Post-Brexit Uncertainty


Roger Cohen of the New York Times termed it a “leap in the dark.”  Donald Trump hailed the vote, crowing that Brits are “taking back their country.” And Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, declared the vote “a victory against big business and big politics.”

So, what does this vote mean to you? Well, for starters, as I write this post at 9:55am on Friday, the US stock market is down 500 points. You might see your 401K drop 10, 20, or even 30%. That’s your retirement money, the extra you set aside for your later years. The Federal Reserve is watching. There is already a lot of volatility in the world – and we are all connected, you know – Asian markets fall, the British pound sterling plummets.

Spain is calling for joint control of Gibraltar. Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU, began a new move today to hold a new referendum on independence from the UK. And perhaps most importantly, Brexit spreads across Europe, with Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark all calling for referendums. Is immigration the reason? Possibly it is the major reason. “Between 1993 and 2014, the foreign-born population in the UK more than doubled, from 3.8 million to around 8.3 million, said Oxford researchers Cinzia Rienzo and Carlos Vargas-Silva. “During the same period, the number of foreign citizens increased from nearly 2 million to more than 5 million.”


In my opinion, the Brexit vote wasn’t about the economy. It was about xenophobia. And if America doesn’t pay close attention, we could follow down the same dark path.




Smile and Say……”Y” is for Yorkshire Blue



I return to North Yorkshire, where I found Wensleydale cheese, to find Yorkshire Blue.

Yorkshire Blue is a traditional blue cheese made from 100% Yorkshire cow’s milk. Handcrafted, the cheese is matured over a period of 8 weeks during which the cheese is turned one at a time to ensure uniform blue veining and creaminess.  Upon ripening, the cheese is buttery, sweet and mild in flavor. Extended ageing will give the Yorkshire Blue a more pronounced flavor, but it will always remain mild & creamy. This moist and spreadable cheese can be crumbled or melted into soups, sauces and baking dishes.

I really wish I was in Yorkshire right about now.


Smile and Say……”W” is for Wensleydale


W, X, Y, and Z – yikes!





Wensleydale is a mild cheese that has been made in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire since 1150 by Cistercian monks. The monks continued to make the cheese until the dissolution of their monasteries in 1540. Traditionally, sheep’s milk was used, but over the time cow’s milk was also used. The art of making the cheese was passed by the monks to farmers’ wives who produced a blue variety of Wensleydale at their farmhouses. Today, Wensleydale is produced mainly from pasteurized cow’s milk with sheep’s milk added to enhance the flavor.

A Real Yorkshire Wensleydale is creamy-white in color and has a crumbly, flaky texture. The flavor is mild and slightly sweet with hints of wild honey. Wensleydale goes well with fruit pies. Wensleydale cheeses complement fruity white wine such as Pinot Grigio.

Smile and Say…”C” is for CHEDDAR



I guess you can figure out my theme for the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge. That’s right, it’s cheese! I hope you enjoy these posts!

“C” is for CHEDDAR

Ah, Cheddar. That ubiquitous cheese. But wait! I’m not talking about Kraft singles. I’m talking about the real deal. You want to go to the source? Then you want to visit the village of Cheddar in Somerset, United Kingdom. It’s been famous for cheesemaking since 1170 A.D.

Used to be England was the only place where Cheddar cheeses were made, but the cheese is manufactured all over the world today. That’s why it’s also the most widely purchased and eaten cheese.

Always made from cow’s milk. It gets a sharper taste as it matures (usually 9-24 months).

Now, how about a cheeseburger?

Oh! The Places I’ve Been – “L” is for LONDON

Almost halfway through the A to Z Challenge! I hope you’re enjoying your armchair travels. As I stated back at “A is for Austin,” there are many people who have traveled farther and wider than I. And one of them is my new friend Lottie Nevin. Man, I just adore this woman, and we’ve never met. Just follow her blog and you’ll understand.

Besides being a wonderful blogger, Lottie is a most talented photographer. These are her photographs, and I couldn’t be happier to share them with you.

My husband and I traveled to London in late 1997, just months after the tragic death of Princess Diana (and every window had something with her smiling face: a coffee mug, a sweatshirt, a canvas book tote). We had a fabulous time and I did take photos, but on film, and I couldn’t find the prints anywhere. Hence my friend Mrs. Nevin to the rescue.

Thames and Tower Bridge - photo by Lottie Nevin
Thames and Tower Bridge – photo by Lottie Nevin

The highlight of our trip to London was the Tower, for sure. Oh, there’s plenty to see. You all know that – Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s, Parliament, all of it. Yes, see it all. But one thing few people know about is the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower. Not to be missed.

Trafalgar Square - photo by Lottie Nevin
Trafalgar Square – photo by Lottie Nevin

Now, English food has received a bad rap over the years, and I understand. Bubble ‘n’ Squeak, Bangers and Mash, Spotted Dick. Poor chaps. But listen! They have the best Indian food around! Eat curries!

The Globe Pub, Southbank - photo by Lottie Nevin
The Globe Pub, Southbank – photo by Lottie Nevin

Besides eating great (!) food and walking through churches, you must go to the theatre. We had the extraordinary experience of seeing the legendary Jim Dale star in Oliver! at the London Palladium.

Berwick Street, Doho - photo by Lottie Nevin
Berwick Street, Soho – photo by Lottie Nevin
Phone boxes, Hanover Square - photo by Lottie Nevin
Phone boxes, Hanover Square – photo by Lottie Nevin

London was fantastic, but we did travel away from the capital. Leeds Castle, Dover, Windsor, Canterbury – time will run out long before your list of “must-see’s” is finished.

Five Ways to Celebrate the Diamond Jubilee

So what if you’re not in London for the next few days. You can still celebrate like you’re the queen! Here are five simple ways to be royal:

1. Wear bright colors. The Queen believes she should be seen. “I can’t wear beige, because nobody would know who I am,” she has stated. She stands out among the masses, as it were, by wearing bright yellows and pinks and blues, and, of course, a fabulous hat.

2. Host a Big Jubilee Lunch. The Big Jubilee Lunch will be part of the main program of events over the central weekend of the Diamond Jubilee. A record number of people are expected to take part. A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbors getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown street party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic. What to serve for your Big Jubilee Lunch? Consider Beetroot, Feta and Rocket Salad; Victoria Square Veggie Cottage Pie; and Chocolate Tiffin Squares.

3. Greet your subjects. While it’s not mandatory that everyone bow and curtsy to you, some will. Accept it with grace and a smile. Extend your hand to the people you meet; they are thrilled to meet you! And if someone like the First Lady grabs you up in a big hug, well, carry on.

4. Love animals. Queen Elizabeth loves horses (thoroughbreds, of course!) and her beloved Corgis. Princess Diana once likened the dogs at Buckingham Palace to a carpet. This follows a long tradition of the Royal Family’s affection for dogs. When Queen Victoria’s beloved Collie, Noble, died at Balmoral in 1887, he was buried on the grounds of the castle and given his own gravestone, which read: ‘Noble by name, by nature noble too. Faithful companion, sympathetic, true. His remains are interred here.’

5. Finally, embrace local traditions. The Queen has a keen interest in Scottish country dancing. Each year during her stay at Balmoral Castle, the Queen gives dances known as Gillies’ Balls, for neighbors, estate and Castle staff and members of the local community.

Happy Diamond Jubilee!