Friday, October 14, 2011

my time in England is ending tomorrow

My time at Twinkle Toes in the Cotswold area of England has been perfect in every way. Don arrived safely last Friday in time to go to the Fox Inn(where I can access wifi) and have our anniversary dinner (39 years). We toured many, many villages and saw magnificent scenary and meet wonderful people. I don't know if I wrote be we were invited for tea on Tuesday by the owners of the cottage, for dinner on Wednesday by the vicar and his wife, and for coffee with the next door neighbors who have been so helpful and friendly.

I have survived driving on the left. I came too close to a plastic garbage pail and got a little ding in the side, but hopefully that will be covered. I even drove at night and I even parked the car road side four times. I almost had a heart attack in one town where I was trying to enter from a one lane road onto a two lane road. I was on a steep hill and there was a truck behind me and I was about 4 to 6 inches from the stone building and then someone wanted to turn left into the one lane road that I was sitting at. Oh my, it still gives me shivers. But somehow I managed.

Well tomorrow I drive back to Oxford and then take a 6 hour train ride to Edinburgh, returning to Newark on Friday at noon.

I hope to write more when I am in Scotland.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

the weather has changed

The beautiful Indian summer weather has vanished, but it was grand while it lasted. It rained lots last night, but now it is just chilly and windy. I am trying to learn how to calculate celcius to fahrenheit. Tricky stuff. The people say that it may be snowing when I get to Scotland.

I have been visiting the little villages around Oddington. I went to the Slaughters yesterday. I got freaked out while traveling on what I assumed was a one lane road, but to my surprise there were cars coming in the opposite direction. It is a take your life into your own hands kind of proposition when driving here in the UK. I pray every time I set out. I have a ceramic angel in the front seat with me, in high hopes of protecting me against the speedy British. They sure love to drive fast on the narrow two lane highways (no shoulders).

The countryside is beautiful with the rolling hills and the patchwork of the fields designs.

Don will be arriving tomorrow from Newark around 9:30am and he then will take the bus as I did to Oxford and then a train to a little village very near where I am staying.

The cottage is so wonderful. But there are many things to get used to: a hob (stove and oven) and the heating. There are individual heating units upstairs and downstairs.

Be well.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i am alive and well

I have learned better and better each day to drive on the left hand side. I have visited several of the little villages in the area: Stow on the Wold, Morton in the Marsh, Kingham, and Bourton on the Water. They are each unique. Lots of flowers, in fact they are at their shining best right now. \The country scenes are so pastoral. LIttle Oddington, where I am staying have two churches, but one is closed for reinvations and one is closed because it is only opened in the summer. They date back several centuries. The village I am in has no businesses except two pubs.

If I go sit by the office at the Fox Inn, I am able to access the internet and use Magic Jack to make telephone calls to the US. Fabulous!! I may even call and talk to the people at the Bible Study on Tuesday morning. Be warned, maybe next Tuesday.

I had Fish and Chips for the first time, very nice to be sure.

The weather has gotten cooler, but still delightful.

I hope all is well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Well I have been in tehe Cotswold not quite two days and without a doubt, I have in contact with easily 75 round abouts. They have good directions going into them, you just have to be careful and always yield to the car coming on the right. A lot to learn. In Oxford at the car rental place, they did not have a Ford Focus, which is what I signed up for. What they gave me is a bright red Audi TFS1. There is a geer that is labeled S so that you can jet forward with lots of power. I don't think I will need that. All the country roads are two lane with no shoulders and the speed limit is 50 (much too fast in my opinion) and I have had many passers and many honks if I am not driving over 50. Forget 40, I am not even going there.
My luggage had been lost or delayed or whatever at Heathrow when I arrived on Friday morning. After hanging around the cottage for a good portion of the afternoon, I finally went into get groceries. After waiting most of the evening, a man showed up with the suitcase at 9:30pm. I had almost given up hope of ever getting. They initially said that I would be receiving it around 3pm. Thank you GOd. The first thing I did was thoroughly brush my teeth.
I woke up in the middle of the night and never really went back to sleep, so I was very early to visit Stella and David, friends who have visited Holy Spirit many times. They love our service very much. I drove many miles to their church, St. Barthelmew's in Wootton Bassett, close to Swindon. The people at the church were extremely friendly. I had a delightful day as there was coffee and tea and biscuits after church. I then went with one of the men I met, Stan and he took me to his favorite local pub, which is at the back of the church. He had a quick beer and I had a diet coke. It had a thatched roof and all the locals went there. There was an outside cafe and a game room. It looked like it would be a lot of fun to be a regular there. We then went to the Parish Hall and had a lunch because the church was celebrating "Harvest Sunday". All the members brought fresh vegetables or fruit or canned goods to the altar in Thanksgiving. Then after church, they went up and chose what they liked and gave an equivalent in pounds to have the priviledge to take it home. All the money collected will be used to help the people in Eastern Africa who are starving. What a neat idea! They also had a children's area designated in the church where there were play things for the children to play with as they sat at little tables or on the rug on the floor. This was a very old church and it had beautiful windows.

Wootton Bassett will be visited in two weeks by Princess Anne who will dedicate the village to now be known as Royal Wootton Bassett because of their love of their country. When any deceased service men and women came back to England, they were flown into an airport close to the city. All the town's people would go out and honor them and thier ultimate service by standing at attention. What a great tribute for those corageous men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. After the most delicious lunch, I went to Stella and David's house and Stella erased all my old pictures from the disk on my camera as it was completely full and would not take any more pictures. That was a tremendous help.

The weather has been outrageously warm, in the high 70's and low 80's. Just perfect weather. The English people are in shock; they cannot remember it ever being this warm and beautiful in October. Coming back from Wootton Bassettt, I passed over the Thames River on a one lane bridge. There was a traffic jam there as there were so many people wanting to dive off the bridge or wade in the water. They were having picnics on the banks of the Thames as well. What a perfect day!