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Archive for the ‘Living in Lincoln’ Category

I have been very busy helping Steve pack for our move to our holiday home in South of France. Let me tell you this was not an easy task as we had to sift and sort through many boxes of stuff from California as well as go through our stuff in England to decide what we wanted to take to France and what we wanted to leave in England.

There is a process that you go through and it can take a few years. When we moved from California to England – it was originally a two year assignment in the UK – the company put our stuff in storage in California and they shipped some of our things that we needed to England. When Steve retired in December 2013, the company delivered our stuff that was in California storage to ourselves in the UK, but made a temporary stop in Orange County, California where we had an opportunity to go through it all and decide what we wanted to have shipped to England.

Receiving Our Stuff from Storage in California

Receiving Our Stuff from Storage in California

Ready to Ship to the UK

Ready to Ship to the UK

When we returned to England in March 2014 our stuff from California was delivered to our apartment in England. We had to unpack all 50+ boxes and decide what to keep in England, what to take to France, and the rest we gave away to friends and charity.

Harriet and Steve Sifting and Sorting

Harriet and Steve Sifting and Sorting

Even Harriet got dragged into the sifting and sorting while she was visiting us in Lincoln. This took from March through May, doing a little bit almost every day, repacking what was going to France and what was staying in England.

We Tried NOT to Accumulate Too Much Stuff - Honets!

We Tried NOT to Accumulate Too Much Stuff – Honest!

Over the years, we also accumulated stuff in England. We then did another round of packing – what was going to France or staying in England. If it sounds repetitive – it was! This round lasted into August. When I see cardboard boxes at the supermarket, I get woozy. When all the boxes were almost packed – yes, we were still taping shut the last few boxes – the movers arrived to collect them for delivery to our holiday home in France. The rest remains in England.

All in all, we have been going through boxes sifting and sorting since November 2013. We have one more time of unpacking and going through all of our stuff when we finally move into our holiday home in the South of France.

Photographs and Memories

Photographs and Memories

At times it was emotional, especially when I came across sentimental things – family heirlooms, pictures of the boys when they were little and life seemed so simple, and the itineraries, plane tickets, luggage tags and other stuff from all of our travels over the past 34+ years. I did not realize how much emotion was wrapped up in all of that, until I went through it all at a very fast pace, creating waves of emotion that brought me to tears a few times. It was good, though. It was a physical, emotional and spiritual cleansing that was freeing and empowering.

I am now ready for the next chapter in our lives – retirement. We will be living between France, England and Southern California.

Next Stop: Driving to France - Boarding Le Shuttle

Next Stop: Driving to France – Boarding Le Shuttle

 

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I am finally getting around to telling you about the last part of Harriet’s visit to us in Lincoln. Been a wee bit busy lately (more of that very soon).

Harriet and I saved most of our “London Experience” for the last part of the trip. Rather than try to describe all the fun we had, I will tell the story in pictures. A picture is worth, as they say, a thousand words, so here goes:

In Front of Big Ben at the Foot of Westminster Bridge

In Front of Big Ben at the Foot of Westminster Bridge

Welcome to Westminster Abbey

Welcome to Westminster Abbey

A London Icon

A London Icon

We Took the Tube Everywhere

We Took the Tube Everywhere…

...To Kinghtsbridge, of Course

…To Knightsbridge, of Course…

...Where One Finds the Friendly and Ever So Helpful Harrods People

…Where One Finds the Friendly and Ever So Helpful Harrods People

You Gotta Eat, so We Went to Valerie Patisserie

You Gotta Eat, so We Went to Valerie Patisserie

Getting a Bit Crazy at Buckingham Palace

Getting a Bit Crazy at Buckingham Palace

At the House of Lords for a Private Dinner

At the House of Lords for a Private Dinner…

With a Private Tour of the House of Lords

…With a Private Tour of the House of Lords

AT the Dinner, Harriet Meets Rabbi Brooks from the USA

AT the Dinner, Harriet Meets Rabbi Brooks from the USA

Wrapping-up in Lincoln, with a Visit to the Lincoln Catherdral

Wrapping-up in Lincoln, with a Visit to the Lincoln Cathedral

Afternoon Tea at The Castle Hotel in Lincoln

Afternoon Tea at The Castle Hotel in Lincoln

Dinner at Brown's Pie Shop in Lincoln

Dinner at Brown’s Pie Shop in Lincoln

A Well-deserved Break

A Well-deserved Break Before Heading to the Airport in the Morning

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Lincoln and Beyond

Before venturing outside of Lincoln, Harriet, Steve and I took advantage of the warm weather and went down to city centre to see the Brayford Wharf, the home of many beautiful swans. I’m sure I have taken hundreds of photos of the swans in all four seasons.

