I am late again….

23 Feb

I have every intention of posting on Mondays and every week I seem to miss it. This time my ‘excuse’ is I was on a train.! yup, that’s it. really i was. six Americans and myself took a train to Grange-over-Sands for lunch at a bakery/cafe that is very popular. We had hoped to walk around a bit in the garden area in the town but it was just too wet. We did stop by a charity shop and I managed to find a really nice basket to use in our guest bedroom for towels. the last trip another lady purchased a tea trolley that she pushed to the train station and then onto the train!

Saturday John and I took 3 Americans to Edinburgh (pronounced edin bur uh). we took the early train and arrived in time to be one of the first visitors into the castle. After the castle we began our descent down the Royal Mile toward Holyroode Palace stopping at the Edinburg Woolen Mill for some shopping then lunch at Burgers and Beers. We then continued to the palace where we took some pictures and discussed heading to the Royal Britannia, once the royal yacht. sadly, it was to close in 15 minutes so ….We walked to the Scott monument which had just closed!!! then headed to some castle looking buildings stopping by a cemetery on the way where we found a statue of Abraham Lincoln which was commemorating the Scottish soldiers that fought and died in the American Civil War. Our friends did some exploring on their own whilst John and I waited until the rain caused us to head for cover. We grabbed some dinner to take with us on the train ride home. Our trip home was on the Virgin Train Line and we were able to upgrade to First Class! Always upgrade if you can. Nice comfy seats with lots of leg room. Complimentary tea and snacks. The only way to travel.

Again, this I will miss when we return. I have been researching airline prices for our eldest daughter to fly from Ohio to Connecticut so she can join us in celebrating Lily’s first birthday. My flight from England to Boston is just a little bit more than the prices I was finding for her. We have some pretty cheap air fares here with no frills airlines so going to France or Italy or just about anywhere is very reasonable. Wish the Americans could come up with something like that.

ok, let’s see if i can post next monday….

Why I like living in England

15 Feb

There have been some recent conversations on the topic of “what I like most about living in England” and sometimes it is hard for me to put it into words however today happened and I remembered shy I like living here.

I belong to a newly formed book club and today was our meeting day. We rotate between houses each month and this month we were meeting in Ulverston, a town 5 miles northeast of Dalton where I live. One thing about this quaint towns is they have limited parking and you have to pay with the longest time limit being 3 hours. The host lived in an area with no street parking and no off street parking attached to her home. I decided that I would take the train and so started my day of liking living in England.

I left my house and in less than 5 minutes I was at the train station. Train arrived (1 minute late) I board find a seat get out my book and review for the upcoming discussion. The conductor comes by, I buy my ticket (£2.20 round trip) then back to my book. In 8 minutes we arrive in Ulverston. I step off the train leave the station and head into town where the host lives. I recommend Googling (is that a word?) ‘images of English towns’ and see what I see every day and help you understand this next section.

I walk into town past pubs and shops and then start up a hill and soon am seeing houses. (note: look at those pictures and see that houses are different here). I continue until I come to an area where someone could park a car and I take a left and enter what is called a ‘ginnel’ which is a narrow walk way between buildings. on the right i pass a door in the wall with the sign “Ginnel Cottage” (lots of houses have names) I keep going straight until I have to turn to the right still in a ginnel but slightly wider and then there it is, the home of our host.

You know what I love about that….everything! taking the train is so nice, no hassle with parking, it cost less to take the train than it does to pay for the parking, plus you have to figure gas and wear and tear. Walking to the station, walking to the event is just so nice. Sadly, where we live the train isn’t always an economical choice and the train does not go every where you might want to go.

When I got to Dalton I walked into town to the grocery store to pick up some items for dinner. I go there about every day so i am recognised which is nice. The walk there is less than 10 minutes so even in rainy weather it isn’t bad.

So, a long story of one reason I like living in England. It is not for every one. At this stage of my life I love the slow, easy going way of life. I like that store don’t open early on Sunday, if at all. I like (usually) that in the small towns the sidewalks are rolled up at 5, except the pubs! I live quiz nite at the pubs. I will miss is it all when we leave.

