Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Day in Lincoln

So yesterday I spent the day in Lincoln, by myself! Tony & Mary dropped me off & I wandered along the waterfront. This lower area is all a University type of area, very nice, very busy on a Saturday! Ther was a street that was all shops & was packed with people. I wandered into a department store type of place & found some slippers! YAY! Then I checked out some mobile shops & went into a pharmacy because my allergies are acting up a bit. Wandered into the shops that looked interesting & slowly made my way further up the hill to the Lincoln Cathedrael. I zig zagged my way across town wandering down any street that looked interesting or any shops that looked interesting. I wasn't taking any pictures, felt strange being alone & taking pictures of every building that I thought looked neat. Especially since I think nearly every building is amazing!!!

So I ended up on this hilll, the street is called Steep Hill because it's a very steep street!! Lots of cool shops, this was a pretty usy area of town too. I followed it up & then saw a Castle. So I went over there & wandered around Lincoln Castle, William the Conqueror had it built in 1068!!! As castle life died down it was used as a court & prison for the last 900 years. I was able to go into the prison building & see the cells & they had projectors that showed scenes & told stories of what happened where. And I was able to see the prison chapel. There was a bath house, the Crown Court which is still active, a tower which was a last defence within the castle & where prisoners were buried - the gravestones are still there.  I was able to walk along the wall surrounding the castle & see all of Lincoln & the Cathedrael, which is just across the street. I spent over an hour wandering around & taking pictures.

When I left I was headed to the Cathedrael & got sidetracked by a post office. I sent off a postcard to mom & dad & to Crystal. I had to call Tony from a payphone to get their address, and I found many more shops along that street. I was due to meet Tony at 4 where he had dropped me off, so my stop at the Cathedrael was pretty short & I did not wander thru the whole place. Just peeked inside & then went on my way. Headed back to the shopping area & got a SIM for my mobile , but I am having a hard time sending international texts, so I have to find out if there is something that needs doing for that to be enabled.  I got a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone for my walk back & thought longingly of Marble Slab. Apparently I am addicted!

It was a great day. Felt thoroughly like a tourist, although it is a more lonely venture on your own. Taking pictures & not being in any, not having anyone to discuss the things you see. It's a different thing that is for sure! But I got some great pictures!!

Hopefully I will have the mobile issue sorted out soon. When we got back from Lincoln we started tidying. They only moved here less than a year ago, so there are still things in boxes & piles without a home. And since it's summer now Tony wants to use their pool. So we emptied the things out of the pool room & moved a bunch of boxes & things up into the attic. Made a bit more of a mess, as sorting through things always seems to do! But it was a good effort nonetheless!

Today is another lovely day. A bit breezy, but all sunshine & green. It still hasn't rained since I got here! I imagine that it will soon, everyone says this is not normal weather, but it's been nice for my first week in the country!

Still much to see & plan, but at least I have some more pictures for you to check out!!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Hello All!


So today I drove in England for the first time!!! Tony had to drop off a vehicle somewhere so I drove behind him in the van. It took me awhile to get the silly thing in reverse because it is a 6 speed. I thought I needed to push it down to get it into Reverse, but it was as easy as a little slidey bit. :) And then the drive. It's Miles per hour here, so everything is a little faster. Kinda like driving in the US. But on top of that the first part of my journey was a little rough, getting used to a new shift pattern & shifting with my wrong hand!!! But I got that down after a few tries! Good thing that the first road I was on wasn't a really busy road. LOL Once I had the shifting down, it was just like I was 16. The far side of my vehicle was so foreign to me, and it was hard for me to realize where it was, and judge distance. I spent A LOT of time checking my mirrors making sure I was in the middle of the lines, or, since half of England is skinny bloody goat trails, making sure I wasn't on the grass verge! (shoulder). When a car would be coming my direction I was a bit nervous...but it was about a 25min drive & everyone survived. No dings or scratches, no mishaps, and now I'm not as nervous. Of course I would be more comfortable driving a smaller vehicle on these itty bitty roads! But I did it! I'm pretty stoked about that, seems silly to people who have driven all over. But the driving on the other side of the road thing, that wasn't hard at all - that part didn't worry me & I had no problem remembering which side to be on!


Tonight we had Chinese take-out. And tomorrow I am headed to Lincoln for some lovely pictures & sightseeing. I also hope to get my mobile up & working. Will keep you updated!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

LaZy DaYz

Ah mom, you're so funny, I don't really DO enough to validate a day by day blog! And when I am that busy I likely won't have time! LOL


So it's been sunny..since I got here! Which is great! There is so much wildlife out here at Tony & Mary's! Rabbits running wild, wood pigeons (which are apparently good eating!) pheasants (gorgeous colours!), TONS & TONS of song birds, which wake me up around 5am every day. I wonder if I would ever get used to them??? The two horses - Grace & Spitfire. Benji the cute yorkie. Squirrels, bugs :) The rest are fairly usual.


I have had fish & chips, yorkshire pudding, a meat pie (which was tuna because Mary is a veg - she only eats fish), a scotch egg ( a boiled egg, wrapped in sausage *& breaded), and I think that's about it for typical English cusine so far!


So the incident with the fence was Tony's friend (who rides bikes all the time) went to drive his bike (motorcycle) which has a sidecar - while Tony was in the sidecar - and it pulled sideways because of the sidecar & went through the fence. Apparently she was ok. But the fence was a mess. I was inside so I didn't see it happen.


I met a friend of Tony's & he was asking me what I want to see & do. Was telling me about sites in London & I mentioned The Globe (Shakespeare's theatre) and he called up his pal who runs it, and I'm to call him when I get into London & get a behind the scenes tour!! So exciting!! People are GREAT!


Right now getting me a cell phone - or Mobile - and looking into wheels are the things on the To Do list. And getting a fleecy & slippers!


