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Marking milestones, celebrating 200 columns
An English rose in Georgia
Lesley Francis - 2016
Lesley Francis grew up in London and made Georgia her home in 2009. - photo by File photo

Time flies! It never fails to surprise me how quickly time passes, and today marks yet another milestone in my life – this is my 200th column for the Bryan County News.

My first column appeared almost eight years ago, when the then-publisher of this newspaper asked me to share some of my perceptions as a newly arrived transplant from London, England, to Richmond Hill, Georgia.

He knew I loved living here on the doorstep of beautiful, historic Savannah, and he had heard me talk about some of the quirks and amusing differences in our cultures and ways of life.

So was born "An English Rose in Georgia," which has appeared every two weeks without fail since October 2010. I am proud of having never missed a deadline, and I do my best to write about something new (and hopefully interesting) every time.

I really appreciate the response I get from my readers. I have received a lot of emails over the years, almost all positive, and it never fails to surprise me when people stop me in the grocery store or post office and are kind enough to say they read and enjoy my column.

I also get some good ideas and suggestions for future columns, so please keep them coming. Don’t be shy, just email me at  

The Collins English Dictionary describes the original meaning of the word "milestone" as "a stone by the side of a road showing the distances to particular places." Today, of course, we use it to describe the passing of time and major events in our lives.

Reflecting on my own 200-column milestone, it strikes me that so much has happened in my life since the beginning of this column: sad occasions and the loss of loved ones offset by the joy of new life with the birth of my granddaughters – plus the occasional new puppy.

I turned 50 last year, became a proud U.S. citizen six years ago and set up and grew my Richmond Hill-based marketing agency, Lesley Francis Public Relations, the year before that.

I work with some amazing clients from Richmond Hill, Savannah and beyond with my team of four amazing women. Just as my first publisher believed eight years ago, I really do love living here.

I would like to give a huge thanks to this newspaper for allowing me to connect with the community I love in the unique way that this column lets me.

And thanks to you for reading them! Whether you read my column regularly or occasionally or even if this is your very first one, you have my heartfelt appreciation, and I am deeply honored by your support. Thank you.

I leave you this week with a great and relevant quote from Agnetha Fältskog, who you may know better as the blonde girl in Swedish supergroup ABBA – which is one of my favorite bands: "My path has not been determined. I shall have more experiences and pass many more milestones."

God bless America!

She can be contacted at or at

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