Tuesday, January 29, 2008


There are lots of horses in England. On most pretty days you will see at least one person out riding and lots of horse trailers on the road. Most of the horse transporting is not done in horse trailers like are familiar in the U.S., but in cargo vans.
Most of the horse riders have on the English-style hats. The following photo shows a horse and rider out on a major road. She is giving us a signal that it is OK to pass her.

Most of the horses are Shire horses, with shaggy legs at this time of year. The next pictures are of a horse cart in "downtown" Martock. There are some feed sacks on the back of the cart that the people were taking to fill up----when we saw them later the sacks were full.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

January Views in Yeovil

Friday there was sun off and on, so we decided to drive into Yeovil and take some pictures of the daffodils that are blooming beside the roads. They are really pretty. Are daffodils blooming in Texas now, too?

We did not think we had ever taken a photo of the outside of our friends' house, so we took one today. The house is at the end of a street----their house is on the right side of the photo and their garage on the left. They (Beryl and Alistair) have left for a three-month trip to Australia to visit relatives and do some other traveling.

This is part of the Augusta Westland facility where Ron is working.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Asda Store

Asda is one of the larger grocery stores here. It is a part of the Walmart company. Every month there is a free Asda Magazine given away at the check-out counter (by the "till lady"). It is always interesting to read because of the different words used.

This month's magazine said that "Asda is Mum's first choice for baby essentials." It advertises a high chair that is called the "Graco Teatime High Chair". Also advertised is a product called "Cow and Gate Good Night Milk", which the add says is a "follow-on milk that has been specially developed to help settle your baby for bedtime.......it is thicker than regular follow-on milk...". I am guessing that "follow-on" milk is baby formula.

There is a selection of mugs "to liven up tea-time".

A recipe calls for "classic tinned pears" (canned pears).

There is an article on making the "classic English breakfast"---sausage, poached egg, grilled tomato, grilled mushrooms, grilled lean-back bacon (I don't know what "lean-back" means), and baked beans. (The baked beans are not what we think of as baked beans---they have a very heavy tomato taste....not good!....)

A clothing add says, "Kit yourself out in style for the gym...."

An article on food storage says, "Thanks to modern fitted kitchens, we have the ideal place to store canned and packaged foods---cool, dark, dry cupboards....." (This made me think of what magazines must have said in the 20's or 30's)

I think I will miss getting to read this magazine when I get home!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Card Making, part 2

For those of you who have not read my earlier posts, one of the ways that I have been keeping busy during the day here in England is learning to make greeting cards. I have had fun doing it and trying out new techniques------maybe I just keep trying new things and never perfect any of them!....

I started out by spending one afternoon watching Beryl make some cards. She has been doing it for quite a while. Then I bought a few supplies and tried some on my own. I entered a local contest in Martock with those first cards I made---some of you know how long it has been to find out the winners (from the close of the contest at the end of Sept. until now!)---and I found out that I won second place in one of the categories (no, there wasn't a category for beginners!) ! I won a gift certificate from the local craft store for 15 pounds, which is $30! (I am sure I spent more than that on my supplies to get started!) The 1st place winners were definitely better than mine---they were using techniques that I don't know how to do yet.
I got some cool stuff from the kids for Christmas---they gave me some quilling books and supplies, so my latest project has been learning how to do quilling. I said I would post pictures when I got good enough, but I decided to go ahead and post them now anyway! (I may not be in England until I get good!)
Words will eventually go in some of the blank places on some of the cards.

I think when we go home,I will miss having the time to work on something like this all day-----there are not many responsibilities here!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More on Socialized Dental Care

On T.V. today I heard that 1 in 6 people do not have a NHS (National Health Service) dentist. That is because there are very few NHS dentists that take new patients. So even though everyone pays NHS fees through taxes, they do not see the benefits from their tax money. One man who was interviewed said that there was no dentist in his entire county that he could go to see!
The only way those people can see a dentist is either in the case of emergency or by paying for a private care dentist (without benefit of any insurance).
The average wait, even if you do have NHS dentist, is two years for any kind of routine treatment. Another man being interviewed said that he ends up with mainly emergency treatments because routine problems that are not treated become emergencies!
The only way that I got in to see a dentist back in the summer was because it was counted as an emergency because I had an infection.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

London Scenes

Our hotel was located near the London Eye, the famous huge Ferris Wheel (they call it "observation wheel") that was built in 1999. At the time it was built, it was the largest in the world, but now there are two that are larger. It is on the south bank of the Thames River, and it is the most popular paid visitor attraction (The British Museum was free.) in London. This is the spot for the main fireworks displays on New Year's Eve, and it is supposed to have some kind of big Olympics' sign on it during the 2012 Olympics in London.

There was a parking lot close to our hotel, and it was close to the underground, which took us within easy walking distance to the British Museum. Of course, we found out that if you get turned around, you can walk a really long way to get a short distance!!.....And we managed to do that twice! Where is the sun when you need it for direction??
The following photos are just street scenes as we were walking.

The building on the corner in the last photo is named "The Jack Horner".

Even though there was some rain, it was light, and the temperature was in the low 50's, so it was actually nice walking weather.

We drove past many of the important buildings on our way out of London on Sunday evening, but we found it hard to take photos while driving or helping to navigate in downtown London!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The British Museum

Ron and I had been wanting to go to London to visit the British Museum, and we finally got the chance this past week-end. We spent most of two days there, and we still did not see everything we wanted to see! (I'm afraid this post is kind of long, but I did leave out lots of photos!.....)

The next photo of the outside of the building shows an advertisement for the exhibit of the Chinese Terracotta army of the first emperor of China. We got to go to that exhibit, but we could not take pictures there. It was such an interesting exhibit---there were many of the actual terracotta soldiers, as well as other artifacts.

