Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
This is a red deer which was also brought in by the same Normans that brought in the fallow deer. We did not see any of these. They seem to be much more wary. They are bigger in body than the fallow deer. Just the fact that we are viewing the descendants of a medieval deer herd was amazing to me.
Monday, March 28, 2022
Sorry for the gap. I was right in the middle of telling you all about my visit to London, when very suddenly, I found myself unable to download pictures to blogger. I dumbed around for a while trying to figure it out, but in the end, simply soldiered on without you.
It was a wonderful time, the perfect mix of ordinary days where we worked together and laughed together, and extraordinary days, traveling together. Since Cara and Colin had just moved into their home, we worked in their sweet back garden. We cleared brush, and bought new plants. We roamed garden stores which was fun. I bought them a rhododendron as a memory maker. They needed lawn furniture but were not happy with the selections, so we scoured antique stores until we found what they needed - a cast iron table that was painted a glossy black and set into place. We had a nice fire and sat talking into the dark.
We also went to London. I did not get to meet up with Steve Reed as I had hoped. But I saw the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Big Ben, Buckingham palace. We did the obligatory Jack the Ripper walk at night. We saw the British Museum, the British Library. The Golden Hind (a replica). I saw St. Martin's In the Field, had coffee in the crypt, people watched in Trafalgar square (there was a protest going on. 'No more, Putin!'). We went to an hilarious play, 'The Play Goes Wrong'. It was great fun.
After London, I knew that the rest of the visit would fly by and it did. We went to Bradgate and saw the descendents of a deer herd from medieval times. We walked the paths there, and saw the ruins of Lady Jane Grey's family childhood home. We went to Nottingham and did the castle tour and went to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. We went to a victorian pumping station. We walked through the arboretum and we had picnics every day. The weather was perfect.
I had a scotch egg. I had a pork pie. I had fish and chips. I also had curries galore (and how I do love curries!)
In the end, the trip was more than I could have ever dreamed of. After three years of not seeing my daughter, I had really begun to get quite misty eyed every time I thought of her. I desperately needed this time with her, and to get to know her husband better. They were perfect hosts and the most excellent travel guides. Since they only recently moved into the area, we were often exploring new things together. At Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem, there was a plaque that indicated that Lord Byron (the old reprobate) drank there. A quote is posted over the door: 'Man, being reasonable, must get get drunk. The best of life is but intoxication.' That quote triggered google searches and we discovered that Lord Byron was buried in Hucknall. We stopped there on the way home and walked through an old cemetery.
The end of the trip loomed up quickly. It was hard to leave, but that is the way trips go, isn't it. You arrive and you depart. You can't do it any other way.
At two o'clock in the morning, I was up and getting ready to go to the airport. I was leaving just before 5 AM, and I had to be there two hours early. The trip home was kind of sad, but I sat between a biophysicist and a fellow who had worked on the latest transistor, which was very exciting to the biophysicist. They chattered back and forth enthusiastically. The biophysicist was quite intrigued about the new technology and they talked across me for some time. They were both very amiable people, and before the transatlantic flight was over, I had beat Gerben (and six others on the flight) in trivia. He showed me where he lived in the Netherlands. I showed him where I lived in the states.
The worst part of the trip was the eight hour layover in Detroit. Quite honestly, if the itinerary had not been changed, I think that I would have been okay. I was supposed to have had a two hour layover, and then the trip across Lake Erie to Buffalo would have been over in an hour, putting me in the car on the way home by 5ish. I would have been tired, but would have fallen into bed a little early, slept soundly and woke up refreshed. Instead, I sat long enough in Detroit for the previous 24 hours to catch up with me. By the time that I boarded for Buffalo, I was exhausted. By the time that Tim and I found each other, I was nearly sick with being tired. I'd managed to land in the middle of a snowstorm, and so we wound up spending the night in a hotel before heading for home. I never sleep well in a strange place, even snuggled up against Tim, and so we were up early and heading home. Sunday was a long day punctuated by many unintended naps.
After a good nights sleep, it is now Monday. I feel like a human. I've got a house to set to rights. I'll figure out the picture situation later today, and I should be able to post pictures later this week.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
After four days of being on the move, Sunday was spent doing laundry. We went to a garden center and browsed. Cara and Colin have bought their first home and the sweet garden needs some attention. They picked out bleeding heart, magnolia and a rose bush. I bought them a rhododendren to thank them for such a wonderful time.
Monday, they both worked. I entertained myself by walking to the little post office and mailing off some post cards. Then I headed off on a walk around town. People watching is always fun. It was a sunny day and people were out and about.
One difference that strikes me here are the simple differences. Gas prices are so very high now, but Colin's car gets 54 miles to a gallon. My own car back home gets 22 or so. The technology is there, but any push to make cars more energy efficient is a big controversy. I wonder why?
I see windmills steadily turning. There is no pile of dead birds beneath them. There is no talk about windmill cancer. But a whole industry will spend a fortune to fight any move to renewable energy.
Now there is a mad man throwing our world into chaos. Oil prices are crazy. I am afraid that our own refusal to change is going to bite us.I walk around town for a couple hours thinking. So much has changed since I bought the tickets to come visit. I will always be thankful I did not wait.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
The bombed out St. Luke's church.
Monday, March 7, 2022
Today was a nice day, spent close to home. Both Cara and Colin worked, so it was a chance to explore their little town on my own. Armed with directions, I set off.
I found the town center easily enough, and enjoyed the sights as I walked along. Flowers blooming everywhere. The screaming of school children at recess. There was a man walking a white ferret on a leash. He scampered at the man's heels like an excited puppy.
When I got into town, I was trying to find a bank. I finally asked a woman who explained that the last bank branch closed a few weeks ago, so the town no longer has one, but she was going to a grocery store too, so we walked together decrying current affairs. I kept my thoughts to myself, but she did not hold back. She sees Putin as a victim of powerful oligarchs who forced him to attack. I listened an offered no more than 'hmmmmmm.' She was very friendly though.
I don't think I will ever get over how inexpensive food is. Cornflakes for 89p. Triple that for home. I bought a package of 3 Portobello mushrooms and something called 'chestnut' mushrooms, which are noted for their flavor, according to what I read. I bought a bag of onions and a pot of cream to make a nice pot of cream of mushroom soup. I got a small chocolate cake for Cara and Colin's sweet tooth. It was not even six pounds for it all. Portobello mushrooms are a luxury item at home. I would have spent $4+ on those alone.
When I came out of the store, I asked an elderly man which exit led me back to the street I needed. He pointed out a nearby 'snicket' that would lead me right. Tickled me that I knew exactly what he was talking about. People really are so very helpful.
(P.s. If I die in this place it will be because I looked the wrong direction and stepped in front of a car headed right at me. An improvement, I guess, since last week I would die from intestinal issues.)
(P.p.s my epitaph should read: 'She said she would travel if it was the last thing she did.')
Planning a trip to Liverpool and Chester next.
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Saturday, March 5, 2022
We finished our day at RuffordAbbey. At the rear you can see the ruins of the Jacobean wing to the right.
Friday, March 4, 2022
Houdi continues to do alright. He's not himself, but he eats and he drinks. He is a bit more reclusive than usual, but he's stopped...