Archive of ‘An American in Sussex’ category

Leg of lamb vs Leg of Spider

Charlie and Jill, our National Trust warden and wife, became our good friends. They seemed to have an infinite knowledge of the English countryside – and even my country-bred Dave learned from them. In the spring Jill acquired three adorable little lambs which she named Daisy, Maisie and Gracie. I kept finding excuses to visit over the succeeding months as it was such a treat to watch their playful antics. One October evening when we were invited to dinner, Jill served a garlic-and-rosemary seasoned leg of lamb with all the trimmings. ‘Genuine South Downs lamb,’ she announced as she made her entrance. I looked at the sizzling platter, my stomach suddenly in knots. (more…)

Sheep…lambs…and keeping clear of bulls

Food shopping always meant the supermarket – where my choice was from an uninspiring array of pre-packed produce. Then I discovered the joys of the farm shop and became one of its most loyal customers. The owner, Harry, sold fresh fruit and vegetables as well as eggs, and a selection of locally-sourced meat and sausages. His ‘pick your own’ was legendary, attracting customers from miles around. (more…)

The Birds are coming!

My knowledge of British birds was embarrassingly limited. Imagine my excitement when I spotted a very large, most unusual specimen on our bird table – only to be deflated when Dave identified it as merely the common wood pigeon. Dave continued my avian education by identifying other British birds for me. He ‘warned’ about magpies: ‘one for sorrow, two for joy’ – making me slightly apprehensive if I spotted a solo bird in our garden. (more…)

The ‘unpleasant pheasant’

Striding across a field with Dave one cold January morning, I stopped suddenly. ‘Who’s coughing?’
I asked. Eyes twinkling with amusement, he replied, ‘That’s a pheasant calling.’ There, on
the other side of the hedgerow, was a beautiful male, feathers aglow in the winter sunshine. (more…)

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