Polesden Lacey–An Edwardian Retreat

En route back to Heathrow to catch our flight back to Texas, we stopped off at Poles­den Lacey just off the M25, the Lon­don cir­cu­lar road (or car park depend­ing on the time of day!).  It was an ide­al place for a stopover and a bite of lunch en route to our hotel at Heathrow.

It’s anoth­er mag­nif­i­cent Nation­al trust prop­er­ty and is high­light­ed by its amaz­ing gar­dens and end­less walk­ing paths and grounds.  It just bog­gles the mind how much mon­ey there was around Lon­don in these days to build such splen­did estates and lifestyles.

Here are some pic­tures from the visit:


Bateman’s: The home of Rudyard Kipling

In May this year we had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to vis­it (anoth­er) writer’s home about 20 miles from daugh­ter Joan­ne’s home town of Tun­bridge Wells in South East Eng­land.  It’s yet anoth­er Nation­al Trust prop­er­ty and the for­mer home of the famous writer, Rud­yard Kipling. 

The link above takes you to the Wikipedia entry for Rud­yard Kipling where it can be seen he was born in India and moved to the UK when he was 5 years old.  He always had a love of India and wrote sev­er­al books and poems about the country.

Bate­man’s is an old sand­stone house, sur­round­ed by gar­dens, farm­land and rolling coun­try­side.  An amaz­ing place to be a cre­ative writer.  In the pho­tos below you can see his study; an amaz­ing­ly relax­ing place to be cre­ative I would have thought.  It also helps that he had loads of cash😄

Adventures & Learning Travel

Scotney Castle, England

Scot­ney Cas­tle is locat­ed near Tun­bridge Wells in the South of Eng­land, about 10 miles from daugh­ter Joan­ne’s place.

It’s yet anoth­er amaz­ing Nation­al Trust prop­er­ty with sump­tu­ous tea room/restaurant, amaz­ing main house & cas­tle ruins, and exten­sive gardens/grounds (780 acres) for walk­ing and hiking.

We spent a great after­noon there recent­ly on our UK trip and below are some of our pho­tos which don’t do jus­tice to the stun­ning bush­es, flow­ers and vistas.


York and Yorkminster

On our recent trip to the UK we had the chance to stay overnight in York where nei­ther of us had been.  It’s in the north of Eng­land near­er the East side of the coun­try.  We drove over the Pen­nines from the West en route down from Scot­land; great fun as you have some ele­va­tion gain as well as loads of sheep and moors to look at.

York is a great town which real­ly deserves a two night stay at least to see all it has to offer.  For­tu­nate­ly we were stay­ing only a mile or so from the town cen­tre and were able to walk to see the sights, in par­tic­u­lar, York­min­ster, the cathe­dral which rivals any­thing we’ve seen any­where.  As usu­al we did man­age to get lost on our way back to our digs, but found our way with help from some friend­ly locals😀.

A few pho­tos below:



Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

En route back from Scot­land to the south of Eng­land we stopped in at Ange­sey Abbey for a look around and some lunch.  It’s a Nation­al Trust prop­er­ty and being mem­bers assures us a free entry and a great restau­rant🍷. (If you are vis­it­ing the UK it’s well worth join­ing since you only need vis­it 6 or so prop­er­ties to get your mon­ey back).

A few pho­tos from the walk around the prop­er­ty.  I’m doing this from my phone while wait­ing for Rita, so there may be a few dupli­cates or errors but I’ll fix these in due course & expand text soon😀



A few photos of Stephen and Betty from England

Below are a few pho­tos of Stephen with Bet­ty, Stephen’s daugh­ter Joan­ne’s love­ly wee dog.  She was loads of fun and when we stayed with Joanne dur­ing our recent trip and we had some great times with her.  We cer­tain­ly miss her lit­tle feet on the floor of a morn­ing or the snuf­fling out­side the bath­room door when tak­ing a shower.



Window Replacement Day

Big day today.  We’re hav­ing our large win­dow in the breakfast/dining area replaced since the orig­i­nal one had the sash in the wrong place.  Dif­fi­cult to visu­al­ize but there will be a few pho­tos below to illus­trate the process for our record as much as any­thing else.

Two guys have turned up and they seem to know what they are about.  Build­ing the scaf­fold­ing right now and will get to the cut­ting out direct­ly. Joy!

I guess the cut­ting out is more like ham­mer­ing out.  They’ve been bash­ing the wall around the win­dow for about an hour now and its rain­ing  stuc­co out­side!  At least the stuc­co is well attached and secure-giv­en how hard it is to ham­mer off.  Oh and a few bits of the old win­dow are falling now–old flash­ing and such like.

Well after about three hours it looks like they have final­ly fin­ished the win­dow install.  It looks great and we now have to look for­ward to get­ting the stuc­co repaired then exter­nal and inter­nal paint­ing and caulk­ing.  This should be done in the next day or day.  Fin­gers crossed.

These guys actu­al­ly were excel­lent.  they even had a lev­el with them and inured the win­dow was square and plumb before final­ly fix­ing it to the wall.  Thank good­ness that’s done now we’ll get the stuc­co repaired and the paint­ing tak­en care of and we’re done.


Bike riding around our neighborhood

Here’s a few pics from a bike ride last evening around where we now live.  As you can see Spring has sprung in this part of the world.  Check out the bird in the pho­to; clear­ly used to being fed by human folks.  Not a cute bird I’d say.  It’s almost got two sets of eyes which is quite weird-look­ing.  There are tons of them around here.  If any­one knows what it is we’d be inter­est­ed to know.

There’s a neat sum­ma­ry of our local birds here


Extremes of Temperature

You have to love the cli­mate here in the heart of Texas.  Today we had a high of about 79F and by tomor­row morn­ing its sup­posed to be 31F and poten­tial­ly snow­ing!  Had the AC on a lit­tle today at home and could have the heat­ing back on the next few days.  Go figure.

IMG_0053This is a screen shot from app for the week here.  For­tu­nate­ly it was not 85F today and In truth we’re not quite ready to throw out the duvet for the sum­mer months so a few more cold nights will be most welcome.

I hope the weath­er is being kind to you wher­ev­er in the world you hap­pen to be.

Articles Food

Veggie Cooking Class

Last week­end the four of (Chris, Michelle, Rita and Stephen) took a veg­e­tar­i­an cook­ery class at Sur La Table in Sug­ar Land.  It was a blast espe­cial­ly since we were the only par­tic­i­pants and had a pri­vate les­son with the chef.

The best part of the course was we had to eat what we cooked dur­ing the 2.5 hours or so.  What fun!