The cottage is buzzing with birthdays! Larry has just turned 70 years. Amazing that he’s lived that long…? no just kidding. Happy Birthday darling and many happy returns.
No, I didn’t stay up to see the New Year in, but I did hear the fireworks, which started here at about 10 p.m. They didn’t keep me awake either.
Happy New Year to all my followers. I hope 2015 is a good one for you. Any plans for the New Year?
My turkey is defrosting in the shed; my mince pies are ready and waiting to be eaten and some of the other jobs have been done. Others are still waiting (mops brow). So it just remains for me to wish all my followers a very Happy Christmas. I appreciate your visits day by day throughout the past year. It means a lot to me to see your comments and I hope you will continue to dip into my life, here in England, during 2015.
Feels odd being here in England on Thanksgiving! I am English but with an American husband and time spent living in Tennessee, I have one foot in each country. I think it’s a lovely tradition and I wish we did more of it over here. Our roots here go back thousands of years and it’s hard to know, remember or even think of our origins. However we do have so much to be thankful for. My list is endless, it really is and today, such a special day, I am thankful for my family and friends and that includes all you bloggy followers.
I am making a pumpkin pie for Larry, although he doesn’t know it yet. It must feel so strange for him being here today, his second year living in England away from his family and all things familiar. We’re going to have a turkey dinner out somewhere nice later on.
So Happy Thanksgiving one and all from my pen to your computer.
Last week we went to our local railway station for an important event. Dylan and his dad came too. We were going to watch a steam train come through and it did, on time and at speed! Here it is:
At the end you can see Larry ducking to get out of the picture.
Dylan had never seen a steam train live before. He wasn’t sure what he was going to see. He asked his dad if it was going to be like Thomas (the tank engine). Isn’t that so sweet? At the event, he was frightened, which is not surprising, after all he has only just turned four. He is used to seeing the electric trains go through but this was something different and it did go very fast.
It was a first for Larry too. He had never seen a real steam engine in action either and he found it very exhilarating.
The last steam engine to pull a passenger train in England was in 1968. It was the Oliver Cromwell and it went from Liverpool to Carlisle. Is it really that long ago?
Do you have any memories of travelling on a steam train?
A few days ago Larry, Jim and I went to visit the Tiggywinkles Wild Animal Hospital near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. That’s about 18 miles west of where we live. The hospital is set in the countryside and cares for wild animals who have been injured in some way. A lot are injured on the roads but there are also lots of natural casualties. The ultimate aim of the hospital is to release the animals back into the wild, but this is not always possible, sadly. If they cannot be released, then they will spend the rest of their natural lives in the beautiful grounds of the hospital. The first picture is of a Red Kite bird of prey (red tailed hawk if you are American!). Larry has helped me out with a lot of these sorts of words and descriptions being American himself. I also learnt a lot while I was living over there. It was quite sad to see how many of these beautiful birds were remaining in captivity but at least they are safe and they have a very large area to fly around in. They look wonderful as you can see from the picture.
Caring for wild animals is quite unlike caring for domestic creatures and requires a lot of skill. Tiggywinkles is a charity which relies on donations and benefactors and is always pleased to receive a gift.
Quite a few of the animals are nocturnal so we didn’t see all of them, e.g. the badgers and foxes but they are there just curled up in their burrows and forms etc. If we went back at night I’m sure we would be aware of a lot more, although I doubt if we would see much!
Interestingly there were lots of gulls that couldn’t fly and three legged deer and others.
In the beginning, Tiggywinkles was set up to care for injured hedgehogs. Hedgehogs used to be very common in England, but over the last thirty years their numbers have reduced so much that now it is a delight to see one let alone have them living happily in the garden. Here at the cottage we used to have lots of them but for the last few years we have had none. Here is a video showing baby hedgehogs. I’m sure you’ll agree that they are just delightful.
Tiggywinkles was named after a Beatrix Potter character called Mrs. Tiggywinkles. Here is a video of her if you are unfamiliar:
If you would like to know more about Tiggywinkles Wild Animal Hospital, you can click here and go to their website. Please do. I’m sure you will enjoy seeing all the good work they do.
Please let me know if the videos worked?
My little grandson Dylan is on holiday this week, in Wales. He’s having a great time judging by this picture.
Holidays are so necessary in our busy lives but it is hard for some of us to afford them these days. Larry and I have been having days out this summer rather than weeks away and I’ve enjoyed it very much. After buying the new car in May, it made sense to be careful for a little while and although holidays can be fun, they can also be a lot of work, what with the packing, planning, navigating etc.
I’m not sure if the wetsuits were really necessary! but I’ll leave you with some more pics of the happy family enjoying their summer break:
A week or so ago Larry and I went to St. Albans in Hertfordshire to visit the museum of Roman artefacts. St. Albans is a city about 15 miles north of London and 15 miles south of where we live so it made for a nice day out.
I wanted to show Larry the museum because it contains some extremely old and interesting articles. In the picture Larry is admiring one of the mosaic floors, which was unearthed when the old Roman town of Verulamium was excavated. It is almost intact, which is amazing considering its age.
Verulamium was one of the largest towns in Roman Britain and we can learn an awful lot from studying the artefacts which range from the large mosaics you see here to the small objects of everyday life.
Verulamium began in the late Iron Age when it was known as Verlamion. The later settlement of Verulamium expanded to become a very large town and it flourished for four hundred years from around AD50.
If you would like to read more, you can click here. If you want to test your knowledge on Roman Britain, go to the fun section on their website and see how much you really know. The more you delve, the more fascinating it all becomes.
I consider myself very lucky to live in a country with so much history going on all around me.