Chelsea Joy Arganbright
An Ode to England
Updated: Dec 1, 2022
An ode to England
Things to love:
-some of my closest friends made during trying times (moving to London just prior to the first Covid lockdowns!)
-driving and rambling through the sublime countrysides with rolling hills of vibrant green
-equally, renting a heap of cool cars from random people off the Turo app and zipping around said countrysides
-the driving. English drivers are the best in the world. Put them in a luxury car in a narrow lane way with an oncoming bus and they’ll breeze their way through.
-little English country towns. From Godalming in Surrey to Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds. From Stratford upon Avon to Padstow. I can’t even describe the charm…
-the well presented car festivals, shows and rallies. The fact people get adorned in their best 1950’s gear for Goodwood Revival and it feels like a real occasion. Things are done well and with quality.
-the people. The humour, the fact that young or old, the English love any opportunity for banter whether in a queue for the loo or in a parking lot. I find the English lovely and warm even in London. They’re polite and often formal in exchanges which I adore.
-while winter and sometimes autumn is severe, harsh and feels like a battle leaving the house armed with your thermals, gloves, scarf, coat and umbrella, the spring and summer is divine. It’s like reaping the rewards of flowers and blue skies for withstanding the hell that is British weather.
-the accents. There is a hoard of varying dialects from one region to another.
-interest in knowledge. I carried on intense conversations about the development of societies and government with the checkout girl and self-proclaimed simple mushroom man working at my local farmer’s market.
-West London. The grand buildings, the quality of things, posh little boutique shoppes and the fact you can go into a charity store in Notting Hill and come out with a brand new Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater a local resident discarded without batting an eye.
-fantastical and funny names for country inns and pubs “Bel and the Dragon, “The Queen’s Head, “The Polished Pot”
-architecture: Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, etc. Sheer heaven.