Thursday, March 31, 2011

Desperately Searching for Signs of Spring

Even the crocus in our yard haven't bloomed yet and they're predicting snow for tomorrow. I've seen a pussy willow, a few green sprouts of lily, but not much else. A few miles away, in various micro-climates, I'm sure there may be a daffodil or two in bloom.

What we in the Northeast call "skunk cabbage".

Sunday, March 27, 2011

24 Hour Thing

Just spent one of the top ten worse 24 hours ever.  An intestinal bug had me down and out.  Luckily, between wrenching my brains out I was able to watch several episodes of Downton Abby on Netflix.  What a hoot the characters are especially Violet, Dowager, Countess of Grantham, "I have many friends whom I don't particularly like."  "What is a Week-end?"  .... I'll take that as a compliment. "I must have said it wrong."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Just a little tribute to Liz from YouTube.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Recap: Return to London for a Farewell

 When our tour of the UK was done, we were returned to London where we spent the final two days of our holiday.  While we did not do all of the "must do's" while in England, we did get a flavor for the country and for London.
 My overall impression: I am not a city person so London was a bit much.  It seemed to be a clean, vibrant city, very organized, where things run smoothly, very pricy, hip, full of young professionals and executive types. I enjoyed getting into the countryside to see the scenery.

Leon is ready to go back again.  He wants to rent a Long Boat and explore the country via its canals, of which there are hundreds.  Me, we'll I will push for somewhere WARM, some island with beaches and palm trees.
This crosswalk  button is just about  horse high

Now, I'm sure the one in Provincetown was the first
 The colorful side of London:

Their Photo-op or Mine?
I really was there

Last night in London
Dinner ala Delta

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Recap: Warwick Castle

Here are a few photos of Warwick Castle.  It was quite impressive even though it has been taken over by Madame Tussaud's  Wax Museums.  They have done a good job recreating period figures and costumes without making it into Disneyland or a tacky tourist trap.  The castle architecture is pretty spectacular and the views are as well.  Some of these photos look like they've been taken from a low flying plane, but were taken from the hillside towers.  The countryside seems pristine with the green pastures, crisp trees and tidy cottages.

Looking down on  the loyal subjects
A medieval Bear in wax 

I'm building this in my garden at home this summer...


Stan commented that "everything seems so clean and neat".  I would agree.  Of course there are places along the highway where litter is scattered, but it seemed to me, less so than here in the States, particularly in the populated areas in the Northeast where litter is a real eyesore.

The English do have a sense of pride in their land and surroundings and tend to keep things tidy and clean.  In London, street sweepers and cleaning crews keep the streets clean and we saw a TV program about special crews that follow up on reports of "illegal tipping" which does not mean leaving marijuana for the waiter but rather is illegal dumping.  These crews not only clean up the debris but also can issue summons if they catch the culprits.  They have rules and laws and the do their best to enforce them - or at least try to ensure the desired effect.  Perhaps I am naive, but I think the US could learn a few lessons from the Brits.

Recap: Edinburgh and Lands of Robert the Bruce

Edinburgh was the far point of the tour where we were to spend two nights with a side tour to the Troussachs/Braveheart Country.  Our first outing we up the steep hill behind our hotel where we got a panoramic 360-degree view of the city.

My most salient impression of Edinburgh (pronounced with a very guttural "rgh" that makes it sound almost like "borough") is that it is "heavy".  The architecture seems severe and the buildings weighty and grounded, like mountains.  Not like buildings whose architecture make them soar and lifts your gaze upwards.

The saying "You can't get there from here" is the proverbial Vermont response to a lowlander's request for directions, but in Edinburgh, we found you really can't get there form here, at least not in any direct way.  What seems a couple of blocks away often requires a circuitous route involving up, down and around hills, steps, or steep walkways.  City residents must get a good workout everyday as they go about their business.

This walkway is much steeper than it looks
There was eye-candy all over the UK

Some photos of Edinburgh Castle, a somewhat "newer" castle as castles go.  Only the chapel dates from the 12th Century, with other structures from the 16th century and later.
Edinburgh Castle

Police box - kind of like the one Doctor Who traveled in

A Summer Place for Royalty
Just dusting the furniture is probably a full-time job.
And Leon could make a good living doing the windows
once or twice a year
The gardens outside our hotel in Edinburgh made me want to get home and get busy outside

Just an oddity - a place in the Mall to have little fishies eat at your toes.  I guess you pay for time to put your bare feet into fish tanks where the hungry swimmers nibble at your skin and bacteria or whatever.  

Some photos of the side tour to Troussachs and Braveheart Country.

Robert the Bruce

Weaving Exhibit
Samples of Clan Patterns
Leon was looking for a plaid to match the interior of his '75 Chrysler Newport that he got from his grandparents.  If he were to buy a Kilt to drive around in, it could cost up to $1,000 or more for a good authentic one - and I doubt he'd wear it.  Unfortunately they don't sell them at KMart.
Eight Yards of Fabric to Make a Kilt

A Hint of A Rainbow

Scene/Seen from the Bus

Another Castle on a Hill
Next leg of the trip will be to York and on to London.


Related Posts with Thumbnails