My name is Pat. I was born in New York and raised pretty much as a typical American girl. I was even at some point in my early years a majorette, white boots with tassels and all.
From an early age, I knew that I was an artist. After a successful career as a graphic designer, I finally turned to painting full time in my studio. I have always traveled for the inspiration.
On my first ever trip to England, I fell in love with all things British. I drove across rolling hills and through ancient forests, shopped the London streets, viewed innumerable art in museums, and found quaint thatched cottages in The Cotswolds. I walked past the gingerbread shop in Grasmere, and stayed at a baronial mansion in the Peak district just down the lane from where I am sure Mr. Darcy lived (there were even peacocks in the drive!). I ate heavenly scones and clotted cream, mysterious puddings, and experienced a carvery for the first time.
After a look at London, I drove myself through the countryside on the “wrong” side of the road using my left hand to shift the manual transmission and headed north. I ended up going all the way past Hadrian’s Wall to the southernmost reaches of Scotland. Finally, in the middle of where ever (there was heather involved), I stopped at a small pub for some lunch. I passed the sheep grazing on the hill nearby, and walked in to the dark cool stone room. Every pair of eyes turned towards me as I entered and sat down to order my ploughman’s lunch. No one said a word except, finally, to ask for my order. I left full and satisfied with food, and curious about these polite if reserved people.
Years later I took a break from an incredible snowstorm in Washington DC where I was living and working, and traveled to The British Virgin Islands to escape the cold and ice and lack of snow removal. There on the tiny island of Guana, to my complete surprise, I met a Brit who had spent most of his life in London and finally escaped to the warmth of the Caribbean. He was to become my husband within the next two years.
So what had been a love and fascination by this artist/designer with all things British, became a daily composite of American and British idiosyncrasies between myself and my sailboat-loving partner. We now go to England as often as we can find the time and money to cross the pond. His friends and family come here to experience being American. And we find the mix of global cultures and points of view easy and refreshing.
Generally speaking, an American’s perspective is different in subtle ways from the British point of view. But what is always striking to me is how many ways we are the same and that the variety just makes everything more interesting. And I never get tired of someone turning to my husband and exclaiming, “I just love your accent!” I do too.
This blog will talk about those many differences and where we connect, and about how an American designer/artist and a British engineer/sailor found happiness somewhere between the two worlds. But really, it is just about all things British.