Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Minnies Last Ball Of The Season!

Janet says my ball seeking skills have dropped off dramatically, and I suppose she is correct.   We like to go to Fire Mans Fire Persons Park at the end of our street, where there are two baseball diamonds.  The upper diamond is for skilled teenagers who are really excellent.  The bottom diamond is for small lame ass children who couldn't throw or hit a baseball if their lives depended on it.  The good news - apparently their ball budget is unlimited as they are not that difficult to find.  Last year, I found more than 50 balls!  Janet dutifully collects them from me and returns them to the park.

This year, the lame ass children must have a newly acquired skill set (or I am getting old!) as I only found about 15 balls all season!  Likely this is last ball of the year!
You can easily tell when September is over - dogs abound on Willows Beach!
Ken and Karen are away in Africa, so Janet sent them an update as to what was going on in their Lulie Street 'hood, which is one block over from our 'hood.

Phil has a new listing on Lulie:
Old house on Lulie torn down and new one going up:

Cops for Cancer!  This is a huge fund raiser every year that Oak Bay High is involved in.
This year at Janet's volunteer job, they had Project Connect.  It is a huge project, offering all kinds of services for attendees - Chiro, Doctor, ID replacement, Portraits, Free reading glasses, Massage, BBQ and so much more!  This is a small sample of the items you could collect in the Chapel for your personal use.
Huge excitement next door!
Janet knew the baby was a boy, prior to delivery, but that is all the info they have.  Young women today don't know what it was like to deliver babies back in the '70's.  You could stay in the hospital for a whole week and didn't have to bust your ass home to care for the newborn and all the other little rug rats that resided there!  Back in the day, you weren't even required to "bond" with your baby all day and night long - they carted them off to the nursery so you could rest and watch the teeny tiny TV attached to the ceiling all day long.  Of course, if your Doctor was a hard ass, there wasn't any medication involved, but it seemed a small price to pay for a free 7 day staycation!
Apparently, Turkey Dins is living the high life in PDX.  Bronwyn and Mike say he and Watty Man kick each others butt 24/7.

Me, I am going to say Good Night!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Phil's UK TV Viewing Sinks To Unbelievable Lows!

Phil, who normally watches only F1 racing on TV at home as well as the occasional soccer game, managed to find some trash TV in the UK that somehow manages to make KUWTK look like high quality, Emmy Award Winning drama.  For those of you poor chumps who may be out of the loop, KUWTK is the acronym for "Keeping Up With The Kardashians"!

First up - "Council House Crackdown"!  While no joke, as the people who take advantage of social housing cost the British taxpayers 800M GBP every year, the people that perpetuate these scams are unbelievable!
Phil's favourite episode was about a couple - he was in his 30's and his girlfriend was in her 60's.  Neither one of them worked, but were demanding a larger council unit as they wanted to have a baby!  WTF!!  Seriously?
Next up:  "Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords".

Lastly (until he arrived home and discovered yet another trashy British TV reality show on Netflix!),
"Benefits, Won't Work".

Meanwhile, Janet is compiling a study of British farm animals.  When you trudge across many a farmers field on your walk from Oxford to Bath, you get a feeling for their personalities.

Cows:  They always come to the fence to say hello.  They start out slow, but once one starts to come, the others follow.

 Horses:  sometimes they come to the fence and sometimes they don't.

This really beautiful guy did!
Sheep:  almost always run away from you, but will sometimes then start to follow you.
Pigs:  indifferent!
Janet thinks this is a Gloucestershire Spotted Pig, that at one point in time was close to extinct. 

This is Kentwell Manor.  It was purchased in 1971 by a man, who appears to be slightly on the eccentric side.  Back then, it was nearly impossible to sell an old Manor House, let alone one that was in complete disrepair.  Over the years, he and his wife have chipped away at it and have done an incredible job of restoring the Manor.  According the sales clerk in the gift shop, they paid 250,000 GBP and the house sits on 10 acres.

They also have some rare breed farm animals.  Check out these incredible donkeys!  Janet can't remember the name of the breed, but it was French and there are only about 800 left in the world.  Generally speaking, donkeys will also bust a gut to get up to the fence to say hello, but Janet guesses if you are a rare bread, you don't need to waste your time visiting with stupid tourists.
This really cute little guy says "Good Night"!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Janet has become so lazy, we anticipate she will stretch this three week trip to the UK into 6 months of blogging!

The trip from Bath to Lavenham was ugly in so many ways.  The car rental depot was a "20 minute" walk from the Guesthouse.  Turned out to be 2 hours.  Now they are seriously late to beat the traffic on the London Orbital, a trip that was meant to take 4 hours.  For about the last hour and half of the trip the GPS said they were 1/2 hour from destination.  Then for the last 30 minutes of the trip, they were only 5 minutes away.  It took way longer than was anticipated.

It was a really crappy day.  The piece de resistance - when they arrived at the cottage in Lavenham, there weren't any keys in the lock box.  The perfect ending to a perfectly bad day.

They went to No.10 Wine Bar for dinner whilst waiting for the keys.
Red Mullet and so delicious!
Lavenham is one of the best preserved Medieval villages in the UK.  Buildings look so tipsy, it's a shock they haven't fallen over decades ago.
This house was directly across the street from Janet and Phil's cottage.  The lady that owned the house said it was "Harry Potters" house in the movie.  The lady at the tourist office declined to agree.  She said that while it was in the movie, it wasn't actually Harry Potters house.  It is now for sale for 995,700GBP.