The End of January

30 Jan

I apologize for not posting last week. I chose to not use my bullet journal and learned very quickly old habits can take over. I am starting this week better, not perfect, but better.

We are having medical issues here in our house and without divulging too much info I will share a bit about the National Health Service (NHS). An appointment was made at the ‘surgery’ (doctors office) the result 1) we need to get ‘bloods’ (blood work) and a CT scan. I think we waited a week to get the scan, bloods were done the next day. We never heard anything about the bloods but the CT scan was positive for gallbladder trouble. Another appointment with the GP with a referral to a consultant. she would mark the request URGENT which we were told meant 3-6 week wait. we got lucky- 2 weeks. We have had the consultant appointment who wanted bloods again and if they were still abnormal then an MRI would be ordered. 3 days after bloods a call from the consultant office – no MRI needed!! another appointment needed to discuss surgery. we go back tomorrow. They will not discuss lab results over the phone. there is very little one can do to speed up the process. any appointment that is not with your GP is made through a general appointment desk. a request is submitted and you will get a letter in the post telling you when your appointment has been scheduled. they do not ask you prior when you are available. i almost always have to reschedule appointments made this way.

Prescription meds are filled only for 28 days and the repeat (refill) process is too complicated to write about. John has been unable to get the pain meds he was taking in the US. The drug of choice here is Codeine. It is not very effective for pain control for us. OTC meds are limited. I went looking for Phenergan and they couldn’t sell it to me as I was not intending to use it for what they sell it for. I have learned to do some online research before heading to the Chemist (drug store).

I have had 3 surgeries here, one major and 2 minor and survived! the nursing care I received the week I was hospitalised was poor by my standards but from what i have learned since pretty standard. I had a large incision and the dressing was only checked once a day by the surgeon! The strangest thing overall was there is not waiting room for surgery. They told John to go home and they would call him when they were done! Anyone who knows John can just imagine what he thought of that !

ok, enough medial stuff. We are lucky to be able to order from Walmart.com so we can keep a supply of Nyquil and other things we are used to.

oh yeah NHS is not ‘free’. it is funded almost entirely by general taxation. my major surgery did not cost me anything out of pocket except for the TV. each prescripton costs £8.40 unless you have an exception and then it is free. it is no wonder the NHS is struggling.

we have had wonderful doctors and surgeons. i have no complaints about them. i will truly miss my GP when we return to the states.

Everyone have a great week!


16 Jan

Someone mentioned I should blog about the events of a recent day where i experienced a series of unfortunate events so I pondered that for a while and thought today I would take you, my readers, through a ‘day’ in my life and highlight things that are unique to my life here.

Rise and Shine

we are up early so it is dark, sunrise will be at 822a!  i will have been about 3 hours by then. sunset will be 422p.  the daylight hours are getting longer!  Unique item #1: there are no electrical outlets in the bathroom.  When the electric toothbrush dies i have to take it to the guest room to charge!  i do have a heated towel rack which also serves to heat the bathroom which is nice. we have a very small bathroom in the master bedroom which is mine.  the much larger bathroom is john’s.  i use it only when i want to take a bath.  it is a large soaking tub.  I will miss it when we move.

ok, off to work.  we currently only have one car so i take john to work most days.  Weather permitting he will walk home, approx. 5 miles.  I stop at mcdonalds for oatmeal and black coffee.  unique item #2  most places do not make a pot of coffee.  they have a machine that makes one cup at a time.  the other morning it as really cold and there were some workers on our road and i wanted to take them coffee and donuts and realised there was no place (that I know of) that i could get a Box of Joe and donut holes.  Those of you who have worked Mcdonalds should see this one.  it is in a busy retail area and during peak times they are fully staffed such that to me it looks overstaffed.  they have 2 registers but 6 touch screen kiosks where the customer orders and pays then goes to collect.  one or two people do drinks for the counter and kiosks.  one or two are filling orders. then there is the drivethru area also similarly staffed.  and of course all those on the line in the back.  i tell you this place is hopping.  never much of a wait.  The morning crew changes daily but all are friendly and helpful.  Unique item #3. I can pay by just touching my bank card to the reader.  fast and efficient.

