Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stop Thief


Yes, it's true....Mr. B was thrown in the stocks at Warwick castle on Saturday.  


For going to St. Edwards church on Friday and then.....


Smelling the flowers at Hidcoate on Friday as well as......


Enjoying the gardens at David Austin's Garden on Saturday.....


And dining on the water in Chester, near Liverpool.  Great few days.  

The military is out in force at most public places with guns at the ready. We need to stand in secondary lines for purses & backpacks to be gone through but it's all worth it to ensure safety. 

Word of the Day - pinch = steal

Friday, May 26, 2017

Natural Forms


I am fascinated by the beauty of the gardens in England and the natural supports that they use. 


Runner beans



The dovecote at a manor house we visited Thursday. They use the fertilizer for their compost. 


Off to Shakespeare country today - Bye for now!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ancient Standing Stones

Tuesday morning we experienced Stonehenge.  It was the perfect sultry temperature and we were able to enjoy the stones before the crowds arrived. 


It was begun in 2,500-3,000 bc and had many uses.  Amazing energy to be felt here even if it is somewhat touristy.  The entire time we were there we heard blasts going off near that clump of trees in the far right of the photo above. 


This was due to England raising its security to "critical" after the Manchester bombing just the day before. Apparently Stonehenge is near a military camp because as we left, we saw tanks, helicopters and signs like the one above warning you to watch for tanks crossing the road. 


Next we headed to the Avebury Stones.  Here the stone circle is so large that it encircles the entire village and there are sheep mowing the grass and people enjoying the stones & sheep.  

Mr. B was eating in front of that half-timbered, thatched roof restaurant in the background but I couldn't sit still as I wanted to take photos and see the sheep.  



 Next was the little village of Lacock.  It has been used for many TV shows & movies as it is faithful to the era.  We enjoyed coffee & blueberry ice cream here and I won't tell you who had what!!!

We spent the night in Castle Combe, a picture postcard village with a trout stream running through. 

You can See more "standing stones" in the photos above although I believe these stones are placed by masons to form houses and churches and bridges!!!

We drove over the Bristol Channel to get to Wales so we could visit Tintern Abbey.  


I cannot begin to describe to you how enchanting this place truly is. Maybe even more so with most of it destroyed, it truly spoke to both Mr. B & myself with its powerful presence.  I may have shed a few tears....

Heading back to the Cotswolds' we attempted to see the gardens at Highgrove but they turned us away because we  didn't have previous reservations.  


I didn't know it would be so diffficult to see a few flowers!  They wanted us to open our "bonnet" & trunk with guns drawn! Yikes!


Time for a rest at our hotel "the oldest inn in England" c947.  


From Lord & Lady Mac A'Bhaird!!!

Word of the day - Araf (Welsh - sounds like arr-arf ) = slow down 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The English Countryside


The last few days we have been white knuckling through the beautiful English green....dotted with sheep & serine but we are driving!!!  We have visited 8-10 family villages & churches, all on tiny one lane roads surrounded by hedgerows.  As on pub guy said "you can't be nosy in Somerset!"   


Mr. B has been amazing with his reading of many ancient headstones that might pertain to my dad's side of the family.  


And speaking of taking one for the team......He is even willing to order a dram so he can talk to he local barkeep to find out about any connections to my family in the village. So far it's been very colorful. 


Women were subservient in that she was only listed on his headstone by her first name and that she was his wife.  

Lots of 1200-1500 a.d. churches that we explored and met some amazingly nice people along the way.  


And even a very tired Westie named Gordon who had been walking all day was at out hotel bar.  


Finding my great-grandparents headstone was worth shedding a few tears.  They were very poor and somehow their daughter, Sarah Routley Tuckfield Gore managed to make it to Canada - single - with about 9 kids.  And somehow my grandmother, Violet Elizabeth Bacon Gore Crawford, moved from Montreal with my Granddad to Oakland, California to start their family. 


Here's to my family roots - Tea & scones at the railroad station where my great-grandfather was station master. 

Word of the Day - Brilliant = good choice in America (we hear this one a lot)!!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Arches, Arches & Arches

Day 5 - Friday

We drove from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon to Wells and then on to our final stay in Dunster.  A very long, long, very long day.  Mr. B learned to drive on the "wrong" of the road and the "wrong" side of the car today.  We are both exhausted.  Besides me being his second set of eyes on the road - street signs, round abouts, pedestrians, bicyclists, speed limits, road closures, there was so much hedgerows that there were many times you could not see oncoming traffic around turns.  Anyway 2 tire rims & 1 side mirror later we survived!


Bradford-on-Avon was such an amazing, well kept village. We went to the Tithe barn (c1300's) where the ceiling was filled with wooden arches. We also visited the town & church then headed to Wells Cathedral. 


It was closed for a funeral until 4 so we had lunch in the old city center just nearby. Then we walked over to the Bishops Gardens to see the famous Ringing Swans. However apparently the don't ring anymore.  Now if you don't know the story, I'll fill you in....there was an American couple who lived in one of the moat towers and one of them would be present all day so they taught the swans to ring a bell and they would get a little food so all the swans learned to ring the bell and they taught their babies to ring for food. Just this year the couple moved back to the states so there isn't anyone to feed them more Ringing Swans.  But.....


....there were 7 week old baby cygnets to enjoy ( I think daddy kept his head underwater most of the time we watched them!)


There were several croquet games going on with a beautiful backdrop. 


The cathedrals famous scissor arches which were built into the building to support the sinking towers in the 1300's.



And the astrological clock that goes around every 15 minutes. Can you see the jousters on horseback up near the top? They go around the pillar - 2 in one direction & 2 the other - with their lances out and try to knock off the other guy, which they do until there is a "winner".  

We will be spending the next three nights in the medieval village of Dunster.  

Day 6 - Saturday

Scones & tea for breakfast - I never thought I would see Mr. B enjoy a church or a tea room but give him some history and he's a sport!

Mr. B learn to drive - Day 2 - only 1 rim and we are both relaxing a little more. Like he says " it's like being in the dentist chair all day" (sorry John K. Certainly not yours!)


On through Exmoor park to Bishops Nympton in Devon. Found The Black Cock Inn. Had a drink & spoke to the barkeep & owner.  She was new to the area and had no history of the area or even the age of the pub.  Oh dear.  We walked over to the old RR station house next door where my dads mother was born.  Her father was the RR station manager there.  Grandma Violet & Daisy (twins)were born in 1890.  It's a residence now so we couldn't nosy too much. It began to rain so we drove along the street to view the RR arches. 


Above are the old railway arches beside the train station. 

Beautiful green countryside dotted with sheep!

Then we drove to Wiveliscombe and tried to find lunch at 3pm. No go and we were both starving so we hit the local supermarket and bought sandwiches, crisps and drinks and sat in the churchyard to eat. We found James & Maria Tuckfield's headstone with help from the photo I brought. 


These were my great grandparents. We went inside the church & spent some time looking around - old baptismal, ancient graves.  Drove down Rotton Row behind the church where they used to live and barely made it as it was so narrow. 

Exhausted from driving & navigating-coaching, we headed back to Dunster & the hotel bar.  Took our drinks out back to "The Secret Garden" & Facetimed our family. Great to see their smiling faces!!!


Showed them the castle on the hill behind our hotel & lots of beautiful flowers. I guess flowers like water even more that sunshine because they are huge and plentiful here!



Word of the day - British word "Sorted" = it's all taken care of

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