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WEIRD. WONDERFUL. WALES.

Great Britain is composed of three nations: England, Wales, and Scotland. The United Kingdom adds Northern Ireland to the mix, and hence the official name of the country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The point of mentioning this terminology is that both Scotland and Northern Ireland are parts of the UK that are some distance…

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OF LIONS, LAMBS, AND A WALK ALONG THE BOW WOW

In like a lion, out like a lamb. This familiar quip about the month of March actually seems quite logical. After all, the beginning is still winter, with the spring equinox arriving at the tail end of the month. Which is, I admit, no guarantee of good weather, but this year it proved to be more accurate than anticipated. Early…

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BLOSSOMS AND BLUE SKIES: A CHIPPENHAM MINI-ADVENTURE

It’s a common joke, and one I’ve made before myself, that one of the best things about Chippenham is how easy it is to get to other places. From having the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds on its doorstep to train links to London, Chippenham tends to be viewed as a place you live, not visit. However, a recent morning…

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THE “OTHER” LAKE DISTRICT

The English Lake District is one of the most visited (and beloved) regions of the country. Located in the northwest county of Cumbria, it is a dramatic landscape of rocky fells, steep valleys, picturesque villages, and, as implied in the name, lakes. It was a favourite haunt of the Romantic poets in the early 19th century, and it became a…

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POSTCARDS FROM FEBRUARY

Postcards feel like a modern day anachronism: bits of paper covered with photographs, a scribbled line or two on the back, and sent through a postal system that operates at human speed rather than almost instantaneously. Why bother with all this when you can pop a picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter in the time it takes to hit a…

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A ROYAL VISIT TO THE COTSWOLDS

Okay, I admit it: I am addicted to snowdrops. If you have been following along with Facebook or Instagram over the past few weeks, you’ll have seen these little white flowers have had a starring role in my February travels. One of the first things I learned as a novice snowdrop hunter is the importance of sun to bring out…

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A Simply Stunning Seasonal Spectacle

Japan is known for its sakura, ornamental cherry trees that cover the country in billowing clouds of pink and white blossoms. Their blooming is considered an annual event, not just a sign of the season. There are daily forecasts that track the developing buds and, once open, families, friends, and work colleagues participate in hanami, viewing parties to enjoy the…

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PSA: Public Science Announcement

I grew up immersed in science. From class projects as a kindergartener to individual science projects with my own custom-made backboard (thank you, dad!), I loved having the opportunity to delve into any topic that interested me and figure out how it worked. Being exposed to the scientific method at a young age was perhaps one of the most important…

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There’s Something about Wales

I don’t usually write book reviews (book lists on the other hand …), but in a stroke of serendipity I recently finished reading Kate Humble’s Thinking on my Feet: The Small Joy of Putting One Foot in front of Another, an elegant meditation on the power of walking to both calm the mind and challenge the body, enlighten the spirit…

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A Walk in the Woods: Wonderful Westonbirt

Every year, as September gives way to October, MrElaineous and I start to have heated discussions about a very important topic: when do we go to Westonbirt, the national arboretum? Too early and there’s not much autumn colour. Too late and the colours are faded and most of the leaves are on the ground instead of on the trees. It…

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The Autumn Collection

[ If you have been following along with my daily posts on Facebook or Instagram, this might look familiar! ] Growing up in Florida, plants consisted of flowers, palm trees, pine trees, and evergreen shrubs. There were two seasons—hot and hotter—but every building had air conditioning so most time was spent in a climate-controlled bubble. So going to Bryn Mawr…

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Wiltshire Round Up

If you have ever watched any television series, you’ll be familiar with the phenomenon of the clip show. These often string together the best segments from previous episodes, or perhaps are built around a particular theme. Welcome to the clip show in blog format! This past summer I’ve been exploring closer to home and enjoying the wonders of Wiltshire, but…

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Down the Garden Path

Although I have lived in the UK for nearly 15 years, I am still discovering new things on a regular basis. One such recent discovery has been the National Garden Scheme. While I had been vaguely aware of their existence before, I have to admit I had never actually visited one of the participating properties. What a mistake that was!…

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Life in Lavender

It is twenty-five miles between our house and MrElaineous’ hometown. Due to the “you-can’t-get-there-from-here” phenomenon, it takes us about an hour to drive there on winding country roads, which allows us to avoid the often grid-locked city of Bath, and instead takes us through picturesque towns like Bradford-on-Avon and small villages such as Faulkland. I hadn’t paid much attention to…

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Postcards from Across the Pond

Big photo, short text: It’s practically the definition of a postcard. This blog post is taking a lesson from them to provide a wrap up of my trip to Devon with some views that I didn’t have a chance to share in the Bound for Beer series. Click on any of them to enlarge, and scroll to the end for a…

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Bound for Beer (Part 4)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] My final morning in Beer dawned as one of those late spring/early summer days that seemed absolutely perfect, the type you wish would go on forever. The mist of the past few days had completely vanished, leaving blue skies in its wake, and the colours along…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 3)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Rather than the antiquated local museum I was expecting, from the moment you step inside Seaton Jurassic it is clear that time, money, and passion have gone into creating an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. You start off by exploring a Victorian…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 2)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Arriving in Beer in the evening, MrElaineous and I only had a brief moment to look around before settling into the B&B for the night. What we saw certainly seemed picturesque. There was a stream running along the village’s main road so you were never far…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 1)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] MrElaineous and I are teetotal or, as I like to put it, totally about tea. This means that there was a degree of irony in our recent trip to the Devon village of Beer as we wouldn’t be partaking in the eponymous beverage, but we did…

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MissElaineous Blog: Escape & Explore & Discover & Enjoy