I was born and grew up in Buffalo, New York and I’ve lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia since 1980, but I also call a little picturesque village on the edge of the Cotswolds home as well. I spent the late 1970’s living there in the west of England, mostly as the teaboy and general dogsbody at the Winchcombe Pottery. It was there that I met, among many other wonderful characters, Toff Milway. Toff and I became fast friends and when he and his wife Georgie began their own business down the road I started spending summers there, helping out in any way I could to earn my keep and do my part. I’ve been there dozens of times now…for birthdays and a few christmases, kiln building and most importantly, plum picking. They are great friends and my life is infinitely richer for that. I am turning 60 next month and I’m not too keen on that number so, in an effort to distract myself, I am returning to spend a few weeks, visiting with old friends and seeing a bunch of theatre (I speak both American AND British!) and looking after the place for a bit while Toff and Georgie travel.
The weather, of course, is rather grim in the winter and I’m packing every warm bit of clothing that I own. I’m also hoping that there is plenty of peat for the fireplace. The British are a hardy people! I’m sure that I can use a little toughening up! Back in the summer of 2012 I began writing a series of blogs about those early and formative days in England. I think it’s the best of my very modest attempts to be a writer. You can still find ’em by scrolling back on the Journal section of my website.
I hope to add more to that series this trip. Something about treading on that same ground and viewing that same landscape and hearing the melodies of the British language makes it easy to remember.
Best Wishes to one and all for an excellent 2015!