Friday, November 2, 2012

Journal: England Trip 2012 - Part IV

After two days of heavy rain, Wednesday broke bright, light, and beautiful. Which was fortunate as my dad was scheduled to go with The Ramblers on a hike. As this is a more exclusive group, my dad was going as a guest of one of the members (Steve--the same man who owns Primrose Cottage), and it was going to be his big hike of this trip (which he was super excited about). Well, two minutes before he was to leave, his boots broke. Literally, the sole came off the bottom of one of his boots--which if you've ever done any real hiking, you understand this is not an okay thing if you plan on actually successfully taking a long walk. Fortunately, after a few minutes of panicked hunting for super glue, Steve came by and upon realizing the crisis, was able to lend my dad a pair of boots. This alone is a miracle as my father is not a tall man and finding boots in his size is difficult at best--but these were perfect! Thank the Lord for providing miracles.

 Lake Ullswater
My daddy hiking...happiness.
 As the rest of us were not invited on this particular trip (and frankly, speaking only for myself, I at least would not have been able to keep up with Baby Q in tow!), my mum and I did what sensible women do when one husband is out of the way and the other is offering to stay home to babysit--shop! Hit some of the stores we didn't go to the other day, including a gorgeous shop devoted to all things Beatrix Potter (much self-control was demonstrated by me in not buying the shop out; however, I will confess my mother may have helped in that by buying a few things for me!).

The other accomplishment of the day was starting in on some laundry. Which basically involved turning the entire house into a Chinese-laundry with clothes draped over all the radiators throughout the house. I will not lie; I love dryers. I missed my dryer for three weeks. While hanging clothes outside is something I like to do (I like the smell of air-dried clothes) and I appreciate doing for the economical benefits, when one lives in a country which is very damp, having a dryer to finish off the drying process is really helpful! And yet in all the houses we stayed on this trip, only one (and I didn't stay in that one!) had a washer and a dryer. Sigh.

Following naps, we headed out for a play in the park. We first had a mission to accomplish in the way of a side-trip taken near the park. In the small world of ex-patriots, my parents have neighbors in Thailand who have relatives who live in Keswick. In particular, one aunt (great-aunt?) of the wife whom the wife was concerned about as she had broken her hip and the wife was not sure she was fully reporting on how well she was doing (or not). Mum had been asked to deliver a letter and actually check in on this elderly lady to give an accurate report back in Thailand. Well, we finally hunted down the ladies flat (gorgeous views, by the way--I'd retire to a place like that, if just for the views. Mountains out the front door and the river flowing by her windows, looking straight out onto the Keswick park. Beautiful.), and after knocking on the door and explaining who we were, she invited us in for a spot of tea and a chat. Obviously rather lonely and eager for some company, she turned out to be absolutely fascinating. She grew up on a farm which actually had been located right where we were staying. Has a love of dogs (tons of stuffed dogs and pictures of dogs around the apartment--Blueberry was in seventh heaven), and had traveled a lot. Spent some time in the RAF during the war, spent a year or so traveling the entire USA in a car (or rather--several junker cars!).

Blueberry and the doggy collection
Sadly by the time was finished there (with an invitation to stop by a few nights later for sherry and cakes! which we sadly could not do), it was raining again and so the park was never actually visited. The evening we feasted on a very traditional type of English meal--sausage and bacon and potatoes. Yum. The only mar was that Blueberry attempted another food standoff of not swallowing her food. Fortunately this one was much shorter lived (round went to the parents!) and we all had a pleasant evening playing, what else, cards. Specifically the game Hand and Foot (think similar to Canasta but slightly different?) Because that's my family does when we are together in an evening with no specific plans. I will record, because this is an honest journal, and I therefore must record such significant events with all openness, that we played four games while in Keswick and I successfully won four out of four.  However, I was completely trounced later in the trip, so pride really does only take you so far.
 Blueberry and me. Got to love the cow leggings.

 Nana and Blueberry. There is a picture out there somewhere
of me with that exact expression on my face. I think I might
have been a little bit older than Blueberry though.

Blueberry, Doggie, and Papa

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