Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last week in Durham

This'll have to be quick because I'm now on the other side of the Atlantic and faced with the somewhat monumental task of moving our household and family across the country...  in a few short weeks!

Monday of our last week -- met our friends at the train station and enjoyed a lovely evening with their jet-lagged and exhausted selves.

Tuesday -- beautiful weather for the second day in a row.  The day included a cathedral tour, climbing-up-the-Tower, walking around town, card-playing...  Evensong at the Cathedral followed by a yummy dinner at a Spanish restaurant in town.

Wednesday -- day trip to Lindisfarne (the "Holy Island").  Perfect weather.  Really nice.  Dinner tonight at a Thai restaurant.

Thursday -- the rains came down.  Quiet day -- didn't do much, me just mainly getting ready to leave and the rest of us taking it easy, shopping, Chris finishing up his work.  Our plans to visit a local 13th century manor house and gardens were scratched due to the weather.  A Castle tour was on the itinerary but there were no guides...  I guess the students weren't available, it being a graduation day for a lot of them.   Early dinner at our flat.  Some of us went to Evensong at the Cathedral.

Friday -- our friends departed for Edinburgh, we packed up and headed in the opposite direction, for London.  Nice weather -- I took the Underground just a few stops to the National Gallery and enjoyed a few hours there, just me and my audioguide!  Very much the perfect way to do an art museum, I've decided.

Saturday -- last "full English" breakfast and then off to Heathrow.  Flight home was uneventful.  I watched 3 movies.

So there it is.  I would add photos but they are on my laptop and I'm too lazy to go get them.  Not really, I'm not lazy, but I am prioritizing, and moving the photos is NOT on the top of my list.

Thanks for reading over these last few months!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 76 (June 17): Durham

Last Sunday in Durham.

we have really enjoyed Mass at St. Cuthbert's

there's a sweet little garden in front of the church

After Mass we had the pleasure of a visit and lunch with a family and some of their friends from the church.  Their two oldest children had their First Communion at that morning's Mass.  We enjoyed eastern Carolina-style barbeque, yummy quesadillas and salsa, and sangria!  It was a very nice way to spend our last Sunday afternoon in Durham.

Long naps, a long walk for Chris, reading, and a bit of TV.  Good day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 75: Durham

This evening the Olympic torch relay came to Durham City.

waiting on Framwellgate bridge

any minute now...

this looks promising

there it is!

there it goes

The only other time we saw the Olympic torch was in 1996 when it came through Durham, North Carolina -- on its way to Atlanta.  So yeah, there's a theme there, I think.

Day 74 (June 15): Durham

Last full Friday in Durham.  Lotsa rain. 

Chris and Caroline checked out the Chinese buffet in town this evening.   I am making good progress on Great Expectations and finished Wives and Daughters tonight.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 73: Durham

Good day.  Took the Park & Ride into town this morning to do a few errands.  Then I did a bunch of laundry.

we bought Caroline a DU sweatshirt yesterday

This evening I got to attend a lecture given by Eamon Duffy, who is a very famous and highly-regarded historian from the University of Cambridge.  That was cool.

And so now I'm watching Wives and Daughters for a little while before bed.  The Van Mildert students are having some sort of carnival thing and have rented a ride of some sort and are screaming with glee outside our flat.  Fortunately it's not as loud as last night's event was.

These English uni students know how to live it up.

Day 72 (June 13): Durham

OK so today didn't actually prove to be all that exciting after all.

In the morning I walked into town to give Chris his lunch.  Walked back home.

After lunch Caroline and I walked into town to do some shopping and errands.  Accomplished everything, walked back home.

sky was dark and sun was shining on the river, looked cool

flowers growing on the side of a stone building

pretty wall decorated in flowers

more pretty flowers

I was tired.  Too tired to go back out again (via my tired legs and feet) to go to Chris's talk which he was giving last night.  Turns out good I didn't go because then he went out to dinner and wasn't home until late.  So Caroline and I had a quiet dinner & evening at home.  Well, sorta quiet.  One of the colleges (across the road) was having an outdoor party so there was loud music blaring, but it did end (mercifully) by 11 pm, so that was good.

Another day-in-the-life in Durham, U.K.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 71: Durham

Nothing much to report about today except for that I finished Nicholas Nickleby and walked 2 miles to get a Starbucks latte.

pretty field that I walked  through on my way to the Starbucks (tiny cathedral tower in distance)

pedestrian tunnel that goes under the cathedral

Tomorrow should definitely be more exciting.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 70: Durham

Cloudy & rainy day here in Durham.  Chris and Caroline came home just after lunch.  We had a quiet afternoon.  I'm almost finished Nicholas Nickleby.

This evening I attended a Taize prayer service at the Cathedral.  It was great.  I'm so glad I went!

the skies cleared and the sun came out during the service and shone brightly through the stained glass

the river is calm and clear tonight...  what a difference a few hours makes

When I got home it was close to 9:30 pm and though the sun had just set the sky was still bright and turning pinkish so Caroline and I headed to our favorite hill to enjoy the prettiness and take some pictures.

the flowers on the hillside are perfect

the hills are alive...

so pretty and pink

p.s.  Erin is on her way back to North Carolina today.  She should be there by now.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 69: Durham (and Exeter)

We had lots of rain last night and the night before and so the river is very high.  This is unfortunate for the rowers and city planners and those who were looking forward to the 179th Durham Regatta.  The whole event (which was to occur yesterday and today) was cancelled.

river is very high and the water is fast & rough

it's also really brown today

I took a walk this afternoon along the river and through town.   Two nice ladies (from Cambridge) asked me for directions, which I gave them.  That was fun.

this is what they were looking for -- it is a bronze copy of the wooden original
The sculpture is "The Journey" and depicts monks carrying the coffin of St. Cuthbert.  (The one lady said she didn't like it at all.)

The river under the Old Elvet bridge was quite calm (whereas on the other side it was running very fast).  I took a few photos of the boats and the valerian growing on the bridge.

you can rent these boats

my attempt at an artsy picture

I'll call this one "Still Life with Boats and Valerian"... 

p.s.  Chris and the girls were in Exeter today and taking the train back to London this evening. 

Day 68 (June 9): Durham (plus London to Exeter)

The girls and Chris left early this morning for London.

waiting for the train...
Erin will be seeing Sweeney Todd this afternoon and then they are all getting back on a train to Exeter where they'll spend the night.  Tomorrow they will be in Exeter, taking a trip down memory lane -- Exeter is where all five of us lived for 4 months back in 2006 and the girls really wanted to visit.

So I get a few quiet days here, by myself!

there goes the absent-minded professor

I'm pretty sure I've been dismissed