We arrived home on Saturday morning. Naturally, I had to take a Heathrow approach photo above London. This is about 15 minutes before our flight landed…
…and as soon as I could when we were on the ground, while still sitting on board, I posted it to Instagram of course. 🙂
After getting home a couple of hours later, amidst a pile of mail we found a “new home” welcome card from a neighbo(u)ring family…
And they say the British are stand-offish?
I happened to see them outside of their house late Sunday. I rushed out to introduce myself and to thank them, saying we’d been away for two weeks. “That’s what you do: you move into a new house, and immediately leave because you can’t face unpacking all of the boxes,” I laughed.
They were a married couple, with two young twenty-something “kids” (a man and a woman) and their respective partners.
“Oh,” the wife (about my age) smiled and replied, “you’re American? From where?”
I admitted that, yes, I am: “I’m from New York originally.”
And yet they still spoke with me in a friendly manner for a time after I’d said that, too.😂
Earlier on Sunday, unpacking further, I had found a favorite print. British Montague Dawson’s 1934 painting of the frigate USS Constitution (which I believe is technically still on “active service” in the US Navy) and HMS Java firing away at each other during the “War of 1812.”
It has decorated many a lounge wall over the years.
A painting of a British-US naval battle.
We have an odd sense of humor at times… my [English] wife and I.
If you’ve never heard of that American ship, built in 1797 – three years after that fictional scene above – the USS Constitution was one of the first six frigates of the United States Navy.
However, the first conflict the Constitution and the other new warships found themselves involved in was not with Great Britain. It was with revolutionary France. In 1798, what became known as the “quasi-war” between France and the US broke out.
Under the stresses of France’s revolutionary wars, France, ally of the US twenty years earlier under King Louis XVI, had kicked out US minister (ambassador) James Monroe (the future US president) in late 1796. The French revolutionaries demanded immediate American War of Independence debt repayments, and claimed American “neutrality” was a sham: that due to a new US-British treaty in 1795 (that had calmed down US-British tensions) that the US was actually “allied” secretly again with its former colonial master and France’s enemy Great Britain. The Americans claimed any debts were owed not to this warmongering French government, which was now attacking American merchant shipping, but to King Louis XVI’s government which had actually been the US ally and had actually provided that assistance to the US; but Louis had of course been executed by the revolutionaries in 1793.
A bit of history. A bit of romance. In my humble opinion, it doesn’t get any better.😊
Have a good day, wherever you are.