For a brief 6 months in 2015, I lived in the gorgeous SW English countryside in an area called Devon. We lived in Chagford, a tiny town with a population of just under 1500. Gregory and I wanted to recreate his wonderful childhood memories in Devon by renting a place down there. Now for those of you who know me well, I am a buoyant, cheerful, ray of sunshine (most days). So what I'm trying to say is I hardly get depressed. England is notoriously known for having little to no sunshine. As our great friend John Lennon said, "Sitting in an English garden, waiting for the sun. If the sun don't come, you get a tan from standing in the English rain." We signed our rental agreement December 2015 and swiftly moved into a cold and uninspiring house. Winter in England is not fun. Period. It's damp and cold. The kind of cold that makes your bones ache. Traffic is horrendous in England, rivaling, in my opinion, Los Angeles traffic. Ok ok, so I wasn't depressed per se, but it was difficult to maintain a positive disposition when you're living kind of in the middle of nowhere (albeit gorgeous!) with NO sun, where you don't know anyone and you're attempting to lie low after a disappointing year on the work front.
I never grew up with animals. After high school, I had 2 kittens for a short time until I realized I was incredibly allergic to them. So unfortunate as they were stunning calico cats who were inseparable. Gregory has lived with animals all his life. As a little boy, he used to take home stray dogs and cats. What a heart of gold. I wasn't partial to getting a dog but Gregory was 100% for it and suggested for Christmas (which is also our Anniversary!) that we get a Jack Russell puppy, a gorgeous addition to the family. Specific, right? Long story short, on a trip to Wales prior that month, we walked into a store and found a lady surrounded by Jack Russell puppies and we immediately fell in love with the breed. For all you Jack Russell owners out there, our dogs are truly one of a kind, huh?
What followed was a Christmas miracle and an adorable fur baby who ended up being the greatest love of my life apart from my husband.
After finding an incredible Jack Russell breeder at the top of her game (Hi Denise!) who lived in Carlisle, close to the border of Scotland and England, Gregory and I received a little gift from the money gods. Gregory saw in his chart that he was particularly lucky that week in the 8th house. The 8th house in astrology rules money from OTHER people. This could be from government (tax refund), family, or the LOTTERY! Story time! One night after dinner, I was craving a chocolate bar to cleanse the old palate. Gregory randomly said to me "Get me another £5 Merry Millionaire Scratcher." (He wasn't doing very well on the little buggers & I wasn't looking forward to wasting money on another one lol). Little did I know on my drive back from the convenience store, I was carrying a £1000 (which is about $1500) winning scratcher in my car. Scratching off £250 four times was exhilarating and was a great gift to fund our Scotland trip to pick up our puppy. Astrology is such a practical and cool predictive tool to use.
Our puppy is named JR, short for Jack Russell. Hey, no points on originality but his name just works :) He is unadulterated joy rolled up in a fur baby. The kindest, most sensitive and deeply loving animal I've ever had.
He's traveled the world with us but due to personal reasons (of which constant traveling is one), JR is now in Peralta, NM where he lives on a beautiful farm with another Jack Russell. Kim and David Moore, if you're reading this, thanks for being the greatest foster parents ever.
My experience in the English countryside - actually England as a whole - was truly unforgettable at the end of the day. I ended up making great, lifelong friends (Amanda Moreton, Paul Boniface, Lotte Holloway, Julie Gallagher, Denise & Steven Allington - Love you all!) and created indelible memories in the form of pub crawls, hikes on stunning Dartmoor and endless, delectable cream teas (my weakness!).
JR will star in every film production we do. He will be trained by Omar Muller, the man who trained Uggy in the film "The Artist."
Please enjoy the mini JR picture gallery below. I am one lucky mother to a looker of a fellah!
PS. Pic credit to the lovely Amanda Moreton for the first 6 photos :)