Monday, October 31, 2016

31 Days in October

This is a wrap on the Write 31 Days project this year.  Whew!  I didn't quite manage every day, but I hope you enjoyed the little peek into what our life in Boroughbridge is like.  I missed doing a September monthly round-up, but I wanted to close out this month with a picture-a-day in October.

October 1 - Chocolate Chip Birthday Pancakes for James!

October 2 - Found a few pumpkins and ripe apples at Beningbrough Hall

October 3 - I picked up this Pumpkin Spice Extract at Wal-Mart when I was home.  I apologize for the pumpkin obsession.

October 4 - Trying on their new scarves from the Target Dollar Spot

October 5 - Candy Blue October Sky

October 6 - Finally found the vintage suitcases of my dreams to make a bedside table

October 7 - Grocery store flowers never looked so good.

October 8 - Beautiful York

October 9 - A Couldn't be Prettier Sunday Afternoon

October 10 - Ella and I made Pumpkin Muffins, and surprisingly, EVERYONE loved them.

October 11 - There's always a surprise in the vegetable box.

October 12 - Evening Walk in Boroughbridge

October 13 - For awhile, the prettiest stretch of Autumn color was on the road to pick up the kids from school.

October 14 - Afternoon trip to the Library to pay overdue fines

October 15 - The autumn sunshine outside the outlet mall was the best part of that shopping experience.

October 16 - Our neighbor gave us a big bag of apples, so Ella and I made an Apple and Pear Pie.  

October 17 - It's hard to tell, but these squash I saw by the side of the road one morning were a foot long easily.

October 18 - Here I go with the pumpkins again...

October 19 - Double Rainbow After School

October 20 - Hot Chocolate from the Hairdresser :)

October 22 - Golden Leaves

October 23 - The shapes and colors are so pretty.

October 25 - Put 'em to work.

October 26 - Toys 'R Us in England carries sonic screwdrivers.

October 27 - Penguins in the Wild

October 28 - Family Bowling Night

October 29 - Hermione!

October 30 - Down Time

October 31 - Late Afternoon Light

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Octobers Past

I love the look of Fall pictures.  Here's a little glimpse of our October in Boroughbridge last year.

1.  Late Afternoon Light in our Back Garden
2.  Ella and James after the pumpkin contest at their school
3.  Ella and James's Pumpkins
4.  Apple Harvest from our friends' back garden
5.  Leafy sidewalk on our street
6.  Autumn Sunrise
7.  Blue Sky Day at the Devil's Arrows
8.  Pretty Park Leaves

Friday, October 28, 2016

Half Term in Boroughbridge

I hated to miss writing yet another day yesterday, but this week is Half Term, and we enjoyed a day out with friends.  What is half term, you ask?  At least, my American friends will ask.  The British school calendar is fairly similar to "Year Round School" in the States.  There are three "terms," Autumn, Spring, and Summer.  Summer Term is obviously the worst.  It begins right about the time American schools are letting out, and it is the longest term of all.  Apart from the Summer Term, the schedule is pretty nice and seems to move quickly from break to break.  The kids go to school about 6 weeks then have a week off (half term), then approximately another 6 weeks and it's the two-week Christmas holidays.  Spring Term begins in January and feels super short.  Half Term falls in February, then they are off two weeks for the Easter Holidays.  It's then a hop, skip, and a jump to the half term at the end of May and then a long slog until the end of July and school finally letting out for the summer holidays.

February 2015 Half Term Fun at Beningbrough Hall

Moving to another country is like having to re-learn how to do life in every area.  Cultural nuances and differences permeate everything that humans do.  Traveling gives you a small taste of this; living day upon day, month upon month, year upon year continues to surprise me by there being continuous layers to peel up and uncover.  I spent thirty-two years gradually learning tastes, opinions, prejudices, speaking, writing, cooking, cleaning, etiquette, traditions, educational practices, spelling, hymns, driving, etc.  All of those things are different in some way and on some level here, and we're trying to learn what everyone who has lived here their entire lives learnt gradually as fast as we can.

