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British Isles Friday: Parakeets in the Park

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Parakeets in the ParkOn a beautiful day in May, 2017 my husband and I walked through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. It’s really not that easy to tell where one ends and the other begins. We were looking for the Peter Pan statue (next week’s post) when we came across a small clearing cluttered with people holding their arms in the air, offering perches for surprisingly green birds fluttering in the air. Parakeets, and so prevalent, and with so many people standing about in their midst I stupidly assumed this must be some sort of birder club gathering. Ding dong me! I didn’t know the birds were wild and the people were just regular folks like us trying to get a better look. 


Doing a little post-trip homework I discovered the parakeets are so abundant in the park—and the inner mile they’re actually considered a bit of a nuisance by some people! I wish I’d known before the trip that all I had to do was bring a slice of apple and I could get the birds to land on me too!

I thought this wom…

My favorite Veteran: A British Officer and a Gentleman


This is the man that stole my mother's heart. A pretty dashing example of "the greatest generation" in his prime. My mother brought a friend along on their first date because he had a reputation for being a cad - that's "player" in today's lingo - and she was trying to put him off. Rather than being put off, my dad charmed the friend as well sealing the deal. He was always a dazzling dancer and he probably rattled off some compliments in one of the four languages he was fluent in — besides English: French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. He might even have wooed her in Swahili; self-taught, he had learned a smattering of that language, as well. In any case it worked. The next time he asked my mum out, they went solo. And the rest, as they say, is history. My family's history!

My dad, Edward Good, part of the Greatest Generation, was born in Preston, Lancashire, in the north of England on July 28, 1915. He served with the British Armed Forces in World War II. At one point he oversaw the command of an Italian prisoner of war camp in North Africa. He sent this picture to my mum in 1941. Years later, because I loved the photo of my handsome father so much, he made me a copy and inked over my mother's name with mine. Thinking of him today, Veteran's Day, 2014. He passed away in January, 1992. I'm so grateful he met my then husband-to-be and that we had one last special Christmas together before he died; my biggest disappointment is that he never met our son. The adoration, I think, would have been mutual and oh the stories my father could have told him.

Remembering all the vets with affection and admiration. My father, thank God, did not have to give his lives for us, but he would have. Thinking today, not only of my father, but of those who did.

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