Sunday, February 22, 2015

England, part 3, same places, earlier visits

post #230
       Two years ago, again in the winter, I visited my British stepmother, in a different house but in the same town.  Since I wasn't able to take as many photos this year as I usually do, I thought it would be fun now to share some from my earlier visits. So here is a slice of life from, first, February, 2013:

across the street, early morning milk delivery

sounds and sights of early morning exercising, on the same street, through the center of town
      Two views from two windows, same very old house.  The outside of the second window can be seen in the lower right panel of the first window....  Notice, as yet no snow....

My stepmother was having some health problems at the time, so I went to visit her several days in a row at a care center, discovering this wonderful free-standing English oak en route.  LOVE IT, LOVE IT. 

The next time I passed by, I checked in with my new best friends, after the overnight snow.  First, the sheep,
and then their tree, looking all gussied up now and stately.  Think of the stories it could tell.

Back in town, again on High Street, after the snow, that evening. The building on the right is the old market place -- old meaning built in 1627, originally used for trading wool. 

       I am just now thinking that this is a pretty good dose of old England for one day, and I will save May, 2014, and some earlier warmer times there for next week.  I do have some snow photos from here, but who wants to see them this month!! if ever!!  However, maybe in July they may have some appeal.  I do want to thank my three friends who commented so astutely on last week's post, and to commend Steve Lyon for his close reading last week of the posted menu.  He asked me what food could possibly be called "toasted bloomer" or "rocket leaves".  I had to look them up myself, as I often do when it comes to English words used in England. (Imagine!)  Here is a hint:  a bloomer is toasted because it is a kind of _[roll]_____ , and rocket leaves are green and shaped like a rocket (?), just like  __[arugala]___.  Both items sound yummy to me, no matter the English version in use.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

England, part 2 of 3, mingling moments

post #229
      I promised shops today, in the small but well known Cotswold town in England where I spent the week before last doing errands, fixing some meals, and enjoying another visit with my English stepmother.  I thank her for my airplane ticket and a place to stay and the chance it gives me to catch up with the changes in the town and with her friends and neighbors I have known over the years!
       As I wrote last week, I hurt my shoulder on the way over, so I resorted to taking these shop photos with my lightest camera: my iPhone.  The important thing is to believe that these small shops still exist and contribute to the neighborly feel of a small town, despite the year round onslaught of tourists -- though not so many in February....

       First, here's a newly spiffed up mini-mini-mall, with a bookstore! The owner carries mostly children's books and books that are published in the region. Independent bookstore propiertors are brave souls, no matter in which country or in which location they may be.  Bravo!

I liked her display just outside her store entrance.

    The butcher in the meat store was also OK with my taking his photo, and I say thanks!

    The rest of the photos of the shops were taken from the sidewalk, looking in, on the sly:

outside the Green Grocer, where I'd go to buy vegetables and fruits -- the spring plants are for everyone tired of the damp and the cold.  They give all those English gardening fanatics one way to hold on until spring.

And since Valentine's day was coming soon, the Green Grocer featured these flowers in its shop window.

a tea/coffee shop, showing one plate of goodies down to the crumbs, which appear to have had chocolate bits...

looking at sheep, trying to lure me into the tourist office....

Several hotels and restaurants/pubs compete for the tourist trade!

a stationary store, where the Royal Mail counter is located in the back,
but the letters and postcards with stamps can be mailed in this red box outside the store.

      I am saving the best to last -- my one drive in the car, to visit June and Bill.  First, here is the butcher shop in the really small town of Mickleton, on the way.  Next week I will be showing some of my favorite photos from earlier visits to this area, and I will include how this shop looked under the previous owners, before increased regulations by the European Union.

        This last image shows the warming hearth in Bill and June's house, with its welcoming plate of biscuits (what we Americans call cookies), and the wonder of this big enough house which is mostly at least 400 years old!  Needless to say, as a tall person, I stand up with care, lest I forget a beam. Notice also the laptop, the TV, the plugs and other such signs of the old and new bumping up against each other. 
        I love, love, love being with them and catching up with family news, theirs and ours. We always have a lot to talk about.  Thanks, June, for the OK to use this photo!!  I will probably have another photo from your place next week, in my selection of favorites from England.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

England, quiet moments

post #228
       I have been in the Cotswolds for a week, where I managed to stay warm but also managed to have a rotator cuff (shoulder) injury -- which kept me from 1) sleeping too much, 2) carrying my heavy camera around, and, therefore, 3) doing too much photography.  I am better now, thanks to the help from the pharmacist  -- here they are actually encouraged to give advice -- and thanks to an appointment today with a local osteopath, who is terrific.  I see hope for making it across the ocean tomorrow, now that my week in England is done.
       However, I couldn't not take any photos.  SO I did two things.  (And it will take two posts to show the results of my strategy.)  For the first, I used an improvised bean bag in the window of the guest room I was in to do a version of street photography: i.e. me looking across the street through the window.  I am even including a photo of the window I used - looking back from across the street.  For the other, I used my trusty iPhone to take photos of some of the shops in town, of which there are many.  I have been going to these shops multiple times doing errands for my stepmother since she can't get out so well any more -- some food from the Coop grocery store, some plants and veggies from the Green Grocer, some postage stamps, some meat from the butcher, etc.  And I discovered the new bookstore in town and visited there, twice.  

       So, today, the street photography!
early, the first morning

Please notice the snow on the, to me, fascinating thatched roof.. Yes, it was nippy out.
later that day, the thatch now dried off

driver of the Royal Mail red truck

"My" window is the one on the lower left.
  I would have liked to catch the students on the way to school, but I did not. There were lots more people walking a dog, or dogs.  No one seemed to notice me. I could have taken many more photos, but it is not why I am here.

     I have saved this fellow for last just so I can say that "I am running out of time".  I need to pack and all that.  Next week I will go back to posting on Sundays, but for now, I hope you enjoy this day early post.