Celebrations and Holidays

One of the nice things about living over here is that all of us get to celebrate a birthday overseas!  Zachary had his in September, and Annika had hers at the end of October.  Hers was special since we had her grandparents, RJ and Bob Steed from Happy Valley Oregon, come to visit us.  Both of them had been to England before, but never up to the East Midlands.  We showed them around Melton, took a bus into Leicester for the afternoon, ate a meal in a 300 year old pub….typical British things.

Birthday mousse fit for an eleven year old.

All of us eating a birthday dinner of Domino’s Pizza.  Hey, it was her idea not ours.

After her birthday was Halloween.  Now Halloween in England, or at least in the Midlands, is not that big of a deal.  At my school, being a Church of England school, Halloween is basically forbidden (too pagan).  The kids at my school may go out and trick or treat and dress up, but nothing is done in the classrooms.  My own children made some simple costumes, carved some pumpkins, and they went out with the neighbor kids Elena and Will to trick or treat.  I stayed home and received close to 50 children, which was a surprise, although two groups of about 10-15 kids came by to make up the bulk of the trick or treaters.

Annika ended up going to her Girl Guides meeting dressed as such after knocking on doors for sweets.

The kids were happy with their ‘loot,’ but I was not terribly excited about some of the sweets they received. Personally I like the mini candy bars that one finds in the States, which were nonexistent over here.

Finally we had Guy Fawkes, or Bonfire, night.  Basically Guy Fawkes and his cohorts, back a couple hundred years ago, tried to blow up Parliament over religious differences with King James I.  He got caught and I believe was drawn and quartered.  In England they celebrate every November 5th the fact that he did not blow up Parliament by blowing off fireworks and having a large bonfire.  We were graciously invited by Peter and Linda Pearce, my exchange partner’s parents, to their home for supper.  We had soup, sausages, and hamburgers.  Then we walked down to the Thorpe-Arnold Cricket Club to watch the fireworks and see the bonfire.

The bonfire was quite massive. Tradition holds that an effigy of Guy Fawkes is usually thrown upon the bonfire once it is lit.  In real life he was never burned to death.

Annika loving every minute of this event. Nicola Pearce and her husband and two kids joined us. Her son Edward is Zachary’s age and they got on quite well.

Big fireworks show at the end. It was nice to celebrate this night with new friends on a smaller scale than let’s say a firework show in Portland, which would draw thousands, not a few hundred, people.



2 thoughts on “Celebrations and Holidays

  1. Delightful, delightful — keep it coming (and find a publisher for when you return!
    Bruce the Bald

  2. We are missing you guys a ton. The kids look like they are having a blast. Josh had his birthday party last night and I spent about an hour or so of that time in our new hot tub with a beer. I will have a beer for you and the hot tub ready when you return my friends.

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