Sunday, April 20, 2014

We Sailed to Ipswich for Indian Take Away

This past weekend we finally got the boat out onto the ocean for the first time since Alex brought her over in July. It was a short trip to Ipswich and back with my Sister and Brother in Law and my two nieces and we had a great time. The girls had a real adventurous spirit and were not afraid at all of the moderate waves, river currents or large container ships that we passed by. I needed some liquid relaxation (aka a beer or 2 to calm my nerves) but they were just fine.
the crew

 It’s about a 9 mile drive from Woodbridge to Ipswich, but by sea it takes it bit longer! The first day out we spent a couple of hours sailing up and down the river and then headed back up to Ramsholt to pick up a mooring for the night. We had a nice walk in the afternoon and a few pints at the pub. It is so great to be able to walk to  a pub for a drink and when the walk is in the countryside, that is even better!
beautiful church at the top of the hill
Wellies are a must
Captain and crew

Eric overlooking the river
Alex and Eva
beautiful sunset on the river
The next day we sailed down the Deben and out of the river at Felixstowe Ferry, across the sea to Felixstowe Harbor (which we have been told is the busiest harbor in the UK, I believe it!) and up the Orwell river to Ipswich Haven Marina. 
we saw lots of these on the horizon
the freezing North Sea! 
we counted 3000 containers onboard
this thing is huge!
Since we didn’t arrive  at high tide we experienced our very first “lock in” to the marina.
enter at the green light!
 We had a curry for dinner from a fine Indian take away establishment and the next day did the same process in reverse. This time we picked up a mooring ball at Waldringfield and spent the night so we could enter the Tidemill the next day on the high tide. 

there is lots to see!
the girls wondered if it would fit under the bridge
beautiful Suffolk countryside
keep number four to starboard!
almost home
The weather was good for the most part but a tad chilly and not quite sunny enough. Oh yeah, we live in England now........

It was a nice trip. Even I didn’t get seasick, and that seems like progress!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Picking Out A Cottage By The Sea

We took a little day trip to Aldeburgh this weekend to check it out since the weather was not really conducive to sailing. It is a charming little village  by the sea with lots of nice cottages, buildings and boats to look at. We queued in line for chips at the chipper and then took a nice slow walk down the main street to get a feel for the place. The weather wasn't really conducive for nice slow walks either, so we ducked into a little alcove to finish our chips but continued on like good Brits completely ignoring the drizzle.

Aldeburgh is situated between the Auld river and the sea, so Alex plans to visit next time by boat. I thought it might be a good time to pick out or cottage in advance. These are some of the contenders:
Button cottage seemed the obvious choice for me,

but Hidden cottage was intriguing too....

Kitten cottage was extremely cute!

but Rose cottage has nice daffodils.

obviously Smile cottage was in the running, it did make me smile!

Lavender cottage is very nice, but oddly enough not lavender.
Then, at the end of the street we came to Marshmallow cottage. The name is definitely my favorite, but it was hidden behind the fence so we couldn't see the actual cottage. Maybe when we come by boat we'll catch a glimpse.

Alex decided to pick his own cottage. At first he liked this one,

but then switched when he saw this crazy place directly across from Marshmallow cottage. Someone built an addition the their lighthouse? Not sure, but this is all one building and people do actually live here. 
the recycling bin by the front gate

As we were getting in our car to go home a little girl on a pink bike with a pink helmet came out of the door to go for a bike ride. Cute!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Collecting Rainbows

I've seen a lot of rainbows since we arrived in the UK.
They never fail to delight.
 If I"m anywhere near a camera I always take a picture.
 Sometimes we see a double, those are amazing.
Now I even work under a thread rainbow, very fitting!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Burns Supper

Alex and I were delighted to get an invitation from some of our new sailing club friends to a Burns supper. 

Then we fired up Google to see exactly what a Burns supper is and got a little nervous.

 But, as it turns out our nerves were totally unfounded and the food and evening was fabulous!

Our hosts Janet and David are amazing cooks and wonderful hosts.
 It was a sit down dinner (with assigned seating, that seems to be the norm here) and each course was better than the next. 
Every time my glass was empty it was refilled without hesitation. We had Cock-a-leekie soup (delicious) for a first course. Then came the neeps, tatties (turnips and mashed potatoes) and cabbage and finally out came the haggis. 
Janet had prepared a beef dish for those that didn't like haggis, but it really wasn't necessary. I tried the haggis, and it was tasty but I couldn't really get past the psychological barrier I have against eating it. I ate about a third of it and Alex ate all of his, he liked it! 
I was so full by dessert I couldn't finish the dessert of raspberries, whipped cream and oats which was also delicious.

Liz and I had agreed beforehand that we would devise a plan to put the haggis into a potted plant on the windowsill since she had never tried it before either and wasn't sure if she would like it, but as it turns out we didn't have to resort to that plan at all. Liz's husband John who was sitting next to me politely inquired if he could finish mine for me, and I politely accepted! Of course we were kidding about the potted plant, but we were having fun and it was that kind of evening. We also devised my next potential business adventure: "The Haggis Baggis"! A lovely bag made from tartan on the outside with a removable plastic bag on the inside to deposit your haggis if you are in a situation where you don't like haggis but don't want to be rude about it. (Do you think it will be successful?)

