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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

UPDATE: Baja, Mexico - Warm Sunshine and Blue Skies

Yeah...We Have Internet Again!

We've been here over a week, and we FINALLY have access to Internet again.  That means:
-  contact with family and friends
-  catch up the final 30 days of our European journey for 7 months
-  continue with posts of our time here as we work and play

We "Couch-Surfed" across Europe and now we have the chance to use "Work-Away" so we will host a couple who will stay with us beginning this Friday.  They will stay in our camp trailer and work during the day for us - building our duplex and helping with the plants and grounds of our 3 acre property on the beach.  We, in return, will cook and feed them and provide for them while they are here.  They plan on staying til mid-March, so we're hopeful everything will go smoothly and will work out for all of us.

Pictures soon and MORE posts of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, and Portugal.  Stay tuned!
Happy Thanksgiving!  And yes....I'm feeling better after my head injury and bruised ribs.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

UPDATE: Bike Accident

Nov 14 - After 2 Weeks Concussion

Quick note to anyone reading my blog.  I had a bike accident a couple of weeks ago, so I've been a little behind with the regular postings from our Europe trip.  I got a concussion, but am mending quickly.  We will be leaving for Baja, Mexico for the winter ( leaving sunday, the 17th), so I will continue the post on my English ancestors as soon as I can, then the final 35 days of our Europe trip.  So....stay tuned!  We still have Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, and Portugal to go to during our last month in Europe and they were EXCITING countries.
Love you all - Shari

Monday, November 11, 2013

DAY 169 - (Part 1) Singing in the Same Norbury Church as My Great-Grandma Clarke

Sept 4 - Biking to Roston and Finding My Dead Ancestors

Roston is a hamlet in Derbyshire, England. It is located north of Rocester.  I had gotten my Grandma Olson's old antique trunk from England after my dad had passed away.  For years I had read letters, gone through photos, and seen the names of my ancestors.  I was so excited to be in the area to find out more.

In Derby, I went to a genealogy library and found information about Derbyshire, the county where most of my ancestors appeared to be from.

 We were able to borrow our host's bikes, but the trouble was getting to Ashbourne by bus and bringing our bikes on board.  We were told they might bump us off if any people with wheelchairs needed to get on.  So - we took our chances.  It was about 45 minutes by bus and we were able to go the whole way.  We arrived to Ashbourne around noon.  We set off on our bikes to find Roston.
We were to go by Cock Inn and then onward to Norbury - about 4 miles

It was a beautiful sunny day and the ride was so lovely going through the woods and fields.

Here we go - I've dreamed about doing this for YEARS!

Norbury is a village in Derbyshire. It is located 3 miles north of Rocester on the River Dove.  Norbury was mentioned in the Domesday book, in 1086, together with Roston, amongst the many manors given to Henry de Ferrers by William the Conqueror.  At that time the village had a church and a mill.  The population keeps going down in Norbury.  Records show that in 1841, there were 510 people, but in 2001, there were only 270 and today there is probably less than 100.
It's fun how the trees make green tunnels over the paved roads.

 We rode and rode until we came to a little community with a Pub that had recently closed down.

The Roston Inn
I had come to this area for two main purposes:  1) Go to the Norbury Church where my ancestors were buried, 2) Find the Clarke homestead house where I knew my great-grandmother was born and where my parents had visited 25 years previously in 1989.
We biked to this nice farm house to find out some answers.
 I found a man named Timothy, age 82, who just happened to be the keeper of the Norbury church.  He was excited that I was related to the "Clarkes" as he said I had a relative who sent $1,000 to the Norbury church every year.  So, now I have the address of this distant cousin who I had lost contact with.  Isn't it funny how things work out sometimes?
How lucky was it that he just happened to be home.   He told us where to go to find records from the church graveyards.  I also had a picture of my great-grandmother's home and he told us where he thought it was.
 We met with Della who kept the Norbury church records.  She was so kind to take us to the Clarke home in Roston.  We met William and Joan.  His father bought the home around 1910, after his grand-father had leased the land from my relatives for years.
Here we are!  The house which must be 300-400 years old.
I will finish this post tomorrow!   Hang tight.  :)

Welcome to St Mary & St Barlok, Norbury.   The church was built by the Fitzherbert family in 1295, with 14th and 15th century additions.  The church displays a splendid wealth of medieval artwork and architecture, the crowning glory being its eight rare grisaille stained glass windows in the chancel, dating 1306.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

DAYS 167 & 168 - Derby & English Roots

Sept 2 & 3 - Steve & Pip & Georgia & Fern

 Lombe's Mill, located in Derby, England, was the first factory in the world.  Thererfore, Derby is considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.  In 1717, Derby was the site of the first water powered silk mill in Britain.

 With the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, and due to its strategic central location, the city grew to become the centre of the British rail industry.  An industrial boom began in Derby when Rolls-Royce opened a car and aircraft factory in the town in 1907.  Today, Derby is an internationally renowned centre for advanced transport manufacturing.

 Some pictures of buildings as we came into Derby.

1889 Gas, Light, and Coke Company
I wanted to go to Derby because it was close to where my English ancestors grew up.  I could do some research in this town and then somehow get to the area I was looking for, about 45 minutes away.  So, we'll go there in the next post.

