Friday, August 10, 2012

Some of England, Part 2

Yeah, no part 1, really, but there's a good reason for that, namely, that most of the photos I took are on Emily's computer in Yorkshire.  I planned to put them all on my thumb drive and bring them all home that way, but did I remember?  I did not.  So here's a teaser of a couple weeks worth of England. 

I try to always take photos of my feet, and here they are in England.  Can you tell?

Emily took me on a tour of the University in the pouring rain.  It was fantastic!

What university?  Why, the University of Hull.  Like it says right there, duh.

We toured the library, because she spends a lot of time there (later on in the month we spent all day there, in fact, she working on her thesis (which they call a dissertation) and me on my iPad playing around.  Mark was at work.

We also just like libraries.  This one has old books just hanging about in the stacks that you'd only find behind walls in the US.  

Every floor has these great windows on all four sides.  

When we were there.

Guess what Emily is doing there?

My first UK Cache!

This always made me laugh because it sounds like a hooker's come-on.

Pizza Hut Pizza.

Emily and Mark's new house number in Filey.

Emily and Mark's new street in Filey.

We went with Mark's folks to Stratford.  Yes, Stratford, birthplace of...

William Shakespeare, of course!

A gaggle of Guntons in Stratford.  They kept paying for things, which made me go grrrrr, but it was so very nice of them.  

In the room that illustrated Shakespeare's father's trade, glovemaking.  This guy was hilarious.  Lots of tourists here, naturally.

Looking out the window of Shakespeare's birthplace.  

Not a real goose.  


Redcurrants in Shakespeare's back yard!  Errrr...Garden.   Whatever.

Dang it was tasty.  Yeah, I know, what if everyone ate a redcurrant when they visited Shakespeare's birthplace where would we be?
There wouldn't have been any for me, that's all.  :)

Lots of Elizabethan buildings.

We stopped for Fish and Chips at a place the senior Guntons recommended, and it was very nice.

It's Mark. He could be doing anything.

Had to get a photo of one of these, but we didn't see many.

Another old building, delightfully out of plumb.

Shakespeare's church.  

The floor of Shakespeare's church and my croc-clad feet.  

There was an actual dig going on, which was fun to see.  

My beloveds in Shakespeare's garden.

We saw a lot of fantastic old cemeteries, this one in Stratford, right on the Avon river.

I learned a bit about Mason's marks after visiting Beverly Minster, although this one was also in Stratford.  

A lock.  I don't remember offhand how old it is, but it's part of a huge network of canals in England.  Nearby there was a sign telling how many days it took to get to various cities in England.  Sounds like a great kayaking trip to me.  

The next day we went to the Black Country Museum, which was a fantastic open air museum  outside Birmingham.  In the middle of the country and where the industrial revolution happened like nowhere else, the Black Country Museum  is much like the Gamle Oslo and Kristiansand we visited in Norway.  There were a lot of steam engines, all run by coal.  Fascinating.

Yeah, more beloveds.  So sue me.  

We put on hard hats and went down into a simulated mine.  We couldn't take photos because of the darkness, but it was a lot of fun.

We also made gesticulating shadows.  

We saw lots of coal.  You don't see much coal in these parts (that being California, which is where I am as I write this) because this part of the continent wasn't around in the carboniferous, but it's all over England.  It's what fueled the industrial revolution and it's what made the Black Country black.  

Coal.  Mark's dad nicked a piece for me, but shhhh.  Don't tell.  

We stopped for some beer.  Fortunately for me, Diet Coke is all the heck over England.  Whew!  That bullet dodged.  

This man was making chain, link by link by link.  Fascinating!

My beloveds and me.  <3

We went to dinner at what they call a Carvery, which is as close to a Hometown Buffet-style buffet as I saw there.  It was quite good, and these boys were on a shelf near our table.  

Paul and Colette's hospitable home with the awesome bright yellow garage door.  

Mark and Emily's car, Ticker.  We spent a lot of time in Ticker and he safely took us many miles across and up and down England, including...

Stonehenge!  Mark's dad had told us he wasn't all that impressed with Stonehenge, it's just a pile of rocks, but we LOVED it.  It was raining and downright cold (remember, this is July), but we could have stayed HOURS at Stonehenge.  Next time I go I want to know far enough in advance to get the special tickets that allow you go actually go among the stones.  

This is something I've wanted all my life to see, and now I've seen it.  Awesome.  

Since Mark and Emily ended up having to move during this trip, we took advantage of being fairly south to head off to Battle to see where Harold met his doom at the Battle of Hastings.  We closed the place down and didn't get to see everything to our satisfaction, so we'll have to go back.  Plus, we were close to Stoaty but didn't have time to visit, which annoyed all of us.  We'd hoped to go back down there, but the move prevented us from having time.  We'll be back, Harold!

The buildings on the ridge are the ruins (and some not ruined buildings, including a school) of Battle Abbey, which William was basically forced to build as penance for the deaths that happened there.  The Abbey is on the hill where the English troops were assembled, where I'm standing is where William marshaled his forces.  All these English Heritage sites have extremely good interpretive facilities, which made our visits to those places much more informative and enjoyable.  

It was wet and cold down here too, not too far from the English Channel, which we didn't have time to go see.  Curses.  

Outside  battle Abbey gates.  Battle has a scarecrow contest every year, and this year the theme was the olympics.  We wandered around the square a bit then had dinner in Battle before we undertook the 3+ trip home.  Kudos to Emily who did ALL the driving. I wasn't even tempted and Mark still doesn't have his license. 

Jumping in time a bit, here is Mark taking one of my bags to the car for the trip to Manchester for me to go home.  I had a great time and hated to leave, but do you know that they don't pay you if you don't go to work?  Rats.  

My flight from Manchester to Dulles, which I was not allowed to board until a TSA agent (yes, in England) felt me up a bit.  

This is what I stared at the whole time I was flying across Ireland (which I never even saw because it was TOTALLY covered in clouds as far as the eye could see) and an equally cloudy north Atlantic.  

Winging my way to DC, where it took me so long to get through Customs I was afraid I would miss my connecting flight...

And home to Elk Grove, where Elizabeth and I went out for a proper burger.  Except that I think I ended up eating eggs.  
I'll try to do more when I get the rest of the photos, but for now, school starts next week and that's taking all my time at the moment.  Cheers!

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