My next trip will be to England so I can visit friends I have there, some new blogging friends (I hope), and to see other parts of the country that I haven't as yet seen. Those areas include Cambridge, a bit north-east of London; Suffolk County; and the south coast from Brighton to Portsmouth. I'd like to see the Isle of Wight as well. Finally, I absolutely MUST see Bronte Country, which is a bit west of Leeds north-west of London. The friend who will travel with me has been to England many times, too. We actually spent a week there in 1997 before doing a 2-week tour of France. We're used to the train system, so plan to base ourselves in the Salisbury area and just take overnight bags as we hop on and off the trains to get ourselves from place to place. Oh, it's going to be a wonderful trip! (Can you see me over on the top right waving from one of the beautiful hiking paths in England?)
- Delta, British Columbia, Canada
- I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Bronte Country, Haworth UK
I love England - everything about it! I love its history, its architecture, its climate (so like my own), its people and culture. I come from British ancestors that go back a long long way. My sister is our family historian and she's verified family all the way back to the year 1555 when my several times over great grandfather was born in Kelsagh, Suffolk, England. I am the 35th generation since then. The next time I visit England, I plan to try to find the family gravesite.
Because of my British ancestry, I try to keep up with as many customs as possible. For instance, our family Christmas morning breakfast consists/ed of Ayreshire bacon and fried eggs along with fried black puddin'. We do the Christmas cracker thing at dinner, too, and everyone has to wear his/her "crown." Boxing Day is big in Canada, too, and we usually have visitors over or else we go out visiting. It's a day of leftovers along with finger food like sausage rolls or other hot appies, cheese and crackers, etc. I follow the lives of the British royalty and was just as distraught as the English when Princess Diana was killed.
Last Saturday in our daily rag (as we like to call the local newspaper), there was an article about the Bronte sisters - Charlotte, Emily, and Anne who became famous authors. You may recall Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, a novel far ahead of its time because it smashed purist morals with its rough language and passionate characters. (No one could ever do a better job acting the roles of Heathcliffe and Cathy than Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in the 1939 movie). And who has not heard of Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte?
The three sisters originally published under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell in 1846. However, when it was discovered that the authors of these stories were three daughters of a clergyman, interest was piqued.
The sisters grew up in Haworth, Yorkshire, a small but crowded village sustained by the working poor in the local textile mills. It was apparently a grim place with bleak weather and blustery winds. The village suffered from lack of a drainage system, which contributed to outbreaks of cholera and piles of human and animal waste in the streets.
Haworth today is a much more romantic place. It's atop a steep hill in Yorkshire and attracts more than 7 million visitors a year to its still-quaint streets and Bronte-themed activities. The Black Bull (see below) and White Lion Inn, all popular in the mid-1800s still serve customers today and Main Street is kept tidy for picture-perfect snapshots. The buildings are well-preserved and visitors get a real sense of the Brontes' time from the active work of its citizens and the Bronte Society. The parsonage where the girls grew up has been carefully converted to the renowed Bronte Parsonage Museum (see photo below) and each room is filled with furniture and the belongings of the family.