On a hot and sultry afternoon, we went sailing to England with a delightful family. “Buckinghamshire is about 30 miles outside London,” said Ken Boyce, who brought his wife Alison and their three grown children. “We travel to the States every other year. We were going to bring my mother sailing with you, but that would have been seven people. She would have begged off, ‘You go, I’ll stay.’”
They were surprised that we were the only sailboat out there on the York River. “On the south coast of England, this would be riddled with boats of all sizes. The only problem is that they have to deal with a current running four to six knots because the tides rise three meters.” That stunned me, and sure enough it works out to an 18-foot range. “Around Southampton and Portsmouth, the place is just packed with pleasure boats.”
The Boyces are history buffs and love all things America, so they had no trouble hearing that the outcome of the Yorktown siege was still bad for the British. “I’m sure we got over it. The elites and the aristocrats simply moved on to plunder and exploit somewhere else. India, I suppose.”
Ken found great similarity between Britain’s immigration problem and ours. “My godfather, who’s an American, said you could solve the problem by making Mexico the 51st state.” That drew a round of laughter.
Brexit sounds a lot like our Donald Trump. “It hurt the very people who voted for it because they were too uninformed to dismiss the lies. There are also parallels to 1933 because Brexit targets immigrants as inherently bad for the country. Just substitute the word Jews for Hitler.”
The family talked about the wide open spaces of America and the free-wheeling nature of Americans. They’ve traveled out west to Colorado and covered the mountain ranges. They spent a week once in Las Vegas. A week! This trip is confined to an in-depth look at Washington DC and Williamsburg. They very much enjoy Colonial Williamsburg and see that period as a good thing for England because it set so many people free.
The Queen’s Visit
I regaled them about Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 2007 and asked if she can skip Prince Charles to abdicate for Prince William. “She has no intention of doing that,” Ken insisted. “She believes that God put her on earth to serve as queen and she’ll do it until she drops. She absolutely thinks God has that purpose for her.”
On the future of Prince Charles, “We don’t much like him. He’s an old woman, writing letters to Parliament complaining about the environment and such. Yet he owns huge swaths of land in England and collects an enormous pension paid for by us. Did you know that if Parliament passed a law reducing his income that he can veto it?”
Well, I suggested, perhaps you need to have a revolution. “We did! Yours!” It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.