Sapphire Jubilee

16425794_1375243522546977_1168419084776349646_nToday, Queen Elizabeth II truly stands alone in history. She is the first, and only, British monarch to reach her Sapphire Jubilee – 65 years on the throne.

She ascended to the throne 6 February 1952 upon the death of her father, who had himself become king upon the death of his father, George V and abdication of the throne by her uncle, Edward VIII. She has witnessed many leadership changes within her own country and throughout the world and has remained the figurehead of the Commonwealth. She’s borne witness to many wars and other military conflicts through out her lifetime and reign.

For my part I think she’s the most smartly dressed woman of her age I’ve ever seen. There doesn’t seem to be any colour she looks bad wearing.

Tea and Me: Darjeeling

15879154_1242595312492086_1239568804_nYesterday I tried Darjeeling for the first time. I have to admit to being surprised by it. I’m not really sure what I expected from it, but I definitely did not expect it was a black tea. Now, most of the time if I have black tea, I add milk, in the proper English fashion. However, there are some exceptions to the rule and Darjeeling is one of them. It was a light golden brown and as the packaging states, it had a light taste.

So here’s a bit about Darjeeling: it comes from a different plant than the more common black tea that we all drink. It is made from the small-leafed Camellia sinensis,  whereas the more common black teas are from the larger-leafed Assam. Darjeeling is named for the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India that it comes from and while black tea is the most popular version, green and oolong varieties are becoming more popular and readily available. All this time I thought Darjeeling was another type of tea, like green, oolong and the others. 

I will definitely be drinking this again.

Dear GB

Dear Great Britain (and the rest of Europe),

Forgive us our ignorance as our ignorant seem to speak louder than the rest of us. Please allow me to convey to you from the very depth of my being that I do not want the man we now have as a soon-to-be president to be in charge. I fear for the next four years and how the world will come to view the farce that is this country. I understand why he won, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I ask, then, that you bear in mind that not all of us unanimously put him into the White House, or, in fact, anywhere near it. I beg your forgiveness even as I embrace the beautiful sarcasm in response to this ignorant woman’s claims.


A Mildly Intelligent American

American journalists and conservatives love to claim that Europe has been “taken over” by Muslims. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump got in trouble for falsely claiming that some areas of London were “so radicalized” that police were “afraid for their own lives.”

In the resulting fallout, more than 500,000 Brits signed a petition asking for Donald Trump to be banned from entering the United Kingdom, a debate in parliament later decided against such a ban.

And somehow, conservative American author Janie Johnson just made the same mistake. Last night, she published a tweet claiming that London as she knows it was “gone.”

Full story

St Andrew’s Day

Happy St Andrew’s Day! For those who are unfamiliar with the significance of St Andrew’s Day, it is the national day of Scotland.

Yes, if you’re a Christian, you should already know a bit about who Andrew was: a disciple of Jesus while he was here on Earth. He was a fisherman with his brother Peter, before leaving that life to follow Jesus in his travels around the known world. At the time of his death, Andrew was crucified for his beliefs, but not on the standard cross you might be familiar with from church. He was, instead, crucified on a diagonally transverse cross (a big X) that became known as St Andrew’s Cross. That symbol can be found on Scotland’s flag, known as The Saltire.


For a more detailed history of how a fisherman from Galilee became the patron saint of Scotland, I direct you to If you live in Scotland, how will you celebrate the day? If you’re Scottish, living elsewhere in the world, do you still honour the day?

Celebrating 69 Years

queen-elizabeth-prince-philip-bride-queen-elizabeth-iiThough I have not watched the new programme about the early days of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, I have seen one clip that offers insight into the difficulties of their marriage. In all of the historical fiction I’ve read over the years, a monarch’s spouse is just as much a subject of the reigning monarch as anyone else. And in that role, they have to act accordingly. This particular scene which I’ve seen online involves a private moment between Elizabeth and Philip where he’s demanding to be treated as her husband and an equal and she cannot allow that he be treated as her equal because she is a queen.

Thankfully they have forged a strong alliance as both husband and wife and as queen and subject. Strong enough to bring four children into this world and for their marriage to last 69 years. In this day and age of divorces on a whim, that is nothing to ignore. Congratulations to Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Countess of Wessex Cycles 445 miles

As a woman approaching middle age, I have nothing but admiration for the Countess of Wessex. I look forward to a follow up story about the conclusion of her ride.

The Duke of Edinburgh told Sophie, Countess of Wessex, that she was “mad” for attempting to cycle from Scotland to London, she revealed moments before she set off on the gruelling 445-mile journey.

The Countess is riding from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Buckingham Palace in order to raise money for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards on its 60th anniversary.

Full story

Tea and Me: Jasmine Green Tea

14138574_1112436185508000_720935341_nThis is another tea which I have had previously, but haven’t drunk in a long time. I really enjoy green tea. True green tea. Not the crap Lipton sells. Green tea, in my opinion, is meant to be lightly sweetened; the stuff you buy at the store in the chilled bottle area is overly sweet. I drank this yesterday with my lunch, but I had it chilled. I brewed it then poured it into a big cup of ice to cool it down to room temperature.

When Jasmine is added to green tea, it not only gives it a flowery scent, which is unmistakable, but also a sweeter taste. But again, not cloyingly sweet.

Definitely a repeater.

Likes – 12; Dislikes – 4; Undecided – 1