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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Land of Hope and Glory

"Land of Hope and Glory is a traditional patriotic British composition by Edward Elgar (lyrics by A. C. Benson) written in 1902 (and part of the trio including Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1). It was written at the bequest of King Edward VII. While "God Save the Queen" is accepted as the national anthem, many people embrace Land of Hope and Glory as a representation of their patriotism to the United Kingdom. After living in England over nine years, my heart of allegiance is very split between my beloved America and the United Kingdom. I have returned to Santa Monica, California to my parents beautiful beach house (which the gardens make me feel like I am right back in England!) and will be here for the next four and a half weeks till I take our youngest back to Penn State University and then on back to Castle Combe. England makes my heart soar with it's beauty in gardens, history, scraggly rock walls, sheep and pigs and all my friend's wonderful accents!!! I am home sick all ready and it has been only a few days in California, but it is wonderful to be with my kiddos, parents and see Jackie.  I am going to embrace every moment while in the States. I will plan on   listening to Elgar's "Land of Hope and Glory" while in California, because.........                            

it will take me back to my sweet, quaint village in the Cotswold.  Our beautiful church and the bell that rings every hour on the hour reminding us of it's towering presence. The tiny lanes that ramble through gardens. Our Union Jack flags that soar at the Manor House and War Remembrance. The By Brook that streams through our valley and quietly in the evening sings us to sleep. It is this "story book" village that makes my heart soar and all the history that goes hand and hand with the story.

Our village was originally part of a large manor with the owner living in this magnificent estate, now a Small Luxury Hotel. The village homes, once part of the estate and occupied by millers and farmers are now homes to so many friends; each unique and special.

It was a milling village, using the wool from sheep grazing the hillsides and valley. The By-Brook provided the power for the mill.

The Manor House raises some of its own food and produce and these are part of our village life.


Time has transformed much of England and much of the history has been lost. But our village is a timeless reminder of that by gone era. I know many of you will now have a better understanding why I am so passionate about  finding history in books, fabric, furniture and accessories and sharing them with you. Next time you hear " Land of Hope and Glory " you, like me will be reminded of that history with fondness.

This is a very old photograph of Castle Combe's market square. Back in these days there would have been a regular market here at the square where the farmers and merchants would come to sell to the village people. This may look very familiar to many of you, because this is where Steven Spielberg filmed scenes for War Horse. In two days Jackie and I will be setting up as merchants to sell our "wares" at the Santa Monica Antique and Collectible Show at the Santa Monica Airport. Years go by, but traditions of selling continue on!!! Please come see our collection on Sunday July 28th.

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