A new friend I met in London recently sent me this picture. It's as close to the UK as I'll get in 2020. I know that doesn't make much sense. Keep reading!
I had picked out a charming cottage in a seaside village, with the classic blue and white stripes of Cornwall décor. Backing up to an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” (Literally known as an AONB, which suits my family’s predilection for acronyms so perfectly) and complete with access to public walking paths and proximity to a local pub, my husband’s primary requirements, it was to be an entirely new kind of beach week for us this summer. Alas, we added UK travel to the list of losses to grieve in 2020.
Now here we are in autumn, a season associated with giving thanks, and I find myself finally able to look at the past year with a new perspective. I am returning to a slower pace and deeper thoughts- a cup of tea in the afternoon, pulling out blankets for cooler nights, thick socks and hiking boots. Personally, I associate these movements with England, because it was there that I learned to slow down enough to notice and appreciate them.
Briton Home, initially on a post-holiday respite in January, was relegated to storage boxes and a monthly website bill in March, as I turned my attention to home-schooling and surviving Quarantine. As the months have worn on, however, I’ve hesitated to close down shop altogether.
In a surprising irony, COVID-19 has brought our family closer to the UK. In February of 2020, we were making plans to visit London as tourists. In March of 2020, we accepted an invitation to join a virtual “hub,” or small group bible study with friends in London. For the last eight months, we’ve spent an hour every Thursday afternoon and every Sunday morning with dear friends from St. Barnabas Church in Kensington.
Being a part of this community has reminded me how much I love Britain! I love the people and the place, and the little cultural differences inspire me to live better here.
So keep an eye on Briton Home…Just when I went to go close up shop, I felt an invitation to do what Brits do with beautiful things that might not be serving them well anymore- they re-purpose rather than tear down. If you’ve ever walked around London, you’ll know that part of the charm is in the mix of old and new.
Despite the many challenges, this strange season of COVID-19 has surprised me with both new friends in London and time to enjoy a slower pace that I had previously only ever encountered on Sabbatical in the UK. As Briton Home "matures" and I explore new ways of engaging it, I invite you to stop by for a proverbial mug of tea or a glass of wine.
With Advent just around the corner, I am excited to be curating some fun Christmas gift boxes full of my favorite British things. I’ll also be sharing some of the ways that we’ve been getting our dose of British culture and how that helps me appreciate the good things right outside my door. If you haven't already signed up, join the email list to receive my little notes!
I’ve spruced up the website and literally everything is an additional 30% off, so head on over for some early Christmas shopping!