Enjoying the Weather at the Brayford

Enjoying the Weather at the Brayford

We parked at Lucy Tower car park, recently re-opened after a long renovation. The parking meter ingested our money but did not acknowledge it. So Steve called the number on the meter and someone said they were on their way. A few minutes later the attendant came by and had a serious talk with the meter, and we were on our way to lunch at Zizzi, an Italian restaurant on the Brayford.

Zizzi Italian Restaurant

Zizzi Italian Restaurant

LIM (Lincoln Independent Minyan) arranged a meeting at Pat & Peter’s home in Dunston the next day. We swung by Swinderby to collect Yvonne. Harriet was enjoying visiting the small villages dotted around Lincoln.

On the Way to Dunston

On the Way to Dunston

At the meeting we voted on various decisions, and then Pat & Peter served a lovely lunch. On the way home Yvonne invited us in for a cup of tea, which gave Yvonne an opportunity to share with Harriet some of her extraordinary stories from her childhood.

Harriet, Steve,Natan, Yvonne, Peter & Pat

Harriet, Steve, Ruth, Yvonne, Peter & Pat

Bishop Grosseteste University was having a concert on Friday evening, and although none of us knew what to expect, we knew that we would have a good time. Well that was an understatement. It was truly excellent. Being held in the chapel, the acoustics were wonderful.

The Choir Performs in the Chapel at Bishop Grosseteste

The Choir Performs in the Chapel at Bishop Grosseteste University

I wanted to introduce Harriet to our synagogue in Nottingham, Nottingham Liberal Synagogue. This particular Saturday was a bit special in that a Bat Mitzvah was on the agenda. I introduced Harriet to Rabbi Tanya and they chatted for a while. Harriet told her that the main difference between today’s service and one in her home synagogue in Orange County, California was that Harriet’s synagogue doesn’t have a prayer for the Queen and the Royal Family.

Nottingham Liberal Sysnagogue

Nottingham Liberal Synagogue

We took advantage of being not that far from Costco to do a bit of shopping. The nearest Costco to Nottingham is Leicester, a Costco that we hadn’t been to before.

Harriet Feeling at Home

Harriet Feeling at Home

Harriet met a food demonstrator and they chatted for a long time. Harriet’s husband, Ben, works at Costco in Fountain Valley, California, also as a food demonstrator.

Chatting with a Food Demonstrator

Chatting with a Food Demonstrator

Next stop: London!

 

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Steve and I wanted to give Harriet “The Lincoln Experience,” otherwise known as “A week in our lives in Lincoln.” Over the next several days, Harriet gladly accompanied us on our errands around town, although sometimes the errands came to us, as when our friend Dorothy delivered a dozen free-range eggs straight from the farm.  All of the photos in this installment are Harriet’s.

Steve was preparing to submit his application for a British passport and needed to get some passport photos, so off they went to Tesco’s photo booth for instant results.

Steve at the Photo Booth

Steve at the Photo Booth

On the way home, they stopped at Aldi for chicken and groceries. Back at home Harriet volunteered to help with shredding a pile of papers that have been accumulating for quite a while. She kept the shredder running at full capacity and both she and the shredder had to take a break every ten minutes or so.

The three of us went to Gino’s Italian restaurant for a mini celebration, followed by an evening walk around uphill Lincoln. We returned home and warmed up with a cup of tea and some dark (healthy!) chocolate. We watched The Vicar of Dibley on TV by candlelight.

The next morning Harriet told us that she watched about half of her DVD, Forest Gump, before going to sleep, only to be awakened at 2:24 am by a text message, from someone in California, which is eight hours behind the UK. Such is the life of a world traveller!

We stopped by our friends David and Sandra after lunch. David offered to sign a legal document that Steve needed for his British Passport. They warmly welcomed Harriet to their home.

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

After dinner, we walked down to the Lincoln Cathedral for the Stations of the Cross program. This was the Devotional Concert at the Lincoln Cathedral, part of the Easter weekend program. There was a choir and an Organist. The organist, Claire Innes-Hopkins, a young woman, was unbelievable. Afterwards we walked home, had tea, and watched TV.

By Saturday morning, Steve had completed his passport application, and he sent it off at the Post Office. They offered a check & send service where they look through the application to make sure that everything was good to go. One less thing to worry about.

At the Castle Square Market

Maxine & Harriet at the Castle Square Market

There was a market in Castle Square, offering everything from fresh fish to colourful mushrooms.

