Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 21 - Aug. 2nd - Last day in England.

It was one of those day's when you know your trip is just about over and
you are starting to think about getting packed for home, but ya still
want to do a couple more things with your trip.
We aren't big shoppers, so we really didn't want to go shopping all that much.
We did however what to find something British for Emelaine to take home.
So we headed for the "Worlds Biggest Toy Store", Hamleys.
It is like this 900 floor mega kid heaven. And we of course had to
explore each floor so Emelaine could make an informed decision.
They have boy floors, and girl floors and baby floors and action figure floors.
Stuffed animal floors and lego floors and. .  . well, you get the picture.
But what they really lack was a floor that said; "This toy is about England."
There really wasn't anything in this store that you couldn't find at a Walmart or something,
only lots more of it.
But very few things jumped out and said 'this toy about something English'; an English character
or storybook toy. No Noddy's or Rubert's. And heaven forbid, even in the build a bear part of the store, there was no Sherlock Holmes build a bear! That should  have seemed, well, elementary, Watson.
I guess Harry Potter is English, and there was some of that stuff, but he is a little old for our daughter.
Well, in the end, Emelaine came home with an enamel tea set, which she loves,

She got to pose with Buzz, and Harry

and really got overwhelmed with every thing to see,

 but as a dad, (who was also overwhelmed,) I was disappointed.
After our only shopping spree we headed to Trafalgar Square again just to make sure we got a
good picture of Robin spinning Emelaine in front of the Lions
 (I think that it is something her side of the
family has to do in what ever country they visit.)

And Emelaine got to see the lions again.

And we also made our only Sherlockian pilgrimage of the trip to the Sherlock Holmes pub.

Although the pub is very pretty, at least on this trip the food wasn't very good and they were out of
the Sherlock Holmes ale.
We made our way back to Babsi's to pack up for an early night, for a too early flight the next morning.
It was overall a great vacation.
We got to canal boat.
We got to spend the week at the seaside.
We got to visit good friends and family.
I got to hit a lot of pubs with great food and great beer.
I can't wait to go back.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 20 Aug 1st 2010 London Family Day.

We thought we had plenty of time when we left Babsi’s
this morning to make our visit with family at our appointed time.
For the most part we found the train and tube service
pretty good throughout our trip.
Except for twice, both today.
We first were unsure of what train to get on in the morning
because we did not understand our tickets completely, and when we
asked for help we got one of the few rude people we had to deal with,
so we missed our first train, as did lots of other people.
When we did finally get another train, (now we were running late) and were
arriving at our destination, the doors would not open on our car and let us out.
So now we had to make a call to the relatives that were going to
pick us up and find out if we should get off at the next stop and come back,
or if they could pick us up at the next stop. They chose to pick us up at the next stop.
Although now running an hour or so late in our visit we had a great afternoon visiting with my cousins and their families. I had not seen several of them for a long time, and
even met a distant cousin, or second cousin or something, whom I had never met.

Emelaine had some new friends to play with.

My cousins and my daughter.

New addition to my known family circle in London, Chuck, and I
lining up to take the below perfect picture.

We had BBQ (which I like to think the Foster’s introduced to England when we had visiting cousins in America) and John Denver music and a real good visit.

Thankfully our train ride back to Babsi’s was uneventful.

Friday, January 21, 2011

More snow pictures.

Enjoy. I sure love days like the last couple.

Pretty drive and a big snow.

Had to take a run to one of our smaller Post Offices to pick up some mail, so I took my camera
along for the drive. Love going to these small towns.
That was on tuesday.
By Wed. the drive would have been a lot different.
Had fun 'playing' in the snow all day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A picture to make you think of warmer times.

Castor River May 2010

Another snowy day 1/15/11 and a new friend on Sunday.

Got out to the cabin again today,

but only for a little while.
One of those days when waiting for utility workers and running other chores
takes up the whole day and it just doesn't go the way you planned.
I did however get a nice drive in the country between stops and passed
a nice log building. I don't usually like when a log building has
been put on a concret foundation, but they did a nice preservation here.

This log building was on a century farm.

These are up near Troy Missouri.
Century Farms are farms recognized by the state as farms that have
 been in the same family for over hundred years.
We are lucky to have a few in this area.

Also passed an old church along the drive.

Time did not allow for my beer on Sat. afternoon, so the new
 life list beer had to wait till football game time on Sunday.
A Ruby Ale by the name of Red MacGREGOR.

He (it) came in a handsome bottle and is pretty good. Rather full bodied for an ale, but good.
I enjoyed this beer, but kept waiting for it to get as good as Old Jock from last week, but it never quite
made it. Supposedly hand crafted in small batches.
It comes from Orkney Brewery in Quoyloo.
I would not pass it up if offered, but would not, unlike Old Jock, hunt it down.

Please let me know if you grow bored with my subject matter.
Pictures were taken with a new camera I got for Christmas

Friday, January 14, 2011

Breckenridge Whiteout

This one is from a photo by Johnny Bling, I believe he took it from the Ski lift last Feb or so.

And it does have a tree in it!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

To all my Anglophobic and Anglophile friends. . .

A must read for any of you whom may
fit into either of the categories listed above is. . .

It is an irreverent look at the places, customs and people that are English.
Take it very tongue-in-cheek and you will love it. A very good laugh.

Cold, firewood and my New best Friend

Went out to the cabin yesterday. . .

. . . for some John time and to
get some firewood cut for home and the cabin.

I have not split firewood now for almost fifteen years.
I use to do a lot of axe work between heating one of the homes
I once lived in with wood and all the log work I did over the years, I was
pretty handy with an axe. At one time I was able to hew two sides of a log
for a cabin in about an hour.
But I really have not used an axe for awhile.
Non-the-less, with sixteen acres of good oak, I could not stand the idea of buying
firewood for home or cabin.

So out I went yesterday morning.
After a good breakfast at Waffle House of biscuits and gravy I arrived at the cabin
to a chilly 14 degrees F.
Inside the cabin was a balmy 20 degrees F.
It was so cold (how cold was it?) that if the outhouse. . .

. . . had a stainless steel seat, you wouldn't be getting off it till spring.
So, first order of business was to build a nice fire and hope the
cabin would warm up to about 50 degrees F by the time I went home.

I gathered my tools from the barn. . .

. . . and got to work. As has been said many times before, by greater axe men
than myself, wood heat is the fuel that warms you up several times, especially if you cut your
own.  First time is when you cut down the tree, next when cutting it up, again when
you split it, once more when you stack it, and finally when you burn it.

I have always worked best when I work for a while, take a break, work for a while
and take another break ( do ya see the pattern?). And repeat this formula till the task
is finished. It has worked for me for many years. And when I am performing this routine
out at the cabin my breaks are usually taken up with a good book.
I worked like this till I had enough wood cut for a couple evening out at the cabin
and had filled the back of my little Ford Escape.

Everything loaded, stacked and tools put away in the barn once again. . .

. . . . I was due to take my last break. I usually allow myself
 the pleasure of a good beer or glass of wine on last repose.
Today I had Old Jock join me. . .

. . . and he soon became my new best friend.
The women should like Old Jock, he is full bodied and
smooth and slightly dark.
One of the best bottled Scottish Ales I have had the pleasure of drinking.
Once again, it comes as a full UK pint and in this rustic setting it was the perfect beer. I would, and will, go out of my way to try this one again, and would be equally happy if my local (which we have no such thing as over here) were to carry it.
Old Jock can travel with me anytime.

Although very cold all day, it was a wonderful day out at the cabin.