English Tea vs Southern Sweet Tea

I’ve never really enjoyed hot tea.  I’m a southern girl.  We like it cold and sweet.

With all his trips over, Brian has come to enjoy a cup of hot tea in the evenings and he has been wanting to get me to change my ways so I can enjoy a pot with him.

So, I had my official first English cup of tea at the Chatsworth Farm Shop Cafe.  We sat outside on the patio which overlooked fields filled with sheep and their new wee lambs.  The sun was shining, a cool breeze blowing, and you could hear the lambs calling their mommas.

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After about 4 cubes of sugar, I could drink my cup of not-so-bitter tea.

IMG_0161editedNow, the chocolate brownie and lemon drizzle cake we ate with our tea was delightful.

IMG_0160editedI did experiment with other cups of tea throughout the trip and what I finally decided was it was the people and the setting that made it enjoyable.


IMG_0204editedI did find a strawberry tea that I enjoyed (thanks, Tabitha!), but…

I’ll stick to my Southern sweet iced tea.

Sorry, Phil!

Living thru faith,



Spring Laundry

I can know say it is officially spring!

I put out the first of many loads to hang dry outside!

We have had so much rain, that the weather and my laundry schedule has not meshed till now.

photo 1editedI love how fresh clothes smell after drying on the line.

Yes, I know I’m weird!

I also like the thought of lowering my electric bill by not using the dryer so much.

Of course….

I forgot to add the fabric softener, so I’ll be putting them in the dryer for a little bit.  🙂

Eli was so excited he couldn’t contain himself.

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Living thru faith,


An Afternoon in Manchester

We spent Tuesday afternoon in Manchester.  Manchester is a mix of old and new, ancient and modern.  It was pretty much a typical city.  Busy and dirty.  An afternoon was plenty for this quiet small town girl. 😉


IMG_0269edited Here is one thing I never would have thought to see in a city center in England…

IMG_0267editedYep, that’s President Abraham Lincoln.  The statue was given as a tribute for “the support that the working people of Manchester gave in their fight for the abolition of slavery during the American Civil War…….By supporting the union under President Lincoln at a time when there was an economic blockade of the southern states the Lancashire cotton workers were denied access to raw cotton which caused considerable unemployment throughout the cotton industry.”  You can see a better picture and read more about the statue here.

While conducting research for his dissertation, Brian spent a lot of time in the special collections area of the John Ryland’s Library.  He was able to actually handle (very carefully and with gloves) original letters written by or to John and Charles Wesley.  The Library was originally opened to the public in January of 1900 and then merged with the University of Manchester in the 1970’s.

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About ten years ago, they began an expansion of the library.  Again the modern was mixed with the old.  The brick is part of the original building and the white is part of the new extension.

IMG_0252editedThose arches on the bottom floor are like study carrels.  There were students in each one we passed, so I couldn’t get a picture of those areas.  They were just as ornate as the rest of it.

IMG_0255editedIMG_0256editedAfter the library, Brian took me to the actual University campus on the other side of town.  That was a bus ride and then a 20 minute walk down busy city streets (did I mention I’m a small town girl?).

The University has a free museum which was cool.  In our typical family fashion, we breezed through it record time and we didn’t even have kids with us.  (My lovely children can go through a museum in a fraction of the time a normal family would go through one.  They won’t stop to read anything!).  We only had 45 minutes till closing, so we kinda had to move swiftly.

But we saw everything from whale and elephant bones…

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to Egyptian artifacts….

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IMG_0275editedto prehistoric fossils…

IMG_0287editedand actual Easter Island statues…

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The main campus didn’t disappoint with their mix of old and modern buildings.


IMG_0302editedAnd in typical student form that crosses all campuses anywhere, the students were all congregating in the grass filled center laying around and enjoying the sunshine.

IMG_0303editedIMG_0304editedAfter all this city touring, I was ready to get back on the train and head to our hotel.  We started our journey home the next morning and after a crazy 20 minute round and round trek to the car rental place (should have only taken us 5 minutes – might I suggest better signage?!), we finally made it to the airport, through security, and boarded another Virgin Atlantic flight for home.  As much as I enjoyed my first trip across the pond, I was ready to see my kiddos!