St. Mary's Church

  I wondered if my relatives came to this city very much back in the 1800's, but I imagine they did not as Ashbourne was much closer.
 I loved some of the old English homes - such great history in these buildings.

A yummy English pastry

Isn't this cute?  "Give Way" instead of "Yield".

Meet our wonderful family from Derby (pronounced "Dah-rby").

Pip, Georgia, and Steve hosted us for 3 days & nights

Georgia, age 16, prepared our first dinner - pasta (she sometimes makes her own noodles)

 Fresh berries over ice cream that Steve had picked from their garden.

"Spot of tea anyone?"

A tour of their beautiful English home up on the well-to-do hills in Derby.
We had several meals together with this lovely family in this kitchen.

What a great kitchen!

The family room leads out to the back porch and garden.

Other side of the family room - note the keyboard and guitar

And this was our bedroom on the 2nd floor.  VERY comfy bed.

Can you believe?  We had our own shower and dressing area right in the bedroom.
Georgia was such a sweet girl ;  very intelligent and such an achiever. (and we both have such cute braids)
I thought I would help and pick some berries before everyone got back from work and school.  they had raspberries, blackberries, and some other small berries.  Trouble is, I stepped on what I thought was a patch of grass.   It turned out to be some moss on a pond.  I fell right in, getting mud, moss, and slime up to my thighs.  I was told later that there was a frog family living in the pond.  I imagine they were scared to death with a monster jumping in their abode.
This was their back yard from the 3rd story of their home - beautiful view of the valley.

Georgia's room up in the loft area.  Cute cute cute decor!
Pip is an amazing interior decorator and she made these wall hangings.

Rich made his famous Kung-Pao chicken and I put together a fruit salad.
Even Fern gets in the family portrait.  Love this family!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

DAY 166 - Sunday at the Abbey and Stonehenge

Sept 1 - An Incredible Day in Bath!

When we first arrived into Bath, Andrew took us around the city.  I hadn't realized all the important history that it encompassed.  The population of the city had reached 40,020 by the time of the 1801 census, making it one of the largest cities in Britain.  It was a very prestigious place to visit back then and to be part of the community was even more important.

The King Edwards School was founded in 1552 under laws set out in the Charities Act of 1545, which had been passed by Henry VIII.
The streets of Bath

The River Avon goes through the middle of Bath.

Everyone loves to hang out along the river.

 Pulteney Bridge crosses the River Avon. It was completed by 1774, and connected the city with the newly built Georgian town of Bathwick. It is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across its full span on both sides.  Some think it's a mini "Ponte Vecchio" like in Florence.


 Great Pulteney Street is a grand thoroughfare that connects Bathwick on the east of the River Avon with
 the City of Bath.


 In the heart of the city next to the Roman Baths is the splendid Bath Abbey, a fifteenth century medieval church. The Abbey is the last of the great medieval churches of England and has remarkable carved frontage and amazing fan vaulting.
The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Bath, commonly known as Bath Abbey, is an Anglican parish church and a former Benedictine monastery in Bath, Somerset, England.
 Astrid, our host, and I went to the Cathedral for Sunday church service.  We had a nice 45 minute walk to get there and walked into the chapel to a beautiful choir singing.  It was a very nice service and Astrid had never been to a church service there before.
Astrid and Ben accepted us as their surfers although they were very  busy.  Turns out Ben was even out of town so we never met him.  Astrid was busy working all day and working on her Master's thesis.  They had a lovely home with yard and garden.

  It was two stories, but a little ways from the center of town.  We walked a lot.  The night we first arrived was at night and we walked with our backpacks probably about 3 miles.  I was sorry I forgot to take pictures of our room, but it was very nice.  The house was probably a couple of hundred years old - so cute and Astrid was an immaculate housekeeper.

Astrid had a lot of herbs in her garden and their porch was decorated so cute.

Andrew makes mirrors like this one hanging up in a local restaurant.

  A Cornish Pasty - It is made by placing uncooked filling typically of meat and vegetables, on a flat pastry circle and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge to form a seal.
A good lunch - a Cornish Pasty.

It's considered a national dish of Cornwall.

The Royal Crescent is a street of 30 terraced houses laid out in a sweeping crescent.  Built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom.  The Royal Crescent now includes a hotel and a Georgian house museum, while some of the houses have been converted into flats and offices. It is a popular location for the makers of films and television programs, and a major tourist attraction
The Royal Crescent
The Circus, originally called King's Circus

A very old shoe scuffer thing outside the apartment buildings.  Each flat had one.

Andrew and his friend, Nan, picked us up to take us to see Stonehenge, about an hour away.

We saw beautiful hills and hills of hay all stacked and ready for the long winter ahead.
 Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, about 2 miles west of Amesbury and 8 miles north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks.
Our first glimpse of Stonehenge against a beautiful pink sky.
Such a magnificent site -Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.
Nan & Andrew are the BEST!  We really enjoyed our evening at Stonehenge with them.
  There were several of us there, but the gate had closed and the guard wouldn't let us cross over the fence to get closer.  It was sad since we had traveled so far, but I had a postcard with me and told people that they could have a picture holding it and I would only charge one euro.  HA!  It was just a joke!
Holding my postcard of Stonehenge.

 We witnessed the most beautiful sunset across the whole sky.  We had brought a picnic to share with our guides and since it was chilly, we all ate in the car.  A wonderful evening to remember forever!

One lone tree along the horizon.