I have a special relationship with Britain. Any other country I visit is foreign. I’m fascinated by the way the people live and I love to explore the countryside. But it remains a wonderful experience of something else, something I’m not part of.

Britain – or, more specifically, England – is different. It’s the place where I was born, where I grew up. It’s a part of me, even though it doesn’t play a part in my current everyday life.

I haven’t lived in England for…. Well, let’s just say that when I was growing up, calculating money involved the factors 12 and 20, and my favourite music was provided by four boys from Liverpool.

Going to England isn’t like going anywhere else. It’s not a visit to a foreign country. It’s a return to a life I left – to the bad times and the good, to people I knew then and places that have remained. And that connects nicely to those four boys:

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all
 

So I’m going back soon, first for two weeks with hubby in Scotland, then three weeks on my own in England. I’m starting to make plans. If anyone has any suggestions about what I could do at not too great an expense – literary of otherwise – for three weeks in August-September, do let me know.

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