Hope this satisfies my parents! :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The first weekend

Howdy !


I say that quite a lot, and I'm trying to change that. While I'm here, when I say things like that everyone thinks I am American! LOL So I'm trying to sound more Canadian. I actually met a man that said to me, " I find it strange that you speak with an American accent" So I told him, well that's because I don't, and I assure you, if I was standing beside an American you would be able to hear the difference! So funny though. But I understand how it bothered Australians when we thought they sounded like Kiwi's! It doesn't upset me, I just think it's funny because I think, for the most part, our accents are quite different.


So yesterday I slept in a bit. And then I was up for porridge & tea. After that I got dressed & ready & I did some dishes & checked email & read for a bit while Tony was entertaining guests & Mary was sleeping. (She worked night shift). Then after the guests had gone Tony & I went out and put up a fence. It was a really easy one! Electric, so it was plastic posts  a rope with wire through it. And after that we fixed up a peice of the wooden fence where he & his guests had a little mishap on the motor bike earlier :) Then we had a cup of tea, visited the neighbours a bit, then we all went into town for some things for the horses. Then I watched some TV while cars were being washed & we had dinner! Or Tea as it's called here.


This morning I woke up early & one of the guys I met the other day, one of Tony's friends, had invited me to a 'Car boot sale' Kind of like a giant PNE/Garage sale type of thing. Everything you can imagine, old, new, used, antique, garbage lol. It was fun. Cold this morning, but the sun came out. I didn't get anything, but had I not been overseas there were things I would have bought! There were many items that made me think of specific people! After that we drove out to Lincoln & drove around the town so that I could see the cathedrael & I enjoy the buildings as well. The red brick & the victorian. Gorgeous! Especially on a sunny day! hahaha


I'm pretty cold if I'm just sitting around in the mornings or evenings, when the sun is not out it's awfully chilly. But once it's out I'm good to go! I think my crappy circulation is most unsuitable for this weather! LOL


Okay. I think that's about all I've been up to for the last couple of days!! Everyone keeps filling me with tea! And while I enjoy tea, my drink of choice is generally H2O :) So today I loaded up my water bottle & took that with me :)


Off for a walk with Mary & Benji (he's their cute little Yorkie)


Miss you all!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I have arrived, and just barely!

Oh what a day. this point it's days really. I woke up at 2:40am on the 15th. I got ready & packed up & headed to the airport. I went to Salt Lake and got on another plane to Atlanta. I waited there for 4 hours, and since the flight was overbooked I made it by the skin of my teeth onto the plane!! I was sending up prayers of thanks thinking "it's meant to be!" And then I got to Manchester. I didn't really sleep on that flight. My seat mates made that nearly impossible. And then customs/immigration!! I always thought it was the worst in the US, but apparently Canadian women travelling alone with no particular plan are a major threat. They figured that I was going to be trying to stay here forever. So after having every bag searched & my planner & journal read...and have a few discussions about why I would come without a very specific plan, flying by the seat of my pants "at my age".  I was allowed into the country. I explained that if I run out of money earlier than my ticket is up then I am able to change the date & come back at that time. But none of it seemed to satisfy. I was feeling very stupid. Like I should have had more of a plan, since apparently going wherever you crave is not good enough. I'm expecting to hear a few "I told you so"'s.


Then I was picked up by my very gracious host & came through from Manchester to Lincoln. It's rainy...but it's beautiful rolling fields of green. And all the brick buildings & dry brick walls. I am tired , but looking forward to tomorrow. And whenever the next sunny day will be! For now, I'm happy to be here. Thankful to be with such generous people. And ready to start planning, as apparently that is an order!


I am safe. I am warm. And I'm already learning things about the English I did not know before!!


Talk to you soon!

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's nearly Go Time

So it's Monday night. I fly out VERY early Wednesday morning, so this is likely the last time I will be on a computer until I am in England. So let's hear it for lay overs & international flights!!! I'm quite prepared though. I have a book to read, a book to study Europe, my music on my MP3, ear plugs & an eye mask...the only thing I kinda wish I had was a PSP or a handheld gaming system of some kind. But I'll make it nevertheless.


I am starting to get pretty excited. It's definitely a different thing though, travelling without a buddy. No one to plan with, to get excited with, to discuss with...the excitement level, the reasons for excitement, and the reasons for trepidation are all very different when you're going it alone. And no - I'm not worried about travelling alone. I am more worried about getting comfortable somewhere & not moving on, not seeing as much of Europe, or as many countries as I might with someone pushing me along. Or someone who was planning more than flying by the seat of one's pants as I am wont to do.


I have touched base with many friends before I left. Although it has been a crazy time for the last month or so - always more crazy when a person has no wheels!!! hahaha And I am one of those person's. So there were definitely faces I was not able to see. But I will be back, and hopefully when that happens I will have stories! And until then I have this & email & Facebook. So I don't plan to be cut off even though I will be a hop, skip & a jump away.


So good night & good bye for now. Next time we meet I will have tales of airports & airplanes, and rainy England!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The calm before the storm..

Well, it's official. I have my ticket. I'm in White Lake until Monday, and then I'm off to the coast for a week & a bit. On April 15th I'm off to Manchester, England. To begin my journey. I'm starting off visiting some friends of a friend. And looking forward to it enormously. As well as being very thankful to have a place to crash for a bit. The trip has changed significantly since Alisha & I started planning it. As things never seem to work out the way you want them to & finding work is a pain in the butt!! So I decided to just head off on my own. Worried I might never get there if I did not leave asap! So I am starting in England, and hoping to see as much of Europe...until my money runs out!

I'll be writing here & updating my Facebook page whenever I get the chance. I know my close friends will be curious & my parents are already worried.

But I am excited!