Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunny Days

Hello, I was just in the kitchen a few minutes ago, washing some dishes and I was overjoyed with I saw outside....a blue sky!!! :)

We haven't had the greatest weather this past summer, so this little September surprise of warm weather that we're having here in southwest England is truly wonderful! We're supposed to have some splendid weather for the rest of this week so I'm extremely happy about that.

I think that I'll head out to enjoy the nice weather for a few minutes before I get back to studying. Days like this are meant to be relished!

Until next time...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Friend

I heard some sad news yesterday and it's been on my mind a lot over the last 24 hours. I heard that a former co-worker and friend of mine had passed away. His name was Jerry. He was a really great guy and when I heard the news, I was truly startled because he was one of those people that was truly ALIVE!

He passed away while he was on a vacation with his brother. Jerry loved to travel and often did so with his brother :) He loved going out to the western US states with his brother to hang out and do 'guy stuff'. And when I worked with him, he would always come back from his vacation with a smile on his face and he always had an adventurous story to tell. He was a man of a certain age, an adventurer by nature and loved the heck out of life. I used to call him 'The Senator' because I told him he looked like a statesman of some sort. He laughed when I called him that and would sometimes come into the office doing a politician-like wave. When he would come into the office after his vacations, he would bring back photos sometimes to let me see what beautiful or interesting place he had been. A few years ago, right after I moved here to England, he sent me a photo CD with pics from his latest trip with his brother. I was so touched because we were still in touch and he was thoughtful enough to continue his tradition of sharing his photos with me even though I was thousands of miles away. That's the kind of genuine person that he was :)

We have kept in touch by email from time to time and he had recently signed onto Facebook, so we had connected there. I was so thrilled that he was on there so that I could see what he was up to day to day. I saw recently that he was headed off on his vacation...

I was truly shocked when I heard about him passing away and even though I've been here in England for five and a half years now and I hadn't seen him physically in all that time, I miss him as if I just left our office yesterday. He was one of the good guys in this world. I will always miss my friend and I'm glad that I have the memories of those days that seem so long ago now.

Life is so precious and we can be gone in the blink of an eye. We are all so blessed to know those that we love and care about in our lives. I'm proud to have known Jerry and to have called him my friend.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grits and Memory

In my last post, I said that I would be doing a food post. Well this is a post about a craving and not about something I've cooked. Oh I wish that I could right now. I don't have any on hand, but I know that I will have them again ;-)

For the last few days, I've been thinking quite a bit about one of my favorite foods and it's something that I can't readily get here...grits! :) I never in my life thought that I would miss any food so much. And here's the thing, I'm not a person who just has to have certain foods on a regular basis. I'm not usually a craver, but I am truly craving grits these days. And just to clarify it all...I'm not pregnant so it's not those kind of cravings. LOL.

I get the worse cravings on weekend mornings because that is when I would have them mostly. I guess that they are a fully entrenched food memory. Grits make me think of home and my mother cooking them for our breakfast for decades. I know that there are people who hate grits and can't understand the fuss and that's cool...I respect that everyone's likes are theirs and this like is truly mine :) I was thinking about it the other day and yeah, my craving can be reduced down to simply having a taste for grits. But also I think that they were such a part of my experience as a southern girl and that connection with my culture is so strong that an ocean can't even keep me from it.

I am happy most days with my different life here in England. But sometimes I miss the simple things about back home so much. The list changes depending upon my mood that day. And it's not one of those grass is always greener situations. I'll tell you, I've learned one thing about having lived in two different countries now...there are bad, good, annoying, and uplifting things about both places. Neither one is better than the other...they each have things going for them for sure. I'm not trying to sell grits to anybody or even attempting to validate my love for grits. I don't need to :) I just thought that I would make my perspective clear. Love is love and I've got it bad and grits are it baby! LOL.

Food memories are great. I guess that's the good thing about food memories or regular always have them to call upon whenever you want to remember a person, time, or a place. I know that we can't go back in time and it's not good to always be looking back, but sometimes it doesn't hurt a thing...especially when you're trying to remember the taste of grits! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Two Trips To the Water

I'm happy to report that our shower was finally fixed this past Friday and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't break down again. We can only hope ;-) Anyhoo, here are the photos that I promised. They are from our trip to Bournemouth and a local lake a few weeks ago. Both places were relaxing and it was great to get out into nature. I was in a black and white photography mood on some of these. I didn't take a lot of photos because I forgot about it most of the time and just had fun ;-) I'll write a few words about each photo, so I hope you enjoy them!

