Even I, a died-in-the-wool Man of Kent who is proud to be English, know that today is Independence Day. In America, that is.
It is really quite something that I manage to remember that the fourth of July is Independence Day. I am not a great one for remembering dates. I do know the date of my wedding anniversary and I know the date of the Old Bat's birthday. But that's not to say that those significant days won't creep up on me quite unawares so that it seems as though I have forgotten them. I can also tell you the dates of my children's birthdays but I have to admit that things get a little hazy when it comes to the birthdays of the grandchildren. I even struggle to recall the ages of the grandchildren, all three of them!
I have been to America four times - no! Five times. New York (well, I suppose that is America), Virginia (for the Blue Ridge Mountains) with side trips into Maryland, DC and West Virginia, New England (into Boston, across Massachusetts, up Vermont, down New Hampshire, briefly off into Maine before heading back to Boston), Detroit (a Lions convention), and California (San Francisco, Yosemite, a quick trip into Nevada as I wanted to see Carson City, then Northern California, across to the coast at Eureka, back south to Monterey then back home again). I have been impressed on all my trips - except, perhaps, for New York - by the courtesy and generosity of the American people I met.
I even managed on one occasion to be in America on Independence Day when I was invited by a family I had never met to join them at their home for a barbecue. It was a most memorable occasion.
So to all my American friends, whether we have met or not, I wish you a very happy Fourth of July.