Oh! And the food on the flight back…much better than the flight over.  Heehee!

Living thru faith,


Chesterfield and St. Mary’s Crooked Spire

While on our trip we stayed at a friend’s house in Chesterfield. The house was right across the street from a grocery store which proved helpful in a couple different ways.  Street parking was almost non-existent during the day. So in addition to easily grabbing a few grocery items off and on, we would park the rental car at the grocery store for a little bit and then move it in the evening.  Thankfully, it didn’t prove to be an issue.

Monday was Brian’s defense at the University of Manchester.  While Brian and Phil were taking care of dissertation business, the girls went out to play!  Phil’s wife Sam and their daughter Tabitha took me to Market Day in Chesterfield.  Of course, we had to start the day off with a pot of tea!

IMG_0244editedIMG_0245editedWalked along the cobbled streets of downtown Chesterfield, Tabitha introduced us to a precious little shop along the way, and then they showed me the church with the crooked spire. It’s actually the Parish Church of St. Mary and All Saints, but architecturally it is known for it’s unique spire.  If you click on the name of the church above, you can see pictures of the inside of the church.

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It is thought the spire was added to the church in 1632.  While there are some unique theories on why the spire is “crooked” (including the devil did it), it really is due to the use of green timber and the lack of skilled craftsmen after the “Black Death”.  Click here and you can read a little bit more about the spire and the church itself.

Sam took Tabitha and I to this wonderful little cafe in Barlow for lunch.  It was so cute and the food was absolutely delightful.  And, of course, I took no pictures.  I can’t even tell you the name!  You’ll just have to take my word for it.  I had a cheese and onion potato pie with a fresh salad and coleslaw.  Yummo!  The pie was kind of like a pot pie in that it had a pastry shell, but there was melted cheese and sauteed onions over thinly sliced potatoes baked inside the shell.  *Sigh*

Good news!  Brian passed with minor revisions, he should have his corrected thesis submitted this week!

Living thru faith,


Bakewell, Cliff, and Baslow’s Edge

After a long day Friday of touring Chatsworth House, Saturday Brian took me to the village of Bakewell.  A busy, but quaint English village. It was raining in the morning so we went a later than we had planned.  By the time we left the rain had cleared, but it was still cold and windy, typical English weather so I’m told.  Thankfully the sun began to shine later in the afternoon and it turned into a really pleasant day.

We walked around Bakewell, enjoyed jacket potatoes (baked potatoes) topped with coronation chicken (something similar to chicken salad) and a side salad garnish (without dressing) at a little coffee shop called the Bean and Bag, then walked up a very steep hill to the All Saints Church.

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IMG_0178edited   IMG_0197editedAll Saints Church overlooks the city centre (center) and although not the original building, the foundation dates back to the 900’s! Parts of the current structure was built in the 13th & 14th century and it is still an active church today.


IMG_0180editedIMG_0194editedUndoubtedly there is an ongoing dispute on who actually has the original Bakewell Pudding recipe.  There is the “first and only original”

IMG_0200editedand then there is the “old original”.

IMG_0174editedThe River Wye runs through Bakewell and we walked along the river enjoying the ducks and swans.  We even saw a momma duck and her 12 little ducklings.

IMG_0206edited IMG_0214edited IMG_0201editedWhen we left Bakewell, Brian drove me up to Cliff College to show me where he stays when he comes over.

IMG_0220edited IMG_0219edited IMG_0217editedThen he drove me up to the cliffs above the college, Baslow’s Edge.  This wasn’t a planned excursion, so I ended up walking from way down there (down where the cars are parked on the side of the road-click on the picture and you can see them better).

IMG_0224editedto way up here

IMG_0230editedin these shoes.

IMG_0231editedBeing the world’s biggest klutz, it’s really a miracle I didn’t twist my ankle!


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IMG_0222editedBrian then took me around Calver (the little town closest to Cliff College) and then Grindleford where he would get off the train, walk up a very steep hill, and then take a bus to the College.

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Yep, the train stop is just a platform.

Living thru faith,