This house was apparently also used in the movies.
More colourful houses from the village:
And, a really cool old fashioned store.  The weed killer was on the shelf right beside the wine!

Lavenham was a very wealthy cloth town and like all wealthy towns from back in the day, had an incredible church.
It was really beautiful.  Janet loves to look inside old British churches.

Janet was thinking she might sign up Turkey Dinners for this Dog Gun Course, but then she remembered he would likely jump out of his skin at the sound of a shotgun.  Turkey Dinners has many of the same personality traits as Rockers - big doggie, incredibly loving, dumb in so many lovable ways and somewhat nervous of his own shadow.

Some cute cows who say "Good Night"!
Why are the branches on the other side of the fence always better?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Castle Combe to Bath

Castle Combe to Bath - 18 miles

Castle Combe is a beautiful, charming village without any telephone wires or satellite dishes in sight.  They stayed in the "cosy room" (and they weren't kidding!) at Castle Inn.  They did have a cute teddy bear in the room!
This is the outside door to their room.  At about 2AM, Janet got up to go to the bathroom and by accident, went out into the hallway instead of the bathroom.  Now the door is locked and she can't get back in.  Wearing only her sleepwear top and underpants, she is starting to panic that Phil won't hear her knock.  Fortunately, Phil heard her before the neighbours, that are to the immediate left of the door did.
Local lady selling her baked goods.

This is also known as the day from Hell!  It wasn't so much the distance as it was the morning of bushwacking and walking down tracks with mud that were ankle deep.  Janet's Volunteer Friend Candy said she didn't think she and her husband could do this walk as they would run out of conversation.  Janet says that after you have walked 12-13 miles with three to go and now you are lost - there is plenty of conversation!  All of it really heated with alot of f-words and accusations!
After the first 9 miles they arrived at Marshfield and had lunch at Lord Nelson Pub.  At this point in time, Janet is torn between not being able to take anymore of the brutal morning, but still really doesn't want to quit a 102 mile walk with 9 miles left.

Believe this or not!  In this pub, was an elderly man who was willing to speak to anyone and everyone.  Phil stopped to chat to him.  His cousin lives in Victoria, David Clinton Baker.  Our kids went to school with the Clinton Baker children and Davids' father in law lives in the cul-de-sac behind our house!

They decide to forge ahead and the afternoon was a huge improvement.  There are not any Bath arrival photos as Janet's feet were so tired she couldn't think straight!  They were happy!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cirencester to Tetbury to Castle Combe

Cirencester to Tetbury - 13 3/4 miles
Tetbury to Castle Combe - 15 miles

After a pissed off Janet left Cirencester without her scrambled eggs, they made their way to Tetbury.  As they wanted to see Prince Charles' garden Highgrove and go to Chavenage, they took a one day break from walking.

This is the kind of traffic one encounters on a walking holiday:

Enroute to Tetbury, they walked alongside a canal that has not been reclaimed.  At the point where they were to turn away from the canal, there was a fabulous canal bridge that has been refurbished.  As horses could not access the canal on a towpath,  men were paid to lie on their backs on top of the canal boats and use their feet on the underside of the bridge for the boat to move forward.

Enroute was Rodmarton House, a great Arts & Crafts House with everything hand made from local materials.
The hotel in Tetbury was super!
This foyer is leading to their room.  You can see Janet's yucky hiking boots.

Garden courtyard of hotel.
For Janet, Chavenage was the highlight of Tetbury.  It is used as the ancestral family home in the TV series "Poldark" and also in the recent mini-series "White Hall".

The house tour was given by the daughter of the ancestral owner and she was beyond hilarious in the honesty about how their home was opened to paying visitors.  At the end of the tour, she had remembered that Janet had sent an email about visiting.  It was Janet and Phil's plan to walk back to the hotel, but Host Caroline's nephew (new to having a driver's license) insisted on driving them.
Can't you see Ross Poldark racing up the driveway on his horse?  One of the reasons this house is used for filming as that there are not any telephone poles or other wires in the immediate surroundings.

Burford to Bibury to Cirencester

OK...days four and five!  You can always tell if you are starting out in an old part of a village if they have names like"Sheep Street" or Church Street".

Burford to Bibury - 13 miles
Bibury to Cirencester - 11 miles

Lots of farm animals on the walks, which Janet loves.

A wedding venue in the midst of being set up.
 This is why Turkey Dinners and I need to go to the UK.  You get to go inside the pub with your people and jack around like an idiot!  And, bonus, Janet says they have cookies!

 This pub was in a village called Eastleach, which was a bit of a detour.  However, Janet said it was a very beautiful village.  The pub was great and the only time it rained that day was when they were inside having lunch!

 The original travel trailer?
 Cute little calves!
The older Janet gets, the more terrified she is of heights.  This walkway over a "dual carriageway" nearly did her in.  She was able to shield her sight with both her hands and focus on the bottom of the bridge.
The B&B they stayed at in Cirencester was nice enough, but they managed to piss off Janet at breakfast.  Usually, with the Full English Breakfast you get:  sausage, bacon, beans, baked tomato, toast, mushrooms and eggs in the style you prefer.  Janet only likes scrambled eggs.  As the owners were away, the people running the B&B in their absence, could only do "fried eggs".  Seriously??  How much of a stretch is it to put a fork into some eggs, whisk them about and toss them in the frying pan!!

They didn't have any vacancy, so likely do give a crap.