The next picture is one of the inside of the building. The exhibit sections go off from this circular hallway, and then more exhibits are on other floors.

I had expected the museum to be more like the Smithsonian, but instead of many buildings, it is located in one huge building, which covers about 13 acres. It is a museum of human history and culture, so it does not have sections such as Air and Space or Transportation or Natural History, as the Smithsonian does. It was begun in 1753 and has been the recipient of extensive private collections and donations.
The museum is divided into sections, such as Ancient Eygpt, Greek and Roman Antiquities, Middle East, and the Department of Prehistory and Europe. It has acquired objects of historical importance that do not exist anywhere else in the world. It has also acquired parts of collections that exist only in a few museums, such as ones in Cairo or Rome, etc.
The most facinating things to us, and especially to Ron because of his long-time interest in Biblical archeology, were objects that we had heard about for years.

One in particular was the Rosetta Stone. (If you click on the photos, they will be enlarged.)

The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799 by an officer in Napoleon's army, and it came to the museum in 1802. It contains the same message in 2 different languages, Egyptian and Greek. The Egyptian is recorded in two different scripts, one of which is heiroglyphics. This stone became the key to unlocking the mystery of the heiroglyphic script and made possible the translation of Egyptian writings.

Another interesting object is the Cyrus Cylinder, which contains an account by Cyrus, king of Persia, of his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC and the plan for the return of captives in Babylon to their homelands to rebuild their temples.

Next is an obelisk from the time of Shalmaneser III. One panel on it shows the Israelite King Jahu before Shalmaneser.

The inscription beside #2 tells about the above panel.

Next is from the palace of King Sargon. His son was Sennacherib.

Next is from King Artaxerxes.

Ron is looking at some of the many Egyptian panels.

II Chronicles says that when Sennacherib invaded Palestine (about 700 B.C.) he established his headquarters in front of Lachish. The Bible doesn't say more about the fate of Lachish, but the panels in the following photos were taken from Sennacherib's palace in Nineveh, and they show the defeat of Lachish and the spoils of the defeat being presented to Sennacherib.

It is fascinating to see objects that have been discovered over the last 200 years that verify names and places from the Bible! So many of those names and places had never been found or recorded outside of the Bible before the discoveries. How can the Bible not be true??

Monday, January 21, 2008

British Toilet Association

In a newspaper article last week it was reported that the British Toilet Association has given out their "Loo of the Year" awards in their national competition. Proud recipients of four-star ratings were the Yeovil Bus Station and the Yeovil Recreation Ground. There was a photo of the toilet cleaners from one of the winning locations! (Does the U.S. have such a competition?? I don't think I have ever seen anything about it in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram......)

Also, in the same paper there was an article intitled "Keeping the Youngsters Kitted Out". It was about a football club donating football kit to children in Kenya.
I looked up the word "kit" , and one of the many meanings , which is mainly British, is "gear".

On another note, we did get to go to the British Museum in London this past week-end. More to follow about that tomorrow.....

Friday, January 18, 2008

More New Words

I don't go very many days here in England without learning new words!

1. You may think that you know what "braces" are, but have you ever heard that men's suspenders are called "braces" here?

2. Sunday morning on the radio, someone was talking about making a dessert using "Hundreds and Thousands". We had no idea what he was talking about, so I had to ask at church----they are sprinkles like we use on children's cupcakes, etc.! (Maybe that name is used in the U.S., too???)

3. The word "nick" is commonly used for the word "steal", but our housekeepers used it in a slightly different way this week. They were complaining about some of the other housekeepers being lazy and not doing all of their work---they said that the other housekeepers "nick their time".
(Yes, we do have housekeepers that come by every day, but they do not do much to "keep house". They do take the trash away every day and bring clean linens/towels every week. Occasionally they will vacuum or dust the edges of tables, but I mostly do my own cleaning. I think that the housekeepers' main job is cleaning vacated rooms and apartments to get them ready for the next occupants.)

4. There is also a term for someone who does not do his share of the work. He is called a "lead swinger". The term comes from old sailing days, when a sailor was given the job of occasionally dropping a lead depth marker out into the water. That was his only job, so the other sailors did not think he did much work----and they called him the "lead swinger". The term broadened into a common term for a lazy person.

This has nothing to do with new words, but on the way back from the London airport last week, our GPS decided to confuse us. We ended up on some neighborhood streets rather than the main road to Yeovil. We came up to an old bridge with a permanent sign beside it that said "Warning---Weak Bridge". There was lots of traffic, so there was nothing to do but drive over the "weak bridge". In fact, we had to do a u-turn and cross it again! Evidently no one else was worried about it!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Views from our Window

Now that the trees are bare, we have a different view from our upstairs bedroom window....now we can see houses and buildings! You will notice different kinds of grass in the different yards and fields----some must be a type of winter grass.
In the first picture, look for Ted and Eric-----the donkeys.

These next pictures are the backyards ("gardens") of our apartment and the apartments on each side of us.
First, our backyard....

The next one looks quite different from a few weeks ago. A family with a little girl used to live here, and the backyard was covered with toys. There was a sandbox, a little swimming pool, 2 slides, assorted riding toys, etc. The family sold their apartment to the hotel that owns ours, so the backyard has really been cleaned up. I wish I has a "before" picture!

A retired couple owns the apartment on the other side of us. They have recently built a house in France, where one of their daughters lives. They plan to spend 6 months every year in France and six months here. In the middle of their patio is a fountain made of stones. (They must have chosen a low-maintenance yard because they will be gone so much.)