Showing posts from August, 2016

Back to Normandy: Jumièges

Let's go back to France for a bit. There's still so much I haven't shared yet. I love history, and I hope you do, too. One of our excursions while on the river cruise was the Normandy Abbey Route. We visited two abbeys, one a ruin and one still operating. This post is about the ruin. 

The first monastery was built here in 642. Mind-boggling. A few centuries later, however, the Vikings came a-rampaging and destroyed the monastery. 

It didn't take too long before the Vikings themselves converted to Christianity and began building their own monasteries. Duke William of Normandy, aka William the Conqueror, aka King William of England, attended the consecration of the newly constructed abbey in 1067.

The towers still stand, reaching into the blue, blue sky. Our guide pointed out how different they are - deliberate asymmetry.  

Jumièges was an important place of learning in medieval times, and was also well-known for caring for the poor. 

Some of the early paint colours can still…

Road Trip - It's a Long One!

It's a long way from Victoria to Red Deer. 1198.2 kilometres (744.5 miles). I thought you might be interested in the sights along the way - it's such a pretty drive. We'll be touring in one direction, east to west, but the photos are taken both from our trip out and our trip back, so if you know the road, the angles will be mixed up. Lighting differs as well. So pack your bags, include some drinks and snacks, and we'll be off! 

We like to get a bit of a head start, so we cross over to the mainland on the ferry the night before and stay at my parents' place in Chilliwack.

Early the next morning, we quietly sneak out of the house and begin the drive. Dawn just begins to break over the mountains. We have snacks and drinks in the car. It will take us 11 or 12 hours, with a few breaks.

We begin in the Fraser Valley, a fertile delta plain where my roots began. My siblings and parents, although they moved away for many years, are all back in the Valley. Steep mountains shelt…

Party Time!

On one of the hottest days of the summer, we planned a garden party. My brother and sister-in-law offered their garden and borrowed enough canvas shelters that we were not sitting in the direct sun.

China and glassware, pretty napkins, 

and flowers from the garden added to the festivities.  

A special Battenberg lace tablecloth looked extra pretty. We ate - grilled meat and lots of salads, we sweated gently and tried to stay cool, we laughed and chatted. 

Our talented daughter-in-law created this beautiful and delicious cake. 

The focus of the party - my beautiful mother. Thirty-two of us gathered to celebrate her 80th birthday. 

Hooray for our wonderful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother! My dad instigated the planning for the party back in February and it all came together well. 

Before the party, a photo of four generations: My mom, the eldest daughter, Yours Truly, also an eldest daughter, my two daughters, and Miss S. We are so blessed. 

And so ended our last week of vacation - a…

A Gentry Estate in Wales

It's really hard to grasp that one month ago we were in Wales. A lot has happened since then and our trip seems a little distant already. There are many sites I've not yet shared here, and it's a great memory-jogger when I do. 

So let's visit Llanerchaeron - my cousin told me that the pronunciation of the "Ll" is like saying an "L" with the tongue towards the front palate and letting air pass on both sides of the mouth. Try it - I think it's a little bit like a "CL" sound. Correct me if I'm wrong.

While going through my photos, I realized that I did not take a photo of the outside of this Georgian villa, designed by John Nash in 1795. Nash later went on to design Buckingham Palace, Regent Street, and Brighton Pavilion. So I took the above photo from the Llanerchaeron site

Nash was all about symmetry. The dining room is to the left of the front door in the top photo. The sideboard at the back of this photo is the front of the house. …