Monday, March 10, 2008

E is For England

I'm actually on time for this ABC Along E post. Usually I like to find as many things as I can to put in one letter post, but this time, I decided to post some pictures of my time in England.

In 1994 I was invited to spend about two months in England with my friend Lily, her daughter Beverley and Mother "Nan". The purpose of the trip was for me to interview and research the possibility of taking a nursing course in England, living with Lily for two years while I did so. I love England and my 20 something mind had visions of marrying some dashing young English doctor with a wonderful accent! LOL Well, not really... but one could always dream. I'm much more happy with my good ol' American boy because he is the one God always planned for me! :o)

The nursing course looked really great and would be training the old fashioned way with all hands on. The only problem was that they had a weight limit and I would be required to lose 100#! (That was before I was big as I am now.) Obviously that didn't happen, so I didn't go. I have often wondered what path my life would have taken if I had gone. In early 1998 after breaking off two difficult relationships, I had a talk with God and had started saving money to hopefully go to Capernwray Hall in Lancashire England for Bible school. That didn't work out because I fell head over heels in love with tall, dark and handsome! :o) But my cousin's future bride ended up going there and loved it.

So, I guess living in England was just not in the plan God had for me. Still, the time I spent there was incredible. Most of it was day to day living with a few tourist adventures scattered through out. I have been really blessed that when I have been in England and in Germany, I have been with natives. It is the best way to experience a foreign country.

E is for England...

This is a stone fence I saw along the roadside in northern England, on the way to Scotland.

These are sheep on the wayside, heading north in England as well. At the beginning of my trip we went for one week to Scotland... my birthday gift and I will certainly do Scotland for my S post.

This is Lily, the consummate English gentle lady! She wouldn't allow me to mow the lawn, but insisted in doing so in her skirt and "court shoes".

This is Dr. Dave with Lily and his Akita Toby, whom Lily often dog sat. Dr. Dave facilitated our research into the nursing program and was really nice.

These are the trees along the road turnoff to Lily's house. Trees have long been one of my favorite photographic subjects, right up there with flowers.

These pretty trees are diseased and remind me of ones at Kalaloch in Olympic National Park in Washington. We frequently went on walks and I enjoyed the woods.

While I was there, ordinary and everyday things were quite interesting, like grocery shopping. I got a kick out of the little uniform and hat worn by this woman working at ASDA.

This was a "car boot sale" that she took me too, knowing that Mom and Jack love garage saleing! I bought an antique silver salt spoon here and some abalone shell earrings.

Speaking of every day things... the signs always made me laugh. We do not speak the same language. Naked Lights?

Sometimes they were the same words but different phrasing. How about some "way out" and groovy toilets? Apparently, "exit" is an American term.

And I was really uncertain as to the safety of "Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate"! lol

This is inside of the York Minster Cathedral. York was one of my favorite places to visit, even though there is a lot of tourist stuff there. It is a fascinating city with a rich history.

Here is the outside of York Minster with many Gothic details. It was like walking into my art history book!

This is the same wall of the Cathedral from the inside. The Rose Window at the top is a famous piece of glass work.

For my last few days I was given the choice of three days in London, seeing the sites and going to a show or 3 days in the countryside of southern England. I chose the 3 days in the countryside. Six months after I came home I learned that I had been tramping around near the places my ancestors had lived prior to 1630!
This shot was taken out the window. It cracked me up to see the cows crossing the freeway! It was unusually hot, in the upper 90s that year and I was glad I had chosen the countryside instead of a stuffy, smoggy, smelly city.

Many things I saw through a car window as I was the passenger! :o) The landscapes were so beautiful and I loved how the trees rounded over the road. In some places they almost scraped the roof of the car. Scattered about were thatched roof cottages. I believe this was in Dorset, but might have been Somerset.
Lily's son Kenneth (he married one of my college friends and I was in their wedding, which is how I met Lily), attended the prestigious Sherborne School in Sherborne, Somerset, England. This is one of my favorite photos. The school was founded in the 16th century, but I don't think these are "original" stairs. Still they are worn from hundreds of years of young men going up one side and down the other.

Sherborne was a quaint and interesting town and we enjoyed walking all over it. This path was near the school grounds. Doesn't it just scream "English Gardens"?

Around each corner there were vignettes of an older life. This one I am working on to make a card.

Sherborne Abbey is even older than the school, founded in the 8th century by Saint Aldhelm. This is one of my favorite pics from my England trip, I'm not sure why, but maybe it is the lighting. I believe this was in Sherborne Abbey, but there is a chance that it was from Salisbury.

Salisbury Cathedral was fascinating and this photo only shows a small part. It was under improvements while we were there. Here I saw the English copy of the Magna Carta. Again, it was history coming to life.

This was my favorite window inside... Ruth and Boaz. My Mom is named after Ruth.

Outside there were a lot of statues; there was row upon row of them.

Another place we visited was Boveridge, Dorset, England. This is a special school that Beverley attended as she is a special person. These are the grounds there... don't they look like something from a Jane Austen film?

Does anyone know what type of trees these are? They are so tall and beautiful. To see the scale, do you notice Lily and Bev standing at the base? (UPDATE: Katri, who I have no contact information for, to thank, wrote that this is a Cedar and that if it is dark green could be a Cedar of Lebanon and if light green, a Himalyan Cedar. Thanks for letting me know!)
Here are Lily and Beverley in the gardens. The lighting on the Astilbes was so beautiful.
And the last stop before going to London for the plane ride home, was Stonehenge. Before I saw it, I was not that interested and mainly wanted to see it for my Grandma Hopkins who was fascinated by it. It is pretty amazing when you see it and I'm glad we did.

And last, but not least, I leave you with a parting shot of Nan, who was quite a character and is no longer with us. She was always cleaning... unless she was knitting! Here she dusts the window sill! Thanks for joining me on a short review of my 2 months in England, the summer of 1994.


Vicki Knitorious said...

Thank you so much for sharing your pictures of England! Beautiful!!

Dorothy said...

Your pictures brought back many wonderful memories of our trips over there. My son lived there for 6 years, so we made many trips. Both the York and Salisbury cathedrals were some of my favorite places. Thanks for sharing with us!

Lee said...

Beautiful photos. It was almost like taking a visit. Thanks for sharing your trip. I visited England, but didn't get to see much of the country side. I saw more of London, at the time I loved shopping. You made a wise choice by spending time in the country.

Wool Winder said...

A wonderful tour of England!

alan said...

Thank you for mentioning my website, which is independent of the custodians, English Heritage. Please do hit on the knitting link on the front page, as that is my daughter who hand-dyes yarn. Magic!! So Stonehenge may help you in mysterious ways.
Lots of love, Alan

Lynette said...

I think Tim is much more dashing than Dr. Dave:o)

Theresa said...

Thanks for the quick but lovely tour of England. I'm so glad you got to go!

Big Fat Loser said...

Wonderful photos with some wonderful stories. Brought back many memories of my time there.

We lived there for abot 5 years and left in 1994.

Thanks for bring to live some of my memories as well.

Katri said...

Hello, the big tree (with two persons for scale) is a cedar (Cedrus in latin), perhaps cedar of Lebanon (if dark green) or cedar of Himalaya (if less dark green). The pictures gave a very nice view to England! Thanks.