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What's New From October 2005

October 5
I am a little late posting this because we were busy having fun. Our visit to Bath and Lulworth as well as our wonderful visit with our Arizona neighbors who came to visit us from their summer home in Holland are below.

Last month's question was: What was the family annual income before full-timing?  It was interesting to see the greatest percentage was in the highest and nearly the lowest category. To see the complete results please go to the poll page

The new question is: As a full-timer what are (will be) your sources of income?  To vote please go to the poll page

New Mystery Picture
Well you are getting better. About 8 guessed last month's picture.  If are dying to know where all those colored boxes were please go to the Mystery Picture page and play the game. Okay this one should  be easy. 

See if you know where we were when the picture was taken. 

On our way home (Sawbridgeworth) from Scotland, we stopped in Barnard Castle (a town named after the castle which is there). It is a historic market town and we enjoyed walking the long main street and browsing in the many shops; we even purchased a few nice things. 
The ruins of Barnard Castle (from Norman times) and the old market place.
After resting back in Sawbridgeworth for a few days, we took off for a 3 day trip to Bath and Lulworth. We had no trouble driving from our temporary home here to Bath. In fact it was mostly motor way driving which Ron likes better than driving through the little villages with all the roundabouts. Our B & B there was lovely. The room was soooo pretty and our hostess, Catherine, was charming. 
Bath Abbey which dates to 1499 and a staircase I discovered while walking the streets. 
We had a wonderful tour of the Roman baths which date back to the first century. It was amazing. 
1. Baths         2. One third of the Royal Crescent
We spent most of the first day in Bath just exploring the city which is large. We walked to most of the sights like the Royal Crescent (1767-1774) which is hailed the most majestic street in Britain. The arc of 30 houses is across from Victoria Park which is very large and beautiful. 
Wild boar sausage and pigeons for sale at a butcher shop in Bath were not cheap. Double the price for U.S. dollars. 
The second day we actually toured the baths. It was a walking tour and we each had a hand held telephone like speaker so that at each stop you could press a button and get all the information about whatever you are looking at. The whole tour took almost 2 hours. 

On our way to Lulworth from Bath, we made a little detour to the town of Cerne Abbas. It was a very charming old village and that made it worthwhile, but the real reason we ventured there was to see the huge chalk drawing which is on the hill side. 

The hillside and a zoomed in picture of the Cerne Giant.
To learn more about this chalk drawing which is mysterious in that no one knows the exact origin go to one of the following web sites. Also you will see better pictures taken from above. 
The Cerne Giant ------- Mysterious Britain ------- National Trust 

We had lunch in The Royal Oak pub in Cerne Abbas and found the menu items interesting and also a framed notation that the property once belonged to one Thomas Notely who emigrated to America in 1670. In 1672 he purchased one thousand eight hundred acres of land stretching north from the Anacosta River including what is now Capital Hill in Washington. In 1791 his heirs turned the land over to the Federal Government because President George Washington had chosen the site for the permanent site of the capital of the United States. 

The Royal Oak pub in Cerne Abbas
Notice some of the menu items:
venison-phesant patty stack
local rabbit casserole
homemade faggots
smoked pigeon breasts
We had a bowl of potato leek soup which was very good. Some of the other things were a bit much for our tastes. 

Lulworth castle is my "ancestrial castle" but I certainly don't feel like I am part of the Weld Family who are so prominant in the area. We first visited in 1989 when the castle (never a fortress) was surrounded with scaffolding. There had been a fire in the castle in 1939 and it was pretty much gutted inside. When we visited in 1989 it was just a short stop on our bicycle trip across England, Wales and Ireland. We walked around the castle and even visited with Colonel and Lady Weld at their home in Lulworth. When we heard that the castle was open, we put that on our list of things to see this time. 

Our visit to Lulworth would have been better if it hadn't turned cold and rained as hard as it did. We were able to get into the castle before the rains poured down and did get one or two pictures taken. 

Lulworth castle in Dorset England
When we got back from our trip to Bath and Lulworth, we were excited to have company. Our back door neighbors  from Arizona (Guy & Mathie) live 6 months of the year in Holland. They came to visit us here and we traveled around each day seeing the sights in our area. Our first day trip was to Lavenham (a favorite place of ours) but the real highlight of their visit was our day trip to Cambridge. 
1. Guy (L) and Mathie (R) relaxing in the conservatory here.   2. The 4 of us enjoying tea and chocolate at The Swan.
1. The Swan hotel in Lavenham    2.  The crooked house. Both buildings are from the 1400s.
1.  Guy, Mathie and me in a double decker bus.    2.  The back side of Kings College. 
Our tour guide with guy and the side view of King's College
More scenes from Cambridge
We ate lunch at a 600 year old pub in Cambridge and it was fantastic. We were amazed to find out that the pub had always been a pub. The guys all had fish and chips and I had a meat pie. Everything was terrific. 
The above two pictures are compliments of Guy and Mathie. The second one was taken in the pub.
We will still be doing more touring but I probably won't bore you with any more pictures. We will be home on October 17. 

October 13
We will be heading home soon but I wanted to add a few more pictures and an article I wrote about living in England. I had forgotton to include two pictures from Barnard Castle which I mentioned below. As we were walking down town, we noticed this very unusual gas (petrol) station. Take a look.
Notice that the pump handles are right above the side walk.
I also wanted to show how close buildings are to the road especially when traveling in the little villages.
These were taken through the windshield from the passenger side.
The other day we drove to Much Hadham (don't you love the names) a nearby village and walked the streets. The buildings were from the 1400s and well kept even though they are old. 
Notice the highway arrows to keep right on the side of the yellow house above.
We will be home Monday and everything will get back to normal. To read my comments about Living in England and see some different pictures please click on the link. 

Oh and I added one more category to the poll. I realized that I left out the people who moved into an RV before social security kicked in. If you tried to vote and couldn't please go back and see if "pension and/or savings" works for you. 

October 19
We have been home since Monday at 6 p.m. and trying to deal with jet lag. After being up 23 hours on Monday we finally went to bed at 9 p.m. but we were awakened by a fierce thunderstorm at 12:30 which kept us kind of awake until the power went out. At about 2:30 the power came back on but we couldn't go back to sleep so we got up at 3 a.m. and stayed up all day. We gave in and went to bed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and slept until 4 a.m.and tonight we hope to stay up until 10 and maybe we will be back on a normal schedule. We are tired though. 

Everyone asks if we would do a home swap again. The answer is, "no." We enjoyed ourself a whole lot but I didn't like living in someone elses home and I didn't like their living in my house. I learned that I am very possessive of my house and all that is in it. No, I don't want someone living in my house again. It is just me. 

It was good to get home and now we are busy getting in to the normal swing of things. I will be directing the play here at Mountainbrook this year and rehearsals start on the 28th of this month. Ron is busy with the school board at our church and helps the theater group too.

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