Readers’ Workouts — October 21

 

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Welcome to Readers’ Workouts, the weekly event where book lovers share workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges.

Check out our new banner, courtesy of Isi. She and her sister posed in the exercise while reading positions. Isn’t it great?

I set a goal last week, 40 minutes a day for the rest of the month. I made my goal most days. Saturday was a long and busy one, so I only managed 20 minutes, but I’ve already started making up that time.

How are you doing with exercise?

For Readers’ Workouts, talk about your fitness activities on your blog (feel free to grab the logo) and link to your post below or join us in the comments! Be sure to visit the other participants to see how we all did.



Posted in Blogging, Readers' Workouts | 7 Comments

England Photos — Day 2, Bath #BriFri

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!


On our first full day in Bath, we took the highly recommended walking tour presented by The Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides. We agree that this is a not-to-be-missed experience in Bath.

Here, our group is walking along the gravel path made famous by Jane Austen in Persuasion, where Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot reconciled.

Tour group on Gravel Path in Bath, UK

“….soon words enough had passed between them to decide their direction towards the comparatively quiet and retired gravel walk, where the power of conversation would make the present hour a blessing indeed…”

Here, we’re looking around the Royal Circus. Our tour guide, John, was a wealth of information and he really brought these sites to life in both the past and the present.

Royal Circus, Bath, UK

In the middle of the Royal Circus, mid-18th century circle of townhouses designed by John Wood, the Elder

Later, we took a walk in the Parade Gardens and encountered this statue of Prince Bladud and his pig. We knew what this was about because John, our tour guide, told us the founding myth of Bath (he said he was contractually obligated to do so). Prince Bladud developed leprosy and was kicked out of his tribe. He tended pigs, but even that venture failed — they got leprosy, too! One day, the pigs wallowed in some hot mud, enjoying it so much that Prince Bladud couldn’t get them to leave. He finally had to tempt them out with acorns. When he got them cleaned off, he discovered they were cured. He tried the mud himself and was cured as well. Returning to his tribe, in due course, he became King Bladud and he founded Bath on the site of the miracle-working hot mud. To this day, pigs and acorns are both symbols of Bath.

Prince Bladud and pig

Prince Bladud with his pig, a modern statue in the Parade Gardens

Find more photos of our Bath walking tour and our time in the Parade Gardens on my Flickr Photostream. I’ll link this to post to Saturday Snapshot tomorrow — check out West Metro Mommy Reads for more photos around the web.



Posted in British Isles Friday | 6 Comments

Readers’ Workouts — October 14

logo for Readers' WorkoutsWelcome to Readers’ Workouts, the weekly event where book lovers share workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges.

I let myself get completely derailed from jet lag and the preparation for my first colonoscopy. But that’s all behind me now and I finally set an exercise goal for the rest of October amounting to 40 minutes a day — and then proceeded to exercise for 40 minutes, two days in a row! So, I hope I’m back on track now.

How are you doing with exercise?

For Readers’ Workouts, talk about your fitness activities on your blog (feel free to grab the logo) and link to your post below or join us in the comments! Be sure to visit the other participants to see how we all did.



Posted in Readers' Workouts | 4 Comments

Fish and Chips #WeekendCooking

During our recent trip to England, we made a study of Fish and Chips. Here were our most fun experiences.

Our first Fish and Chips turned out to be the ones we like the best of our whole trip. During a walking tour of Bath, we passed a chalkboard sign that said “Best Fish & Chips in Bath.” At the end of our tour, we went back to The Garrick’s Head Pub where we enjoyed the tasty fish and the perfectly cooked chips (crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside) alongside the traditional mushy peas, which, it turns out, that we liked!

Fish and Chips in Bath

Fish and Chips in Bath

I was determined to get Fish and Chips, wrapped in paper. I got my chance at the Black Country Living Museum. Hot street food on a cool day made a perfect lunch.

Fish and Chips wrapped in paper

Fish and Chips wrapped in paper at the Black Country Living Museum

We met a chef on the train from Bath to Birmingham who suggested that we try Purnell’s in Birmingham. We got to the pub side of the restaurant for lunch one day and had an interesting, and delicious, fusion version of Fish and Chips — with a curry dipping sauce!

