Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and other such notable places? Yup, I did. Richard took me on the PERFECT (at least for me) 1 1/2 hour driving tour of London. He pointed out all the necessary landmarks and I 'ohh'd and ahh'd' in all the appropriate places - and then we fled the city back to the countryside! Perfect!!

 In case I forgot to mention, my hosts for this portion of my trip were my handler from last winter, Richard and his wife, Kim. Although Kim spent some time at NorthWapiti with Richard this winter, I was in Alaska, so this was my first chance to meet her! I had heard so much about her that it sure didn't feel like our first meeting.
The Todds were wonderful hosts. My time with them was relaxing and restoring - a truly wonderful gift. There were enough dogs around that I suffered no withdrawal, but not so many that it didn't resemble a holiday at all times. 

The Todd's dogs - Icy...


Kaska (if I could have fit this hairball in my suitcase - I would have brought him home even if he did drag me through a batch of stinging nettles one day)...

and Charlie

I'd like to take a moment to thank all of you that extended such kind invitations to visit once word got out that I was in the country. I truly appreciate it and hope that you all understand that this was a real holiday for me and I was selfishly hoarding every moment of it.
I hope to make it back to the country at some time in the near future for a more 'doggy visit' - and at that time I will happily take you all up on your invitations, if they still stand.

Just a few more pictures...

And I couldn't not share with you a few pictures of the most beautiful building I've ever set foot in - the Lincoln Cathedral. Stunning - especially the stain glass!!

And finally I stumbled upon this great Jay Leno quote on friendship the other day -

“Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren't bad people; they're just acquaintances.”

Richard made no less then 4 LONG drives to the airport - all at fairly ridiculous hours -  for me during this trip. I hope he knows how grateful I am - and how honored I am to call him a friend.  Hugs and thanks, my friend. 

I will definately be back!

Oh wait - just a few more pictures... I'm really done!


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I was to Worksop in Notts on a business trip back in the late 90's -

It was absolutely gorgeous there - and since it was late May/early June, the sunrise/sunset was early/late -

Thanks for sharing these pics -

AND the pics of the incredible canines too!

Anonymous said...

England looks like my idea of heaven (at least the part of heaven where it doesn't snow). LOVED all the photos! I could have seen more :-) And Richard and Kim's dogs are so gorgeous. WHat a wonderful enrty: thanks!
Blessings, Jane

Anonymous said...

Beautiful countryside! In the first few photos with the stone walls, just plunk a mountain down in the distance and you'd have Vermont.

Kaska is beautiful!! I can understand why you wanted to sneak him home in your suitcase. Are they related, as their markings are all very similar?

Anonymous said...

What beautiful pictures! When I'm fortunate enough to visit England, I'm usually just in London. I will have to make extra efforts to get into the countryside. Thanks for sharing--and Richard, those are some beautiful dogs!