Summer in the Cotswolds happened on Sunday. After a week of decidedly undecided weather, the sun finally took control. It shone down all afternoon, including on the little garden party in Ablington where I spent a couple of pleasant hours. There were sausages on sticks and pink wine, although, since I was driving, I stuck mostly to water scented with elderflower cordial and served in a little green glass. The lawn was littered with the usual suspects, including A., who grows increasingly eccentric looking each time I see him what with the cloth Mao jacket and his ring-bedecked fingers. Waving the eccentric banner for the women was J., who is always good for a leopard-skin print accessory. This time it came in the form of her booties which had nothing to do, least of all matching, with the bright red jeans and flower print blouse she was also wearing.
The whole event was one of those quintessential English experiences, like a Sunday roast in a cozy pub or a candelabra-lit picnic on the grounds of a grand old country house. And as I notch each one up, I feel like I am having my own personal Velveteen Rabbit experience, getting closer and closer to becoming a “real” Englishwoman. Maybe one day soon the Nursery Magic Fairy will show up and make me “real” to everyone else. For now, I am pretty sure that to most of my fellow Cotswoldians I remain the loud American.