I don’t know if I can fairly say that this has been the greatest summer of my life, because, let’s be honest, I’ve lived through some epic summers—but this one definitely merits note in my self-commissioned autobiography that I will probably never write because I’m too busy doing awesome things like gallivanting around the UK.
First of all, the group was amazing—positive, energetic, curious people who can spontaneously bust a move when the time is appropriate, or not. Tom led the way, which was great, because, among other reasons he seems to know the UK as if he’s played this level before, or has the guide-book or the fairy that yells “HEY” into his ear every few seconds.
The balance of this post is dedicated to gushing:
I LOVE the UK! I loveloveloveloveloveloveLONDON! I love castles, I love sheepies por todos lados, I love the “mountains” and I love Liverpool, Birmingham, York, Edinburgh, Bath, all of Cornwall, but especially the little costal Doc Martin towns. I love dragons and unicorns and Tudor roses, I love Stratford-on-Avon, Hay-on-Wye and Glasgow, Belfast, Ballygally, I love the Irish Sea and my namesake island of Ailsacraig! I haven’t even mentioned the great houses and gardens and the charming little village of Lacock, and the abbey. After dancing a bit in front of one of JKR’s childhood homes, I jogged from Tutshill across the bridge over the river Wye and straight up to Chepstow Castle, teetered over the edge of the White Cliffs of Dover and marveled at the crazy people who swim the Channel, attended Evensong at Winchester Cathedral. Saw Henry V and Richard III twice at the Globe, Julias Caeser at Stratford-on-Avon and Sweeney Todd with the incredible Imelda Staunton, I frolicked in the woods, weaved in and out of the Stones of Stonehenge, fell into the henge at Avesbury, had a go at sketching Tintern Abbey, pretended to be a pirate in Penzance, hiked to Lands End, chased bunnies absolutely everywhere, explored Merlin’s cave, ate my weight in toffee waffles and Cadbury chocolates, climbed all over castle ruins and made some hilarious new friends.
And I haven’t even begun to gush about how much I love Wales and the Welsh. I hiked Snowdon Mountain in the North and attended Eisteddfod in the South, where I awkwardly conversed in some ‘Tarzan Welsh’ (Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg ym mhontypwl!) got in touch with the home and the history of my ancestors and fell immediately in love with the big scary red dragon on the white and green field.