Tag Archives: foods of England

Day 26: Know When to Hold ‘Em, and Know When to Fold ‘Em + “The Wall”

I feel like I’m beginning to find a rhythm.

Monday through Thursday, I study with a purpose.  Fridays, I catch up on personal chores; things that didn’t get accomplished during school days.  Then Saturday or Sunday I explore.

Today I visited the “Cotswold,” a geographic region of southeast central England known for it’s 400+ year old stone cottages, serene farmland views and a few other little dittys like Bath and Stonehenge. 

The entire area is absolutely endearing and while I was looking for a way to do justice to this national treasure, I happened upon this excellent video.  It tells the story better than I ever could, thus the “know when to fold ’em” title.


In case you’re looking around one day and I seem to have disappeared, it may be that I’m here.  I’ve decided to buy this one.  Hope you like it, and please come to visit me when you’re in the area.

Okay, I’m buying this cottage just about as much as I’m buying my favorite ski chalet in Crested Butte and my favorite adobe beauty in Taos.  But at least dreamers keep themselves entertained, right?

There was something else I learned about while driving down miles and miles of winding roads today.  I learned that “back in the day,” when farmers had live-in help, they had these peasants build scads of the stone fences we now see everywhere there are farms in England.  However, over the last 50-75 years or so, they’ve fallen more and more into a state of disrepair.  Simply put, it’s an economy issue.

To properly build the traditional stone walls, or fences, they are dry stacked with local stone.  They’re wider on the base (two stones wide) , laid on a bed of stone chat, and are gradually moved to a density of one stone wide (or two much smaller stones) toward the top of the wall.  Then, stones are laid on top narrow-wise, so that “if someone were to crawl over them, which they SHOUDN’T be doing, they’d knock off the top-stones and theoretically it would then hit them in the shin on the way down the other side.  Local courtesy is to put it back the way you found it.”

There is a certain length of wall that IS being rebuilt, in spite of the cost.  We drove by it today.  The wall is approximately 3/4ths of a mile long and will take the team of masons approximately two years to rebuild the entire thing.  It will cost an estimated 500K GBP, or $750,000 US dollars.

One man works an entire day and gets approximately three meters finished.  The reason for this is because: a) it’s hard work and takes a long time, but also; b) they’re deconstructing the old wall for materials at the same time.

What level of love and commitment does it take to endorse a project like this? How about fund it?  How about BUILD it?

It this comparable at all to the love or commitment it took to work over a period of more than three hundred (by some estimations) to build Stonehenge?  How about the 250 years to build the Abbey in York?

I guess my question for you, and for myself tonight is this:  Do you plan and commit to projects or to life missions knowing full well that they’ll never be finalized in your lifetime?  If so – – why, or why not?

Have a great Saturday night…Love, Kelly

Days 18, 19 & 20: Fight as Though You Were Defending the Very Gates of Paradise

Potatoes 20 different ways.
Mushy peas.
Yorkshire pudding.

And…the pub.  These are the food and drink of the local yokels in England.  But more than any other meal, my friends kept asking, “Have you had the fish and chips?”

Well, I can finally answer “yes” to that question.  And it really was quite good.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week were spent with distant relatives in Wakefield, England.  We climbed some castle ruins, spent time in “a pit” (a coal mine) at the National Coal Mining Museum, took a “War of the Roses” grand tour of York and the surrounding areas, and spent time in the pubs getting to know each other.

AND…we had fish and chips.  Yes, I love haddock.  Yes, I’ll eat them again.  And no, I can’t eat all the chips!

But should I ever have a friend come to England, one of the first things I’m sure I’ll ask them is…”Make sure and eat the fish and chips!”

And, with that comment I’m signing off.  I’ll fill in the gaps of the weekend, post a video I put to Celtic music and talk about the idiosyncracies of speaking two languages while both English in my next post.  For right now, however, it’s time to get back to the books.


P.S.  I had a pretend battle with some children on the Castle wall ruins in Wakefield.  They were Roman Soldiers and challenged me, and I couldn’t just back down now…could I?  I hurled a stone at their wall and took them down a notch, but in the end they killed me with a spear.  Below is a picture of me and the young soldiers atop the wall.

I saw a War of the Roses quote this weekend that really hit me.  It was, “Fight as though you were defending the very gates of Paradise.”  I think those girls were pretty darn close…touche’, young ladies, touche’! (See P.P.S. – late addendum, next day – after the jump)


Here is a video of my time in a coal mining museum, Wakefield and York (as well as surrounding areas).  I realize this is Celtic music which is more suitable for areas northwest of this region, but I just liked it.  Enjoy!