Friday, October 14, 2016

The People Leave The U.K. And Go To Iceland

Janet says they had a nice last day.  They took their time driving from Kintbury to Heathrow, via Henley on Thames so they could have lunch at one of their favourites:  Crooked Billet.
They were too stupid to know to suck up the beautiful blue sky.

 Bye, Bye U.K.

Then they landed in Iceland:

Phil wanted to call it a day right then and there,  but you know Trooper Janet with her inner sense of adventure!  They overnighted at a hotel you could walk to from the airport.  They were walking with sheets of rain and gale force winds.  It may as well have been 100 miles.

The next day, they drove to Snaefellsnes Peninsula.  They couldn't get the GPS to work wanted to try navigating the old fashioned way with a paper (!) map.  Guess how that went?  Oddly enough, given the situation, the super bad language was pretty tame.

The drive....just as the photo above with the exception of going through a 6km tunnel.  Janet hates tunnels, but at least the wind wasn't trying to drive the car off the road.
They stayed in a really cute hotel that was once the house on a wealthy man.  Only 10 rooms and they were pretty compact.

The young man who worked at the hotel suggested the restaurant right across the road for their Blue Mussels.  Janet and Phil said they were delicious.
 The view of the harbour across the road from the hotel.

The name of this village was Stykkisholmur (got it?).  They opted not to have the hotels breakfast at an eye-watering price of $29 CAD each person.  Instead, they walked to the local bakery and had this little platter with two lattes for a much (!) more reasonable $20 for the two of them.
The bakery had a couple of cute signs, which helped detract from how much money a muffin cost.
Thus far, it appears the only major grocery store chain in Iceland is Bonus.  Janet loved their yellow carts.
For a very reasonable 1979ISK ($22 CAD) a guy could pick up .265kg of bacon.  It could be this is a superior type of bacon, but as all the writing was in Icelandic and Janet had no clue what it said.
The one on the right was less money, but Janet can't remember the weight.
In this village, there was a very large church.  No cross, no signage, very unusual and wasn't open.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Phil Boils Water

You are probably thinking that Phil boiling water is not that big of a deal.  You are so wrong!  Janet can recall Phil doing so only once in an effort to make himself noodle soup.  Because Phil loves to multi-task (which he is shit at!) he put the water in one of the 41 year old pots described a couple of posts ago, left the room and came back quite some time ago.  Make that a really long time ago!  Major mess!  Water is gone and the pot is one the verge of meltdown.

In their cottage, they had a baby AGA.  So cute!

Phil purchased himself some fancy pants oatmeal in a container for breakfast.  Whilst Janet was showering, he took it upon himself to put the kettle on and prepare his breakfast.  Below is his stupid breakfast!

Unfortunately, there are not enough photos to really capture the moment as it was full on panic mode!

First, Phil turned on the burner to make sure it was nice and hot.  Then, he removed the electric kettle from it's heating element on the counter and placed it on the really nice hot burner.  Guess what!  It was a major disaster!
Heating element the kettle should have been left on!
The plastic basin in the sink was coated with melted kettle.
This is a teeny, tiny fraction of the melted plastic.
Here is the new kettle, bringing in the cost of breakfast at about $60.  Move over Bev Ota and your expensive $16 glass of orange juice!  At least Phil's mishap was not on the taxpayers dime!
A huge bonus to the cottage!  There are four cottages in a row in a very small village.
Number 3 to the left and Janet and Phil in number 4 on the right.

 Right next door to Janet and Phil was an actor that Janet loves!  He and his wife had been there for 5 months filming Father Brown, a TV show Janet has yet to see.  He was outside when they arrived and was super nice and really helpful.  Phil recognized him from one of his favourite shows as DC Ken Blackstone on "DCI Banks" and reminded Janet that he was Marty Fisher on "Shameless".
Janet loved everything about "Shameless".  It was so politically incorrect that is was major fun.
This is how doggies roll in the U.K.
They have meet and greets in pubs.
On their first day in Kintbury, Janet and Phil took a ramble along the canal to Hungerford.   It was about an hour in each direction.  On the return, they went through "the common", which is an area where livestock can graze that doesn't necessarily belong to the farmer.

Janet did not want to go as she was afraid of the cows.  A man who happened to be overhearing their conversation said "go for it - no problem."

