It so turned out that I had the opportunity to go to England for a week, and I got to see a new side of the country that I had really only driven through before: the English countryside. I got to stay in a lovely bed and breakfast in a place called Linton, which is in Cambridgeshire. It was a lovely as I imagined: beautiful gardens in people's yards, thatched rooftops sprinkled in with otherwise clay roof tiles, quaint little shops and homes, and the quiet "disturbed" only by the soft cooing of what I thought were doves but are actually called woodpigeons. Though they are all from the same family, so the cooing is the same, but still, it was beautiful. Although I did see see doves as well, now that I think about it, but the woodpigeons were everywhere.
|The green stuff on the fish is the samphire|
Apparently it's a trendy food in England, a type of sea plant that you can eat, though it's different from seaweed. However, like seaweed, it was also salty and crunchy and altogether lovely, and it's too bad we can't get it at home.
Anyway, while we were in Linton, it was hard to get very far because there aren't really any taxis (regular or Uber), and there isn't a lot of public transportation available. Plus even if you took a taxi, you would end up paying a lot. So we decided to take the one bus that goes through Linton to each of its end points on different days: the first day to Cambridge and the second to Haverhill.
Cambridge is just beautiful, at least in the area where all the colleges are. It's just so old and so grande. One of my cousins was able to do her doctorate there, and now that I've been there, I'm a bit jealous as it makes me wish I could study there, too. Many of the colleges were closed for the summer, and the ones that were open were ones you had to pay to see, so we decided to just look from the outside. But we still enjoyed ourselves.
The next day we decided to go to Haverhill for something to do, and this was a little less fruitful than the Cambridge trip. It seemed like kind of a sad place with people just shuffling around and like maybe there was high unemployment. It was interesting that even people's accents differed from those in Linton, which is only about 40 minutes away by bus. Class differences perhaps account for it, but it's interesting how it gets marked with accent. It's not totally different in Canada, but perhaps I notice it less at home because I'm more used to our own accents, and class differences are often less apparent here, too.
The one highlight was finding a tea shop to have afternoon tea. That was my main goal while in England, and I did find a lovely place for what they call "cream tea", which is when you just have the scones with clotted cream and jam and tea, not all the other things that one might have as a light lunch during afternoon tea or high tea, as we call it in Canada. I personally still like to make my own scones, but it's a treat to do it in England--and the clotted cream is more readily available and much cheaper than it is back home, too. I wish someone would start making a Canadian version of it with local milk to help drive down the price!
We returned to Cambridge the day after only to catch the train to London, where we would spend a few days with my cousin and his family. I won't write much about being in London since I've been there quite a bit before and have written about it already. It's a place I still love and wouldn't mind moving to England--maybe living in the countryside and spending some weekends with family in London! Who knows what the future will bring!
I should mention, though, the the B&B was really beautiful. It was surrounded by gardens and trees, and on one day, I even saw something known as Reeves muntjac. According to the lady that runs the B&B, they are ugly, annoying deer that eat your garden when I asked her what I might have seen. I never got a photo of them, but I had never seen anything like it before, so I asked her if she knew what they might be. I also happened to see one on the train ride from Cambridge to London, standing in a farmer's field. Apparently they were brought from Asia as a novelty for some guy, and then they got loose and are found all over the country now. Just very tiny deer!
Anyway, I think that's all for now. I wish I could insert my photo album here, like when Picasa Web Albums allowed me to embed them, but with Google photos, it doesn't allow that, so all I can give you is a link. That's probably one of the most annoying things is that Google retired a perfect good program for an inferior product, both of their own making.
Here is the link to the album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ci6BJRVWS43Ld9aX2