Easter Holidays 2015 at Newby Hall

Sometimes I'm learning differences of perspective, and sometimes I'm learning simple things like: what goes on during Half Term for kids?  I was really excited to hear that the cinemas here often have cheaper tickets for children's movies.  We've really missed the free summer movies in Tuscaloosa, so we had so much fun getting to watch Finding Dory with friends this week in York at a fraction of the normal cost.

I told them to stand beside each other, but they each thought I was
talking to the other and remained 3 feet apart.

I enjoy half term because having the kids home 24/7 is a familiar rhythm of life to me since it was my experience for eight years of mothering.  It's a good time of brother-sister bonding, too.  They alternate between playing really well together and arguing.  I've been trying to let them work out their arguments without intervening more lately, partly because I think it's a good life-skill, partly because whatever they're arguing about seems of little importance.

This week has been really nice.  The first two days we stayed home.  I read a book and worked on a family photo book I needed to put together.  The kids played, watched television, and raked the leaves.  They've also both had colds and it was good to stay home coughing and blowing their noses, I think.  This last part of the week has held meeting up with friends and going out.  We enjoyed the cinema and eating at McDonalds, and yesterday we went to an American-style restaurant in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

It is such a fun taste of home.  This was our second visit, and I just love it.  My Louisiana Gumbo I had yesterday was so good.  And Ella had chocolate chip pancakes and was happy as could be. Tonight we're doing a little Trunk or Treat with friends at the American base nearby, so fun times!  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Shoe Shop for Boroughbridge

There's only six more days of Write 31 Days...  I can do this!  I've missed three days here and there this month and didn't want to miss another, so I'm popping in to showcase a new establishment to the streets of Boroughbridge this year.

This new shoe shop opened before we went home for the summer, but I hadn't been inside.  I believe it was only children's shoes when it first opened.  Ella and I popped in Saturday afternoon on a whim and ended up having a lovely conversation with the shop owner and finding Ella some boots to keep her toes toasty warm all winter long.

The brown boots hanging there may look suede, but they are actually waterproof and super-soft and cozy on the inside.  And most importantly, Ella was really excited about them.  It was also nice to discover they were also carrying women's boots as well.  Boroughbridge hasn't had a shoe shop since we moved here; I'm sure this makes life easier for a lot of parents.  I know KJ was a bit put out that we drove 40 minutes down the road to a shopping mall looking for shoes the previous Saturday when we could have found them here all along.  Lesson learned, KJ, lesson learned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Autumn Window Shopping

I always enjoy the window-shopping in Boroughbridge, but it can be especially satisfying in the autumn, especially for the places selling vegetables and flowers.

And maybe especially this shop, which always has beautiful offerings.

Aren't those the loveliest vegetables you've ever seen?  The still life makes so much more sense looking at these guys.  Confession:  I've never eaten a Brussel sprout.  They seem to be a regular part of Christmas dinner here.

I loved that gray pumpkin at the local florist's shop.  It was very Country Living-esque.

And last but not least, I took this picture when I was out jogging because it reminded me of The Andy Griffith Show.  Leg of lamb?  Andy's favorite dish?  

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pontem de Burgo, The Bridge Near Burgh

K.J. sometimes explains differences between Americans and the English like this:  To an American, anything over 200 years old is really old, but not so for the English.  We were once told by a lady showing us around an old church building that "This part is Victorian and of little interest."  Because granted, Victorian was pretty new compared to the Celtic carvings found in the other parts of the stone church.  But distance is the complete opposite.  It's easier to drive long distances in America (not to mention cheaper), and so Americans do and don't think anything of it, but being a country only 240 years old, makes relating to signposts like this feel kind of crazy at first.

It's no big deal, just a battle fought here against the Earls of Lancaster in 1322.

The first bridge crossing the River Ure was built to access the next village over, which many years ago was a Roman settlement.  Eventually, a town grew up around the bridge.  Wikipedia told me the first mention of the bridge was in Latin (thus the title of this post) in 1155.  

There's usually a beautiful view walking across the bridge.  Ella and I walked over and back after the rain cleared on Saturday.

We had so much rain last December that the river overflowed the bottom half of the bridge.  I'm told the floodwaters have made it all the way into town before, too.  It's a good thing we live on a hill!