Fresh Mushrooms

Fresh Mushrooms

We walked from uphill Lincoln down to city centre, stopping at Jews Court, Imperial Tea & Coffee Shop,

Imperial Tea & Coffee on Steep Hill

Imperial Tea & Coffee on Steep Hill

Paula’s handbag shop stopping for lunch at the High Bridge Café, where my favourite table overlooking the river, was available.

The View from My Favourite Table

The View from My Favourite Table

The walk back up Steep Hill was just as the name says – steep!

We had lunch at the Thai restaurant in the Bailgate, one of my favourites. We heard some American voices, so I had to go meet them. We were walking home in the same direction and they invited us for a drink at the Morning Star Pub. Only a hundred yards or so from our apartment, but we had never stopped in.

The Morning Star pub

The Morning Star pub

We had a beer, chatted for a while, and were on our way. It makes it easy to make friends in a pub-based culture. Steve and I took Harriet to the cathedral to experience a special occasion – an Easter service.

Amazing that a whole week has come and gone since Harriet arrived. We were having so much fun that I didn’t want the time to pass too quickly.

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Shortly after Steve and I returned from California in March, our friend Harriet came to visit us in Lincoln. We both agreed to keep a daily journal of her visit – her first to England – and then combine it into one, and then share with all of you. This is my first guest-authored blog. I’m hoping it gives you an idea of the fun we all had.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 – Leaving Los Angeles

Harriet Leaving for LAX

Harriet Leaving for LAX

After going through security at LAX, which went well, I proceeded to gate 45. Around 5:50 pm we were taken to another terminal (about a 20 minute ride). Due to all the construction at LAX we were leaving from a different area than the usual departure gate. After boarding the plane, the pilot announced that there was a delay due to some maintenance issues. Every 10 or 15 minutes he announced that they were still working on the maintenance, and in his words, had to scrounge for the part. Finally the pilot made an announcement that the maintenance issue had been corrected and as soon as all the paperwork was completed we would be taking off. He repeated this announcement two more times and by 9:15 (1 hour and 45 minutes late) we finally took off.

The flight went well. At times there was quite a bit of turbulence. It was a long flight, approximately 10 hours. We were due to arrive at Heathrow Airport at 2:20pm (BST) and arrived at 2:45pm. The pilots made up the time that we were delayed resulting with only 15-minute delay.

Almost There!

Almost There!

The best part of my arrival was passing duty free shop and through the doors that led to the area where I saw Maxine and Steve. What a greeting I received. There was Maxine with her camera, taking photos of my arrival at Heathrow Terminal 3.

Harriet & Maxine

Harriet & Maxine

We then proceeded to their car and began our drive to Lincoln. It is 150 miles and took about 2 1/2 hours. We stopped at Peterborough rest stop and I had a wonderful chicken sandwich. I even took a photo of it.

My Chicken Sandwich

My Chicken Sandwich

We had a relaxing time while drinking our cups of coffee and latte. It is similar to Starbuck’s. We also purchased some groceries at M&S (Marks & Spencer): milk, bread, cheese, etc.

Back in the car and we continued our drive to Lincoln. What a beautiful drive! The landscape is unbelievable. There were huge areas of beautiful yellow blossoms. The flowers are rapeseed. Before landing,  I could see the large patches of yellow.

Yellow Everywhere

Yellow Everywhere

We finally arrived at my temporary home, the apartment of Maxine and Steve. After bringing in my luggage, we went to their neighbor to retrieve their keys and then to the mailbox area to gather two weeks of mail.

We returned to the apartment and relaxed with a cup of tea and talked until 11:30 pm. It was time to get ready to say goodnight. I decided to do my unpacking and then begin to document my experience before the details slip out of my mind.

It is now April 17, 2014 at 12:26 am and I’m going to sleep.

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I took on a project of contacting each of the 33 Council of Christians and Jews Branches to find out what events & happenings they were having and to encourage them to put them on the National CCJ Website. It turned out to be a serendipity for me as I got to know many of the branches. When I called the Sheffield branch and introduced myself to the Chairman, Katherine, I shared with her that I have a connection with Sheffield – although my mom spent most of her life in America she was originally from Sheffield and I still have relatives living there that I visit regularly – we both got excited. After a long conversation we decided that it would be a good idea for the Sheffield CCJ branch to come for a visit to Lincoln.

We both took the idea to our committees and the planning began. We had the Leeds CCJ branch visit us last year and it was a successful event, so we had much of the plans in place for the Sheffield visit. We agreed that a tour of the Lincoln Cathedral and the Jewish Heritage Trail in Lincoln would set the foundation for an educational and interesting visit. We included time for some shopping in the Bailgate area, lunch and a stroll down Steep Hill.