Fish and Chips with curry sauce

Fish and Chips with curry sauce

What are your best Fish and Chips experiences?

new Weekend Cooking logo

Check out Beth Fish Reads for this week’s round-up of cooking posts at Weekend Cooking.

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Posted in Weekend Cooking | 12 Comments

England Photos — Day 1 #BriFri

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week’s British Isles Friday post gathered historical research, book reviews, and photos including Jackie’s delightful piece about the Keep Calm and Carry On poster and its many variations.


I don’t sleep on planes, so although Day 1 was two days on the calendar, it felt like one long day to me that began with last-minute clean up of the house in Missouri and ended with bed-time 32 hours later in Bath, England. In between….

We were picked up bright and early in the morning by a driver — a service that I prearranged by email so that we could see a few sites on our way to Bath and not have to worry about the transportation from Heathrow.

Stonehenge

We drove past Stonehenge.

Stonehenge Visitors Center

We stopped at the Stonehenge Visitors Center where our driver, on the left, explained to Rick how thatched roofs are made.

Avebury

We stopped at Avebury — a larger stone circle than Stonehenge where you can walk right up to the stones. Rick took this, my favorite photo of our visit.

Accident

Then, the thing I didn’t plan for in our itinerary — we were in an accident! Fortunately, no one was hurt. We got a chance to meet “Wiltshire’s Finest” and they really were very pleasant.

Queensberry Hotel

It was quite a relief to reach our hotel in Bath. We enjoyed drinks and supper in the multi-room garden behind the hotel.

The car accident put us off the idea of renting a car during our trip. If the people who lived there can’t drive on the wrong side of the road without getting in an accident, we weren’t going to try it! So, we relied on public transportation for the rest of the trip.

The idea, from Rick Steves, to recover from jet lag in Bath worked well for us. We enjoyed the garden at Queensberry Hotel each evening. Now, that we’re comfortable with trains in the UK, next time we will take a train from Heathrow to Paddington and, then, from Paddington to Bath.

There are more photos of what we saw on the first day on my Flickr photo stream.

I’ll link this post, tomorrow, to Saturday Snapshot, the weekly gathering of photo posts at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Also, tomorrow, I’m putting up a post about Fish and Chips!



Posted in British Isles Friday, Saturday Snapshot | 15 Comments

Readers’ Workouts — October 7

logo for Readers' WorkoutsWelcome to Readers’ Workouts, the weekly event where book lovers share workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges.

I’m back from my trip to England! But barely functioning due to jet lag. I did manage a walk yesterday so I’ll try for at least that much every day for the coming week. What are your exercise plans?

For Readers’ Workouts, talk about your fitness activities on your blog (feel free to grab the logo) and link to your post below or join us in the comments! Be sure to visit the other participants to see how we all did.



Posted in Readers' Workouts | 3 Comments

Jet Lag and Opportunities and Ideas #SundaySalon

logo for The Sunday SalonTime: // 7:44 am.

The scene: // My first Sunday Salon post after our three-week trip to England. We have a touch of fall here in Missouri — yellow leaves on renewed green grass after some rain.

Listening to: // The Barr Brothers — a rock band with a harp player. I heard them yesterday on Weekend Edition Saturday. The new album won’t be released until tomorrow, so I’m listening to their earlier one on Spotify.

A bit of autumn color in Bath, England

A bit of autumn color in Bath, England

Reading:// Literary Walks in Bath by Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott. Picked up in Bath, of course.

Blogging about: // Our trip to England with some initial photos.

Participating in: // The Kickstarter for a documentary about Orchard House, the home of the Alcott family where Little Women was written. Please join me! Among other reasons, the gifts for backers are cool.

Thinking about: // NaNoWriMo. I’m thinking about doing it this year. I may set it up as a challenge for other book bloggers unless someone else is already doing that. Will you be writing a novel in November? Would you want to join with other book bloggers in the process for support and encouragement?

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Posted in Sunday Salon | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

First Trip Photos #BriFri

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

I got back from my 3-week trip to England on Wednesday. Yesterday, I was at the grocery store at 5:30AM! I guess it’s going to take a few days to get over jet lag.

