Part of our trip to England was taking a wonderful quiet car train ride (those things are great) from Paddington Station all the way down to Exeter to spend the day with DH’s aunt and uncle. It was a great way to see parts of England – without having to drive – that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. When we got off the train at the Exeter station we looked around for Aunt P and Uncle R. Fortunately Uncle R is a rather tall gent so I could see his head over the crowd. After hugs and hellos it was into their car and off to parts unknown…well at least to me. DH has been there before.
Uncle R was our tour guide and pointed out so many things that I would’ve happily have spent much more time exploring but we were on a schedule. Let me tell you something, you haven’t lived until you’ve driven down a country road between enormous hedgerows that are only about one car wide but are two way roads! There are little coves in some parts of the hedgerows where one car pulls over and allows the other one to pass. That was a bit of entertainment. The architecture is hundreds if not thousands of years old in some places. We drove past the moors, home to The Hound of the Baskervilles, and we were even fortunate to see the wild ponies of Dartmoor.
Since these photos were taken in 2011 Aunt and Uncle have moved and are now right on the English Channel in Sidmouth. That should make for some interesting photography when we go and visit them again.
This still tickles me when I see this photo. I’ve never seen a Maxx store here in the states with that kind of label description. Whether it’s TK or TJ Maxx as long as you get a good bargain who’s to quibble about one letter
This was taken right after the parade of the guards. I saw an opportunity to take a totally unique photo and I went for it. I kindly explained to the young officer what I was doing and he agreed to hold Perry for me for this shot. Now if you notice, Perry has changed looks a bit since his first photo taken at the paella place. He’s no longer Perry but secret agent, Agent P. How did this happen? I lost the first Perry while watching some barely clothed maniac on a unicycle juggle swords. Perry fell out of my pocket and by the time I realized he was gone, he was gone!
I was so upset thinking the photo book was going to be about two pages long when I recalled there being a Disney store in Covent Garden. I rushed off and asked the kid at the door did they carry these stuffies. He pointed towards the back saying they did indeed carry them. I almost hugged him and he did give me a “odd American” look. But they only had Agent P’s. No problem! I just wrote in the little guys photo book that Agent P had a mission in London and all was right with the project again – phew!!!
At first I wasn’t going to go line up in order to see the changing of the guard and truth be told, I didn’t. As it turned out we were wandering around the area, got caught up in a protest march (I got tangled up in the middle of a bunch of folks protesting immigration laws; I was just trying to cross the street), and ended up strolling through the beauty that is St. James’ park when there it was! Buckingham Palace, a bunch of folks surrounding it, and the guard doing their thing.
What the hey! So off I went and jockeyed for position to get some shots. Me and a “few” other tourists. It was quite fun seeing them doing their parade march – I think some dignitary from the US was scheduled to arrive the next week – so I got to see the guard after all and in a way I hadn’t anticipated.
If you’ve never had a scotch egg before you are missing out on a treat! Picture this if you will; a boiled egg wrapped inside of sausage meat with a bread crumb/flour coating and then deep fried. Oh the bliss…and especially good with some spicy mustard to dip it in. A local pub here serves them and we do enjoy one or two (trust me, the things are filling) with a pint. They really are good eats.
Now if you are an adventurous type then here is a recipe to make your own scotch eggs from a wonderful food blogger named Christina. Christina’s Cucina has a wealth of yummy recipes including many British ones. Here is what I usually have pint wise when having a Scotch egg – a hard cider. This bottle came from Devon and if I recall some of the apples that were used to make it came from the orchard that DH’s uncle used to own. We brought the bottle back from Devon with us on the train to our hotel in London and as you can see here, it was part of my “nightcap” before retiring for the evening…but no scotch eggs to go with it.
It’s Fat Tuesday and Happy Hour somewhere right now
What do I miss most about the food I had in England? Well besides the excellent hard ciders, the scones with their clotted cream and jam, and almost any Cornish pasty…I miss their streaky bacon which came with every full breakfast you would order. Oh that bacon! Seriously, bacon lovers dreams are made of this. I haven’t been able to find anything close to it here in the states sadly…sigh. But here you have a proper breakfast with eggs, thick toast, the streaky bacon, sausages, grilled tomato, tea (we had a pot of herbal tea that day), and baked beans.
I still can’t get with the baked beans on toast for breakfast thing and don’t even mention the black pudding to me. Wrinkles up nose…