Monday, April 16, 2012

Out and about

 Our car finally came back from the shop-- it had been there an entire month getting primped up with flashing lights and other gizmos so it would pass British car inspections.  I cannot even put into words how happy we were to see our car again.  To celebrate, after a desperate trip to the grocery store, we took the weekend and went exploring.  It was so nice to get out again!

On Saturday, we went downtown.  We live on the edge of a fairly large town, but for some reason, we still hadn't been to see what it was all about.  Probably too busy fighting mold and trying to keep warm.  Since Moonshine is in the midst of a local geography lesson, we decided it was time.  It turns out there was much to see.  So much, in fact, that we didn't quite see it all.

Our city, like every other city in England, is ancient.  It dates back to the bronze age.  It has its share of preserved medieval buildings, including a few gates left from the old city wall.


We got a bit distracted by a huge museum downtown.  We wandered inside just for a minute, and an hour passed.  I didn't take many pictures, as my camera is eating batteries like candy lately, but it was filled with all kinds of memorabilia through the ages.  Kitty Bill was a bit taken with all the cars on display.  Sunburst and Moonshine loved the part where everything was decorated like you were transported back in time-- old buildings and shops, mannequins in period clothing, horses and carts, bicycles... The lights were dimmed so that everything looked somewhat real.

There was a part with an air raid siren, and Kitty Bill and I got a bit spooked out, but luckily it was over fairly quickly.  And there wasn't too much to have to explain to the younger kids about it.  It could have been much worse.

On Sunday we went for a drive to see some houses for rent.  We're actively looking for a place that suits us better.  We didn't find it, but we did come across seemingly endless fields full of Rapsblume, or canola, as it's called in the US.  I don't know what they call it here yet, but I have to tell you, it's my absolute favorite flower.

I unwittingly forgot to bring my camera along on this walk, so you'll just have to take my word for it when I tell you that it was an absolutely amazing sight to behold.  It was more lovely than anything I have yet to see in England.

We had fields full of Raps near where we lived in Switzerland, and they were a familiar sight as we drove all across Germany a few years ago.  They smell like fresh beeswax, and they're so neon yellow that they truly glow.  It's impossible to not feel happy next to a field full of them, and while we were easily reminded of them and transported back to Switzerland for a few minutes, this was clearly better.  Because it wasn't just one or two fields.  When we climbed to the rise above the field, we could see them glowing in the distance.  The Rapsblume spread around us far and wide, it was like being suddenly dropped on the set of the Wizard of Oz, where the Raps were both the yellow brick road and the poppy field all rolled into one.

If we get a bit of sun next weekend, we're surely going back.  This time I won't forget my camera.

Meanwhile, Kitty Bill and I collected some feathers and a few Raps that we found on the footpath. Bonus points if anyone can tell me what bird the feathers on the left came from.


  1. Probably pheasant.

    Nice day out!

    Raps is not blooming right now here in Switzerland.

    1. Thanks, CCETSI. Pheasant was our best guess, too. I remember the Raps fields near our house didn't bloom until summer. Oh, how I miss the Swiss countryside!

    2. Today the sun was shining for the first time in weeks and the raps started blooming in sheltered places.

      You know of course, don't you? Good luck with finding a new house.

    3. I'm so happy to hear the sun is shining in Switzerland!

      Thanks for the website. I think it's the best one there is for housing. Thanks also for the luck, we need it! :)

  2. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Good luck with finding a new home. And also I'm sorry for the recent loss of your pet.

  3. The crop is rapeseed oil, not sure about the feather unless it is pheasant as CCETSI suggests.

    1. So the locals call it rapeseed-- that's good to know. I always thought it was funny how we call it canola in the USA, unless it is in birdseed. Only then do we call it rapeseed.

  4. When I read "The lights were dimmed so that everything looked somewhat real.", I had to chuckle and thought to myself that at least it smelled better than the real thing would have. ;D

    I'm so glad your car if fixed and you're stocked on food AND you got to go explore! My goodness, look at how tall Sunburst is!

    I'd ask son1 what the feather is but he's asleep now. I'll try and remember to ask him tomorrow, but he doesn't know his European birds half as well as the North American ones. Even then, feathers are not easy to ID.

    I love the sunny photos, even if you couldn't get many. xo

    1. Thanks, Teresa! Now you've made me chuckle. :)

  5. Good gravy...I know I'd replied to this...did I forget to hit "Publish"?! I think I said something about it being good that the museum only looked real but didn't actually smell like the real thing. LOL! And I also said something about Sunburst being so tall now. Oh, and I definitely remember saying something about asking son1 to look at the feathers although he doesn't know his Old World birds as well as the New World ones, and it's also hard to ID birds by feathers.

    I do love the history in that part of the world. Hope you'll be able find a really nice home for rent soon! xo

    1. Just found your other comment in the spam folder. No idea why, but now I will remember to check in there more often. xo


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