For a quick initial trip report, I chose five of the many hundreds of photos that I took to represent some of the big themes of my trip.

Food. Fish and chips and many other good things. I took many photos to use in upcoming Weekend Cooking posts.

Food. Fish and chips and many other good things. I took many photos to use in upcoming Weekend Cooking posts.

Steam engines. We saw engines in three museums, but this was the culmination -- the oldest steam engine in the world that is still doing the job it was designed to do. We saw it in action at the Crofton Pumping Station.

Steam engines. We saw engines in three museums, but this was the culmination — the oldest steam engine in the world that is still doing the job it was designed to do. We saw it in action at the Crofton Pumping Station.

Bells. I listened to bells every Sunday morning, plus a rehearsal on a Tuesday evening. This photo of a Trafalgar Square lion in front of the St. Martin-in-the-Fields steeple was taken while I was listening to the bells.

Bells. I listened to bells every Sunday morning, plus a rehearsal on a Tuesday evening. This photo of a Trafalgar Square lion in front of the St. Martin-in-the-Fields steeple was taken while I was listening to the bells.

Code-breaking. This scene was at Bletchley Park (I loved the ubiquitous tea cup). I visited Bletchley on the same day that one of the characters in the book I was reading did -- Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I also discovered, in the Sunday newspaper, a fun pen-and-pencil game called Codewords.

Code-breaking. This scene was at Bletchley Park (I loved the ubiquitous tea cup). I visited Bletchley on the same day that one of the characters in the book I was reading did — Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I also discovered, in the Sunday newspaper, a fun pen-and-pencil game called Codewords.

Longitude. Straddling the Prime Meridian before we  saw the 300th anniversary exhibit about the Longitude Act of 1714 and listened to a conversation with the current Astronomer Royal.

Longitude. Straddling the Prime Meridian before we saw the 300th anniversary exhibit about the Longitude Act of 1714 and listened to a conversation with the current Astronomer Royal.

I’ll also link this post to Saturday Snapshot, the weekly gathering of photo posts at West Metro Mommy Reads. Stay tuned for more photos from my trip in the coming weeks.



Posted in British Isles Friday, Saturday Snapshot | 20 Comments

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Book: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 2012
Pages: 320

Source: Library

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Walk the length of England with Harold Fry

Summary: One day, Harold Fry, a recently retired accounts manager, walks to the mailbox to deliver a letter to a dying friend. But, that doesn’t feel quite right. So, Harold keeps walking to the next mailbox, then to the post office, and, then, the length of England. Along the way, he encounters people who help and hinder, support and scoff. In between encounters, he has lots of time to think and remember his life as a family man, a worker, and a friend of Queenie Hennessy, the woman who is dying.

Thoughts: I loved walking through England with Harold Fry! The perfect book to read just before a visit there. Thanks to Judith of Leeswammes’ Blog who recommended it when I mentioned that I would be taking Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson with me to England.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is simple on the surface, but hints at more and more as the walk continues. Just as you think this might get boring, as moments on a long walk do, a question surfaces that keeps the reader marching along with the character. All is revealed in the end and, like the walk itself, it’s a surprising path that we take.

Appeal: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is gentle, but with unexpected depths. It will appeal to a reader looking for a book that is charming but not too sweet — an apple bread pudding of a book rather than a cinnamon roll.

British Isles Friday logoReviews: When I mentioned The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in a Sunday Salon a few weeks ago, several bloggers mentioned liking the book. One was Karen of BookerTalk. Check out her review for a more complete description of the book.

I’ll link this review in the British Isles Friday link party tomorrow.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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Posted in Book Reviews, British Isles Friday | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Readers’ Workouts — September 30

logo for Readers' WorkoutsWelcome to Readers’ Workouts, the weekly event where book lovers share workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges.

How did September turn out for you, exercise-wise? What do you have planned for October?

For Readers’ Workouts, talk about your fitness activities on your blog (feel free to grab the logo) and link to your post below or join us in the comments! Be sure to visit the other participants to see how we all did.



Posted in Readers' Workouts | 3 Comments