Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One of Those Perfect Days....

Yes, Christmas Eve day was about as perfect as one can ask for. It didn't rain, the sky was intermittently blue, and the day was full of surprises.

We all, except Billy who was working, hopped on the train into London. Our first stop the
Borough Market to shop for beef for dinner. This market has been in the same place for 250 years and is the London's oldest market. Ah, the foods! Not at all like Safeway. Walk through the market with me.

Gammon, which we had for brunch, is a fresh ham.

...and a taste of mulled wine?

A wonderful market to buy your fresh gammon.

You don't even have to bake these game pies.

Have your choice of freshly baked breads.

A floral bouquet will brighten any table.

A wide choice of seasonal animals.

Turkey will definitely be on many British tables.

Our bags were filled with a standing rib roast, fresh dill, and English cheeses from Neal's Yard.

Off we went, walking to lunch. Meeting a friend of the girls who they swam with at the University of Denver, we had a delightful English lunch.

And now for the surprise, off to Shakespeare's Globe Theater. We were going to see Footsbarn's Christmas Cracker.

(A cracker is found at the English dinner table. One holds one end, crosses arms with your neighbor and pulls ones neighbor's cracker and ones own. A pop, and a small trinket emerges along with a crown and a note with jokes to share.)

The Globe is a re-creation of the original Globe spearheaded by American, Sam Wanamaker. One would originally pay one penny to be a groundling and stand in the pit by the stage. The price increased by a penny with each flight up you sat. We were at the verrrrrry top! (Today, I don't think these remain the highest price seats) Now, as this is as close to the original as possible, the roof is open to the sky and dripping at times.

One could rent a blanket and of course, a cushion to sit on the hard boards.
The place was wonderful---great costumes, comical characters, and a wonderful way to spend a Christmas Eve afternoon.

After the performance we were back on the train to Egham, all ready to cook our evening dinner and

wait for Santa. (I cannot get this picture to turn the correct way!)  He did find us all.
....A perfect Christmas Eve Day and evening with my family.  What a gift to remember.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

...T'is the Night Before Christmas....

From England we wish you a...................

The fire tries to take the chill from the air and we wait patiently for the stockings to be hung.

Maggie sits waiting for Santa to slip down the chimney.

Snowflakes fell creating a slippery path down Egham hill to the village and train.
Village streets are narrow with trees at a precarious angle above.

Molly's food box has arrived from the English countryside. The treasures inside? Bacon, gammon, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, butter, eggs. We are almost ready.

A lingering stop at Neal's Yard for our English cheeses. The crowd gathers for a tiny taste to find the perfect country cheese for the holiday table. Now to savor!
Carnaby Street continues to have the flavor of yesteryears. It brought smiles.

Finally, I read The Christmas Carol and saw Scrooge flying above the streets of London.

No snow right now for Christmas---just London rain. Poor snowman!

Cookies were made---and all of them have been eaten. Some did arrive at the neighbors' doorsteps.

We wish all a .....

Happy Christmas to all. May your holiday be filled with good friends, foods, and lots of laughter!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Time is Near

It's shivery in Colorado! Our Christmas tree this year is covered in snow. We have one for the little animals who visit our yard and one for all the neighbors.

Hanging from our chandelier is a wonderful creche made by our dear French friends, Sophie and Benedikt. It floats with each breeze that passes.

Our wreath is silhouetted in the window framing our snow covered yard.

Ah, but tomorrow, with our bags packed, we will be on our way to England. Molly is having all of us for the Christmas holiday. And after Boxing Day, we will go to France with Amy and Matt. I think they have some vineyard pruning parties planned.

We will miss going to NORAD and reporting to the children (and some big childrentoo) Santa's location in the world. On Christmas Eve, follow Santa on his journey at And if you have time call and get an up to the minute location of his sleigh.

Last year, sitting in the airport parking lot, our dear friends, Kathy and Pete brought champagne to toast the holiday season. Maybe tomorrow????
More adventures are ahead of us. Christmas in England is an adventure in itself.

My letter has been written to Santa and mailed. I did want him to know where we will be this year.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Market Day and .....

my basket was full. Amy's first comment was not to give the mum to anyone as it was a sign that there has been a death.

Florence, my neighbor, sells at the market each week her wonderful array of colors.

Friends meet and discuss the adventures of the day.

Some conversations are more animated!

It was a beautiful fall day, but difficult to decide whether to dress warm,

or cool.

If you are selling delicious chevre cheese, you must wear your heels.

However if you are buying, wear glittery comfort.

After you have purchased your cheese, visit the wine maker from our village for that perfect bottle of wine.

This gentleman was a little chilly.

Ah, but not being sure of the weather, this gentleman dressed for all.

Polka dots always make a day brighter.

Or maybe you wish to wear your tulle.

As is the style of the south, you may wish to dress in layers.

This lovely lady is always at the market selling the wines of her convent.

No matter your age,

you will always find your place at the market.

Wasn't it fun to have your morning coffee with me at the Wednesday market?
Listen to the markets sounds below. Join me on Saturday?