Unique item #4  Driving!  yes we drive on the wrong side of the road and the steering wheel is on the opposite of the car.  At first, SCARY!  I can tell you one time I pulled out onto a major road and was in the wrong lane.  There were no cars at the time to remind me where to go however one quickly came into view and flashed his lights!  you learn to say: Wide right, tight left!  you should see when I go back to states.  no one wants to ride with me.  Now, once you think you have mastered what side to drive on you end up on lanes that will not accommodate 2 cars passing!  sometimes you may have to back up to a place where you can pull over to allow other car to pass.  there doesn’t seem to be any guidelines as to who has to move either.  We used to live where we traveled narrow roads and lanes all the time and after a while it didn’t bother me.  well, we moved to a town and with the exception of the road we live on I drive on main roads and those lanes scare me a bit now.

Now, this is a bit long so I am going to bring it to a close.  maybe this week I will post every day sharing the uniqueness of living in England.

As Promised….

9 Jan

dsc_78182017!  Wow, I can remember when that date sounded futuristic and while we certainly do have so  many gadgets now that indeed were only  in  sci-fy novels life has gone on pretty much the same.  We wake up, eat, go to work, eat, sleep and repeat.  We still have births, illness, death and while so many cures exist for our illnesses we seem to have more illnesses.  Strange paradox.

I did not make new year resolutions only choices to make my life and those around me better.  Near the end of 2016 my eldest daughter introduced me to Bullet Journaling.  Initially I did not think it would work for me but i figured i could at least try it out and SURPRISE!  I like it.  there is a website if you are interested.  The idea is having one place for your ‘stuff’.  appointments, plans, thoughts, ideas pretty much whatever you want.  like any tool though it is only as good as the user but part of the new year choice was implementing bullet journaling on a daily basis and i find i am getting more done, i am less stressed and feeling more fulfilled because I am getting those things done that i really want to do.  i am such a procrastinator and time waster that I can go though an entire day and have nothing but a meal cooked  to show for it.  My goal is each day to waste less time and do more good!

i will use this blog not to tell you about that but to share random thoughts about whatever and to return to the original idea of this blog- life in England!  Currently it is 46° and raining.  I know, you think rain in England!! Well, the thing I notice here is how the rain doesn’t change how people get on with their lives.  This morning, 630am, on the drive to the shipyard (taking hubby to work) people were walking their dogs (doggy have on their raincoats ), people on their bikes heading to work, milkman making deliveries and other delivery trucks out and about.  we were told “there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!”  we are in the ‘dark times’ as i i call it – sunrise at 830am and sunset at 4pm- and the rain just makes it worse for me but I just turn on all the lights in the house and put on happy music!  we have rain predicted for tomorrow and Wednesday and SNOW for Thursday.  we may not see snow here in Dalton but higher elevations and further north may.  i had plans for a trip eastward on Thursday but it means going into those elevations so i have rescheduled for next week.

ok, enough ramblings for today.  i am going to try an post some pictures either on this page or on the photos page.  Enjoy and talk to you next week.

(took a while to remember how to post a picture so only one for now.  i need to upload christmas pix from London.  this picture was taken on our trip to Wales last fall at Caernarfon Castle and is the Weeping Window part of the poppy display from november 2014 at the Tower of London commemorating WWI entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red)


Tuesday evening

7 Jun

Normally on a Tuesday evening I am outside listening to the church bells ringing.  They are rehearsing for Sunday morning.  To the untrained ear it sounds like random bells ringing but there is a pattern and  a song but you are not going to hear a familiar hymn.  Tonight i am listening from the comfort of my couch in the living room. My feet are up, I am relaxed.  the bells ringing will be one of the simple things that I will miss when we return to the states.

