Europe In The Hood

new summer 2009 006-1I LOVE to travel. I especially love Europe…England, France, Italy, Germany…I lived in Bath, England my junior year in college and it left me with an incredible longing in my heart to revisit often.

Life and circumstances are inbetween me and Europe at the moment. But I don’t let that stop me from travelling. Sometimes I take vacations daily…in the blink of an eye I am there. I love going to the castles along the Rhine, and within minutes, I’m having espresso at a cafe in Provence.

OK. Here’s my secret right of passage. I collect those big coffee table books…I get alot at Borders and Barnes and Noble…they are usually on the bargain tables for $7.99 or less. In the wee hours of the morning when the house is quiet, I will sip my coffee and literally merge with the pictures. I’m there. I’m in the gardens of Cornwall, I’m at the enchanted castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, I’m at a quaint cafe in Provence, Villa Borghese  in Rome…all in my minds eye. Try it sometime. It’s refreshing. I literally feel as though I’ve escaped, for a few brief moments, to places I long to visit in person.

There is a beautiful home about three houses away from me. I have walked by that house a million times. Last week I noticed this beautiful statue on the side of the house. I looked a little closer…and noticed the old fashioned window with wavy glass (just like the stone homes in the Cotswolds where I spent a year). Uh oh…that longing came over me. I stopped for a few minutes and drank in the memories. Went home…got my camera…and captured the essence of my longing. Here it is. I look at this picture and I’m in England. I hear those “lovely” British accents. I see the charming stone homes in the countryside Cotswold villages. I remember how awesome it was to live there for a year.

We can’t always be where our hearts want to take us, at that moment. But when we are aware, often we can creatively find ways to appease our desires until the day we can experience them for real. I found Europe right in my “hood” – if only for a brief second. I now smile everytime I drive or walk by that house.

What’s in your hood?

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7 Responses to Europe In The Hood

  1. sleepygirl says:

    This actually made me laugh….I do the same thing! I haven’t been able to travel much, so when I want to get away, I get one of those big books (and yes, Borders and Barnes and Noble are the best), and just let my mind drift away. It’s nice to know there’s someone else out there doing the same. 🙂

  2. cathyross says:

    Hi Greg,

    You’re so right…sometimes we take our home for granted until someone else remarks on it’s charm. There is beauty everywhere. I think you are so lucky to be in South West England (what town are you in may I ask?) English folks are so gracious and nice…at least everyone I’ve met here and abroad.

    As an artist and photographer, I constantly seek beauty in my “everyday” environment.

    Thanks again for the conversation!


    • Greg says:

      Hi Cathy,

      I live in a small town in Dorset called Sherborne. It’s a little abbey town with a population of only around 15,000 but it suits me right now.


  3. Greg says:

    Stumbled on your blog whilst searching on for interesting photos. Really like some of yours and thought I’d leave a little comment on this post as I live not too far from Bath in England (well, about a 1hr drive away). Bath itself has some pretty impressive architecture worth a photo or two.

    • cathyross says:

      Hi Greg,

      Thank you for the wonderful note!! Now I am extra nostalgic for Bath England! I absolutely had the best year of my life there. It’s so beautiful…I almost can’t find words to describe it. I can’t wait to visit again and this time take pictures to post!!

      I’m so thrilled that I’m connecting with so many wonderful, interesting, talented people through wordpress and my blog.



      • Greg says:

        Hi Cathy,

        Your words about Bath and the Cotswolds just meant I had to comment! Sometimes you forget what is on your doorstep. Living in the South West of England doesn’t seem all that inspiring until you hear someone else describing parts of it, then you realize that it is a pretty nice place to be.


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