Ahh, July, what a month. Time for picnics and Pimm’s and lawn tennis in the UK, barbeques and beaches and fireworks in the US. Terribly different but equally fabulous. On the eve of Independence Day I’ve been thinking about what independence means to me. Yes, it means freedom and liberty, but there’s something more too. Self-reliance perhaps, or self-sufficiency. When I was growing up, in a rather remote village, I was dependent upon a bus that showed up once every couple of hours. Sometimes it would just whizz by full and you had to settle in for another long wait. Now I didn’t learn to drive until after I left university so a huge chunk of my childhood and adolescence was spent travelling on or waiting for the number 65 bus. I cannot overstate the sense of independence owning a car gives to me. Just the knowledge that, if I need to go somewhere, I can turn the key in the ignition and drive, oh, I almost get lightheaded at the thought. The car I have is not fancy or new, in fact it’s borderline vintage, but it roars into action when I turn the key and drives like a dream and I will never, ever in a million years lose that sense of independence I get when I slip into the driver’s seat with the knowledge that this…

montana, big sky country, freeway, highway, road trip, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

… is all mine, thanks to this.

vw golf mk3 gti 1997

What gives you a sense of independence? If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

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Happy 4th of July.

xxx Ailsa

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Independence? That’s middleclass blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth. – George Bernard Shaw

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