I worked in the garden today.  Added some lilys to the bed in the parking area-it needed a “thriller” and until the fushia bloom that spot needed some color.  I discovered roses on the Centenary Girl Guide bush, I will post a picture when it is in full bloom.  It is a sight to behold!  I did some other planting in an area that was bare.  I still need to work in the ‘wilderness’ area.  this is an area that has some plants/bushes that grow quickly and spread.  I went to a garden festival last weekend and asked a lot of questions about my garden and learned that I need to wait until next spring to really tackle that area.  This year I can trim it but next spring I can do some serious digging up, replanting etc.  I found a small strawberry patch so I have purchased some netting to try and keep the birds out of it.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  we might get one or two strawberries!

I will keep you posted……

Good evening!

6 Jun

It is 9:30 pm already and I am not even close to being ready to go to bed.  My days start early so I should head up soon but first a few words.

This blog is to be about my adventures living in the UK so I will share a really funny one that happened over Memorial Day.  On the weekends we have a goal of getting 15000 step on the Fitbit so walking is what we planned on doing.  We hop in the car and head to Grasmere.  It is the geographic center of the Lake District and home to William Wordsworth (a famous poet).  We arrive at the Car Park (parking lot) and I spot a toilet (yeah!) and after figuring the pay scheme (yes you have to pay to park at a lot of places) I head to the toilet.  Oh no, it is a pay toilet!  You must deposit 20p to release the turnstile.  I did not have any money on me and I needed to go so….I put my camera and wallet on the turnstile, dropped to my knees and crawled under the turnstile.  Once I was done, I washed my hands then and here’s the funny part, I dropped on my knees and crawled back out!  Off we go for our walk.  About an hour later I suddenly burst out laughing.  It dawned on my that I did not need to crawl out!  I still am shaking my head and giggling about it.

somewhere in this blog there are pictures that I took on this walk.   If not on this page look around for them, please….

Good morning!

5 Jun

My how time is just flying by!  Are the days and week getting shorter?  well, I guess not the days, at least not here since sunset is around 9:40 and sunrise is around 4:40!  also, it never gets really dark out-I mean dark, dark.  You know how the sky looks when you have a full moon on a cloudless night?  Every night here during the late spring into fall.  So you buy room darkening curtains or eye shades!  ok, back to the subject at hand….

I have been pretty busy here at the Satterly homestead getting things ready for our grandson’s summer visit.  He has his own room and when he isn’t here it becomes my sewing room so I had to pack up all my stuff and find new places to store it all.  I then decided I should have a good sorting of all the magazines I have bought ‘to make this cute thing’ and all the little kits ‘I want to make this!’  and purge.  I have done some serious purging.  The hardest thing was the purging of my counted cross stitch magazines and kits.  My eyesight is poor for close up work.  I saved a few pieces in progress and the rest have been gifted.  Switching my interests to sewing. I am wanting to make my own clothes and also ‘crafty’ things like pencil cases, tote bags for family and friends.

today’s blog was an exercise in writing.  More tomorrow  (or later today)


16 May

just another sunday. pretty quiet.  Went to church this morning.  Did you know it was Pentecost Sunday?  Every Sunday since before Christmas I think has had a special name.  I know about Pentecost though.  Todays scripture reading was taken from Acts 2 and John 14, no Old Testament reading today.  The hymns reinforced the theme and were hard to sing.  I might have better luck if I could have a hymnal with notes in it!  During communion songs are sung and a song I know is among the group, ‘Shine, Jesus, Shine’.  if you have never sung that accompanied by a pipe organ you have not lived!  Anyway, liturgical church is so very different from my Nazarene upbringing.  there is no one in the pulpit leading the hymns and telling you when to sit and stand.  the booklet you are handed when you arrive is a script of what to say and when but watch out as there may be as many as 4 options to choose from!  I was feeling pretty confident one time and blurted out the wrong response.  they dont swing the incense around which is good but they do use the common cup for communion.  the last time i took communion here I remember the priest (or whatever he is called) had a cold and later that week i came down with a cold.  Coincidence?  perhaps but still not a fan.  i sit quietly and sing or read scripture.  i am restless throughout the entire service and i am not sure why.  one thing is the pew.  it is narrow and hard.  i welcome the opportunity to stand. oh and we stand for all 4 hymns and for the reading of the Gospel, ‘thanks be to God’.  so, bottom line, there is no sponteneity. the only thing that changes are the hymns, scripture and sermons but it all occurs exactly the same week after week.  it just doesnt seem like worship to me.  oh, if you go to the early service there is no singing and the whole thing is over in less than an hour!  well, this is a bit long and rambling, sorry.  The Church of England is just different than an evangelical church in the US.