Dorothy Explaining the History

Dorothy Explaining the Jewish History of Lincoln

Just two weeks before Sheffield’s visit to Lincoln, Steve & I were in Sheffield at the synagogue for Shabbat services to attend my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. My Aunt Jackie was also there and when she saw me she said that Katherine, the Chairman of the Sheffield CCJ Branch, would like to meet you. We found her in the crowd and were introduced to each other with a welcome hug. It was so nice to meet her in person as she told me how excited the group was about their upcoming visit to Lincoln.

My Aunt Jackie

My Aunt Jackie (2nd from the right)

Two weeks later I was greeting the twenty-eight members as they got off of the coach and to my surprise my Aunt Jackie got off of the bus too. We gave each other a big hug and we told everyone that we are related and began our walk to the Lincoln Cathedral.

Outside Lincoln Cathedral

Outside Lincoln Cathedral

Three of my committee members volunteered to help me host the Sheffield group for the day. Rev’d Mike Mason took care of the logistics, Dorothy Moss was their guide for the Jewish Heritage Trail and the Cathedral, and Doug Horn made sure that lunch time went smoothly, whilst I filled in throughout the day to make sure that everyone was taken care of and that we stayed on schedule and took time to talk with many of the people from Sheffield.

Inside Jews Court

Inside Jews Court

As we said goodbye we felt a connection between Sheffield and Lincoln and that CCJ brought us together. They thanked us and told us how much they enjoyed their visit to Lincoln. We told them how much we enjoyed sharing this experience with all of them.

In Front of Jews Court

In Front of Jews Court

They are a wonderful group of people and it was our pleasure to have them visit us in Lincoln.

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While in France last month, we stayed at the De Fleurus Bed & Breakfast in Pezenas.

Chambres d'hotes De Fleurus

Chambres d’hotes De Fleurus

We met a wonderful couple Jo & Ken. We had breakfast together each day and as we talked about our move to South of France, we realized how much we had in common with them, as they are also planning on moving to France, in fact to a small village just fifteen minutes away from us.

They invited us to go to dinner with them to a restaurant in Neffies, the village that they want to move to. The restaurant served local homemade food that was delicious and each table had a pitcher of water on it that had a unique shape to it. We had the frog pitcher. It is in the presentation, even when it comes to pouring the water.

Ken Serving Water

Ken Serving Water

As the week went on, the four of us got along so well that we were now meeting them for wine each evening. The evening that we met Claude was quite an experience, but that is a whole new story for another day.

At the Perle Noire

At La Perle Noire

We also met them at a beautiful beach in Agde where we got caught in a sand storm. The strong wind seemed to just appear and after awhile of sunbathing, it was time to find a place to have lunch to recuperate and relax. After a nice walk along the river we found just the place to relax and enjoy the sunshine – La Perle Noire, where the tables were set up on a boat that floated right on the water. Here it was calm and relaxing and the food was so fresh and tasty.

Our friendship did not end there it continues in England as they invited us to visit them at their house in the Yorkshire Dales.

For Sale

“Bellwood” For Sale

We had to plan this visit quickly before we move to France and they sell their house – it is officially on the market.

The Village of Giggleswick

The Village of Giggleswick

It was a beautiful drive from Lincoln to Giggleswick, stopping in Skipton for a fish & chips lunch.

Narrow Boats in Skipton

Narrow Boats in Skipton

Onward to Settle to meet our friends for a welcome drink at The Talbot Arms, a local pub.

Ye Olde Naked Man Cafe

Ye Olde Naked Man Cafe

When we called to confirm details of the weekend, Ken told us that he forgot that he had agreed to let a group of students and their leaders involved in a national program called the Duke of Edinburgh begin their day long hike from his house.

Ready to Explore the Dales

Ready to Explore the Dales

We assured him that we would join both of them as they began the hike with the group and then continue on with Jo & Ken on our own trail through the Yorkshire Dales.

Onward & Upward

Onward & Upward

Looking down at the Village

Looking down at the Village

The hike took us through a beautiful landscape of hills and dales.

Spectacular Scenery

Spectacular Scenery

The area is known for its stone walls that are made by hand, some from hundred of years ago.

Feeding Time

Feeding Time

What Are You Looking At?

What Are You Looking At?

Look Into My Eyes

Look Into My Eyes

We were walking among a variety of sheep, as well as horses and Highland Cattle.

Enjoying the Breeze

Enjoying the Breeze

It was a lovely weekend – warm weather & sunshine, good food, good conversation with our new good friends. We are looking forward to having them as neighbours in France sometime soon.

Oh and if any of you know of someone interested in buying their house in the Yorkshire Dales please call the number on the for sale sign in the picture above.

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