Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm dreaming of a white Thanksgiving???

Picture from the front of our house
Picture of the backyard
It's snowing here and not the kind of snow/rain mix that we've had here before. It's sticking to the ground and roads. We were told that it is a rare event for snow to hit us here. Lowest temperatures for this area are around 32 degrees, so snow rarely precipitates and when it does it lasts a short time as the temperature climbs a few degrees in the day. Last year the area was blasted with snow, we were told, but the people at church we spoke to told us that they haven't gotten snow like that in 40 years! The snow today is about 3 inches and it's still coming down off and on. Since there is no thanksgiving here, the kids are still in school and not able to enjoy the snow. The ladies at church say they "feels bad for the kiddies 'cause they go to school when the snow is a fallin' but when they comes home the snow's gone". That's my example of the local dialect that I'll have to write about later. Maybe today's snow will stick around a bit so the kids can play. It is quite pretty, though I imagine driving on the road is not fun here.

The pups love the snow! And I love that all I have to do is open up the back door and say "Outside" instead of walking them for 15 minutes on a leash in the cold weather!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Things I find to be strange here....

Squash Juice? Really? It's as gross as it sounds.

The signs here are funny, but this is my favorite.

This is the local supermarket Sainsbury's. Going to the Fishmonger to get my seafood just makes me giggle. Another strange thing, the butcher (on the right) you have to get your deli meat by the slice not by the weight.

They don't mince words here. In fact, we've seen many adverts (commercials) about killing others while texting and drunk driving that are enough to startle anyone, though I wonder if they are used to that here.

Don't know if the word "wimpy" has the same connotation here, but I thought you'd never see someone advertising for Wimpey Homes in the States.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beauty of Durham

Durham Cathedral

Cloisters at the Cathedral
Todd and I went with some friends to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 on Sunday. This is a picture of one of the first Harry Potter movies that were filmed in and around Durham Cathedral. 
Harry Potter and Hedwig in the Durham Cloisters
Behind our house are many walking paths. It's been raining non-stop for the past week, with no sunshine. This morning we saw that the sun was peaking through so Maggie Belle and I walked Todd half way to school, but of course like typical English weather we were outside for about 10 minutes when it began to rain. Here are some pictures of the places that we walk taken on not so rainy days. 
Paths carved out of the fields for us to walk through
Cement footpaths for walkers and bikers

The dogs walk through the brush instead of the path

Some of the fields are not brush and this is were the dogs run
At the top of the hill we have a great view of Durham and the surrounding area

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tynemouth Priory and Castle

On Saturday, Todd, Maggie, Belle and I went to visit Tynemouth Priory and Castle and play on the beach. Tynemouth is a small town located on the North Sea with beautiful cliffs and beaches.  It took about an hour to get there by rail. We met a woman on the regional rail who said that she took her dogs to Tynemouth all the time and it was a great place to play in the water.

 Todd on the beach with the castle in the background

We had a fun time playing in a little curved out beach area close to the castle. Maggie and Belle ran around and got rid of some energy. They were completely soaked and sandy when we left the beach.

Playing on the beach
Belle on the beach

We visited the castle and priory with the dogs since it’s mostly in ruins and there is a lot of grass.  We learned about the rich history of this beautiful headland and how the area was used at different times as a monastery, a castle, a fort and more recently for coastal defence. We had a fun day filled with lots of walking.

All four of us were very tired by the end of the day, but not too tired to enjoy some fish and chips!