Monday, 21 September 2009

Blenheim Palace. Part 2.

It was another beautiful Saturday in September. I packed us a picnic lunch and we drove out to Blenheim Palace to explore the grounds some more.

We found a nice little patch of grass overlaking the lake and soaked in the sun. We had thought to look in the Palace itself, but the day was so fair that we opted to stay outdoors. The rains will come soon enough! The grounds are quite extensive.... we walked and walked and still did not make it around the whole place.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Fire and Ice.

It's September, the kids are back in school, and the sun has finally come out in the Midlands. We celebrated with one last BBQ, or as Jerremy likes to call it, "Fire & Ice". We pull our Ikea folding chairs out onto our deck and soak in the waning evening rays of sun while sipping on strawberry smoothies.

And then....
.... Jerr fires up the grill!
And we serve American-sized burgers that would make a vegetarian drool they're so delicious-- delicately flavored to perfection with the namesake sauce of our city. A great way to usher in the fall with one last BBQ before we move on to spiced cider and pumpkin pies!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Fun Day

What better way to kick off the start of school than to have a Fun Day? The church we've started going to had one and we volunteered to work at it. Below, I'm cheerfully serving hot dogs with a real American accent. I don't think it improved the flavor of the hot dogs, which came from a can, but who can complain when it's free and comes with onions?
I don't think the kids or young guys cared, they came back for fifths.
I signed Jerr up to help run the bouncy castle. The kids made a massive queue, would bounce for a few minutes, and then run back to the end of the line. Given the hot dog/bouncy castle combination I'm surprised there were no incidents! Everyone had a good time.
The adults were given a turn at the end of the day. Even the dog bounced a turn.

The event was completely free. There was face painting, games for prizes, hot dogs, a singing puppet show, and bouncy castles. But I was surprised when a man came by for a hot dog and insisted on paying his way, even when I declined his money and emphasized the "free" bit. It reminded me of God's grace, how it is completely free. There is nothing we can do to earn it. All we do is accept.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

London. Part 2.

Once again we packed up the estate and went to Town for the weekend.

On this trip we stayed in Wimbledon and caught the tube in. It was a great area to stay in for this trip. The tube station was a short 10 minute walk from the hotel, and fancy there being a Starbucks and GBK along the way! We breakfasted at the 'Bucks and had an American style cheeseburger at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen for dinner. We watched the Brits use forks and knives on their burgers and, of course, ate ours with our hands.

Saturday, we stopped to picnic for lunch in St. James Park, and then went on to pay our respects to the Queen at Buckingham Palace. We crowded in with the other tourists and took pictures. Fun to hear an American accent again- we don't normally hear many Americans in Worcester. But in London you hear every accent and language imaginable.

We took in The Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms. Humbling to see how the second world war affected Britain; the air raids and bombings, the brave leadership of Churchill, and the indomitable spirit of the British people.

We found out that we are a one-museum-a-day family. Best to stop for an icecream after that and have a bit of a rest.

On Sunday we caught the tube to Temple Station on the District line and walked across the Millenium Bridge, stopping at the Tate Modern Museum to look around before we caught a play at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. We sat in the second balcony in the front row and could rest our elbows on the railing. I kept thinking how many people in history had taken in a play whilst sitting on the hard wooden bench I now occupied.

Brief history lesson: the original Globe burned down in 1613, but they rebuilt a second Globe in 1614. This closed in 1642. The present "Shakespeare's Globe" is 750 ft from the original theatre site and opened in 1997. So maybe it wasn't as historically correct as I believed.

(Thanks Wikipedia!)

We saw Troillus & Cressida. It's a tragedy.

Overall, I would say it was a good trip. Every time we go we see a little more, and there is much to see. But we were happy to come back to our quiet house in Worcester. It's nice to be home.