London Calling (Nov/Dec)

A pub can be a magical place” – Rhys Ifan (a lovely quote found on a signboard at the George Pub in London, UK)

The scent of sweet maple and evergreen commingle on dry November days not seen in decades making walks through the forest a sensory delight. There are still drifts of orange and burgundy lying in fairy rings below almost bare trees, the neighbourhood crows tossing the abandoned leaves about as they forage – this November weather providing an embarrassment of riches for all winged and furry creatures before the bite of winter descends.

We are on the eve of travelling back east to spend part of the upcoming holiday season with family with a first time visit to London, England to catch up with other members, some for the very first time – a winter holiday like no other! I imagine returning home, my inner world changed and rearranged, filled with whirling mosaics of new sights and sounds.

Sitting here now at YVR (Vancouver) airport, we are bundled up for the colder temperatures to come, the apartment locked up and tidy- we have lovely neighbours looking after our boisterous spider plants and keeping an eye on our front door ( thank you dear Huguette and Trevor!) as we’ll be gone for almost a month.

After a smooth flight, we land at YYZ (Toronto) to begin the first part of our journey, it starts with a wonderful road trip up north to Haliburton, Ontario among lakes and forest, part of the rugged Canadian Shield. With holiday carols playing on the radio we pass lovely homes festooned in bright red ribbons some with cheerful inflated winter figures waving as we pass by. As we got closer to our destination, we came upon a small century old church with a delicate stained-glass window sitting by the road in a winter wonderland. This part of the world guarantees a magical Christmas feeling everywhere you look! In front of a warm fire, the first breath of true winter arrived amid the light and sparkle as fresh glasses of rose-coloured wine over ice were sipped, laughter and reminiscing filling the air. The next day, we were delighted to see wild turkeys on the property, their dark feathers in stark contrast against the downy snowdrifts.

Christmas Day finds us in Paris, Ontario at the stone house that wants to be a farm on a country road surrounded by leafless birch and evergreen. We stayed two nights and heard the Great Horned owl hooting in the large walnut tree before we closed our eyes. Our days were filled with tasty slices of turkey, squares of delicious egg casserole and glasses of dark red wine. Seventeen people sat down for Christmas dinner, four tables set with pewter chargers ready for laden antique blue and white plates, the dining room glowing with lit lanterns on each table. On our last night, Longfellow, formerly a stray cat, graced our bed for a few hours, his purrs sending us off to restorative sleep.

Other days were spent in Ajax, Ontario on the edge of Lake Ontario walking the family dog through woodland touched with ice. After a good meal, we often settled in to watch movies, hockey and basketball on TV with a glass of Harp Lager anticipating our impending trip to London. As we pack for the next part of our journey, we’re feeling very relaxed and blessed to have spent time with family this holiday season.

On our first day in England, sunshine and a wander through the romantic 750 year old Hever Castle (once the home of Anne Boleyn) set amid 125 lovely acres near Edenbridge, Kent.

These glorious arches were captured on the beautiful grounds of Hever Castle.

On our last day in England on yet another sunny day, we wandered through the ruins of Bodiam Castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. This pictureesque castle was built around 1385!

A view to the courtyard through stunning arches before climbing the towers and exploring secret places!

 

About anotetohuguette

I'm currently blogging from the beautiful West Coast city of Vancouver, British Columbia - a vibrant city by the sea, surrounded by mountains and a very unique urban forest.
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42 Responses to London Calling (Nov/Dec)

  1. Luanne says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ugetse says:

    Holà Kimita, your notes are so visual. I feel that i was really travelling beside you. I was the lucky one also who saw all your great photos and drank from your wonderful enthousiasme and contentment.on the first day of your return. Keep the magic in your heart as long as you can. I know it will be forever with you. Thanks again for a very beautiful note. Love you.😘❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. calmkate says:

    sounds like a very restorative trip, time to catch up with family and do some tourist things … so very glad you had this opportunity! Savour those memories πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. markmkane says:

    Welcome back Kimberlee. I missed reading your posts. Don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to visit London, but reading your post helps in small part of me experiencing what it would be like if I was there with you. So descriptive that I was literally picturing the scenes as I read them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My autumn days were spent getting organized for our trip and spending time with friends/family…I’m so glad you were able to get a taste of the countryside in England, Mark! I spent part of my afternoon yesterday at my local coffee bar scribbling so hopefully you’ll enjoy more wanders through the exciting city of London. Your lovely comments never fail to make my day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fabulous trip Kimberlee. The perfect winter tonic. Looking forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like a very special journey Kim, the time with family and friends as precious as discovering new places. I lived in London for seventeen years and it’s a wonderful city to visit and explore. Thank you for letting us walk along and here’s to cherishing these amazing memories πŸ’œ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Someday when I get to England, I’m going to wander a few castles myself, Kim. It sounds like you had a love trip through Canada too. Always wonderful to read your posts. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ali Grimshaw says:

    What a wonderful gift it is to travel and see new sights. Castles are so fun to visit and I like to imagine what it would be like to live there in the past. I enjoy going someplace new. It helps me to see things in ways I hadn’t thought of before. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Kimberlee! What a great blog post, and beautiful photos. The pubs sound wonderful, and I’m so glad you got to spend time with family over the holidays, too,
    Are you back? Or, are you going on to London after writing this? Either way, know that I am sending you all the best––for you and your family. Safe travels!!
    Bless you.
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Debbie! We’re safely back now and my London piece is almost ready for posting…London is a city that you didn’t know you needed to see until you get there…we miss it terribly but thank goodness, for journal writing and photographs! I’m so glad to see your words here…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Miriam says:

    What an absolutely wonderful trip Kim. You describe it in such glorious detail I can picture it. And oh, that food sounds divine! Thank you for sharing. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. michnavs says:

    Its good to see you back here kim and for taking as alonh with you on your wonderful trip. Looks like you the best of time😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Muntazir says:

    Amazing. Loved the pictures as well

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Quirky Girl says:

    Hope you enjoyed your time in London! The castles and courtyard look magnificent… and all that lush green landscape is especially appealing right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Annika Perry says:

    Kim, a wonderful post and you write with such eloquence and warmth of your trip! I love the pictures of the castles and think I really have to visit these! They are not too far away from me and they look stunning. Isn’t the history of them amazing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Annika! Our trip to England was a dream come true and yes, the history all around us was incredible – what makes my heart sing is the question I get asked from almost everyone, “Did you feel like you were home?”, being born in Canada with grandparents and great-grandparents that came from England, Ireland and Scotland made answering this question easy, yes, I felt like I was home and I can hardly wait to return!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It sounds like an amazing trip! And it’s reminded me that I haven’t been to Hever Castle in about 15 years!! πŸ™‚ xxx

    Like

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