Wednesday, April 24, 2013

England in Springtime

Hello, I'm back! We've been in England visiting my in-laws, who live on this gorgeous stretch of the
Thames River.  This is the village where my husband grew up.

For provisions we headed to Wallingford (photo above), which hasn't changed much since medieval times. We easily found wellies (rubber boots) for my daughter but not a replacement headset for her iPod. I highly recommend the antique arcade and the Wallingford Bookshop. Agatha Christie lived outside this charming town. My mother-in-law, an occupational therapist, used to help care for her.

My daughter was amused to find a supermarket aisle devoted to tea and snapped this photo. I tasted a Cornish cheese called yarg, wrapped in nettles. I have a special interest in all thing Cornish since the young adult novel I'm revising is set in Cornwall.

For "research" my husband and I had to visit the Catherine Wheel, a favorite pub in Goring-on-Thames.

Back in the day, food was cooked directly over the fire.

The hidden men's room.

Amos sings along to opera and pop.

When we tired of the singing dog, we took the train to London. After watching a superb performance of 
Gorky's Children of the Sun at the National Theatre, we admired the view from the Millenium Bridge.

The weather was damp and chilly,
but the sun came out for
my husband's birthday party.

The best part of our visit was
catching up with family
and old friends.
I met Sherry and Safia
during my junior year abroad in London.

If you live in the UK or Japan,
check out Safia's fair trade clothing company:
People Tree.
She's wearing one of her dresses
in hand woven fabric.

England, I already miss you.  Photo by my daughter.


troutbirder said...

Indeed. And a wonderful small town research venue... Many fond memories here as well from my first trip there taking high school seniors. We called it "classroom without walls." :)

Carol said...

Oh, what fun in such a beautiful and charming part of the world. I am very impressed to learn about your mother-in-law! I love Agatha Christie. You look beautiful and so happy Sarah. What is that machine behind you? Great view!

Sarah Laurence said...

Troutbirder, lucky students! The Alsatian in the pub reminded me a bit of Baron.

Carol, behind me is the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel built to celebrate the millennium along with the footbridge. I was very happy for a perfect day/night in London. My children always coax the best smiles from me.

tina said...

What a lovely vacation.

Rosemary said...

Lovely that you enjoyed your trip over here.
Yarg is one of my favourite cheeses - I always buy a big slice of it when I do a dinner party.
Do you know where the name came from? It is the maker's name spelt backwards - Mr GRAY.

Cathy said...

Looks absolutely beautiful. Was the weather better than Maine?

Donna said...

I so enjoyed reading this! What a fun trip and a beautiful place. It makes me happy that there are places like this in the world, and someday I will visit them! I am blown away that your mother-in-law helped care for Agatha Christie. That is so cool!

Les said...

I am jealous here, but not in the bad way.

Ryan Riley said...

You picked the right time to come back! It has only just turned into Spring; your husband must have been pleased! Looks like you had a great time.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you enjoyed the stay at your in-laws and the trip to London! The photo of you looks so joyful... your daughter took it with a great scenery behind you.

Sheep belong to England in every respect, don't they? :) And I like very much the photo from the walk along the river, it's full of spring. (As are the daffodils and the photo with your friends.)

Booksnyc said...

I love these photos - makes me wish I was back in England. I had the pleasure of going there for work in March and really enjoyed it.

walk2write said...

I can see why you miss England. If you had the chance to move there permanently with your family, I'm thinking you would jump at the chance. Everything is steeped in beauty and history. You can't help but be inspired.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ah, I feel like I just visited, too. Lovely photos. I especially like the singing dog under a chair. I "met" a large parrot once who sang opera. It was hilarious.

Amanda Summer said...

What a fantastic journey this must have been - your husband's home town is the picture of English quaintness. I too love poking around stores in other countries to discover new treats and unusual foods - not surprising that in England there would be an entire aisle devoted to tea! Lovely shot of you by the Thames.

A Cuban In London said...

Great photos. So, you went whilst I was away in Cuba. Ha! I'm glad you had a lovely time there, although I heard the weather was still on the cold side of things.

Greetings from London.

Alyson | New England Living said...

Oh so beautiful! Seeing these stunning pictures of lovely British places is making even more excited for my trip to the UK in May!

Sarah Laurence said...

All, loved your comments! Spring has finally come to Maine too.

Rosemary, ha! How funny that yarg is gray spelled backwards; I’d assumed it was old Cornish! My favorite thing about blogging is these serendipitous interchanges in the comments.

Booknyc, how wonderful to visit England for work!

W2W, I have lived nearly 3 years in England, nearly 2 years of that with our kids. My husband and I would love to spend another sabbatical there, but we are happiest living in Maine and visiting family and friends in the UK when we can. I wish there was time to go more frequently with time to explore other regions.

Tricia, this dog just howled like a wolf to the music. A parrot singing opera might be more entertaining. I enjoy the unexpected.

ACIL, welcome back from Cuba! Yes, we must have crossed over the Atlantic.

Alyson, I’m looking forward to your blog posts from England. Be sure to see the wild bluebells in the woods in May. That’s my favorite time to visit the UK.

Barrie said...

Thank you for sharing your trip with us! BTW, I noticed the shop has my two fave brands of tea (they're actually in my pantry, as I type): Typhoo and PG Tips. ;)

Sarah Laurence said...

Barrie, I drink PG tips back at home too! We used to get buy it from the British Export shop in Freeport but now our local grocery store carries it in the world foods aisle. I shall have to try Typhoo. Another favorite is Rooibos (red bush) for decaf.

cynthia newberry martin said...

From the photos, it looks like it was a wonderful trip. Makes me miss when my son was going to school over there and we were going more frequently.