Above: This is a picture of an interesting historical display on the pier in Bournemouth. I thought it was intriguing to read some background on the region.

Above: This is the view from the pier on the other side. I liked looking off into the distance. You can see a bit of the shoreline in this shot, but I just loved being near the water.

Above: This is the view over the side of the pier along a perch of some sort. This is a really random shot, but I thought I'd throw it in ;-)

Above: This is a shot of the village of Avebury, when we were on our way back home. Avebury's main claim to fame is its stones, which are similar to the ones at Stonehenge. The building in this shot is a pub.

Above: This is a view over the side of the bridge along a stream at the lake. It was really quiet out there that day.

Above: Here's a a view of the lake with a few ducks swimming by.

Above: And lastly, here's a view of the bridge on our return from our walk.

As I said before, both places were great. The lake was just peaceful and very quiet since it was in the middle of the week. It was really good to get back out in nature like that. And the trip to Bournemouth was extra special because getting to the beach is always a treat and we don't get to go often. It had been about three years since we had driven down there last. We had a really good lunch and then went walking along the shore as I ate my cotton candy. I tell you, every time I eat cotton candy, it instantly takes me back in time to being at the county fair back home. That's one of my big memory triggers...cotton candy! :-)

Well that's all for today. Next time I'll be doing a food post. I've been making up or improvising recipes a lot lately. So I'd love to share what I've been cooking. Until next time...

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Remembering those who lost their lives on 9-11-01, in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania...

Friday, September 02, 2011

Photos and More Photos

So here I go with my photo post that I promised in a previous post. I had mentioned that it’s been a long time since I did a kind of photo snapshot post with a few words about each. I figure that this will be a good way to get me back on my blogging game a bit more since I’ve been away for chunks of time lately due to school and life in general :-)

When I looked back over the photos that I’ve taken these past few weeks, it was like experiencing those moments all over again. Most of the photos here are of nice things, but there’s one that I’m adding that isn’t. I feel the need to include it because life is a balance and everything isn’t all fabulous all the time, you know. Plus, a mini photo vent is good ;-) Nothing else sums up the frustration of my week more than this photo.

Here is my annoying photo:

This is our stupid electric shower...GRRRR! It has broken down again for the umpteenth time and we have truly lost count now. We have been struggling back and forth with our landlord and his middleman to get our shower fixed. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know that Brit Boy and I have had this problem before. Here’s the thing, it’s already bad enough that it’s malfunctioning again, but the real reason that we’re ticked off is that the landlord doesn’t want to pay to fix it. It’s not our’s simply a cheap shower. To call him cheap would be a gross understatement. It has been total Crazyville around here. So I’ve spent the week calling back and forth to the management office. Finally things got going today, so hopefully this photo and the situation will fade into the past and stay there ;-)

Anyway, that’s my annoying photo just to shake things up a bit. The rest are calm and nice...a gentle respite from the chaos :-) So on with the calming section of our show!

Below are my beautiful flowers that Brit Boy brought home to me one day. Aren’t they pretty? It was on the Friday right before he had his vacation time a couple of weeks ago. He surprised me and these put a big smile on my face.

This next photo is truly the last of the pink roses out back. I posted some color pictures of this bush before here, and I thought that that was the last of them but alas, these are. I took this picture after a rain shower and I thought that the black and white represented how it looked outside very well. I LOVE black and white photos!

These next pictures were taken when we were further out in the countryside. Whenever we are further out like that, the rural beauty of it all reminds me of back home. The beauty of the family land where I grew up is echoed in my heart when I see the natural beauty here. I am definitely a nature girl. Maybe it’s God’s way of connecting me with home when those thoughts come into my head. Natural beauty...there’s nothing like it...

All of these were taken from the passenger seat as Wiltshire passed by our window, so some are blurry but you can get the idea of how it looked that day I think.

Above: Wiltshire scenes

Above: This one is kinda trippy...Everything blurred as we swept along...

Above: I like that the traffic signal is set off by the flowers...

Above: The clouds marching along the field...

Above: A shady and bright spot...

Above: A blurry shot of sunlight raining down on Stonehenge...

Well, this post is very long, so I will post some more photos in my next post. These will be of our trip to the beach one day and I'll throw in a few lake shots too. And don't worry, these upcoming ones were taken while I was standing on my feet so no blurry trippy stuff ;-) Until next time...

Thursday, September 01, 2011

One More Thing...

I am collecting my photos and will be posting them tomorrow as I promised in a previous post. It has been fun to go back in time over the past few weeks and relive those moments :) So watch this space for my photos!