It was just fine...the cows barely took notice of them and they were really cute.
This is how Janet and Phil try to end their U.K. trip - lunch with the relly's, Julia and Joe.  They  look forward to seeing them every year.  Julia is our Grandpa's cousin and they live in the west end of London.  They are really kind, interesting people; both with an incredible sense of humour.
There is also a photo of Janet with Julia and Joe, but she says she looks like the Jolly Green Giant beside them, so she has opted not to post it!

Friday, October 7, 2016


Several years ago, Janet and Phil purchased the British Automobile Association "1001 Walks Around Great Britain".  It has maps and step by step instructions for walks, of varying lengths all over the U.K.  It even includes the "Make Yourself Look Like A Complete Jackass" map holder to loop around your neck.  Which.  They.  Use.  These two are seriously lacking self respect.

In all the time they have had the book,  and on numerous attempts, they have yet to complete one single walk without getting lost and abandoning the whole exercise.  Until Now!!  Three consecutive days, two walks each day for a total of approx. 20-25km each day.  Yes!
This is why the walks never work:  See below where it says "cross field"?   Janet and Phil read this, process it and look across the long, recently ploughed field and say to each other "there is no way we are meant to cross this huge farmers field" and then make up their own route.  Mr. and Mrs. Logistics on the job = lost.

They did however,  meet come great walking companions.
Wall 'o sheep!

This is Phil, Sheep Whisperer!  A few brave guys were following us.

Some friendly horses.
How about some cute pigs?

Or some beautiful swans?

More cute sheep:

One walk took them from the village of Snowshill where Janet and Phil visited five years ago with our Grandpa & Grandma and Uncle Boob & Aunt T.   Snowshill Manor is a famous National Trust Property that is filled, top to bottom with junk or treasures - your choice.   The village is small and the church is beautiful.  Janet thought the kneeling pads in the church in Stow on the Wold were exceptional, but has since decided the ones in Snowshill Church are better (see, it's not all about Fish & Chips!).  They are all in the same colour hue.

The walk took them from Snowshill to Stanton.  The worst thing about the Cotswolds is that you think you have just seen the single most idyllic, quaint and perfect village.....until you arrive at the next one.  Stanton was no exception to the rule.
Having said that, Janet's photography doesn't exhibit it all that well!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Janet and Phil Do Lots of Walking!

Their fitbits are on overtime!  Janet just scored a new high of 45 miles in one week!  Which sadly, only consumed approx. 16,000 calories.  This is a major pity as Janet is on The Deep Fried Tour of the United Kingdom!  It's a self guided tour that allows you to sample the best deep fried food Britain has to offer.

Previously, Janet was of the opinion that the Fish and Chips at Mole & Chicken were the best.  This is no longer the case.  She has now decided the best ones are at Horse and Groom - a two minute walk from their cottage.  Not good news!
Sunday lunches are a big deal in the U.K. with all kinds of families eating out.  This is a problem if you don't remember to make a reservation.  Something Janet and Phil rarely remember to do.  As luck would have it,  Phil called the other Horse and Groom Pub in Bourton on the Hill and two people had just cancelled!

Their table:

Phil had Monkfish with Lentils and Janet had Wild Mushroom Risotto Balls.


This church is from the 11th century and is not a far walk from their cottage.  On previous visits, it was possible to go inside.  Sadly, thieves stole some copper roofing which allowed the rain to get inside and destroy a 700 year old painting.  It has been closed for months as they wait for the walls to dry out and hope for grants to restore it.

This took two tries as Janet and Phil are really lame at "rambling".  If you walk past the church shown above and go left, you wander through farmyards and end up at Daylesford Farm Shop.  The unbelievable Holy Grail of Organic Consumerism.  The entire place is over the top but does a superb job of making you think you need whatever they have.
The "farm" shop is owned by Lady Bamford who went from air hostess to marrying really well.  It also appears to be on the controversial side as not all locals are in agreement with the concept.

They did have what Phil thinks is the largest apple he has ever seen.  It was on the ground outside, beneath an apple tree.
 While Janet and Phil were having their very pretentious lattes at Daylesford, two people sat with them and told them about this house under construction.  This was as close as you could get as the property is huge and there is security everywhere.  Do you believe this - there are reportedly 28 bedrooms in this house!  28!!

A very nearby village is Adlethorp, whose population can't be more than 500 people.  Still, they have a huge, beautiful church and a really sweet Kitty Ambassador!
This super cute kitty followed Janet and Phil all around the church.
Why can't I, PashyMinders, be sitting beside this cute guy outside a shop with my leash attached to a special doggie leash latch?
Hurry up, Peeps and come outside!