Sunday, July 22, 2012

British Invasion

by Leann

The Olympics are coming and with it, amazing stories, athletic genius, views of London we rarely see in our insulated country and, of course, addictive TV. But first, comes The Open Championship. (It's a golf tournament and for many of you, not very interesting, I know.)

But here I am with my life an open book. So I must tell you I am connected to Britain and to golf. My father was in the service and we moved to a town called Chelsea near Liverpool when I was a toddler. I am one of the fortunate (and sometimes unfortunate) people who has very vivid memories of many things going back a long way. I crossed the ocean on the Queen Elizabeth I and lived in England between the ages of two and four. And I loved it.

So what's the connection to golf? Well, my father was an avid golfer. When he wasn't golfing on the weekends, he was watching golf on TV and I sat with him. I loved Arnie and Jack and if you don't know those names, it's okay. It's not really about golf. It's about England and my dad and some of the best memories I have. I need those good memories. I cling to them. Even though my father and I became estranged when he married a crazy woman after my mother's death (yes, crazier than my mother), I carry the memories of watching golf with my dad (and baseball and hockey). I love sports to this day and that love brings my husband together in conversation all the time. We are both addicts!

My last visit to England was in 2001. We did the tourist thing in London and then took a train across the countryside to the west coast and stayed at a 5 star hotel. We could afford it because it was off season for--you guessed it--GOLF. We stayed on a little links course in an out of the way place called Budock Veen. Best vacation ever. Tea, scones and clotted cream every day at 2 PM, 5 course meals in the evening and the beautiful English countryside to look out on. And every day, when we walked out along the stream a hundred feet from the hotel, admiring the flowers and the scent of the ocean lapping the cliffs not far away, a beautiful cat would appear. I would sit on a rock and pet her. Ah, memories. You see why it was a perfect vacation? I'll be watching The Open Championship and the Olympics and remembering.

What about you? This is vacation season. Any trips you've taken that you will never, ever forget?


Aurian said...

I have different memories about my father and watching sports. Whenever my father came home, the tv was switched to sports, no matter what we were watching, or if the movie just had 5 more minutes, he was home, and he wanted to watch sports. So, to this day, I hate sports. I never watch sports, and I am very lucky my boyfriend is not a sports watcher. Perhaps one of the reasons I fell for him. I can't imagine of the horror of every sunday nothing but sports on tv.
Nowadays, I hardly ever watch tv, I am busy reading, writing reviews, blogging, twittering. But I like my own music in the background, and not the racket of sports.

My father still is like that, after a family dinner on a sunday, the tv goes on on sports, and during the day, he often turns it on to read the scores on "teletekst".

Mirjam said...

I'm pretty excited about the upcoming Olympics and will definitely be watching some of it. I love London and watching the Olympics is sure to bring back lots of memories of my visits. Most of my holidays are memorable, if for other reasons. I will also never forget Madeira or Ireland. :)

Leann Sweeney said...

Aurian, it was more about spending time with my dad where we were NOT arguing, that led me to my love of watching sports.

Mirjam, I hope I get to see some Olypmics, but we are moving next weekend. I will be staying with friends at first and will have plenty of cable, but then, who knows? The adventure begins! And I SO want to visit Ireland!

Jeannie D. said...

My most memorable trip was the one my Husband and I took to New Orleans and on to Houston, Texas this past January. It was just the two of us. We stayed in a wonderful Bed and Breakfast out in the Garden District. Totally enjoyed each other's company. Then we met up with my Husband's brother and his wife and went onto Houston, where they live. Along they way we went to Oak Alley and the Houmas House on River Road. I had never been to Texas and really like it. We went to Galveston, San Antonio and Austin. It was an awesome trip and one I will never forget.

Leann Sweeney said...

Jeannie, January is a good month to visit New Orleans and Texas. The humidity is bearable and the temps are mild. Texas is such a diverse state and Galveston has so much history and all those beautiful old houses. Did you visit the Bishop's Palace?