thoughts-living in a foreign country

14 May

While living in the UK is not like living in France or Italy or Germany there are still challenges to overcome.

  1.  Language – Yup, you may think the only thing you have to worry about is an accent but you would be wrong!  Couple that accent with different usage of words, slang, and the accent marred by geography.  Much like in the US with the deep south vs Vermont.  here are some words that are used differently :     pants – please don’t say in mixed company as this means underwear.  use trousers.  fanny- used in the US for buttocks but in the UK refers to female private parts.  ok, only 2 examples but you could go online and look and some of them.  I prefer this language obstacle over not being able to understand the language at all.
  2. driving – not too many countries that drive on the left.  it is definitely a challenge. And then there are the round-a-bouts.  There are rules for entering and leaving and traveling through the round-a-bout and trying to remember them all is just about impossible.  did you know that is is easier to buy a standard transmission vehicle than it is an automatic.  couple driving on the left with shifting and you can really have fun.  the roads- well, once you get out of the city the roads can be narrow and windy and bordered by a stone wall that is covered in ivy or bushes that grow quite quickly and are not mowed or trimmed until the end of July as they provide shelter and nesting for birds and wildlife.  the more rural you get the narrower the roads and 2 cars cannot pass so you pull  over as far as you can, pull in your wing mirrors and slowly inch passed each other.  Sometimes you encounter errant sheep wandering about the roads.  earlier this week I came upon 2 lambs that had jumped the fence and were wondering around trying to figure out how to get back to mama.  they finally were able to get back under the fence.  sometimes you might meet cows but sheep are more common where  I live.
  3. food – well, you either like it or you don’t.  I am learning to like some things.  When I can I try things.  I am not a fan of black pudding or haggis but I continue to try it. the meat has a different taste to it, probably more natural, I don’t know.  the chicken is delicious.  They eat a lot of meat pies.  I am a fan.  they are quite good.  most desserts are not very sweet especially pies.  Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of the sweeter desserts which is my all-time favorite.  I love a scone with clotted cream.  what is clotted cream?   ” Clotted cream is a thick cream made by indirectly heating full-cream cow’s milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms “clots” or “clouts”. Wikipedia   it is so good……
  4. Pubs –  this is the one thing I will miss above all others when I return to the US. Every city, town, village has a pub or two or more.  you have a ‘local’ which is where you routinely go for a pint and sometimes a bite to eat.  our local is The Brown Cow. it has been around since the 1500’s.  we ate there earlier this week with some friends and it was obvious the table was slanted.  if we spilled anything it was going right in the persons lap at the head of the table!  I never drank beer before but i like a pint of ale every now and then.
  5. shopping – this was a big adjustment. no Walmart, Joanns, Michaels, Home Depot etc.  there are some stores that are close but not really out away from the big cities.  you go to market where there are stalls for fabric, haberdashery (thats buttons, thread,etc), fruit and vegetables, the butcher for your meat.  the market reminds me of the flea markets in Florida.  we have nice grocery stores but i like going to the market for farm fresh produce.  a little more expensive but better. here’s a fun fact:  when you are looking for eggs don’t look in the dairy aisle or cooler.  The eggs where I shop are in the aisle with the bread.  and not refridgerated and when I bring them home they sit on the counter in my wire hen basket.  sometimes i buy my eggs at the farm, they are placed near the road with a basket for your money.  it is an honor system.

so, lots of new things to learn and by now I am mostly used to it.  I am always learning new words and phrases and trying new foods.  next post i will share the adventure of our boiler breaking.  that is like a hot water tank.

until next time