Just Plain Busy

I have been busy.  WE have been busy.  So much to do and see here.  And then there is my job.  I seem to have hit a personal streak of running about here and there at a constant pace. Tonight I have some time to jot down a bit about what has been happening.


We took a family vacation out to Sheringham for a weekend getaway.  Rebecca arranged an en suite apartment for us, which she got for a good deal as the gent who owns it dropped the price for her as she was on the phone for him.  Sheringham is in Norfolk, East Anglia, or from our town “Due East” at the coast.

We arrived Friday night, found the apartment, and immediately set off for a pub that had won awards for serving Real Ales.  The next day was all rainy, but being on the coast reminded us of Oregon Winters, so none of us were really bothered by it.  The ocean was a nice change from being inland.  The smell of the salt air and the sound of the waves brought back those California memories growing up at the beach.  Somewhere in my DNA is that need to be near the sea and often Rebecca and I have talked about retiring in a beach town somewhere along the West Coast.

Fisherman’s catch of the morning.

Don’t see the word ‘twixt’ too often.

We took a trip out to Blickling Hall in Norfolk, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, whom I will be teaching about next week when I begin my Henry VIII unit.  The Hall is actually closed for the season, but since we joined the National Trust, we can see some of their properties in the off season.  In this case, it was a behind the scenes tour, meaning that we went into the attic and into the cellar.  Kids were extremely well behaved since what we saw inside was more curious than truly interesting.

Sun setting on Blickling Hall. Rain stopped for about a week after this Saturday.

Sunday was gorgeous, with nary a cloud in the sky for the whole day!  Along the beach the scene was peaceful and just plain sunny.  The drive out to Sheringham took about 2.5 hours, so we decided to take the long way home and hit two castles.

This is Baconsthorpe Castle. It is just a shell of ruins, but it is large and quite impressive. We were the only tourists there at the time, so the kids could be as loud as they wanted. It had a moat and cool buildings and was just plain old and neat looking. Plus, look at that blue sky!

Next we visited Castle Rising.  It is a Keep style castle, first built in the 1100’s.  According to its history, this castle was already becoming a ruin by the 1500’s.  It is now in the hands of the Howard family, and by that I am assuming Catherine Howard, one of Henry VIII’s wives.  This castle had a lot more left of it and was impressive all around.  The kids are, again, enjoying seeing these historic places with us. Our iPad took this photo.  It actually takes better pictures than our camera.


What was really hard was getting home Sunday night and then getting up Monday morning.  The weekend just took a lot out of me, and now I had to teach.  Driving to work I had the inner feeling that work was now becoming ‘work’ and some of the shine of living abroad was wearing off.  Don’ t get me wrong, I am still enjoying immensely this adventure, but cows and sheep and church steeples are now part of my everyday life and are just not that overwhelming like they first were.  Alas, my work week was less than eventful as I felt a little like going through the motions.  Talking with staff they mentioned how hard it must be for me to work all week and then go out and get away to see things.  If I don’t get out I am staying in my council house, which is not the most exciting place to be since I don’t really live here.  I need/we need to go out and about, meaning that I need to find that inner pace to keep me from feeling burnt out and overworked.


Here are just a couple more photos of things we have gone out and done.  I am behind on this blog a bit, but the photos are great to share.

Diwali Festival of Lights in Leicester.

About 30,000 people turn out for this every year. We ate dinner at an Indian restaurant beforehand. It was unique to be within a foreign culture inside of a foreign culture. Kids loved the lights, but it was bitter cold outside. We drove to a park and ride and took a bus into town due to road closures.

Woolsthorpe Manor, boyhood home of Sir Isaac Newton. This place is only 15 miles from Melton. The apple tree from which he made his initial observations is still alive, dated approximately over 450 years old. Apparently the type of tree produces an apple that is not really good for eating raw nor for cooking. It is best used for drying and setting anise or other dried herbs into its flesh. Mr. Newton basically was a square kid who liked science but did not get on well with others. Was very bright (obviously) and worked until his death at I believe 84 years old.

Another birthday abroad. This time for Old Man Sturges (45).

Only Americans could find this sign so funny.


5 thoughts on “Just Plain Busy

  1. Hi Jeff & Rebecca,
    I’m sure you haven’t forgotten tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, here in the States. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures with all of us. Your pictures are wonderful.

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Helen Greenwood

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