Who was Dracula?

The first surprising thing about Dracula is his name. His father’s name was Vlad the Dragon or Vlad II Dracul after Sigismund of Luxembourg made him a member of the Order of the Dragon in 1431. Vlad II Dracul (circa 1395-1447) was an illegitimate son of Mircea of Wallachia, who somehow managed to become ruler […]

A 7th-Century Priory, A 14th-Century Bridge and Amazing Ice Cream!

When I was a girl, I was very fond of Benjamin Luxon’s performances of A Shropshire Lad by A. E. Housman, set to music by George Butterworth. And so, as I happened to be close by I paid a visit to three places that I associate with these songs ~ Much Wenlock, Clun and Knighton. […]

A Charming Way of experiencing Worcester and its environs…

As a young woman I studied the violin at the Royal College of Music, and that is how I became a fan of Edward Elgar. If you are not British you probably haven’t heard of him. But he was about the same age as Gustav Mahler, and like Mahler, wrote music that reflected the folk-tunes […]

Ominous Clouds Glower ~ A Typical British Bank Holiday

This weekend is the last hurrah for British Holiday-Makers, a time when the Government closes banks on Monday, so that the British People have a Long Weekend in which to enjoy the August sunshine. Except that here in Wiltshire the skies are filled with ominous clouds promising enough rain to dampen any thoughts of an […]

My Surprising Adventures when shopping in Britain

As many of you know I am currently in England, the land where I was born and spent the first 21 years of my life. But, I haven’t actually lived there for over 40 years, so on this recent visit certain things surprised me. Take shopping. My first husband, who studied at the Chicago Institute […]