Thursday, June 23, 2022

Our England Trip Overview

It was a month ago that I posted our ICELAND trip overview, after which the next day we left for England!  It's been that kind of whirlwind, from which we're still catching our photographic breath.  Seriously.

Not that I'm complaining!

Our England trip, a week after Iceland, came in two distinct parts because of being hosted by two different Shutterchance friends.  Still, it was all ENGLAND, and that's what counts:

1.  With LISL in Winsley, Wiltshire, England, from May 24-June 1:

From the get-go, she's the hostess-with-the-mostess!
After her husband died 2 years ago, she moved from Bath to Winsley, 6 miles away.
It was a move from the big city (ca. 100K pop.) to a village of ca. 2K pop.
Besides Five Crowns, a new game for us, we played Qwirkle almost every day.

We're all walkers, so, of course, we took walks!
This one was from her house in Winsley to Bradford-on-Avon, 2 miles away.
The center weathervane is on Lisl's garage, a gift from friends for her 80th birthday last November.
The fish vane is of a gudgeon...a new fish for me.

Lots of impressions along the way for my Shutterchance (SC) photoblog.

These are just some of the flowers I saw on that walk.

And this is just one of the irises in bloom all along the way.

These were in Lisl's garden.

Speaking of which, she's been working on making the garden what she's used to from her past,
but her challenge is getting rid of all the rocks, she says, of which there are boatloads!

Another special walk was up in the Cotswolds where Lisl's husband's ashes were spread.
It's also where Lisl will be "spread" when it's her time, so it was very touching to feel the moment.
Surprisingly, in all the years we have visited friends in England, this was our first time there.

Unbeknownst to us, Lisl took this photo of us!

Nearby, we visited 2 long barrows (burial chambers) from approximately 5,500 years ago.
The first one (top row) no longer has the "hill" covering it, but the second one does.
When I see something like this, I know I'm not in America...or the Netherlands, for that matter!

It so happens that I call Lisl my Big Sister.  
Our fellow Shutterchancer, Chris (bottom-left), calls Astrid his Little Sister.
So to mix things up a bit, one day Chris picked us up to take us to the Steam Museum in Swindon,
32 miles from Winsley, where we were joined by his friend, Katy.
Guess where we ate lunch!!!  WAGAMAMA.  
It's one of our favorite restaurants of all time but a first for them...and they loved it.

Chris took us there because it's a photographic paradise.
I haven't even begun to work on those images for SC but what a heyday that was!

Speaking of Chris, one day he, Lisl and Astrid took a walk without me
because I was under the weather with a cold.  I slept all morning to restore myself.
But these are Astrid's photos that I put into a collage.

Once restored, I continued with the activities, this time with another SC friend, Suzanne,
with whom we met up at the Chief Trading Post in Bristol.
What a crazy, quirky place, full of ins and outs, twists and turns, all stuffed with...stuff.
It was a great place for a coffee break before we drove to Suzanne's for fish-n-chips and Qwirkle.

On the Sunday we were with Lisl, her childhood girlfriend from Ireland, living now in Wales,
came to visit Lisl so as to meet us.  How special is that!
After a fabulous roast pork lunch/dinner at the nearby pub, we walked around Winsley to work it off.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

2.  With CHAD and Norma in Rudloe/Corsham, Wiltshire, England, from June 1-4:

The day we switched home base, Chris picked us up to go meet his partner Jackie at her farm, 
from where she took us to see the Norman parish Church of St. Christopher in Ditteridge.
The front arch/porch is Saxton, which means it's older than a thousand years!
This was when the switch took Chad and Norma's house...who joined us at the church.
They live just 8 miles from Lisl!

A view in the back yard from the church.

Chad and Norma, with whom we have stayed before, had also recently moved, 
so it was time to get acquainted with their new environs.
Fun fact:  Corsham has 15 resident peacocks who are free to roam the town wherever they want!

As you'd guess, we, too, went on walks.
We even stopped and waited for the train to come through the Box Tunnel after we ate at a pub.

Then one day we visited visited the Fox Talbot Museum at the Lacock Abbey in Lacock,
known as Britain's birthplace of photography.  How fitting for us photographers, of course.

Chad is one of our fellow Shutterchancers. 

I used this ceiling boss from the ceiling of the 13th century Lacock Abbey cloisters 
for my birthday greetings on June 13th:  from my heart to yours!

These are just some of the flowers seen on the grounds there.

While at Chad and Norma's we watched most of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee,
just as we would have done if we had been at home.  We loved it!

If you could sum up all the time we had with Lisl and Chad (and Norma), 
you could say it was all around great food and fellowship.  Kinda like how I picture heaven!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now, for the main reason why we went to England so soon after Iceland:  our Shutterchance Meetup in Oxford!  It happened while we were staying with Lisl, who, sadly, wasn't able to join us because of a funeral memorial she attended.  

It was an all-day trip by 3 different trains, coming and going, with Chris, who orchestrated the entire travel, thankfully.

There were only 12 of us this year, 9 of which are SC bloggers. 
Normally our meetups have been at least twice as big, but it made this one extra cozy.

After a delightful walking tour of the Oxford campus, we all stopped at a pub 
to have a drink/toast to say good-bye, until the next time!

Astrid and I come from these people we have grown to love, having met each other virtually
on our Shutterchance photoblog back in 2007, and then, against all odds, getting married in 2010.
These are the friends who love and support us, as we do them.
Does life get any better?


  1. Wat is dit weer een mooie en zeer uitgebreide log van jullie Engelandreis.
    Geweldig mooi zijn al die collages.
    De vrolijkheid en het genieten spat er vanaf.
    Ik heb weer genoten van al jullie belevenissen.
    @Mijn naam en url accepteert Blogger helaas niet, maar it is me..Marjolein

    1. Bless you, dear Marjolein, for commenting, even though Blogger didn't help you. (sigh) I'm so glad you saw all the happiness from this trip! Hartstikke bedankt.

  2. That sounds perfect to me. Great friends who are caring and supportive. It looks and sounds like a wonderful tr8p!

    1. Perfect in every way, indeed, Marie. Thank you.

  3. Charm and friends. What more can you ask for? So lovely.

    By the way, I'm reading Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels, and currently we are in Oxford, one of my favorite places in England.

    1. Thank you, Ruth. I had been to Oxford years ago but I didn't remember it...unless maybe it was Cambridge?? I always think of Mom, who was a "professional student," getting excited about every campus she visited. She would have LOVED Oxford!

  4. "This is what we do when we are in England"...... what a great post this is with all the images and collages and memories to keep, Ginnie. Oxford was great. Fun to meet all the friends again. Friends might not even be the good word, I think of them as "Family"... we are so blessed. A big "Thank you" to Lisl and Chad&Norma for hosting is and for Chris for picking us up and driving us around. I am looking to our next trip to England. IHVJ

    1. I think you put your finger on it, Astrid: this is our FAMILY in England! Thank you for your part in making these trips so worthwhile.

  5. Wow…what gorgeous images! Thanks always for sharing. I’m sure it’s feeling good to be settled for a while!

    1. As always, Robin, thank YOU for following these sagas with us. You, too, are part of our world-wide FAMILY!

  6. What a fabulous time you had with friends in one of my favourite parts of England.

    I would love to go on some of the walks where Lisl took you :-)

    1. Too bad you and Mark didn't meet up with us this year, Cherry. We would have liked seeing you again! Maybe the next time???

    2. Yes, we would love that :-) You will have to let us know when you next visit.

    3. Will do, Cherry. We assumed you had seen the news for this year from our Shutterchance posts?!


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