David addressed the haggis before we ate and I have no idea what he said because his Scottish accent was pretty convincing. I think usually there are poetry readings and such but we had a slightly more low key evening than that with lots of good conversation. Liz and Bernice both have Bernina sewing machines and love to sew so we had plenty to talk about and the boys  of course talked sailing.

It was really fun and now I can check eating haggis off my list. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We're Adjusting

It's been 6 weeks since I posted anything on the blog, not that I haven't been thinking about it every day, because I have. There has been a lot has been going on with a real mixture of good and bad and while I hesitate to get too personal here, I thought I'd give a run down for those interested.

The Good:

 We had a wonderful Christmas with a lot of company. My parents came for a weeklong visit and it was superb. We had the right balance of low key time for chats and walks in Bury showing off our new town  and whirlwind sightseeing.  They came to visit during the darkest week of the year so we had to take advantage of the available daylight before 4:00 to get it all in and  we did!
picture of Dad taking a picture
 I'm pretty sure the highlight was touring our local brewery and then the tasting session after wards.
Dad and Maureen, our brewery tour "elf"
Mom looks anxious at the responsibility of  holding up the beer
We spent a week with Alex's Mom, and Eva and her kids at Christmas in Hastings. The weather was atrocious on quite a few of the days so we hunkered down and did  a lot of cooking, searching for good movies to watch on TV (cable here is about as bad as it is anywhere else) and sitting by the fire. My nieces got bicycles for Christmas so we did manage a walk in the park when the weather cleared after Boxing Day.
new bikes!
Alex and Nani

We had a wonderful New Years Eve. We scored an invite to some of our new sailing friends house for the evening and it was great! Whenever the conversation lagged (which was hardly at all...) our hostess brought out a poem to read, word puzzles were provided, singing happened and limericks were recited. (Note to self: learn some limericks for next year) Then there was fireworks, billiard games and much wine and champagne and singing of Auld Lang Syne which everyone knew ALL the words to! Very fun.

I love my job. I love hanging out in the alterations shop (who knew? I always said the one thing I would NEVER do is alterations, or wait, maybe that was sail making that I swore never to do...seems I swore I would never do a lot of things, but never mind I'm doing them anyways) and meeting people from the town, getting to know my new boss and my co-workers. They are extremely hard working, wonderful people and I have learned  not to complain about minor things in my life because they will set me straight for sure on challenging life situations. In the shop we are all immigrants to the UK and they have seen it all and been through a lot, a lot more than my problem of not being able to find good Ranch dressing. By the way on the Ranch dressing, I've started making my own and it is delish!

We've been exploring the area a bit and getting to know some of the small towns and coastline in our region. Alex, Eric and I are learning to compromise when sightseeing so we all can have fun and enjoy the experience. Translation: the boys tolerate Thrift Shops, I tolerate "Transportation Museums" and Eric Tolerates pubs. Win, win, win.

Eric likes his school. That's all I know because he is 15 and stops talking about himself after about 4 words.

The Bad:

We've had extremely bad luck with our home  in the US with lots of things breaking, the basement flooding, trees falling in the yard etc. We are essentially paying for two homes on one income. yuck.

We miss Jordi and don't have much communication with him. 

We miss our friends and family terribly but  at least we have Skype which makes it tolerable.

Not much sailing for Alex. It's cold and wet and the tidal limitations make it a rare occasion when we can actually take the boat out. He's had Nani out 3 times since August and is definitely looking forward to summer.
sunrise at the marina, no photoshop involved with this photo!
After New Years I had a bit of a slump trying to stay positive, but I feel better now, we seem to be getting into a groove. Little things like finding a favorite place to buy bread, driving to the grocery store by myself  and making a new friend at an art festival make me feel like I'm getting adjusted, maybe putting down a root or two and feeling normal.  I've got a few projects in the works to keep me busy and the days are getting longer, it is still light at 4:30! I hung a horseshoe over the door to change our luck on our Oakwood house and so expect that will improve that situation soon. 2014 will be good.

I hope everyone is well, please keep in touch and come see us soon! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bits and Bobs Part II

Thanksgiving came and went and it turned out wonderful instead of terrible like I imagined it would be this first year away from my family. My new friend Arianna and her husband Jeff hosted and did a great job making us feel welcome and preparing an amazing feast for us to enjoy. Despite the fact that Alex had to work the next day it was very enjoyable!
We enjoyed our trip to Norwich during which the skies always looked like this 

and found this cool antique and junk store that we need to go back and explore a bit more.
I did my first outdoor festival in Woodbridge and it went very well and didn't rain at all, quite the small miracle! I only took one picture of this beautiful dog that was shopping for cd's at the next stall.
I like my job and am working a couple of days a week. The other days of the week I will be getting the house ready for our next big visit: Mom and Dad!