Saturday, December 24, 2016

Oh Christmas Tea....In Jolly Old England


Twas the night before Christmas in the UK our home,
as house and pet sitters with so far to roam. 

We travel the world, there's so much to see 
while making new furry friends who need to go wee.

The tea kettle is on, the Christmas pudding is made 
but the sun rarely shines it's just all gloomy with shade. 
Yet out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, 
we rose slowly from the couch to see what was
the matter.



The flames of the woodstove are all sparkle and glow 
and the Christmas tree twinkles with lights and fake snow. 
The quaint little village in which this home be 
is dotted with pubs full of fish, chips and tea.

While out on the lawn that's all wet from the mist
runs a scruffy tan dog just waiting to be kissed.
She chases a ball but longs for a treat, hoping 
that Santa comes soon and brings her some meat.




The full moon shines brightly on the green mossy roofs 
that might well provide padding for tired reindeer hoofs. 
The old chubby man slides down from the sled 
and pops into a pub where he has nothing to dread. 
He orders some ale disguised as a cuppa tea 
then stops into the loo to take a quick wee.



He stumbles and fumbles from too much Earl Grey
and needs to get going to be on his way. 
We heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, 
cheerio and Merry Christmas to all from the UK tonight.
.

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter.

the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fancy A Bit Of Spotted Dick With A Pastie?

Spotted dick, pasties, mushy peas, and toad in the hole are just a few are the strange names of commonly eaten dishes here in the United Kingdom. While the name sounds strange spotted dick is merely a pudding with fruit.  A pastie (pronounced pah-stee) is pastry filled with meat and vegetables.  We did try a few while in Cornwall and found them to be dry, but perhaps there are better ones out there?

Daily Special....A Pastie, Cake And Tea For ONLY 5 Pounds
Probably To PUT ON 5 Pounds!

Some Photos In The Grocery Store





Mince Meat Pies Are Common For Christmas And Cheap


While staying at a bed and breakfast in London we were served crumpets with our tea which were rather lovely, a word now part of our vocabulary. Similar to our English muffins in the US but thicker, crumpets are toasted and slathered with butter. And while we have eaten fish and chips a few times here we have not tried them with mushy peas.  Just as the name implies peas are smashed into a puree and eaten alongside the chips, which of course are just fries.

Scones are another common snack eaten here most anytime with tea. They are a heavy, dense dough pastry sometimes with added fruit. Often they are sliced and served with clotted cream, a type of thick cream which we have not tried yet because it just doesn't sound too enticing.

Besides the unusual food here life in the United Kingdom in December is rather dreary to say the least.  While there is no snow and the weather has been rather mild, that is after we got used to it, the sun rarely peeks out. Yesterday after a week of damp cloudiness the sun made a rare appearance then ran and hid again after a few hours.

We are currently house sitting in Storrington, a large village in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England whatever that all means.  Basically stated we are about 90 minutes outside of London. Storrington lies at the foot of the north side of South Downs, a range of chalk hills that run through England.

Sights Nearby....The Devil's Dyke





The village is quaint with plenty of tiny shops, restaurants, car parks and one large grocery store for all of our needs. And since Brits love to walk there are hundreds of miles of public foot paths everywhere.  Some of the paths run along the back of private homes, through vineyards, across church yards, through wooded areas and more. 








Within a ten to fifteen mile drive are the larger towns of Horsham and Worthing, both which have great outdoor shopping areas. While each town has it's perks we enjoyed walking along the rocky beachfront of Worthing, a lovely seaside city. Complete with a pier of amusements for family entertainment and large move theaters surely the town must be hopping during the summer months.

City Of Horsham




Seafront City Of Worthing
This Is A Shingled Beach As They Say Here.....Rocky

The English Channel

Indoor and Outdoor Shopping Center


A Sand Sculpture


Although we are taking it easy these days just living among the English locals, we are enjoying life. Our current temporary home is a lovely semi-detached house with three bedrooms, three baths with an open concept living-dining area. The outdoor garden area is home to five chickens who produce eggs on a regular basis. But our main priority of being here is to care for Beryl, a female border terrier who craves attention and walkies. With extreme high energy she is a bundle of fur, joy and giggles as we watch her throughout the day. The homeowners even decorated the house for Christmas just for us, tree and all.

The Chickens

Beryl Taking It Easy

Beryl Ready For Christmas



Time now for a spot of tea since it's been a hour since my last cup.  Living the life of the British here in cloudy England, where the sun rarely shines but the Brits make up for it with their sunny disposition......along the gringo trail.

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter.

the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE

Friday, December 9, 2016

An Island With 35 Inhabitants, A Castle And Plenty Of History......

Today was a lovely, clear warmish day (around 55 degrees) here in Cornwall, England so we set out to explore the island of St. Michael's Mount. Just ten minutes down the road connected to the village of Marazion there are only two ways to reach the small island.  One way is to walk across the narrow, man-made walkway that is ONLY accessible when the tide is out.  Apparently there is only a four hour window to make it out to the island, look around and get back to the mainland before the tide comes in. The other mode of transport is an amphibious vehicle that transports visitors from the mainland to the island.  We decided to play it safe and take the boat transport instead of worrying about the tide tables and whether or not we'd make it back.

St. Michaels Mount From A Distance

Our Land And Sea Vehicle




Approaching the Island

Up We Go



Ancient Round Houses



Old Cannons On Top


The Castle


Inside the Castle



The Roof Top


The Gardens Below




Have to tell you the story of the missing piece at the top of the corner post.
There was a twelve year old girl who used to balance on the rail grap this top thing and swing out and around to the other banister.  
One day it broke and she plumetted down to the bottom garden.
Looked like about four floors down.  She survived but broke her back and both legs.  The missing piece is still down below.




Although the day was sunny once we were near the water the winds blew strongly making the 55 degree temperatures feel like sub zero, at least to us. While the locals were dressed in short sleeves shirts, some wore shorts and they commented of how nice the day was, we were freezing.  But we went prepared with layers of clothing, scarves, gloves, boots and hats but still felt the cool coastal breezes crawl tickle our innards.

Statue Of St. Michael Who Is Said To Have Appeared On The Island




A Model Of The Castle Made From The Families Champagne Corks Done By A Castle Employee




Man Made Walkway Connecting The Island To The Mainland Only When Tide Is Out



Steps Up To A Tiny Island? Why?


After our morning walk in the woods with Alvin our house sit dog, we headed out in our little Fiat to the town of Marazion. Immediately we noticed a small group of people waiting for the boat and joined them in line. Tickets were just 6 pounds each (about $7.50) for a round trip ticket and soon we were on our way.  The cool vehicle is made to run on both land and water and before long we were floating and headed to the island.  Once on dry land we purchased tickets to tour the castle and church for just 9 pounds each ($11.30).  Apparently during high season when hoards of tourists tour the tiny island there are NO tours offered, just a free for all walk through of the castle. With just 10 other people our small group tour lasted 90 minutes.  We learned about the history of the castle along with tales, ghost stories and more.  While the castle is still inhabited by a couple in the their 60's they open many of its room for tours during the winter season only.

Below is a link with the whole story of the history of St. Michaels Mount along with the castle for those who want to know.  So come along on the tour with us as we explore the fascinating ancient world of St. Michaels Mount, a tiny tidal island with just 35 inhabitants......along the gringo trail.

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter.

the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE






https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Michael's_Mount